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Aix-en-Provence (usually simply called Aix) is a small, classically Provençal town. It is famous for being the home of the artist Paul Cézanne. The arrival of the TGV (high-speed train) station has brought lots of vacationers from the north, and Aix has turned into a shopping town with high variety and representation considering its small size. Three universities and several French-language schools for international students produce a very strong student presence.


Le cours Mirabeau

Aix has always been a rich city. There is a high contrast between Marseille (only 30 km and half an hour away). Whereas Marseille is one the poorest French cities (but still a unique and not to be missed town), Aix is perhaps one of the richest. People seeking for budget or popular places should continue to Marseille.

Still, Aix has a lot to offer. It is a quiet, clean and comfortable city. The city centre is mostly pedestrian and, though it is quite small (you can cross the centre in 15 minutes by foot), offers long hours of nice walks. As in all Provençal towns, the city centre consists of narrow streets, lined with interesting buildings from 17th-century hotels to paved plazas.

  • 1 Office de Tourisme (Tourist Office), 300 Av. Giuseppe Verdi, +33 4 42 16 11 61. The tourist office is perhaps the nicest in all of southern France, with large touch-screen computers available to browse the city virtually through Google Maps.

Get in[edit]

Map of Aix-en-Provence

By train[edit]

Aix has both a TGV and a regular station and is well-connected to the ParisMarseille line and (via Marseille) to the GenoaNiceBarcelona line.

  • 1 Gare d'Aix-en-Provence (regular train station), Place Gustave Desplaces. Gare d'Aix-en-Provence (Q2783816) on Wikidata Aix-en-Provence station on Wikipedia
  • 2 Gare d'Aix-en-Provence TGV (TGV station), Route départementale 9 (15 km SW of the city of Aix-en-Provence and 20 km N of Marseille). The same shuttle that runs from the airport to Aix also services the Aix TGV station (€6 single, Oct 2023). Aix-en-Provence TGV railway station (Q800366) on Wikidata Aix-en-Provence TGV station on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

  • 3 Gare Routière (bus station), +33 891 024 025. There is an express coach from Marseille (St Charles station) to Aix which takes 30–40 minutes, €7 one way. There are also regular shuttles to the TGV station and the airport.
  • NiceBuses from Care Routière Vauban in Nice (via Nice airport) go daily at 06:10 (not Sundays and holidays), 07:35, 09:25 (not Sundays and holidays), 12:00, and 17:15. They take about 3 hr 30 min and cost €30.

By plane[edit]

Fly into Marseille or Nice. Marseille is nearer (just south), but budget airlines such as EasyJet prefer Nice. There is a navette (shuttle bus) that can take you from the airport to the bus station near the center of town.

By car[edit]

If you come from anywhere up north you will most likely use the A7 motorway (Route du Soleil) that runs from Lyon to Marseille (whether you come from Switzerland or from the UK via Paris). At exit 27, take A8 (La Provencale) to Aix. From Spain, you'll take A9 (La Languedocienne), then turn onto A54 through the city of Arles (you might consider stopping there), then turn onto A7 and A8 respectively, as described above. From Italy, just take A8 passing Nice and all the posh Côte d'Azur resorts.

Avoiding toll roads can be slow but highly pleasurable, many of the routes nationales offer wonderful scenery that motorways can't deliver (save maybe some parts of the A8 east of Nice).

Parking in Aix can be quite difficult. There is at least one free car park but allow plenty of time to find a space (and the spaces can be quite tight to get into!).

Get around[edit]

Aix is a fairly small city and can be easily navigated by foot. Within the city centre, electric microbuses called La Diabline provide service on 3 routes every 10 minutes (€0.60, Oct 2023).

The city bus system is also very efficient and has numerous stops within the city, and connects Aix with nearby villages, towns, and Marseille. The city bus also runs to Carrefour Les Milles, a large shopping centre. Discounted tickets for frequent bus users can be purchased at the main bus station. The ticket office also sells discounted multi-pack tickets for the bus from Aix to Marseille and the TGV station (located between the two cities).


The Cours Mirabeau at night
Fontaine de la Rotonde
Place d'Albertas

Aix is famous for its fountains. The largest and the most popular one is on the Cours Mirabeau, the main avenue through town, as well as a moss-covered fountain which draws its water from a hot spring.

Along with searching out the dozens of fountains sprawled around the city, Aix is known for its architecture. The varied and often intricate doors are a key feature, as well as the bell towers. The bell towers throughout Aix-en-Provence, and Provence more generally, are made of wrought iron. This allows the strong winds of the Mistral to flow straight through them, since solid stone would be destroyed by the force of the winds.

The city market in Cours Mirabeau runs Tu Th Sa mornings (as of Oct 2023), but the largest and most colourful is the Saturday market which includes a flower market at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and the main food market is at Place Richelme.

