Historic sites in Arles

Our guide to the historic sites in Arles will help you discover the amazing history of this French city.

Located in the south of France, Arles is a city with a rich and diverse history which has seen it exist as an important centre for many cultures and civilisations. Today, there are numerous historical sites and museums worth exploring in Arles, as well as in the towns and cities in the locality.

An important Roman city from the second century BC, Arles has retained a portion at least of this ancient legacy. The Roman theatre and arena are two of the biggest tourist draws, while lovers of ancient history can also use Arles as a base to explore nearby Nimes and the famous Pont du Gard.

Arles boasts a fantastic selection of historic sites and you can plan some great things to see on your trips by browsing our selection. Once you’ve explored the historic sites in Arles you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook, which you can use to plan your Arles history tour.

Our database of historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other  historic sites in Arles, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Arles: Site Index

Photo by M_WalzEriksson (cc)

Arles Amphitheatre

Built by the Romans around the time of the reign of Emperor Augustus, Arles Amphitheatre is one of the most popular historic sites in the city.

Arles Amphitheatre or “Amphithéâtre d'Arles” is a large sports arena built by the Romans around the first century BC or AD, during the reign of Augustus (27 BC–14 AD). At the time, Arles was flourishing as a Roman colony and benefiting from the construction of several monuments, of which Arles... Read More

Photo by ellevalentine (cc)

Arles Archaeological Museum

An impressive museum which boasts extensive prehistoric and Ancient Roman collections, is a good place to start your exploration of the town’s history.

The Arles Archaeological Museum, known as Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antique, displays an array of artefacts from archaeological sites in Arles and in the surrounding region. From prehistoric funereal pieces to Roman statues and mosaics from the nearby sites such as the Arles Roman Theatre, the Arles Archaeological... Read More

Photo by Carlton Browne (cc)

Arles Roman Theatre

Despite having been robbed for materials over the centuries, the Roman Theatre of Arles is still an impressive site to visit.

Arles Roman Theatre, known as the Théâtre antique d'Arles, is an Ancient Roman theatre in the Provence town of Arles which would have been used for a variety of theatrical shows. Like Arles Amphitheatre, it was probably constructed in the late first century BC to early first century AD, during... Read More

Photo by PhillipC (cc)

Constantine Baths - Arles

Once forming part of the palace of the Emperor Constantine, this ancient bath complex still contains much to see, including the hot rooms, pools and the ventilation system.

The Constantine Baths (Thermes de Constantin) are a well preserved set of ancient Roman public baths in the Provence town of Arles. Dating back to the fourth century AD, the Constantine Baths would once have formed part of an imperial palace known as Palais Constantine. It is also thought that... Read More

Photo by Fabrice Terrasson (cc)


Situated about 15 miles from Arles, Glanum was once a thriving Roman town which has now been excavated and is open to the public as an archaeological site.

Glanum was a thriving Ancient Roman settlement, the impressive remains of which can now be seen in an archaeological site near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Whilst there is some evidence to show that this site has been occupied since the first millennium BC, most of the sites at Glanum date back to between... Read More

Photo by bani 31 (cc)

La Maison Carrée

Truly stunning, La Maison Carree in Nimes ranks among the best preserved Roman buildings in the world. A short hop from Arles, this is one not to miss.

La Maison Carrée, or Square House, in Nîmes is a staggeringly well preserved Roman temple, and one of the best-preserved examples of a Roman building anywhere in the world – for fans of Ancient Rome, La Maison Carrée is simply a must-see site. Originally built in 16BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa... Read More

Photo by M_WalzEriksson (cc)

Les Alyscamps - Arles

A prestigious medieval Christian cemetery, Les Alyscamps dates back to Roman times and was the final resting place for many famous figures.

Les Alyscamps in the town of Arles in Provence is a site imbued with historical and religious importance. Originally an Ancient Roman necropolis where prominent figures were laid to rest, most of the thousands of strewn sarcophagi which crowd together in Les Alyscamps actually date back to medieval times. From the... Read More

Photo by Wolfgang Staudt (cc)

Nimes Arena

Not far from Arles is the town of Nimes, within which lies the famous Roman Arena. Perhaps better preserved than the Colosseum of Rome, this is a brilliant site to visit.

Nimes Arena (Arenes de Nimes), also known as Nimes Amphitheatre, is amongst the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A Roman Marvel Built during the reign of the Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, Nimes Arena is a marvel of Roman engineering. A vast oval with a stunning... Read More

Photo by Wolfgang Staudt (cc)

Pont du Gard

Probably the most famous Roman bridge anywhere in the world, the sheer scale and dramatic setting of Pont du Gard make this a must-see half day trip from Arles.

Pont du Gard is an iconic Ancient Roman bridge and aqueduct built in first century AD and located near Nimes in France. In fact, it was the tallest bridge ever built by the Romans, rising 160 feet. Nimes had been a major city of Gaul before 45BC, when it was incorporated... Read More

St-Trophime Church

Originally built in the 12th century church, Eglise St-Trophime is ornately decorated with Christian carvings and is an impressive site to visit.

St-Trophime Church (Eglise St-Trophime) is one of the main Romanesque structures in the town of Arles and is part of the town’s UNESCO World Heritage listing. Arles was one of the earliest settlements in Gaul to have had a Christian presence and a church has existed on the site of St-Trophime... Read More

Temple of Diana - Nimes

The Roman ’Temple of Diana’ may not have been a temple to Diana at all. Built during the reign of Augustus, there are several theories as to its real purpose. An impressive Roman ruin.

The Temple of Diana (Temple de Diane) is a Roman site in Nimes whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery, as does the origin of its name. Believed by some to have been originally built sometime during the reign of Augustus - others say in the 2nd century - it has... Read More

The Magne Tower

Overlooking the nearby city of Nimes, the Magne Tower is a Roman and medieval fortification which can be climbed today.

The Magne Tower (Tour Magne) is an impressive Roman tower built under the Emperor Augustus in the 1st century BC as part of the fortifications of Nimes. In fact, it is the town’s sole remaining tower from this period. Beyond its Roman roots, the Magne Tower also played a role in... Read More