Art lovers, foodies, and historians can all find something they love about the French city of Aix-en-Provence as well as anyone who just wants to walk the beautiful and historic streets of a very traditional southern French town. Here are 20 of the unmissable attractions in Aix-en-Provence.
Visit the museum that houses a lot of Cézanne’s work (Aix was his hometown and where he lived for much of his life). It also has temporary exhibitions as well as art from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
Musée Granet, Place Saint-Jean de Malte, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 (0)4 42 52 88 32
Aix is often called the “city of 1,000 fountains”, and this is one of its most charming and bizarre. The Albertas family built this square complete with phallic shapes around the balconies. The fountain was built much later but in the same style.
It’s often called the most beautiful street in Aix, and it has been one of the city’s focal points since the 12th century. It’s the main boulevard and the heart of the town.
Place des 4 Dauphins
This beautiful fountain is often a good first stop for people on their way to the Musée Granet.
Cathédrale Saint Sauveur
The most impressive and biggest cathedral in town, this is where Cézanne’s funeral took place.
Visit Cézanne’s final resting place in the calm and grand cemetery in the outskirts of Old Town.
The most iconic of all of Aix’s fountains, the Rotonde is also the largest, the most centrally located, and where many meet before a night out or for a coffee.
Atelier de Cézanne
Cézanne’s painting studio, where he painted his beloved Montagne Sainte-Victoire over and over again, has been left just as it was on the day he died.
Fontaine du Roi René
King René had a big influence on Aix and his statue at the top of the Cours Mirabeau is where people meet, eat their ice cream, and where dogs cool off in the summer months.
Aix’s Town Hall isn’t just where the Mayor works and where to find answers to administrative issues: it’s where the flower market takes place, where to people watch in one of the four bars, and where the Americans’ tanks rode through under the bell tower to liberate Aix at the end of World War 2.
Pavilion de Vendôme
This old, aristocratic-family home is now open to the public. Public cinema screenings take place every summer, and it’s where workers go to eat their lunch. Just don’t walk on the grass; it’s forbidden.
Pavilion de Vendôme, 13 Rue de la Molle, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 (0)4 42 91 88 75
Place des Trois Ormeaux
Legend has it that a local made a stand against the ruler of Aix and a tree magically sprang up in the same spot. The trees are still here as are lots of great restaurants who cool their wine in the fountain outside.
This is the foodies’ main street in Aix. It’s full of delis, wine shops, cheese shops, and bakers. There are also restaurants that locals rave about.
The daily market takes place in this square every day of the year—without exception. Once the market closes at 1 pm, the street sweepers clean everything up and the bar tables go up until past midnight.
Covered in moss, this fountain is one of the most beloved in Aix because a warm water source feeds directly into it. It’s great to watch the steam come off during winter.
Place des Prêcheurs
This is another central artery in Aix that is currently being pedestrianised into a square surrounding the old courthouse. Another great place to people watch.
Saint Jean de Malte
Saint Jean de Malte is tucked behind Rue d’Italie next to the Musée Granet. It’s part of Cézanne’s heritage as well as daily Aixois life.
Hôtel Caumont used to be the town’s Conservatoire before it moved to new facilities. Now, the fully refurbished building houses temporary art exhibitions ranging from Marilyn Monroe photographs to the Italian Renaissance Masters.
Hôtel Caumont, 3 Rue Joseph Cabassol, Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 (0)4 42 20 70 01
Parc de la Torse
Walk 10 minutes out of town and find families, joggers, and dog walkers in the Parc de la Torse. It runs along the Torse River, and it is a great place to picnic or take the kids to the playground.