Arles Walking Tour

A street in Arles, Provence, southern France
A street in Arles, Provence, southern France

By Vicky · Published Sep. 15th, 2023 · Updated Sep. 21st, 2023

A walking tour of Arles is a wonderful way to explore the Provençal town’s rich history, Roman heritage, vibrant culture and Van Gogh links.


This walk starts from the Place de la Republique, a square in the centre of Arles. It’s a 15-minute walk from Arles train station or a 5-minute walk from the Parking du Centre (€2 per hour, larger cars will struggle with the tight entrance).

Arles Walking Tour Map

Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the bookmarks.

Tips for Arles Walking Tour

Top Sights in Arles

On this self-guided walking tour you’ll see the main sights and attractions of Arles. You don’t need to spend more than one day in Arles just to walk around, but you need at least a couple of days if you visit a few of the museums and old Roman attractions. Arles also makes a good base for exploring the surrounding region. This is a self-guided walking tour, you can find a guided walking tour of Arles here*.

  1. Place de la Republique
  2. St Trophime Cloisters
  3. St Trophime Cathedral
  4. Cryptoportico
  5. Roman Theatre
  6. Roman Amphitheatre
  1. Musée Réattu
  2. Thermes de Constantin
  3. van Gogh Foundation
  4. Place du Forum
  5. Arlaten Museum
  6. Espace Van Gogh

You can also some popular sights and attractions in Arles that are slightly further from the centre. You can also walk to the Alyscamps Necropolis, Archaeology Museum, or the Luma Arles Museum but it will make the walking tour a bit longer. Additionally, a 10-minute bus ride away from Arles is the Abbaye de Montmajour, a beautiful Abbey with lots to do. The Camargue Museum is a 25-minute bus ride from Arles, or you can go on a great Camargue Safari from Arles*. You travel in an open-air vehicle and can see flamingoes, the wild Carmague horses, bulls, and birdlife!

Combined Ticket Passes for Arles

There are several combined tickets you can get to see all the best sights in Arles. If you’re staying in Arles for one or two days, the combined ticket or Pass Liberté are good options. The Pass Avantage is only useful if you are staying for a bit longer, else you won’t be able to visit everything that’s included.

  • Pass Avantage €19/16 (valid for 6 months): 6 monuments + the Réattu Museum + the Arlaten Museum + the Archeological Museum + the Camargue Museum
  • Pass Liberté €15/13 (valid for 1 month): 4 monuments of your choice + the Réattu Museum + the Arlaten Museum or the Archeological Museum or the Camargue Museum
  • Combined ticket €9/7 (2 consecutive days): Amphitheater + Roman Theater or Alyscamps + Saint-Trophime’s Cloister

Arles Monuments list: Amphitheater (€9/7), Roman Theatre (€5/4), Baths of Constantine (€5/4), Cryptoportico (€5/4), Alyscamps Cemetery (€5/4), Saint-Trophime’s cloister (€6/5). Opening hours of these monuments: May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm.

Best Museums in Arles

Museums in Arles

The best museums in Arles are probably the Archeological Museum which displays a lot of Roman artifacts, and the Museon Arlaten which is a super interesting ethnographic museum.

Réattu Museum€8/6Monday10-5/6pm
Archeological Museum€8/5Tuesday9:30-6pm
Camargue Museum€7/49:00-6pm
Museon Arlaten€8/5Tuesday9:30-6pm
These museums are free on the 1st Sunday of the month
Fondation Van Gogh€10/8/310-6pm
Luma ArlesFree10-7:30pm
Lee Ufan Arles€9/6/310-7pm
Conservatoire du Santon€3.50Tuesday1:30-7pm

Arles Walking Tour Route

This walking tour starts from the Place de la Republique in the centre of Arles. The Tourist Office* (open 9am-12:45pm & 2-4:45pm) is 1 minute south of here, just across the main road if you want more information or to pick up some maps or leaflets.

1. Place de la Republique

Place de la Republique, the start of a self-guided walking tour of Arles

The Place de la Republique* is the central square in Arles, dominated by the Hotel de Ville and a 4th-century Roman obelisk in the centre. There are several historic sights around the square, including the St Trophime Cloister, the St Trophime Cathedral and the Cryptoporticos. There are several cafes around the edges of the square and it’s a nice place to start a walking tour of Arles.

