This elegant 17th century building houses over 600 exquisite paintings and sculptures, ranging in era and style. See works from as far back as the Renaissance to more modern and contemporary pieces. The museum is located in a city square, offering a great view that’s perfect for people watching. On the other side, the back of the museum opens out into a cozy courtyard, full of trees, tables and chairs, benches, and a fountain. Relax here after your museum visit, or pop by on a random day to enjoy a cup of coffee in a pleasant atmosphere. Be on the lookout or reduced rates and guided tours offered three times a week.
Musée Granet, Petite Rue Saint-Jean Aix en Provence, FR, +33 4 42 52 88 32
Square in front of Musée Granet | ©Robyn Thiessen/Flickr
Atelier de Cézanne
During the last years of his life, Aix en Provence native Paul Cézanne settled in a little country cottage to produce art and live out the rest of his days. Now, decades later, his studio is open to the public. Come and walk in the artist’s footsteps as you discover where he worked and created some of his most famous pieces. A few of the painter’s tools even remain, so you can admire those, as well original works. Cézanne loved Aix and is a source of pride for the city. Visit Atelier de Cézanne, get a peek into the mind of a genius, and you are sure to walk away loving him just as much. Be sure to check out the Painter’s Park as well.
Atelier de Cézanne, 9 Avenue Paul Cézanne Aix en Provence, FR, +33 4 42 21 06 53
Visit Fondation Vasarely and you won’t believe your eyes; really, the museum features a number art works that are actually optical illusions. For a small fee, attend a weekend tour and learn all about the large pieces, some of which are displayed on the museum lawn. The works are made of a variety of materials, including ceramics, glass, tapestries, and more, making each one unique in its own way. Fondation Vasarely offers workshops for adults, as well as children, and also hosts a number of events, including concerts, conferences, cultural festivals and activities. Every so often exhibits will change, so take the time to stop by and see what’s new. You won’t be disappointed.
Fondation Vasarely, 1 Avenue Marcel Pagnol Aix en Provence, +33 4 42 20 01 09
Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
Aix en Provence’s Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle knows how to make learning fun for the whole family. While art museums are filled with a bunch of people silently appreciating art, the city’s natural history museum is much louder, more exciting, and hands on. Discover the darkest secrets of the deep blue sea, before taking off into space and learning about the sun. Exhibits feature dinosaurs, rocks and gems, human anthropology, space, sea, and more — not to mention, the museum frequently hosts fun events, including night tours, film festivals, concerts, lecture series, and more. This is an especially fantastic outing for families and kids! However, be sure to take note of recent current construction that has caused a few museum closures.
Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 Rue Cuvier Aix en Provence, FR, +33 4 42 27 43 88′
Hôtel de Gallifet
Established within an eighteenth century mansion, Hôtel Gallifet opened in 2010 as a contemporary art center. There are numerous exhibitions, both permanent and ones that rotate a few times each year. The pieces span across multiple mediums, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more. In addition to the featured works, the museum itself is quite the sight to see, being a historic architectural beauty with a lush garden. Enjoy a refreshing cup of tea outdoors, or perhaps in the elegant tearoom situated within the museum walls. Be sure to look out for exciting cultural events hosted by the museum, such as conferences, film screenings, lectures, and more.
Hôtel de Gallifet, 52 Rue Cardinale Aix en Provence, FR, +33 9 53 84 37 61