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Tourist Information Centre

Office municipal de Tourisme
Esplanade Charles de Gaulle Arles

Tel:+33 (0) 490 18 41 20
Fax:+33 (0) 490 18 41 29

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Arles tourist information

where to go - what to see - what to do

Based in Provence at the top of the Camargue delta is the former Roman town of Arles. One of Provence's best preserved Roman buildings exists here in the form of the amphitheatre, Les Arènes, in the centre of town. It is still used today for bullfighting, mostly at Easter and in July. Many of the fights are in the local Provençal style in which the bull is not killed and the challenge is to remove tassles from between the bull's horns. For those keen on seeing this type of fight, be sure that the phrase "mise à mort" is not included in the local press and publicity to describe the event.

Other important Roman remains are the ancient theatre, the Emperor Constantine's baths, and the Roman cemetery, Alyscamps - a place which managed to get a mention in Dante's "Divine Comedy".

Close to the ancient theatre is the Cathédrale Saint Honore, a 5th-11th century church with what is considered to be the best preserved pieces of Romanesque sculpture in the portal depicting the Last Judgement.

For a short time Arles had a famous resident, Vincent Van Gogh, who came in 1888. He wanted to found an art colony here but was unsuccessful. Two-hour guided tours around the spots related to him are provided by the tourist office.

For those who are enthusiastic about photography, there is the Rencontres de la Photographie convention which is usually held in July. It is no coincidence also that the French national school of photography is based here.

The river Rhône splits into two arms at Arles. Over the millennia, the course of these two arms has varied and the result is the large area of wetlands and salt flats known as the Camargue. This is a place famous for its unique Arab type white horses and horse-riding is very popular here (especially along the beaches).

What to See - Arles Attractions

Les Arènes Location Map
B.P. 42, ARLES Cedex 13633
Roman arena in the centre of town used as a venue for bullfights
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h30, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 96 03 70

Théâtre Antique Location Map
B.P. 42, ARLES Cedex 13633
old Roman amphitheatre in the centre of Arles
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h30, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 96 93 30

Les Thermes de Constantin Location Map
B.P. 42, ARLES Cedex 13633
the ruins of the baths of Roman Emperor Constantine's palace
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h30, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 49 36 36

Les Alyscamps Location Map
B.P. 42, ARLES Cedex 13633
a Roman necropolis, 10 minutes walk from the centre
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h30, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 49 36 87

Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques Location Map
BP205, ARLES Cedex 13635
a museum with detailed descriptions of Arles' Roman history
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Mar-Oct: 9h-19h; Nov-Feb: 10h-17h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 18 88 88

Cloître de St Trophime Location Map
Place de la République, Arles
the beautifully sculpted cloister of St Trophime Cathedral
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 49 33 53

Musée Réattu Location Map
Rue du Grand Prieuré, Arles
formerly the priory of the Knights of Malta, a museum showing paintings by Réattu and drawings by Picasso
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h-12h30, 14h-19h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 49 37 58

Museon Arlaten Location Map
29 Rue de la République, Arles
a museum set up in 1904 with the aim of recording the details of everyday life in Provence for future generations
| Admission charge | Opening Times: 9h30-12h30, 14h-18h | Tel: +33 (0) 490 93 58 11

Ecole Nationale de la Photographie Location Map
16 Rue des Arènes BP149, ARLES Cedex 13631
organisers of the yearly photography festival in Arles
| Tel: +33 (0) 490 99 33 33

La Maison du Cheval Camargue
Le Mas de la Cure, LES SAINTES MARIES DE LA MER 13460
organisation dedicated to the Camargue white horse
| Tel: +33 (0) 490 97 58 47