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Arles

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About Arles

Originally founded by the Greeks, Arles later became the central port of Roman Gaul. Today, it is famed for its heritage buildings and its impressive history as an artistic hub. A brilliant destination for art, architecture and design lovers, the riverside city offers a broad range of accommodation options, including everything from simple contemporary spots to sumptuous period hideaways. Many of the best places to stay in Arles are within the city itself — perfect for exploring — but one of our favourite picks is tucked away in the nearby countryside, ensuring a tranquil family escape.

Les Arènes, Arles’ amphitheatre, is iconic. Once the site of gladiatorial contests, it now plays host to concerts, spectacles and controversial bullfighting events. Whether you choose to attend a show or simply to stroll past the huge stone walls, this Roman remnant is not to be missed. Other ancient sites include the Théatre Antique — a fantastic venue for gigs — as well as the Place du Forum and the mysterious underground Cryptoportiques. Take a guided tour if you can.

Arles has also played host to a fascinating creative community. Follow the Van Gogh trail to see plaques marking the places where the artist painted, before visiting the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh for an insight into his life and work. Gauguin, Cocteau and Hemingway also spent time in Arles. The city continues to be a burgeoning artistic centre: head to the Musée Réattu or the striking Fondation Luma for cutting-edge exhibitions.

Venture beyond Arles to discover the gorgeous Camargue region, where you can go horse riding, hiking and cycling amidst beautiful scenery. The area is also a favourite with birdwatchers, and has an intriguing cultural history.

Much of the city’s charm lies in its winding streets, laid-back cafés and lively bars — some of which are set within the best places to stay in Arles. Do take the time to amble around town on foot and soak up the city’s friendly vibe whilst savouring its excellent food and wine!

The Best Places to Stay in Arles

For Quirky Design

  • Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus promises a theatrical Arles adventure. Once owned by a cabaret dancer and a tightrope-walking clown, the hotel was popular with Picasso, Cocteau and many famous bullfighters. The yellow bar is iconic, and the eatery offers excellent Mediterranean fare.
  • Hôtel Jules Cesar, previously a Carmelite Convert, now features decadent interiors by Christian Lacroix. A super-stylish choice for well-heeled travellers, the property also has a top-notch gourmet restaurant.
  • Hôtel du Cloître is a funky design hotel with bright pops of colour and modern art installations in its bohemian rooms. Perch on the rooftop with a glass of wine or savour delicious dishes on the terrace. A hip couples' pick.

For Romance

  • L'Hotel Particulier promises an elegant stay in a grand mansion tucked away amongst the city's little back streets, complete with a pool and hidden garden. Think sophisticated rooms with a soothing pastel palette, a small bar serving light meals, and an enchanting little spa. An indulgent couples' hideaway.

For Families

  • Le Mas Saint Florent is a charming retreat just outside Arles. Expect heaps of character, cosy fireplaces and period features, a generous swimming pool and flexible suites with space for the whole family. An idyllic French escape.
  • Hôtel Spa le Calendal is a friendly base right alongside Arles' Roman amphitheatre. Contemporary rooms and suites are great for families, there's a dedicated children's play area, and an adults-only spa for grown-ups to unwind. The gardens are a very relaxing lunch spot.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Marseille Airport, and travel by bus, train or car to Arles.
  • Provence is brilliant for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • You can expect warm weather from May to September. For a quieter trip and great hotel deals, come in either April or October.

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Best Hotels in Arles

  • Hôtel Spa le Calendal Arles 38 rooms from $110

    Local exploring  -  Right beside the Roman Amphitheatre, in the pedestrianised heart of Arles, ideal for exploring the medieval city by foot
    Wildlife Area  -  Explore the marshy fields of the Camargue, bursting with black bulls, white horses, pink flamingos and migratory birds
    Value chic  -  With its central location and superb amenities despite its size, you are getting alot for your money here
    Views  -  Several of the rooms overlook the moody Roman Amphitheatre
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming 17th-century hotel and spa in central Arles, next to the Roman amphitheatre. The simple rooms offer clean white washed walls and each is decorated with original works from the National Photography School. Plus there's a leafy garden for lazy lunches and a superb adults-only spa. See More

