Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: The Complete Guide


Located at the northern base of the Alpilles, about 30 kilometers from both Arles and Avignon, the charming and timeless town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence occupies a revered spot in art history. This is where Vincent van Gogh once sought psychiatric care and produced some of his most powerful works. At the heart of its appeal is the vieille ville or old town, a maze of narrow lanes and ancient alleyways bordered by stately houses and quiet, quaint squares. Despite its array of shops, eateries, and cafes, Saint-Rémy retains a remarkably calm atmosphere, encouraging visitors to meander through its secluded nooks at their own pace.

The historic town walls are bordered by bustling streets like Boulevard Gambetta and Boulevard Victor-Hugo, which manage to preserve the town’s tranquil feel. The historic center features Renaissance and 18th-century mansions, meticulously restored residences, chapels, and convents, enhancing its grand charm. Tree-lined boulevards and squares with ancient fountains, alongside welcoming cafe terraces, invite visitors to soak up the Provençal lifestyle. Adding to its rich history, Saint-Rémy is home to the archaeological site of Glanum and notable ancient relics such as the Triumphal Arch and the Jules Mausoleum, precious remnants of Late Antiquity. Throughout history, Saint-Rémy has inspired many artists, including Nostradamus, and continues to foster a vibrant cultural scene with numerous studios and galleries.

Top Tips: Culinary enthusiasts can savor the flavors of Provence on a guided food tour, sampling local specialties like olives, cheeses, and fine wines.

History of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

St-Rémy-de-Provence is steeped in rich history, dating back to ancient times, and has been a significant site through various historical epochs.

St-Rémy-de-Provence in Prehistoric and Ancient History: The area around St-Rémy-de-Provence has evidence of prehistoric habitation, with numerous archaeological finds indicating early human settlements. The most significant ancient site near St-Rémy is Glanum, an archaeological site of a Greco-Roman city that was originally founded by the Gauls around the 6th century BCE. It became prosperous under Roman rule from the 1st century BCE, with many structures such as temples, baths, and other public buildings erected, showcasing the blend of Celtic and Roman cultures.

St-Rémy-de-Provence during the Medieval Period: With the decline of the Roman Empire, Glanum was abandoned, and the population moved to what is now St-Rémy-de-Provence. The town was fortified in the Middle Ages, and many of its historical buildings date from this period. The town’s strategic location and fortifications made it an important player in the regional politics of the Middle Ages in Provence. Michel de Nostredame was born in Saint Rémy de Provence in 1503. He studied pharmacy then medicine in Montpellier.

St-Rémy-de-Provence during the Renaissance to the French Revolution: During the Renaissance, St-Rémy-de-Provence became a small center of artistic activity and intellectual life. The town endured the religious wars of the 16th century, and its architectural heritage from the period includes elegant townhouses built by wealthy merchants and nobles.

St-Rémy-de-Provence during the 19th Century to Modern Day: In the 19th century, St-Rémy-de-Provence attracted artists and writers, most notably Vincent van Gogh, who was treated at the local Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole (now a part of the hospital) after his move from Arles in 1889. During his year-long stay, he produced over 150 paintings, including some of his most famous works like “Starry Night Over the Rhône” and “The Irises.”

St-Rémy-de-Provence during the 20th century: In the 20th century, St-Rémy continued to be a magnet for artists and tourists alike, drawn by its historical charm, beautiful landscapes, and cultural heritage. Today, it is known for its vibrant markets, local food, and as a gateway to exploring the natural beauty and historical sites of the Provence region.

Cultural Significance
St-Rémy-de-Provence is not only known for its rich history but also for its deep cultural heritage, influencing and inspiring generations of artists, writers, and historians who have visited or made their home there. It remains a popular tourist destination, revered for maintaining its historical architecture and a serene yet vibrant lifestyle.

Visiting Saint-Rémy-de-Provence for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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6 Best places to See in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

This complete guide to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Musée des Alpilles

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence-Musée Des Alpilles
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Ji-Elle
Located in the Renaissance-era Hôtel Mistral de Mondragon along Rue Carnot in the old town, the Musée des Alpilles provides a comprehensive look at St-Rémy and the surrounding areas. The museum features a detailed relief model of the Alpilles hills and offers exhibits on local folklore, festivities, and traditional crafts. One notable exhibit focuses on […]
Location: Musée des Alpilles, Place Charles Favier, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France | Hours: October 1 to March 31: Wed to Sat from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Tuesday is reserved for welcoming groups by reservation) April 1 to September 30: Tues to Sun from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (1st Sunday free from April to September). Closed on Mondays. and January 1, May 1 and December 25. | Price: €5 | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Musée des Alpilles

