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Things to do in Aix-en-Provence

Things to do in  Aix-en-Provence

Welcome to Aix-en-Provence

The town of Aix-en-Provence is one of the jewels of the Provence region in the southern part of France. Roughly 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence (also known simply as Aix) is an ideal base for day tours to other popular destinations in the area. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, including rolling hills covered in lavender fields, Aix is an easy drive from Arles, Avignon, Gordes, Roussillon, and the Gorges du Verdon—home to an ancient Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard. Although Aix-en-Provence serves as an easy launching point for discovering Provence's quaint villages, visitors would be remiss to cut short their time exploring the charming and historic town, where broad avenues lined with cafes stretch between pleasant squares. There is a strong tradition of arts and culture in Aix, including several museums (including the former studio of Paul Cezanne, who was born in the city) and annual festivals. Take in the sights and smells of the colorful local markets, or go on a private tour to dig into the city's history, which dates back to the Roman Empire. Once you've spent ample time in Aix, easy day trips make it simple to see the surrounding countryside without the hassle of navigating the roads on your own. Visit Camargue to see flamingos along the French coast; journey into the hills to visit vineyards and taste Provence wine; explore bustling Marseille, one of France's most important sea ports; and take in the cliffs and Mediterranean views of Cassis.

Top 13 attractions in Aix-en-Provence

Valensole Plateau (Plateau De Valensole)

The Valensole Plateau (Plateau De Valensole) embodies the quintessential image of Provencal summer, with vibrant purple lavender fields, sunflower-filled valleys, and peaceful hilltop villages. Photo-worthy vistas extend in all directions, and the village of Valensole houses shops selling flowers, perfumes, oils, and other lavender-derived products.More

Cézanne's Studio (Atelier Cézanne)

The landscape around Aix-en-Provence was a constant inspiration to artist Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), who was born and raised in the southern French town. Located just outside, Cézanne's Studio (Atelier Cézanne)—the studio where the artist painted some of his most famous works—offers visitors fascinating insight into the life of the postimpressionist artist.More

Cours Mirabeau

At the center of picturesque Aix-en-Provence is Cours Mirabeau, a plane tree–shaded avenue lined with chic stores, patisseries, and restaurants. Marked along its length by fountains, this street is the most popular place in town for a pre- or postlunch stroll and a must-visit stop on guided tours of the town.More


Located in southwest Provence, the Camargue is one of France’s wildest and most scenic landscapes. Protected as a regional natural park, the expanse of wetlands, beaches, salt pans, and rice paddies is known for its herds of white Camargue horses and Camargue bulls, all tended to by localgardians (cowboys).More

Lake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix)

Set between the dramatic landscapes of the Verdon Gorge and the Valensole plateau, the man-madeLake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix) is among Provence’s most popular vacation spots. With sandy lakeside beaches, water temperatures rivaling those of the Mediterranean Sea, and fewer crowds than the French Riviera, it’s the ideal summer destination.More

Sainte-Victoire Mountain (Montagne Sainte-Victoire)

Dominating the landscape around Aix-en-Provence, Sainte-Victoire Mountain (Montagne Sainte-Victoire) is a limestone ridge immortalized by Aix-en-Provence painter Paul Cézanne. Whether you bike or hike to the top or just admire the silhouette from afar, its angular profile can be seen for miles around.More


Located in the heart of Provence, France’s mountainous Lubéron region is famous for its vibrant purple lavender fields, forested valleys, and ancient hilltop villages such as Saignon, Bonnieux, and Gordes. Walking trails wind through the largely uninhabited region, past hills, woodlands, and fields dusted with wildflowers.More

Aix Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint Sauveur)

Built on the site of an ancient Roman forum, the Aix Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint Sauveur) is one of the oldest and best-loved buildings in Aix-en-Provence. It dates to the 12th century and, despite many modifications over the years, remains a particular draw for fans of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.More


Located on the limits of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, on the edge of the Luberon, Manosque is an old walled town filled with ancient doorways, fountains, meandering streets, and charming squares plus historical buildings such as the Notre-Dame-de-Romigier Church, which was built in the 10th century. It’s a great place to wander or take photos, particularly if you like old architecture.More

