Arles is in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in Provence (the region known as PACA). The former Roman capital and then a major religious center in the Middle Ages, Arles has splendid Gallo-Roman antiquities, known throughout the world. It's a beautiful city on the banks of the river Rhône with a lively market on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is one of the major Mediterranean cities in this part of southern France. The star attraction is Les Arenes, an extraordinary Roman amphitheater which today sees bullfights and cultural events instead of the gladiators and chariot races that filled it in the past.
For chariot races and those famous gladiatorial contests, you need to visit Nimes.
Paris to Arles by Train
TGV trains to Arles leave from Paris Gare de Lyon (20 boulevards Diderot, Paris 12) throughout the day.
Metro lines to and from Gare de Lyon
- Ligne 1 – La Defence to Chateau de Vincennes
- Ligne 14 – Saint Lazare to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand
TGV trains to Arles train station
- Paris to Arles direct non-stop takes 4hrs 04 mins.
- Paris to Arles with one stop in Avignon takes 4hrs 20 mins
- Lille (which connects with Eurostar) to Arles involves 1 change at Avignon and takes from 5 hrs 33 mins.
- Charles de Gaulle Airport to Arles station with 1 change in Avignon takes 4 hrs 32 mins.
Other connections to Arles by TGV or TER
Arles bus station is beside the train station.
Booking Train Travel With Rail Europe in France
- From the US, book on Rail Europe
- From the UK, book on voyages-sncf
Getting to Arles by plane
- Flights from Southampton, the UK with Flybe, with connecting flights to Ireland and the Channel Islands
- Flights from Exeter with Flybe
- Flights from Birmingham with Flybe
Other nearby airports
The nearest international airport is at Marseille; the smaller airports of Nimes-Alès-Camargue Airport and Montpellier-Mediterrane Airport operate to Europe and North Africa but not to the U.S.A.
- Marseille-Provence Airport is 20 km (12 miles) northwest of Marseille. It’s a major airport with national and international flights, including New York and London. There is a shuttle bus between Arles and Marseille-Provence Airport.
- MP2 is the connected airport for cheap flights. Take the shuttle bus from the main Marseille-Provence Airport for a five-minute ride to MP2.
- Nimes-Alès-Camargue Airport is north-west of Arles, between Nimes and Arles. Flights from London and Liverpool with Ryanair and Brussels, Rome and Palma in Majorca. There are no direct shuttle buses to Arles from the airport; you will have to take a taxi. See Arles Taxi Service.
- Montpellier-Mediterranee Airport is 8 km (5 miles) southeast of Montpellier and south-west of Arles.
Destinations include Paris, Lyon, Nantes, and Strasbourg; Brussels; London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Bradford; Morocco; Algeria; Madeira; Munich and Rotterdam.
Paris to Arles by car
The distance from Paris to Nimes is around 740 km (459 miles), and the journey takes around six hours 30 mins depending on your speed. There are tolls on the Autoroutes.
For information on hiring a car under the lease-back scheme which is the most economical way of hiring a car if you’re in France for more than 17 days, try Renault Eurodrive Buy Back Lease.
Getting from London to Paris
- By train (Eurostar)
Eurostar between London, Paris, and Lille
- By bus/coach Eurolines offers a cheap service from London, Gillingham, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gallieni. Six coaches a day; 2 overnight; journey time is 7 hours. The Eurolines stop is at the Paris Gallieni Coach Station, 28 ave du General de Gaulle, just by the Gallieni metro station near the Porte de Bagnolet (Metro line 3, final stop).
Eurolines website for French travel
OUIBus also operates between London and Lille and London and Paris. IDBus also goes from Lille to Amsterdam and Brussels.