Directions: The next attractions in Arles are all around this square.

2. St Trophime Cloister

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €6/5 or part of a combined ticket.

The St Trophime Cloister* is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a beautiful sanctuary in the centre of Arles. There are many information boards within the cloisters in both French and English that bring the history of the cloister to life. The cloisters date from the 21th-14th centuries with a mix of earlier Romanesque and later Gothic styles.

3. St Trophime Cathedral

St Trophime Cathedral

St Trophime Cathedral* is a large Romanesque Catholic church. The front on the square is richly carved with depictions of events from the bible. On the front, the scenes are mainly from the Apocalyse, with the lions representing sin. The inside is also wonderful and full of artworks such as carvings, tapestries, statues and side chapels.

Finding Van Gogh in Arles

Cafe Terrace at Night in Arles, a stop on a walking tour that leads to van Gogh sites

There are several sights of interest in Arles for those who are fans of Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh spent 16 months in Arles, arriving in 1888. He painted over 300 works during his stay. He then left for Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (45 minutes drive northeast).

There’s a special Van Gogh Circuit in Arles where you can visit places that you can recognise from van Gogh’s paintings. However, most of them have changed quite a bit since van Gogh was here so don’t expect any exact replicas! The best spots are mentioned below and marked as viewpoints on the map of this walking tour.

  •  In Place du Forum you can see the cafe in the painting Cafe Terrace at Night.
  • L’Espace Van-Gogh is the garden of the former hospital where van Gogh stayed and painted The Asylum Garden at Arles.
  • At the Trinquetaille Bridge viewpoint, you can see the staircase in the painting Trinquetaille Bridge in Arles, though it’s a bit obscured by a tree now.
  • The painting Les Alyscamps was created in the Alyscamps necropolis and shows an alleyway of trees.

4. Cryptoportiques

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €5/4 or part of a combined ticket.

The Cryptoportiques* are the foundations of what used to be a large Roman forum, though now only the much smaller Place du Forum remains above ground. A cryptoporticus is an underground vaulting system that supports the structures on top, often with arches.

Once you descend the stairway, it’s lovely and cool and a series of underground chambers and archways. There aren’t any English translations inside but there are photos, maps and diagrams which help explain the layout and history. It can be quite eerie underground, especially if there aren’t too many other people there.

Directions: Leave the square towards the centre of Arles and take the first right along Rue de la Calade. You’ll soon see the stone ruins on your right.

5. Roman Theatre

Ancient Roman Theatre, a stop on a self-guided walking tour through Arles

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €5/4 or part of a combined ticket.

The Roman Theatre* is a peaceful place which you can explore at your leisure. There are beautiful columns and classic semi-circular seating. It was built around 12 BC during the reign of Augustus Caesar, and at the time up to 10,000 spectators could watch events here. It’s not a huge area and you can see a lot of it from the outside, but with a combination ticket it is worth seeing.

Directions: Head past the theatre and turn left. Walk around the amphitheatre, via a viewpoint, to the entrance on its northern end.

6. Arles Roman Amphitheatre

Arles Roman Amphitheatre, a stop on a walking tour through the town in Provence
Viewpoint of Les Apilles

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €9/7 or part of a combined ticket.

The Roman Amphitheatre*, also known as Les Arènes was built around 90AD. It’s one of the best-preserved amphitheatres in the world, and you can explore this ancient arena, which once hosted gladiator battles and other events. Its seating capacity is roughly 20,000. Today it’s often used for concerts and bullfights.

There’s not too much to see inside, but you are free to wander about as you want and there’s a good view from the top of the tower. A couple of information boards near the entrance (on the north side) explain its history.

Directions: Walk down the wide steps, continue a short distance and head left through the narrow, atmospheric lane. At the T-junction, turn right and take the second left. The Réattu Museum is in the old building on your right.

7. Réattu Museum

Réattu Museum, one of the things to do in Arles, Provence, southern France

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun 10-5/6pm. Tickets are €8/6.

