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Arles is wonderful – one of our favorite finds of recent years. It’s full of Roman artifacts, museums, restaurants, and cute independent shops. It’s clearly popular – we saw a walking tour from Viking river cruises, and lots and lots of Brits – but it doesn’t feel crowded, just lively. We want to spend more time here!

Walking around the town, somewhat aimlessly, is the best way to experience everything. There’s the amphitheater (now known as the arenas of Arles), the ancient theater, and surprising arches around many corners. 

Specifically, what did we love? The ***Museon Arlaten – my this is good. It’s an “ethnography” museum with a lot of history, wonderful artifacts, in a dramatic setting. I think it’s fabulous, a must see.

The **Museum of Ancient Arles and Provence, while not huge, was another winner. Do it after you’ve wandered the town, to appreciate what they found in the local area. It’s not crowded, air-conditioned, and has a small and well curated collection.

**Chardon was a lovely dining experience – Every two to three months, a new team takes over the kitchens. Our server was the (British) sommelier, who had great taste and was fun to talk to. The food was just okay, but in the setting, it didn’t really matter. 

*La Placette was perfectly average. I wouldn’t return in a city with this many restaurants, but it was fine.

I booked a room at Le Cloître (Hôtel à Arles), which looked very nice – for the wrong month. We made a last minute reservation at the *Hôtel & Spa Jules César Arles – MGallery. It’s terrible, extremely tired, pretty dingy, poor food. There’s a very sad pool on the backside and the rooms smell like smoke. Skip!

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