It has also become known as the home of Cézanne's later works. You can see his atelier with some of the original objects he painted into his still lives. The Bibémus Quarries allow you to see Mt. St. Victoire, the mountains he captured in many of his paintings. You can also visit the Manor of Jas de Bouffan which houses many of his masterpieces. To see all three, you need at least two days in Aix.

Among the main landmarks in the town are:

  • 1 Cours Mirabeau. The main promenade of the town. Market on Tu Th Sa mornings. Cours Mirabeau (Q1137725) on Wikidata Cours Mirabeau on Wikipedia
  • 2 Fontaine de la Rotonde (at the bottom of the Cours Mirabeau). The biggest fountain in Aix. Fontaine de la Rotonde (Q3076210) on Wikidata Fontaine de la Rotonde on Wikipedia
  • 3 Passage Agard. Built as a Carmelite monastery.
  • 4 Hôtel de Ville (Mairie). Aix-en-Provence town hall (Q1326970) on Wikidata
  • 5 Halle de Grains. The former Corn Exchange. halle aux grains d'Aix-en-Provence (Q22999374) on Wikidata
  • 6 Palais de Justice (Appeal Court). Palace of Justice of Aix-en-Provence (Q19573557) on Wikidata Palace of Justice of Aix-en-Provence on Wikipedia
  • 7 Palais de l'Archevêché (Musée des Tapisseries). palais de l'archevêché d'Aix-en-Provence (Q1363883) on Wikidata
Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur
  • 8 Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur. Built and re-built from the 12th until the 19th century, it includes Romanesque, Gothic and Neo-Gothic elements, as well as Roman columns and parts of the baptistery from a 6th-century Christian church. It is a national monument of France. Tours daily every 30 minutes from 10:00-12:00 and from 14:30-17:30, except Sunday morning. Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Q1539168) on Wikidata Aix Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 9 Place d’Albertas. place d'Albertas (Q3390189) on Wikidata
  • 10 Monument Joseph Sec, 6 Avenue Pasteur, +33 4 42 91 90 00. A rare example of an architecture of French Revolution. Monument de Joseph Sec (Q22999517) on Wikidata
  • 11 Thermes Sextius. Thermes romains d'Aix-en-Provence (Q3523860) on Wikidata
  • 12 Vasarely Foundation, 1, Avenue Marcel Pagnol (Bus A from the Gare Routière (10 min, €1.20, pay by credit card)), +33 442 200 109. 10:00-18:00. Gallery dedicated to the works of the Hungarian-born French Op Art painter Victor Vasarely. Adult €15, senior €12, youth €8, child €5.
  • 13 Musée Granet, Place Saint Jean de Malte. Museum devoted to painting, sculpture and the archeology of Aix. Part of the collection is on a second site 300 metres away.
  • 14 Atelier Cézanne (Cézanne's studio), 9 Ave Paul Cézanne (bus 5 Cezanne or bus 12 Auriol). vary seasonally, check website. Obtain tickets via link on website. Guided tours & Audio Guide are available in English. Adult €6.50, 13-25 €3.5, U13 free, Audio-guide €3. Atelier Cézanne (Q754053) on Wikidata Cézanne's studio on Wikipedia
  • 15 Museum of Old Aix (Le Musée du Vieil Aix), 17 rue Gaston de Saporta, +33 4 88 71 74 31. 15 Apr-15 Oct: 10:00-12:30, 13:30-17:00. Small museum dedicated to the history & heritage of Aix. Free on first Sunday of month. €4, free for under 26.
  • 16 Bastide du Jas de Bouffan, 17 route de Galice (Bus 8 & 17 Corsy). Former home of Paul Cezanne. Closed for renovation as of Oct 2023. Bastide du Jas de Bouffan (Q20312804) on Wikidata Bastide du Jas de Bouffan on Wikipedia
  • 17 Hotel de Caumont, 3, rue Joseph Cabassol, +33 4 42 20 70 01, . Daily 10:00-18:00. Art centre in old house built in 1715 for the marquis de Cabannes. Has substantial gardens. Tickets can be purchased on-line. Full price €14.50 for further options see website..


Montagne Sainte-Victoire over the roofs of Aix

Aix is a fairly quiet town, but if you really want to, there can be many things to do. At the tourist office you can learn about the more modern activities include bowling, billiards, pubs, etc.

Another option is to hire a bicycle (for about €10 for five hours) and ride around Aix. This is a very good way to see the town that is outside the center. You can find many interesting places and buildings that you wouldn't have seen other wise. Be careful though when riding in the centre of the town, since it is very crowded most of the time.

There is also a bus that leaves off the Fontaine de la Rotonde for 1 Sainte-Victoire Mountain and you get there in ten minutes. Pack a lunch and put comfortable shoes on to do a nature walk or to climb the mountain. At the top there is a monastery where you can stay over night, make sure to bring fire wood.

If you have done too much walking, these three cinemas show some films in the original language (VO), just make sure you speak the language!


One of the 2 campuses of Aix-Marseille University is located in the town.


