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Roman Theatre of Orange

Last updated: 13 March, 2024

Roman theatres have survived across the Mediterranean, but few can match the glorious one in Orange, where the massive stage wall (much admired by Louis XIV) has survived intact.

Built early in the 1st century AD, it’s one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman theatres in the world and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It served as a venue for theatre and spectacles until the 4th century AD, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and the Church shut it down, believing the spectacles to be unholy.

Today up to 10,000 spectators can still sit and enjoy its pitch-perfect ancient acoustics, under the watchful eye of a statue of Augustus, when it’s used for live performances including summer’s fabulous Les Choregies d’Orange opera festival. A ticket to the ancient theatre includes admission to the Musée d’Orange (Museum of Orange), which contains archaeological finds and paintings from the area.

Logistics

Price from: £9
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The Roman Theatre is located in the centre of Orange, 30 minutes’ drive from Avignon. There’s a free car park 800m away. The nearest train station is at Avignon.

Save time and avoid queues in peak season by buying tickets online and printing them out at home. Free audio guides are available in multiple languages upon arrival. You can also download an 8-minute audio guide to your mobile phone, that will take you to 21 points of interest.

There’s a good restaurant and snack bar onsite, with beautiful views from the terrace. In popular July and August, Orange’s restaurants fill up with opera-goers dining before the festival performances. So book a restaurant table when you book your ticket – Easter isn’t too early.

When to do it

The theatre is open all year round, seven days a week. It looks its best in the late afternoon light on a fine, sunny day.

Who to go with: organised tours

1

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Roman Sites and Historical Places Small-Group Day Trip from Avignon

  • Avignon

Roman Sites and Historical Places Small-Group Day Trip from Avignon

Viator

Step back in time and discover thousands of years of civilization and heritage on this 8-hour Roman sites day trip from Avignon. Follow your guide through ancient Nîmes and discover top city attractions like the Roman amphitheater, and the Maison Carrée — widely considered among the best-preserved Roman temples in the world. Visit Uzès and admire the Fenestrelle Tower and Saint-Théodorit d'Uzès Cathedral. Marvel at the spectacular Pont du Gard — a UNESCO–listed Roman aqueduct — stop in Orange to visit the Roman Antic Theatre - and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to eight people.

Price €149

Min age 4

Rating 4.11 / 5 [96 ratings]

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Destination guides

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  • Provence, France

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A lively medieval town bursting with art and creativity, and centrally located for sightseeing in Provence. Host of the superb Avignon Festival.

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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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