A Travel Price Comparison for France Marseille vs. Arles for Food, Nightlife, Old Town, and Couples

Should you visit Marseille or Arles?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Marseille or Arles, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Marseille

Marseille is a energetic and vibrant city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Arles

Arles is a charming, compact, and quaint town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Marseille and Arles: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Marseille or Arles?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Marseille than Arles. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Marseille is very popular for its food, nightlife, beaches, shopping, christmas markets, and quaint atmosphere, while Arles attracts visitors for its museums. Marseille is more touristy than Arles and is popular for its unique history, its diverse population, and its authenticity. It is also well known for The Vieux Port. Arles is famous for its Roman history and its influence over Vincent van Gogh.

How is Marseille different from Arles?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Arles and Marseille. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Marseille or Arles?

Marseille
Arles

Arles is a world-class destination for its museums and history. However, Marseille does not have museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Arles has many famous sights for visitors. It's a small town but it's filled with Roman ruins and remarkable landmarks. Popular sights include L'Amphithéâtre Romain, Les Alyscamps, Cloître Saint-Trophime, and Théâtre Antique.

Marseille does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Marseille or Arles? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is an unbeatable place for its restaurant scene. Also, Arles is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Marseille has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. It's famous for its bouillabaisse, which is a hearty seafood soup that was once affordable but is now quite pricey.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Arles. The cuisine is heavily influenced by the region's local agriculture. Popular dishes include agriade (beef stew), tellines soup, and fougasse (a local bread).

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Nightlife?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is an unbeatable place for its evening party scene. Also, Arles is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

The nightlife in Marseille is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. Much of the city's nightlife is centered around being outdoors. Whether you're on the beach or hanging out at a rooftop bar, Marseille is a magical place.

If you're looking for night time activities Arles has a few options to choose from. There are countless bars and pubs where you can enjoy a cold drink and a relaxing night out.

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Beaches?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is very good for the beach. However, Arles is not a beach destination.

Many people head to Marseille to enjoy the beach. The city has nice beaches that offer both culture and diversity, which may be lacking some other coastal parts of the French Riviera.

Arles is not a beach destination.


Is Marseille or Arles Better for its Old Town?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille and Arles both have terrific historical old towns that attract visitors.

The historic old town of Marseille is revered around the world. The Old Port is filled with shops and boutiques, and is the most scenic part of the city. It dates back to the Middle Ages and is filled with history and character.

With a famous historical old-town, Arles offers plenty to see. The large old town is filled with Roman ruins and historic sights. There are narrow streets and many interesting places to explore.

Is the Shopping Better in Marseille or Arles?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is well known for its shopping areas. Also, Arles is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Marseille. The city has boutiques, farmers markets, and flea markets to explore, as well as any luxury brand you may want.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Arles. There are many boutiques that are filled with local art, crafts, and merchandise.

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Christmas Markets?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is very good for its Christmas markets. However, Arles does not offer Christmas markets.

Marseille offers some nice Christmas markets. The old town has a Christmas craft market where you can buy toys, Christmas treats, or decorations.

Arles does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Marseille or Arles Better for Families?

Marseille
Arles

Neither Marseille nor Arles are considered to be the most family-friendly destination.

Marseille is not always a place people visit with their families. Nearby beaches and an outdoor climbing area make it a diverse city to visit with kids.

Arles doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. Filled with Roman ruins and beautiful art, this is a great town, but can make for a long day for younger kids.

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Couples?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille and Arles are both excellent to visit as a couple.

Marseille makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Strolling the boulevards and exploring the history and culture of this city make it a top couples' destination.

Couples visit Arles frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples who enjoy history, roman ruins, and beautiful art will appreciate a weekend getaway to this town.

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is very good for backpackers. However, Arles is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Marseille is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. It has a decent number of hostels for a city of its size.

Arles is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a couple of hostels and apartments in the area.


Is Marseille or Arles Better for Students?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille is well known for students. However, Arles is not popular with students.

Marseille is very popular with students. It attracts international students because of its rich culture, unique atmosphere, and lively bar scene.

Arles is not popular with students.

Is Marseille or Arles Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Marseille
Arles

Visitors will find nice public transit in both Marseille and Arles.

Marseille has some public transit options. The city has trams, a metro, and buses that you can use to explore.

You'll find some public transit in Arles, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are shuttle buses that run between the city center and the train station, which is less than a kilometer out of town.

Is Marseille or Arles a more walkable city?

