Aix-en-Provence Travel Guide

France  #2 in Best Places to Visit in France
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Courtesy of Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

Getting Around Aix-en-Provence

The best ways to get around Aix-en-Provence are on foot or by bike. The city is rather small and boasts a laid-back atmosphere, which makes it conducive to leisurely strolls and exploratory bike rides. You can also choose to rent a car so you'll be able to get to some of the attractions that lie just outside of town, like the Fondation Vassarely and Camp des Milles. Aix does have a bus system, but with its unreliable service, the bus is not the most convenient or efficient means of transportation.

If you're already in Europe, taking the Eurostar or TGV train to get to Aix-en-Provence is an option. Departure times and prices vary, but you can consult the Rail Europe website to find information on both lines. The Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) in Marignane, around 17 miles southwest of the city's center, is the closest airport to Aix-en-Provence with flights usually connecting in Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam. From the airport, you can either rent a car or take a taxi or shuttle bus to Aix.

On Foot Aix's small streets and tree-lined avenues provide a picturesque background for your jaunt around town. As you meander along, take time to admire the flora and foliage on your way to some of the city's top attractions and if a cafe beckons, stop in for a coffee and a croissant. Aix's surroundings are meant to be enjoyed as much as its interesting museums and cathedrals. But be sure to purchase a good map to help you navigate: the boulevards aren't laid out on a grid.
Bus

Bus service during the day is quite extensive, with numerous stops servicing the city's many shops, sites and attractions. Bus passes or "tickets" for a single trip cost about €1 EUR (about $1.35 USD). You could also choose to purchase a 10 trip ticket (€7 EUR), a three day ticket (€5 EUR) or a monthly ticket (€24 EUR) if you plan to use the bus more often. However, recent travelers note though there is a schedule, buses can be infrequent and unreliable. Because Aix is so small and many of its top attractions are close to one another, walking or biking is your best bet.

Bike

With a plethora of top sites to visit and quaint buildings to admire along the way, biking is a great way to immerse yourself in the city of Aix. You'll see a plenty of locals pedaling around and many bike shops offer rentals by the hour, by the day or by the week; some even offer guided group bike tours that take you all over Aix. Prices for daily rentals can range anywhere from €12 to €36 EUR (or $16 to $49 USD). Some shops also offer electric bikes and motor scooters for rent as well, if you want to traverse the town with a little more speed.

Car

Renting a car will give you the freedom to travel around the city and check out some of the attractions on the outskirts of town, but some travelers note parking can be difficult to find. If you must, you can rent a car at the airport or in the city, but recent travelers suggest booking online for the most budget-friendly rate. However, we suggest picking one day to see the sites further from the city and renting a car on that day only in order to save money. You'll find Europcar, Hertz and Sixt agencies in the heart of the city. Daily rates vary by company.

Taxi Taxis abound in Aix, but you're better off walking, biking or taking the bus during the day to experience the sights and sounds the city has to offer. At night it might be best to take a taxi back to your hotel as buses stop operating around 10:30 p.m. Taxi rates typically start at €2 EUR and cost €1.60 EUR per each additional kilometer (about $2.20 USD for just over half a mile) during the day  and €2.08 EUR (around $2.75 USD) per kilometer at night. Typically, you should tip a few euros on a short trip and a little more — €2 to €5 EUR ($3 to $7 USD) — for longer trips.

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