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Bucket list experience:

The exterior of the museum, with a path dotted with benches leading to it

Copyright Guillaume Frey

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Located alongside Arles’ Roman circus, where chariots once stormed around the track, this museum houses the city’s ever-expanding collection of finds from the region – dating from prehistoric times until the 6th century AD.

Housed in a striking triangular building designed by Henri Ciriani, the exhibits include Roman sculpture, ceramics, mosaics, scale models of Roman Arles, everyday items, and elaborate sarcophagi from the Alyscamps cemetery.

It also contains what some claim is the oldest known bust of Julius Caesar (founder of Roman Arles), which was discovered in the Rhone in 2007. Hortus, next to the museum in the ruins of the ancient circus, is the recreation of a Roman garden and frequently offers activities and ancient Roman games for children.

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Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum is a 15-minute walk from Place du Forum in Arles’ historic centre, or get there by the free shuttle (Navette Navia A): it starts at Arles train station, with stops by the Amphitheatre and along the Rhone. There’s no parking.

There are weekly guided tours, but only in French.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, from Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesday. On the first Sunday of every month, museum entry is free.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Particulier Arles

Arles, Provence, France[0.7 miles]

Arles’s most luxurious boutique hotel occupies an elegant townhouse dating back to 1824; centrally located, opulently romantic and with a spa, garden and pool.

Official star rating:

Grand Hotel Nord Pinus

Arles, Provence, France[1 miles]

A stylish, storied hotel full of character and charm in the historic heart of Arles. Rich in local history, and a favourite of visiting bullfighters.

Official star rating:

Hotel B Design & Spa

Paradou, Provence, France[15.5 miles]

An intimate retreat: ultra-contemporary, minimalist hotel secluded in the olive groves under the Alpilles. Expect high design luxury suites, a spa and a gourmet restaurant tucked under the Les Baux-en-Provence castle.

Official star rating:

Baumaniere Hotel

Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence, France[15.7 miles]

Legendary country hotel and three-star Michelin restaurant, in a magical setting just below Les-Baux-en-Provence.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Provence, France

Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Arles Amphitheatre

Arles, Provence, France[1.3 miles]

The biggest and one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in France, where 20,000 would come to watch gladiators fight to the death.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

Courses Camarguaises

Arles, Provence, France[1.3 miles]

Provence’s bloodless bullfights are one of the region’s most exciting and best-loved sports, a cultural phenomenon held in the magnificent Roman amphitheatre of Arles.

Best for ages: 8+ | £8 | 1+ hours

The Camargue

Arles, Provence, France[6 miles]

A massive, wildlife-filled river delta, where gardians (French cowboys) ride white ponies and herd black Camargue bulls amid vast flocks of pink flamingos. Brilliant for horse-riding, hiking, cycling, and wildlife safaris.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

A low white wall painted with Van Gogh's signature

Vincent Van Gogh Foundation

Arles, Provence, France[0.9 miles]

Arles is world-famous thanks to Van Gogh, but to the city’s eternal regret no one bought any of his paintings. This foundation, in the newly renovated Hotel Leautaud de Donines, is dedicated to art exhibitions inspired by the artist.

Best for ages: 18+ | £9

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View into a graveyard with old ruin walls around

Les Alyscamps

Arles, Provence, France[1.3 miles]

An evocative, romantic Roman burial ground – once the most famous cemetery in medieval Europe. It’s the burial site of the legendary St Trophime and the first bishops of Arles, and remains an important stop on the pilgrimage to Compostela.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Olive oil tasting at Moulin Castelas

Olive oil tasting at Moulin Castelas

Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence, France[17.7 miles]

In the stunning setting of Les Baux, learn all about Provence’s greeny-golden nectar on these free tastings of these award-winning oils. Open all year-round, but short walks through the olive groves and visits to the mill are also offered from June to September.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 2 hours

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The exterior facade and entrance of the St Paul de Mausole, a golden stone building


Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Provence, France[20.9 miles]

The asylum where Van Gogh spent 1888-89 is a masterpiece of Provencal Romanesque, and today specializes, appropriately, in art therapy. His room and reproductions of the paintings he made there are on display, along with temporary exhibitions.

Best for ages: 18+ | £4

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