French city revealed as one of Rough Guides’ top places to visit in 2019

Arles in the south of France (c) SteveAllenPhoto/Getty Images

Arles in the south of France (c) SteveAllenPhoto/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

It is the only location in France to make the list of 19 must-see destinations to visit this year

Restaurants behind the amphitheatre in Arles, France (c) trabantos/Getty Images

Restaurants behind the amphitheatre in Arles, France (c) trabantos/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

Rough Guides has announced its annual list of inspirational places to visit ranging from one-off experiences to emerging destinations and familiar favourites with a new spin.

The list includes eight top towns and cities, six regions and five countries from around the world. Among them is Arles in southern France which is situated on the edge of the Camargue National Park in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

With Tate Britain holding a major exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh’s works this year, Rough Guides says this is the time to rediscover the town and region that inspired him. The London exhibition opens on 27 March and brings together 45 of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

View of Arles Amphitheatre (c) Getty Images

View of Arles Amphitheatre (c) Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

In its entry for Arles, the travel guides publisher says: “You can almost literally follow in the painter’s footsteps on a walking tour of views familiar from his works.

“The renamed Café La Nuit is recognisable from one of his most famous paintings, Cafe Terrace at Night, as is the Yellow House from the painting of the same name, and, of course, the famous wheat fields that surround the town.”


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As well as its links to Van Gogh, Arles is also renowned for its Roman monuments which are listed UNESCO world heritage sites including an impressive amphitheatre, ancient theatre and Roman Baths. Rough Guides recommends the family-friendly Arelate festival every August as a great time to see these come to life, with costumed characters, chariots, film showings and even Roman food.

Another reason to visit Arles, it says, is to watch a landmark building for the LUMA Arts Centre taking shape. The twisting aluminium tower, designed by Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry, is due to open in 2020. Luma Arles was launched with the aim of developing Parc des Ateliers, a former Arlesian industrial site, and hosts regular art and photography exhibitions and projects.

Rough Guides also praises Arles’ stylish boutique hotels and lively bistros which add to the elegant atmosphere of the old town.

Its other top towns and cities to explore in 2019 include Durban in South Africa; Dungeness in England; Tromsø in Norway; Osaka in Japan; Plovdiv in Bulgaria, New York in America and Leipzig in Germany.

For the full list, visit


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