The Reattu Museum (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is located in a lovely building, formerly a priory, near the Rhone. It’s not huge and there is a mix of more and less famous artworks inside. These include paintings, sculptures photographs and drawings from a wide time range. The museum is named after the Arles-born painter Jacques Réattu and includes many of his works, along with others by Picasso and many other artists. All captions and explanations are in French.

Directions: Turn right out of the museum and you’ll see the next stop.

8. Thermes de Constantin

Thermes de Constantin
Thermes de Constantin as seen on a self-guided walking tour of Arles

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €5/4 or part of a combined ticket.

The Thermes de Constantin*, or Roman Baths of Constantine, are well-preserved and provide insight into the daily life of the Romans. You can see some of the baths and the complex without actually entering and there’s not too much extra to see inside. There are scenic views of the River Rhone nearby and quite a few different rooms with baths of different temperatures. The baths become more interesting if you buy a short guide that brings the Thermes to life. Apart from that, there are only a couple of information boards explaining everything.

Directions: Continue past the Thermes, head left then right and you’ll see the van Gogh Foundation on your left.

9. Vincent van Gogh Foundation

Vincent van Gogh Foundation, a stop on a walking tour through Arles

Key Information: Open daily 10-6pm. Tickets are €10/8/3.

The Vincent van Gogh Foundation (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) focuses on how modern artists are influenced by van Gogh. There are not many paintings by van Gogh himself, instead there are many letters written by famous artists and similar displays. It’s interesting if you’re into art and the art world, but you’ll be disappointed if you expect to see a lot of famous van Gogh paintings. They do have interesting exhibits sometimes, so make such to find out what is on.

Directions: Take a walk to the Rhone River. Head left at the river to the bridge, where you can see the Stairway Trinquetaille as painted by van Gogh. After the viewpoint continue onwards and take the first left. At the peaceful square turn left. Cross the main road and wind your way to the Place du Forum.

10. Place du Forum

Walking through the Place du Forum in Arles on a tour of the town

The lively Place du Forum* was the centre of Arles in Roman times. It’s now a popular square filled with restaurants and cafes, but you can still see the columns of the Forum in the walls of a hotel at the far end. Le Café Van Gogh is also in this square, famous for being in van Gogh’s painting Café Terrace at Night. You can get a photo that looks fairly similar to his painting, though the cafe itself is overpriced as you might expect.

Directions: Walk down the street past the cafe, then turn right at the end. At the corner turn left and you’ll reach the entrance to the next museum.

11. Arlaten Museum

Arlaten Museum, one of the things to do in Arles

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun 9:30-6pm. Tickets are €8/5.

The Arlaten Museum (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) has been extensively renovated recently and is now a highly recommended ethnographic museum. It documents the social and cultural life of people living in Provence 150-100 years ago. In this unique museum, artifacts tell stories from different ages. There are enough English translations and you could easily spend a few hours here.

Directions: Head down the street opposite the museum and take the first right.

12. Espace Van Gogh

Espace Van Gogh / Old Arles Hospital, a stop on a walking tour

Key Information: Open daily 8am-6pm, free entry.

The Espace Van Gogh* is located in the Old Arles Hospital where van Gogh was treated after cutting off his ear. Doctors diagnosed him with mania and delirium and he often sat painting in this courtyard garden while recovering. Van Gogh painted ‘The Asylum Garden at Arles’ here and it’s easy to recognise, perhaps the least changed vista since van Gogh’s time. Around the edge of the courtyard there are now little souvenir shops and expensive cafes.

This is the end of the Arles self-guided walking tour. You can now head back to explore more streets of the centre, or discover some of the other attractions slightly further from the centre of Arles.

Things to Do in Arles further from the Centre

Archeological Museum

Key Information: Open daily 9:30am-6:00pm, closed Tuesdays. Tickets cost €8/€5, or in a combined ticket. Audioguide recommended, but there are also captions in English.

The Archeological Museum, also known as the Musee Departemental Arles Antique (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a 15-20 minute walk from the centre of Arles, or a 10-minute bus ride. The Archeological Museum sounds like it might be dull, but it’s actually one of the best museums in Arles, so worth the short distance to get there. You could easily spend a few hours here to see everything.