Musée Estrine

Musee Estrine
CC BY-SA 3.0 / (WT-fr) Saint Rémy de Provence Tourisme
The Musée Estrine, situated in an eighteenth-century townhouse, primarily celebrates Vincent van Gogh’s year-long stay in St-Rémy. The museum features a lyrical film, available only in French, that connects his artworks to the local landscape and flora. Additionally, several display panels provide insights into the artist’s life. However, the relatively high admission fee may only […]
Location: Musée Estrine - Présence Van Gogh, Rue Lucien Estrine, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France | Hours: The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00.| Price: €7 | Website | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Musée Estrine


Chevet De Saint-Paul De Mausole
CC BY-SA 2.0 / EmDee
Visiting St-Paul-de-Mausole offers a deeply touching experience. Remarkably, the site continues to function as a psychiatric hospital. While tourist access is restricted from the operational areas, visitors can still gain a meaningful insight into the facility’s ongoing mission. The monastery features exhibitions in the church and cloisters that compare Van Gogh’s diagnosis and treatment methods […]
Location: Centre culturel Saint-Paul de Mausole, Voie Communale des Carrières, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France | Hours: From 05/02 to 22/12, daily. 5 February 2024 to 31 March 2024: 10.15am to 12pm and 1pm to 5.15pm (last entrance at 4.30pm) 1 April 2024: summer opening times from 9.30am to 7pm (last entrance at 6.30pm). Closed exceptionally on November 1st. Annual closure from 23 December 2023 to 4 February 2024. | Price: €8 / €6 | Distance: 1.30km
Visiting St-Paul-de-Mausole

Les Antiques

France-St-Rémy-de-Provence-Les Antiques
Just off the main road south from St-Rémy, opposite St-Paul-de-Mausole, there’s an open area that is home to two significant Roman monuments, collectively referred to as Les Antiques. These structures historically served as the grand entrance to the ancient town of Glanum. The site features a triumphal arch, which was erected to celebrate the Roman […]
Location: Les Antiques de GLANUM, Route des Baux de Provence - D5, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 1.40km
Visiting Les Antiques

Glanum Archaeological Site

Roman Glanum
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Rachel Scott Halls
The ancient site of Glanum, located at the base of the Alpilles, was excavated from the alluvial deposits that had concealed it. Initially a Neolithic homestead, the area saw significant development first by Gallo-Greeks, likely from Massalia (modern-day Marseille), who established a city here between the second and first centuries BC. Subsequently, the Gallo-Romans built […]
Location: Glanum, Avenue Vincent Van Gogh, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France | Hours: The site of Glanum is open all year round:From January to March and from October to December: every day except Monday. From April to September: every day Closed on January 1, May 1, November 1 and 11, and December 25. Opening days and schedules vary according to the season:From January to March and from October to December: from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From April to September: from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. | Price: €9 | Website | Distance: 1.70km
Visiting Glanum Archaeological Site


Les Baux-de-Provence
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Kent Wang
Les Baux-de-Provence, nestled within the Regional Natural Park of the Alpilles and located 20 kilometers south of Avignon, is reputedly France’s most visited village, attracting approximately two million visitors each year. Celebrated as one of the ‘most beautiful villages of France,’ its charm is undeniable, especially if you’ve had the chance to stroll through its […]
Visiting Baux-de-Provence

Best Time to Visit Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

St-Rémy-de-Provence offers different attractions throughout the year, so the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for in your travel experience:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring is one of the best times to visit St-Rémy-de-Provence. The weather is comfortably mild, and the countryside starts to bloom, painting the landscape with vibrant colors. It’s an excellent time for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the Alpilles region without the summer crowds.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer is peak tourist season in St-Rémy-de-Provence, bringing warm temperatures and a bustling atmosphere. The town comes alive with outdoor cafes, markets, and festivals, including the famous Transhumance festival in late May or early June, where herds of sheep are paraded through the town. However, it can be quite hot, and prices for accommodations may be higher.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another great time to visit, with the heat of summer giving way to cooler, pleasant weather. The town is less crowded, and the changing colors of the foliage offer a beautiful backdrop for walks and photos. It’s also a good time to visit local vineyards and olive groves for harvest season activities.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winters are generally mild in St-Rémy-de-Provence. While it’s the quietest season for tourists, it’s ideal if you prefer a more relaxed trip with fewer people around. You can enjoy the local culture, cuisine, and some seasonal events like Christmas markets, although some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed.

Each season brings its charm to St-Rémy-de-Provence, making it a worthwhile destination year-round, depending on your interests and the kind of experience you wish to have.

Average Temperatures in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

  • January 13°C 6
  • February 15°C 7
  • March 18°C 7
  • April 22°C 8
  • May 28°C 8
  • June 34°C 6
  • July 37°C 4
  • August 35°C 6
  • September 30°C 9
  • October 25°C 13
  • November 16°C 14
  • December 14°C 7