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  • Hôtel du Cloître Arles 19 rooms from $132

    Local exploring  -  In the heart of the city, perfect for exploring the historic centre of Arles by foot or by bike
    Boutique  -  Decorated with modern art and bold colour schemes this is a stylish boutique stay
    Cycling  -  Use one of the hotel's complimentary bicycles to explore the city on two wheels
    Sights nearby  -  Five minutes walk from the famous Roman amphitheatre of Arles
    Pet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Van Gogh's artistic influence in Arles has certainly had some bearing on this refreshing, modern hotel. The quirky design makes for charming rooms, decorated with modern art and funky colour schemes. For something a bit different in Arles, this is the one for you. See More

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  • Hotel Jules César Arles 52 rooms from $197

    5* Luxury  -  Has all the usual five star trimmings including standout service, a spoiling spa, valet parking, and a gorgeous pool
    Local exploring  -  Well positioned on Arles’ main boulevard, you'll find most of the main attractions within walking distance
    Families  -  The 11 suites all have sofa beds and can sleep four plus there are kids' menus at the restaurant
    Designer  -  Refurbished and decorated by M. Christian Lacroix
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyParking

    A former 17th-century Carmelite convent, the Jules César has recently been refurbished and decorated by Christian Lacroix. Guests can take advantage of the fabulous gourmet restaurant, outdoor pool, lounges, spa and fitness centre or perhaps the bar. A luxury hotel with decadent bedrooms. See More

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  • Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus Arles 26 rooms from $211

    Romantic Break  -  This historic hotel is steeped in romance from its exposure to artists of the highest caliber for generations
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the 1,600 years old amphitheatre were bullfights are still held on Easter and in the second week of September.
    Great walks  -  There are a range of walking tours around the town, a particularly interesting one is the Van Gogh tour.
    Birdwatching  -  One of the last towns on the Rhone, wander down its banks and you'll spot a multitude of birds.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors

    Quirky townhouse hotel frequented by bullfighters, cabaret dancers, artists and writers, in central Arles. Elegantly restored to retain its original character with a few Moorish touches. You can still imagine Picasso or Hemingway at the bohemian salon bar. Romance and history combined. See More

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  • Le Mas Saint Florent Arles 5 rooms from $220

    Romantic Break  -  Le Mas Saint Florent boasts beautiful accommodation, wonderful gardens and a quiet atmosphere — what more could you ask for?
    Country Escape  -  Feel a million miles away at this tranquil rural spot with mature gardens, a large outdoor pool, and sunny terraces
    Total relaxation  -  Lounge by the pool all day soaking up the sun or indulge in a massage — a relaxing getaway
    Active Holiday  -  For those who like to keep active, there's cycling, horse riding, golf, and hiking nearby
    Air conditioningTennisSwimming PoolGarden

    A glorious sandstone country house surrounded by olive trees and rose gardens. Sumptuous interiors have oriental rugs, classical furniture, and fireplaces. The fabulous swimming pool is perfect for lounging around. An idyllic property with plenty of character. See More

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  • L'Hôtel Particulier, Arles Arles 17 rooms from $410

    City Style  -  A grown up, elegant choice — fragrant lemon trees dripping in fruit, oversized artworks, antique dressers and a fantastic spa
    Local exploring  -  Set in the cultural capital of Provence, Arles, within striking distance of all the main sights and attractions
    Birdwatching  -  Bring a pair of binoculars and go birding in the Camargue, with over 400 species from flamingo to egret and heron
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the 1600 years old historic amphitheatre where bull fights and ferias take place at Easter
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

    Very elegant boutique hotel in a classical mansion. A mix of contemporary and traditional decor in two wings, from sleek monochrome to period furniture. A small pool sits pretty in front of the property. A small but perfectly formed spa and hammam. The bar provides light meals. An excellent choice. See More

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