Marseille
Arles

Marseille and Arles are excellent when it comes to walkability.

Marseille is a very walkable destination. The Old Port (Vieux Port) is particularly walkable and is one of the best areas to explore on foot.

Arles is very walkable. It's a historic walled city that is very walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Marseille Worth Visiting? and Is Arles Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Arles or Marseille?

How long in Marseille or Arles?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Marseille or Arles to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Marseille than Arles because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Marseille, and 1-2 days is enough time in Arles.

Families should spend more time in Marseille than Arles. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Marseille, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Marseille than Arles. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Marseille that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Marseille than Arles if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Marseille.


  • How many days in Marseille or Arles? Ideal Length of Stay
    Marseille 2-3 
    Arles 1-2

One day in Marseille or Arles?

In Marseille, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this energetic destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find shopping and museums around the town of Arles. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Arles has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Marseille or Arles?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Marseille. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the historic destination of Arles. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Marseille or Arles?

Marseille is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the quaint destination of Marseille. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the quaint town of Arles. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the museums. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Marseille or Arles?

You'll find nightlife and food around the energetic destination of Marseille. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Arles is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to France, The Best G Adventures Tours to France, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Paris, and The Best 10-Day Tours from Paris.


Which place is cheaper, Arles or Marseille?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Marseille is €148, while the average daily cost in Arles is €142. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Marseille and Arles in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marseille 71
    Arles 71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marseille 142
    Arles 142
Compare Hotels in Marseille and Arles

Looking for a hotel in Marseille or Arles? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Marseille


Hotels in Arles


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Marseille Hotel Prices and Arles Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marseille 28
    Arles 23
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Marseille

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Marseille:


  • Metro Pass
    3.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marseille

Also for Marseille, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • “Airport-Marseille Center Transfers: Luxury and Comfort VTC.”: $89
  • Airport Marseille Transfer to Marseille Old Port: $103
  • Aix en Provence-Transfer from or to Marseille Airport: $104
  • Arrival Private Transfer Marseille Airport MRS to Marseille city or Port by Van: $103
  • Arrival Transfer: MRS Airport to Marseille in Business Car: $116
  • Cannes Private Transfer to Marseille Airport: $652
  • Departure Private Transfer Marseille city or Port to Marseile Airport MRS by Van: $103
  • Departure Transfer: Marseille to MRS Airport in Business Car: $116
  • Marseille Airport (MRS) Arrival Transfer (Airport to Marseille Hotel or Address): $218
  • Marseille Airport (MRS) to (MPCT) Marseille Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $35
  • Marseille Airport (MRS) to (MPCT) Marseille Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $71
  • Marseille Airport (MRS) to Marseille- Round-Trip Private Transfer: $71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arles

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arles:

  • Arles to Marseille Airport (MRS) - Departure Private Transfer: $118

Is it cheaper to fly into Marseille or Arles?

Prices for flights to both Arles and Marseille change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Marseille 42
    Arles 52
Typical Food Prices in Marseille

For Marseille, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Orangina
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marseille

For Marseille, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Web-cooking workshop / French cuisine or French pastry: $35
  • No Diet Club - Unique food tour in Marseille! (Cours Julien): $64
  • Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $75
  • Sunset Boat Cruise with Dinner and Drinks: $87
  • Sunset Sailing Cruise with Dinner and Drinks: $87
  • Bakeries, Chocolate & Patisseries Food Tour: $95
  • Walking Food Tour with Tastings: $95
  • Evening Food Tour with Tastings: $103
  • Sunset Sailing Dinner in the Frioul Archipelago: $103
  • Marseille Food Tour - Bakeries, Chocolate and Patisseries: $103
  • Marseille Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $109
  • E-Bike and Food Tour: $120

Typical Food Prices in Arles

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Arles:


  • Cooked Clams
    4.50
  • Ice Cream
    1.00

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marseille 38
    Arles 31

Tours and Activities in Marseille

For Marseille, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $4.35
  • Marseille:Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $4.35
  • Marseille Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.41
  • Historical tour of Marseille with 12 audio guides on iPhone: $4.96
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.51
  • Marseille Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Self-guided Like a Local Highlights Day Tour: $9.67
  • Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt Game & Sightseeing: $9.90
  • Marseille Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Panier District Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $11

Typical Entertainment Prices in Arles

Here are a few typical costs in Arles for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Castle Entrance Fee
    5.50

