Arles Favorites

  • Tourist Office (Arles, France)
    Tourist Office (Arles, France)
    by Redang
  • Arles (France)
    Arles (France)
    by Redang
  • Old Arles city center
    Old Arles city center
    by davequ

Most Recent Favorites in Arles

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Arles City Map

    by davequ Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old Arles city center

    Favorite thing: A map of the central, old part of Arles.
    Here is a much higher resolution and easier read online pdf version of the map on the left, click below:
    Arles pdf City Map online

    Here is (click below) an online, "zoomable" interactive streetmap of downtown Arles from MapQuest:

    ARLES by MapQuest

    that if you zoom in to street level lets you find actual street addresses.

    Here are some cool HD fotos of Arles

    and here is another fun map from ProvenceWeb:
    Arles City Map

    Fondest memory: Wandering the deserted streets and little cafes late at night after a late diner from approx. 22:00 to 2am.

    Without attempting to be "deep" or melodramatic, the experience is almost (imho) mystical and timeless.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Drive the Beautifully Sunlit Provence

    by davequ Updated Jan 14, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Provence vista Oct. 2001

    Favorite thing: If you got there by train, a trip to Arles/Provence is greatly enhanced by renting a car or motorcycle for a day or two.

    Using Arles, Nimes, or Aix en Provence as a home base, I recommend side trips to Roman ruins in Glanum, Orange, Camargue, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Rasteau, Saint-Remy, Aix en Provence, .... anywhere you feel like going.

    The ancient town of Les Baux, and the Wine Heaven of Chateauneuf du Pape should not be missed.
    Aix-en-Provence is worth a whole other set of pages in itself.
    Most of all, driving on the small side roads and two lanes through the beautifully lit countryside that has inspired so many artists is such a pleasure.

    Fondest memory: Driving to Chateauneuf du Pape estate Caves de Fines Roches and sampling their wines from the cellars on their beautiful estate. Chateauneuf and the Cotes du Rhones are some of the good wines of the world imho.

    All of Provence is heaven when it is sunny and the mistral is not blowing.
    Such remarkable countryside painted with sunlight.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    The Old Mill

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Apr 1, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Old Mill ~  Van Gogh

    Favorite thing: Around September 12, 1888, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo :
    "I have a study of an old mill painted in subdued tones."
    He was speaking about a painting representing one of the mills that had still survived through the 19th century in the Mouleyres quarter of the city.

    In 1888 this mill had already lost its arms and probably been transformed.
    The building existing today in the Rue Mireille, even though it has undergone many changes, still resembles the one in the painting.
    Beside the mill can be seen part of a yard that the artist had already painted in June during the wheat harvest.

    The same "mas", or Provençal farmhouses, can be seen in the background.

    "The Old Mill"
    September 1888
    Oil on canvas
    64.5 x 54 cm
    Buffalo (N.Y.), Albright-Knox Art Gallery

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    The Trinquetaille Bridge

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Trinquetaille Bridge ~ Van Gogh

    Favorite thing: From the Roquette quay in October 1888, Vincent Van Gogh studied the metal bridge spanning the river and joining the two banks of the city of Arles.

    His view took in all of the movement and the staircase, the link by which men and women climbed from the quay onto the bridge.

    "The Trinquetaille Bridge"
    October 1888
    Oil on canvas, 73.5 x 92.5 cm
    Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich (on loan)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    The Yellow House

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 31, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Yellow House ~ Van Gogh

    Favorite thing: In May 1888, Van Gogh rented four rooms on the right-hand side of a house on the Place Lamartine in Arles.
    His living quarters were the ones with the green shutters. His bedroom lay beyond. Vincent had finally found a place where he could not only paint but also welcome his friends. His goal was to establish a “Studio of the South,” where he and like-minded artists could work together.

    Just as he did in Nuenen and Paris, Van Gogh here depicts his own surroundings. To the left we see the restaurant where he usually took his meals. His friend, the postman Joseph Roulin, lived to the right, behind the first railroad bridge.