The museum is full of amazing Roman artifacts, the highlight being a complete boat, or river barge, found recently in the nearby Rhône. There are also statues, mosaics, and much more, with the artifacts all well-displayed. You’ll learn a lot about the history of Arles and the Roman period while you’re here.

Les Alyscamps Cemetery

Key Information: Open May-Sep 9am-7pm, Mar, Apr & Oct 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb 10:30am-4:30pm. Tickets are €5/4 or part of a combined ticket.

Les Alyscamps Cemetery*, or Necropolis, is a 10-minute walk from the central Place de la Republique. It’s famous for its ancient sarcophagi and picturesque avenues of trees (that van Gogh painted). It’s quite a serene and atmospheric place to explore, though can be a little creepy. It’s an ancient Roman Necropolis but continued to be used for many centuries afterward. In Medieval times was one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

During this period, Roman cities forbade burials inside the walls, hence the location of this cemetery a little distant from the centre. Many of the sarcophagi have unfortunately been damaged or removed, but you can also see the little Church of St Honorat and a chapel, both of which are rather lovely.

Luma Arles

Key Information: Open daily 10-7:30pm. Free entry. Book online in advance during busy periods.

The Luma Arles (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a 10-minute walk from the centre of Arles, not far from the Alyscamps. It’s a new exhibition space and art museum with both French and English captions. The artworks are variable, but the building itself is architecturally interesting, designed by Frank Gehry (famous for the Sydney Opera House among others). It used to be an abandoned railway yard, now it’s a futuristic steel tower that can be seen from far away. On your visit you can climb the tower for great views.

The grounds are perhaps the most interesting part, full of old mainly train-related buildings, though these are not well-explained. Remember to ask at the reception for a map. There are also a couple of cafes in the complex, though they tend to be overpriced.

Camargue Museum

Camargue Museum

Key Information: Open daily 9am-6:00pm. Tickets cost €7/4. Directions: Take Bus A50 from Antonelle bus stop to the Camargue Museum. The bus takes 30 minutes.

The Camargue Museum shows how life in the Camargue has changed over time. It’s housed in a renovated sheepfold in the heart of the Camargue. You can go on a lovely walk from here, best experienced early mornings or later in the afternoon. You can also explore the Camargue on a safari from Arles*.

Abbaye de Montmajour

Key Information: Open daily Apr-May 10am-5pm, June-Sept 10am-6.15pm, Oct-Mar 10am-5pm and closed Mondays. Tickets are €6, or free for under 26 year-olds living in the EU. Directions: Take the 702 Bus (€2.10, takes 7 mins) from Arles train station or Gorodiche bus stop.

The Abbaye de Montmajour (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a beautiful Abbey situated in the countryside just outside Arles. Benedictine monks founded the abbey in 948 and the cloisters are really beautiful. The architecture is interesting as it has developed over time, and incorporates styles widely varying in time. There’s lots of information, in English as well as French, and it’s all well-presented. Don’t miss the climb up the central tower, from which there are great views. You could spend 2-3 hours here and walk around the nearby trails.

Best Places to Stay in Arles

Arles has many places to stay, from budget hostels to fancy hotels and everything in between. Check out the best hotels and apartments in Arles below:


  • Best Western Atrium*: A good value hotel very close to the centre of Arles. You can find free parking in the streets behind the hotel. There’s also an outdoor rooftop pool with good views of the city.
  • Hôtel de l’Amphithéâtre*: A hotel in a heritage building in the town centre with lovely rooms and friendly staff. It’s 10 minutes walk to the nearest parking garage, you can’t drive to the hotel itself.
  • Hôtel La Muette*: A typical provençal style hotel located in an old building with plenty of character and charming rooms. Nearest parking 250 metres away.


  • Aux Alyscamps Apartment*: A very good value two-bedroom apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine and a balcony. Additionally, there is free parking just outside, though the apartment is a short walk from the city centre.
  • Maison Arles*: A lovely 3-bedroom little house with a fully equipped kitchen and everything else you would expect. Free parking just outside. It’s a short walk to the city centre.

Guidebooks for Exploring & Hiking in Southern France

For more walking tours and hikes, check out the lovely walk around Les Baux-de-Provence, or a Bird Walk in the Camargue. Alternatively, see our France Hiking Page.

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