Best Things To Do in Aix-en-Provence
In Aix, you can stroll along the Cours Mirabeau, browse through the markets and sip lattes and people watch in cafes. You can also head to a museum or two — the Musée Granet hangs a few Cézannes; speaking of which, you can also visit his studio or climb one of his biggest inspirations, Mont Sainte-Victoire. And you must spend some time shopping — or at least window-shopping — at some of Aix's boutiques, which are scattered in both old and new towns.
- #1View all PhotosfreeLe Grand Marche#1 in Aix-en-ProvenceShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
While in Aix-en-Provence, you must visit a provincial market. And Le Grand Marché refers to the many markets that flood the city's squares: You'll find fresh food and sweet treats in Place des Prêcheurs and Place de la Madeleine, gorgeous garments in the clothing market on the Cours Mirabeau on Tuesdays and Thursdays (it's around the Palais des Justice on Saturdays), a flea market around the Place de Verdun and a flower market at the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville.
- #2View all Photos...Read More »
This shady boulevard is canopied in trees and punctuated by three lovely fountains. You can take a stroll down the street while admiring the regal buildings that flank its edges, including the Hôtel des Villiers and the Hôtel d'Arbod Jouques. Open-air cafes like Les Deux Garçons and a variety of market vendors also rest along this popular pedestrian corridor. The atmosphere here, on this crossroads of the Quartier Mazarin (or new town) and Villa comtale (old town), is cheery and chic.
- #3View all Photos#3 in Aix-en-ProvenceHiking, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDHiking, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
This mountain inspired quite a few of Cézanne's paintings, since the artist could see its pyramid shape (rising about 10 miles east of Aix) from his house. And it's no wonder why he painted it so much: The mountain's limestone surface reflects light, appearing blue, gray, pink and orange during different times of the year.
- #4View all Photos...Read More »
An ornate religious site, this cathedral doesn't have just one architectural identity — but that's what makes it special. Originally raised in the 5th century, the cathedral's construction continued until the 18th century, likely accounting for the variety in design. The church boasts a mishmash of Roman, Gothic, Baroque and Merovingian styles that can be seen in its facades, interior and decor.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Aix-en-ProvenceMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Just a few miles west of the city center, Fondation Vasarely is a museum housed in its own masterpiece (16 interconnected hexagons) filled with Victor Vasarely's optical art. This Hungarian-born French artist is known as the father of this style — a method that combines graphic art with optical illusion, often playing with patterns, lines, shadows and light. The vibrant and colorful art installations captivate both adults and children alike. At the foundation, you can experience much of his work in the Tapestries, Kinetic and Planetary Folklore rooms.
- #6View all Photos...Read More »
For a little more than €5 EUR (or about $7 USD), you can tour Paul Cézanne's studio. Some of this artist's most famous works were painted here, including Les Grandes Baigneuses (The Large Bathers) and La Femme à la Cafétière (The Woman with the Coffee Pot); you can even see the tin coffee pot that inspired the latter.
- #7View all Photos#7 in Aix-en-ProvenceMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
A former tile factory, Camp des Milles opened in September 1939 as a French internment and deportation camp during World War II. Between 1939 and 1942, thousands of political dissidents, emigrants and Jews were held as prisoners with many being sent on to extermination camps. Today, this site has been restored and reopened as a Holocaust memorial. Inside, a large museum offers educational and interactive displays on the history of Camp des Milles. One feature that distinguishes this internment camp from others is the number of artists and scholars who were held here. It's estimated more than 400 pieces of artwork and literature were created at Camp des Milles and several drawings, paintings and graffiti can still be seen on the walls today. An example is the Room of Murals, a separate building that was once a dining room for guards, which is filled with colorful scenes created by the imprisoned.
- #8View all Photos#8 in Aix-en-ProvenceHistoric Homes/Mansions, Museums, Parks and GardensTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDHistoric Homes/Mansions, Museums, Parks and GardensTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Described by many travelers as an oasis within the city's limits, Pavilion de Vendôme is a charming villa surrounded by verdant gardens. The grandiose baroque building was constructed in 1665 as a retreat for the Duke of Vendome, Louis de Mercoeur, and his mistress. Its ornately decorated façade is said to be inspired by the beauty of the duke's mistress, La Belle du Canet. In the 18th century, the house was expanded, refurnished and refurbished with antique furniture and portraits of the period.
- #9View all Photos#9 in Aix-en-ProvenceMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Inside the Musée Granet, you'll find works by Van Dyck, Puget and, of course, Cézanne. You'll also see dozens of paintings by the museum's namesake, the French artist François Marius Granet. The building is interesting as well, as it was the former priory of the 17th-century Knights of Malta.
- #10View all Photos#10 in Aix-en-ProvenceNatural Wonders, SpasTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, SpasTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
If you're a spa junkie, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to the Thermes Sextius. This luxurious spa is built on top of the thermal baths of Aquae Sextiae, which were discovered by the Romans in the 18th century. Visitors can view the excavated remains beneath the lobby's glass floor. These natural spring waters have long been an Aix staple — famous figures Pablo Picasso and Winston Churchill have even experienced these soothing waters. These days, you can enjoy a soak in the baths, as well as an Aroma Purifying Treatment or a Nuxe Body Slimming Massage, among other spa treatments. While some travelers mentioned the high prices that come along with the notoriety, others said the experience was other-worldly. "The water treatments all felt divine," one TripAdvisor user said. Once you've completed a treatment, continue your rejuvenation by kicking back in the relaxation area and sipping on your choice of herbal tea.
- #11View all Photos#11 in Aix-en-ProvenceCafesTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDCafesTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
A popular brasserie, located right on Cours Mirabeau, Les Deux Garçons has served coffee to everyone from Paul Cézanne to Emile Zola. It's been a prominent place for artists and intellectuals since its founding in 1792, but some say the food quality and service have deteriorated recently. However, no one can dispute its prime location in a hip area of Aix. You can choose to lounge outside and watch passers-by or enjoy your café-au-lait inside, where you'll be transported back in time by the ornate mural and gilt decor.
Explore More of Aix-en-Provence
Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019
Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019
Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019
Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019
Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019
Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019
Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019
Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019
Zach WatsonJanuary 31, 2019