Tours and Activities in Arles

Here are a few actual costs in Arles for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Arles 2-Hour Private Walking Tour: $190
  • Arles Private guided walking tour from Marseille: $348
  • Arles, Saint-Rémy & Les Baux De Provence: Guided Tour: $1,196
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour: $209
  • Art and History Walking Tour: $304
  • City tour 1 hour of the city, its history, its monuments,: $86
  • City tour 45mn of the city, its history, its monuments,: $71
  • From Avignon: Arles, Les Baux-de-Provence & Saint-Rémy Tour: $108
  • Half Day Private Guided Tour of Arles: $204
  • Private Guided Tour of Arles: $221
  • Provence Region Roman Abbey of Montmajour Entrance Ticket: $7.76

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marseille 27
    Arles 24

Sample the Local Flavors in Marseille

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Marseille:

  • Marseille Bar Crawl Party with Free Shots and VIP Entry: $22
  • Marseille Riviera Bar Crawl Party with Free Shots and VIP Entry: $28
  • Marseille Pub Crawl : Meet, Drink & Party: $43
  • New Year's Eve Bar Crawl Marseille France: $65
  • Short Day Tour around Aix en Provence and Wine Tasting : $120
  • Avignon and Côtes du Rhône Wine Tasting Tour: $141
  • Bandol and Cassis: Full Day Wine Tour from Marseille: $146
  • Luberon: Full-Day Wine Tour from Marseille: $146
  • Full-day Wine Tour around Bandol & Cassis from Marseille: $148
  • Cassis Wine tour : mer, falaises et vignes: $166
  • Marseille Shore Excursion - Full Day Wine Tour in Provence: $166
  • Small Group Marseille Shore Excursion : Avignon & Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tour: $166

Sample the Local Flavors in Arles

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Arles:

  • Lavender Field & Distillery Tour between Nimes & Arles: $6.30


When comparing the travel costs between Marseille and Arles, we can see that Marseille is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Marseille Expensive? and Is Arles Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Marseille or Arles?

Marseille has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Arles. When comparing the sizes of Marseille and Arles, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Marseille or Arles?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Marseille or Arles in the Summer?

Both Arles and Marseille during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Marseille for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Arles because of the family-friendly experiences.

Marseille is around the same temperature as Arles in the summer. The daily temperature in Marseille averages around 24°C (75°F) in July, and Arles fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

In Arles, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Marseille. In the summer, Marseille often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Arles. Marseille gets 366 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arles receives 354 hours of full sun.

Marseille usually gets less rain in July than Arles. Marseille gets 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Arles receives 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Marseille 24°C (75°F) 
    Arles 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Marseille or Arles in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Marseille and Arles. The autumn months attract visitors to Marseille because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Arles this time of year.

In the autumn, Marseille is around the same temperature as Arles. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Marseille in October average around 16°C (61°F), and Arles averages at about 16°C (61°F).

In Marseille, it's very sunny this time of the year. Marseille usually receives more sunshine than Arles during autumn. Marseille gets 205 hours of sunny skies, while Arles receives 178 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Arles receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Marseille usually receives less rain than Arles. Marseille gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Arles receives 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Marseille 16°C (61°F) 
    Arles 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Marseille or Arles in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Marseille as well as Arles. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Marseille this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Arles for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Marseille is generally around the same temperature as Arles. Daily temperatures in Marseille average around 7°C (44°F), and Arles fluctuates around 7°C (44°F).

In the winter, Marseille often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Arles. Marseille gets 150 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Arles receives 146 hours of full sun.

Marseille usually gets less rain in January than Arles. Marseille gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Arles receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Marseille 7°C (44°F) 
    Arles 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Marseille or Arles in the Spring?

Both Arles and Marseille are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Marseille for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Arles in the spring for the natural beauty.

Marseille is around the same temperature as Arles in the spring. The daily temperature in Marseille averages around 13°C (56°F) in April, and Arles fluctuates around 13°C (56°F).

It's quite sunny in Arles. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Marseille. Marseille usually receives more sunshine than Arles during spring. Marseille gets 245 hours of sunny skies, while Arles receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Marseille usually receives less rain than Arles. Marseille gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Arles receives 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Marseille 13°C (56°F) 
    Arles 13°C (56°F)

Typical Weather for Arles and Marseille

Marseille Arles
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 7°C (44°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 7°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 8°C (46°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 10°C (50°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 10°C (50°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 13°C (56°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 13°C (56°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 21°C (69°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 24°C (75°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Aug 23°C (74°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 23°C (74°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 20°C (69°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (61°F) 130 mm (5.1 in)
Nov 11°C (51°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 11°C (51°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)