Aix has many major fashion boutiques, as well as a plethora of small clothing stores, perfumeries, and touristy souvenir shops. They are complemented by a few open-air markets in large squares, offering home made and grown goods and cafes.

For everyday items, look for various convenience stores, e.g., Monoprix (even on the Cours Mirabeau) with clothing and sundries at street level and a decent selection of groceries, and bottled beverages on the level below.


Aix has an incredible number of restaurants compared to its small size. Most of them are gathered in a small area in the old city, between Place des Cardeurs and the Rotonde (Cours Mirabeau). Restaurants and bars on the Cours Mirabeau tend to be more expensive though, while some might be considered tourist traps, others are among the best places to eat in the city.

You can try Calissons, a specialty of the region consisting of a smooth, pale yellow, homogeneous paste of candied fruit (especially melons and oranges) and ground almonds topped with a thin layer of royal icing. Calissons have a texture not unlike that of marzipan, but with a fruitier, distinctly melon-like flavour. Calissons are often almond-shaped and are typically about 2 in (51 mm) in length.


Aix en Provence is home to the Erasmus students' food of choice. If you really want to eat like a local and save a couple of euros, a great place to eat is the many corner restaurants that offer doner kebabs. For four euros you get a "sandwich," wrapped in a galette or pita, that includes lettuce, tomatoes, onion, meat, French fries and be sure to ask for sauce blanche. This is very delicious and cheap. There are many restaurants that do their kebabs differently so be sure to try a few!

In combination with patisseries and bakeries, convenience stores (noted under "Buy" above) also offer good opportunities for economical self-catering, even for day visitors.

  • 1 Crêpes à Gogo, 2 Av. Victor Hugo (pedestrian underpass beneath Avenue Victor Hugo, as it reaches La Rotonde (Place Generale de Gaulle)). M-Sa 12:00-19:00. A popular place that will fill you up with delicious and authentic crêpes for only a few euros.
  • 2 Club Sandwiches, 3 Pt Rue Saint-Jean.
  • 3 Chamas Tacos Aix en Provence Couronne, 17 Rue de la Couronne.
  • 4 Maison Nosh, Pl. François Villon.
  • 5 Tita, 11 Rue des Bernardines.
  • 6 Pittz - Falafels et salades maison, 3 Rue de la Couronne.
  • Porzione Capri chain. The fact that many people in Aix say that Porzione Capri is the best pizza may let someone think that the Corsican Mafia, which owns the chain, has paid off the city to promote this place. It is simply well located and cheap. It's not bad but it's nothing to visit the city for so don't buy the hype and you'll enjoy it more.
    • 7 Capri Rotonde, 48 Rue Espariat, +33 4 42 24 84 73.
    • 8 Capri Fabrot, 1, rue Fabrot, +33 4 42 38 55 43.
    • 9 Capri Richelme, 48-50, Place Richelme, +33 4 42 21 49 01.


  • 10 Chez Charlotte, 32 Rue des Bernardines, +33 4 42 26 77 56. A very good restaurant very famous for locals. It proposes simple and reasonably cheap French food in a friendly atmosphere. Menu of the day: two courses €24, three courses €29.50. Mains from €17.
  • 11 Jacqou le Croquant, 2 Rue Aumône Vieille, +33 4 42 27 37 19. A lovely restaurant, family owned, this little establishment is "very french," very friendly, and perhaps the best food you'll find for around €15 (June 2015). It also has a courtyard in back.
  • 12 La Maison des Fondues, 11-13 rue de la Verrerie, +33 4 42 63 07 78. It offers a wide range of delicious fondues. The Normande, made with apple cider instead of kirsch, is lovely, and the Provençale is sublime.
  • 13 Betty's Resto by House Cookies, 40 rue bourgeon, +33 6 50 22 63 92. American food with high quality local products. A small establishment in the American style in the city centre.



Like restaurants there are plenty of bars, pubs, night-clubs in Aix. A nice and relatively cheap place to have a drink is the 1 Bar de La Mairie on Place de la Mairie.

For those who would like to meet with the local student population, the bar 2 Le Brigand might be a good choice. The prices are reasonable, and the ambiance is convivial: most of the regular customers are either tourists, or students. But be sure not to arrive too late, for the place may quickly be overcrowded, and you may have to drink your pint outside, without any chair or table!


Independent apartments[edit]

  • Atelier Monclar. 4-star apartment in the city centre. Calm design and fully equipped.


Campers should find a campground establishment, rather than camping alone in a forest for example, as the area surrounding this city is known to have wolves.




As of July 2023, Aix and its surrounds have 5G from all French carriers.

Stay safe[edit]

Aix is a safe city to visit, but crime does occur there. As with all French cities, tourists in Aix should be especially conscious of the risk of pickpockets and theft. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not leave valuables within view in parked cars. Exercise increased caution at night, and use the taxis that leave from the Rotonde fountain if you are returning to the outlying neighborhoods late in the evening. Avoid public parks after dark.


Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Aix-en-Provence is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.