    The view is also an exploration of color contrast: “What a powerful sight, those yellow houses in the sun and then the unforgettable clarity of the blue [sky],” he wrote to Theo in the letter that accompanied a drawing he had made after the painting.

    The "Yellow House" where Van Gogh lived, however, and the prostitute area around the rue de la Cavalerie , disappeared after bombardments of WWII.

    On the location of the "Cafe de Nuit" there is built a horrible Monoprix and the "Pont de Langlois" is replaced by a new bridge on the wrong location! The Tourist office in Arles tried to correct this situation and organizes commented tours with an intelligent commentary to show where Van Gogh rested his easel .

    "Vincent's House in Arles" (The Yellow House)
    September 1888
    Oil on canvas, 72 x 91.5 cm
    Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    Café la Nuit

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Caf�� la Nuit

    Favorite thing: Van Gogh was fascinated by the beauty of the Arlesian sky at night, just as he had been fascinated by the powerful colors of the spring countryside ("that yellow sea"), and the deep daylight sky.

    He lived on the Place Lamartine, but spent time all over the city during his short stay. Nightlife was concentrated in the cafés and cabarets where he met the few acquaintances he immortalized in Arles.

    One evening in September 1888 the solitary painter set up his easel here on the Place du Forum...the beginning or end of his evening stroll among the "night owls".

    "The Cafè Terrace on the Place du Forum" Arles, at Night
    September 1888
    Oil on canvas
    81 x 65.5 cm
    Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    The Yellow House...just before WWII

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Yellow House (from a Postcard)

    Favorite thing: Here is what Van Gogh's "Yellow House" looked like
    just before it was bombarded during WWII.

    Van Gogh's residence was on the upper floor, to the right,
    that shows shutters (originally green) at the windows.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    The Arena

    by Lady_Mystique Written Mar 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Arena by Van Gogh

    Favorite thing: In this picture can be seen figures from the series of portraits painted by Van Gogh.

    In the center front are represented three members of the Roulin family :
    the postman is seen in profile, his wife Augustine is seated beside him, with baby Marcelle on her lap.
    The show is not a corrida, but a bull game where the bull is not killed.

    In one of his letters, Vincent spoke of a "magnificent crowd, a huge multi-colored crowd spreading over two or three levels with effects of light and shadow."

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    Les Alyscamps

    by Lady_Mystique Written Mar 31, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Les Alyscamps as seen by Van Gogh

    Favorite thing: In October 1888 he came here with Paul Gauguin to paint the path.
    His paintings had no historical meaning :
    "I did two studies of falling leaves on a path lined with poplars", wrote the artist.
    The paintings simply represent a fall scene.

    Van Gogh set up his easel on the bank separating the Alyscamps from the Craponne Canal.
    This explains the high viewpoint and the presence of both the path and the canal bank in the painting.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Bienvenue vers la Provence!

    by davequ Updated Aug 23, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome to the sunny Provence

    Favorite thing: Here is a little overview Provence orientation map.

    Don't miss:

    - Roman ruins (Glanum, Pont du Gard & Nimes (in Gard province), Arles, Aix in Provence) and all the Van Gogh / Gauguin landscapes;

    - The lightly spicy French dishes a' Provencal with fresh herbs & vegetables.

    - Soupe de poissons in Arles or bouillabaisse (in Marseilles);

    - Chateauneuf du Pape and Cotes du Rhone wines.

    Fondest memory: The light, the ruins, and the Rhone

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Historical Travel
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Best way to get to Arles

    by davequ Updated Aug 19, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    French connection: landing in Marseille

    Favorite thing: Using Discount Airlines with trains:

    Arles is a small town, not like Lyon, Avignon, etc. so you are more limited in ways to get there.

    The best way to get to Arles depends on where you are coming from, and obviously if you are driving through provence, you will be arriving in your car (make sure to reserve, there is little/NO parking in the old city).

    In the past, train was always the answer. But while Arles itself still does not have a decent airport, discount airlines are changing things.

    The old long way:
    (Oct. '01) I was originating from Cinque Terre, IT. The only option was a long, arduous (9-10 hours) train ride up through the French Riviera.

    The new fast way: This year in 2003, from Cinque Terre, I could have taken a quick hop to Pisa on the train, then flown to Marseille instead for less money and saved at least 4 hours.

    Sept. '03, as I was originating from Amsterdam, I found a good discount airline, Basiq Air (subsidiary of Transavia, subsidiary of Dutch KLM)

    Basiq Air

    had an unbelievably low fare from Amsterdam direct to Marseille for less than 50Euro.

    From Marseille it was only a 20Euro ticket and 1hr train to Arles. Saved me much time and money, as the train would have cost me 100Euro and taken much longer.

    NOTE: 8/10/04: To reach Marseille you may now need to use KLM
    KLM website

    I took this picture as we were on final approach from Amsterdam and landing in Marseille.

    Summary:
    I recommend you check all options before automatically getting an expensive train pass/ticket. Discount airlines in Europe are very affordable, and save much time if you plan ahead and shop on the web.

    Fondest memory: From a transportation standpoint, the Arles taxi drivers from the Arles train station seem to be a very funny, entertaining and interesting group of guys. But they are professional and give very good service.

    One of the drivers gave me some sage advice on the french language:
    "The best way to learn french is to learn from a french woman!"

    He's probably right.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • agarcia's Profile Photo

    Scent of Lavender

    by agarcia Updated Feb 3, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Arles market

    Favorite thing: I cannot point to the single fact that makes Provence so special, in the same way that it's sometimes difficult to say why you love someone: is it because the way in which she walks, the light of her eyes or the sound of her laugh? No, you never know what the reason is; everything you know is that you are in love.
    Surprisingly, our weakest sense, the smell, is the one that brings more vivid memories from the things that impressed us. And that's the reason why, whenever your nose gets a hit of the perfume of your loved one, you immediately remember her. And that's the reason why I cannot smell lavender without going back to Provence for a while...

    Was this review helpful?

  • agarcia's Profile Photo

    Fantastic Roman legacy

    by agarcia Updated Feb 3, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Arles Roman theater

    Favorite thing: There are many, many, many Roman ruins all around the Mediterranean basin. So it's not a big surprise to find a good handful of Roman constructions in Arles and surroundings (especially if you consider how close the Provence is to the north of Italy).

    Anyway, the conditions in which those ancient monuments are preserved is something remarkable; not because the preservation itself is outstanding, but rather because the inhabitants of that land had been using them during all this time... though they had in mind different proposes than the original builders. For instance, the old amphitheatre, after been used during the Middle Ages as a fortress, is currently used as a bullring.

    Now that I think about it twice, maybe bullfighting and gladiator fights aren’t that different after all ;-)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • agarcia's Profile Photo

    Following Van Gogh footsteps

    by agarcia Updated Jun 3, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Van Gogh Gate

    Favorite thing: The crazy red-haired painter was my main motivation for this travel. I'd been fascinated about the colors of his paintings since I was old enough as to understand that the best paintings are not the ones that capture the reality, but the ones that capture the spirit of that reality (subtle detail, isn't it?).

    Fondest memory: When I finally reached the famous gate, the same one that I'd admired so many times. Reaching that place will be the subject of a "warnings and dangers" tip of Arles that is still to come. By now, let's simply say that this is an important moment, because sometimes you have to compare reality with genius. It was clear to me that this time, the Genius won the game. ;-)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redang's Profile Photo

    The Weather in Arles

    by Redang Written May 5, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Arles (France)

    Favorite thing: It’s always very important: The Weather.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Arles

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

Arles Favorites

Reviews and photos of Arles favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Arles sightseeing.

View all Arles hotels