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Within the Camargue region in the South of France, Les Saintes Maries de la Mer is located where the Rhône river meets the Mediterranean Sea. This popular summertime beach destination is a great base from which to explore the outstanding natural beauty of the coastline and natural reserve.More


With extensive Roman ruins and a lively café scene, the southern French town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has both historical importance and modern appeal. Nostradamus was born here, and Van Gogh spent one of his most productive periods in Saint-Rémy, so there’s plenty to do for art lovers and visitors interested in the region’s history.More
La Barben Zoo (Zoo de la Barben)

La Barben Zoo (Zoo de la Barben)

One of France’s largest and most popular zoos, La Barben Zoo (Zoo de la Barben), located in Provence, has been a popular attraction for families since it opened in the early 1970s. Learn about the more than 650 animals who live at the zoo, from the lions, rhinos, elephants, and giraffes to hundreds of rare species.More
Aix-en-Provence Old Town (Vieil Aix)

Aix-en-Provence Old Town (Vieil Aix)

Aix-en-Provence Old Town (Vieil Aix) is the city’s ancient heart, where people have lived and worked since Roman times. The area is home to some of the city’s grandest buildings, as well as reminders of previous eras. It’s one of the city’s most vibrant quarters home to shops, restaurants, and museums.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Aix-en-Provence

Provence in a Day Trip from Aix

Provence in a Day Trip from Aix

Picturesque Luberon - From AIX-EN-PROVENCE
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Provence Wineries and Luberon Villages Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence
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Half day Wine Tour in Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire from Aix en Provence
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Monaco & the French Riviera - From AIX
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Verdon Gorge and Moustiers Ste-Marie Tour from Aix-en-Provence
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Aix en Provence, Marseille and Cassis Tour

Aix en Provence, Marseille and Cassis Tour

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What people are saying about Aix-en-Provence

Great tour
, Jul 2021
Great tour
Although its a bit early in the morning, it frees up your afternoon to visit the town of Aix-en-Provence.
The tour was amazing. It was truly...
Eric D
, Jul 2016
The tour was amazing. It was truly...
It was truly wonderful being able to see all the villages without having to rent a car.
Marvelous Day Tasting Wine and Exploring Hilltop Villages
, Sep 2021
Marvelous Day Tasting Wine and Exploring Hilltop Villages
At the first winery, we had great luck to see the grapes being harvested and crushed.
The highlight of our stay! Don't miss this tour! A+
, Jul 2020
The highlight of our stay! Don't miss this tour! A+
Fabienne also went above and beyond, helping us with recommendations for other activities to check out on the rest of our stay.
Great shore excursion of three regional highlights!
Kellye C
, Sep 2019
Great shore excursion of three regional highlights!
We knew we wanted to see Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, and Marseille during our time in port, but it was difficult to find excursions (through the ship or independently) that provided all three.

All about Aix-en-Provence

When to visit

The lavender fields of Provence bloom through summer (June-August), but don’t expect to have the views to yourself—tourist traffic peaks at this time. Sunny days often stretch out into fall, and September-October can be an ideal time to visit Aix-en-Provence, with fewer crowds and the wine and olive harvests in full swing. This is the season for leisurely hikes and bike rides, stopping along the way to sip Provence rosé amid the vines.

Getting around

The narrow streets and jam-packed parking lots of Aix-en-Provence make it tricky to drive in the city—a smarter choice is to park at the Parc Relais just outside of town and hop on the shuttle bus instead. Aix’s leafy plazas and lively street markets are best explored on foot, but buses and taxis are easy to find if you need a break from walking. Alternatively, make like a local and hire a bike to cruise around town.

Traveler tips

Fromagerie du Passage along Cours Mirabeau will transport cheese lovers to fromage heaven—head up onto the terrace and order a planche (cheese plate) with up to 25 regional cheeses. For those with a sweet tooth, pick up a bag of calissons d’Aix, the town’s ubiquitous candies made from melon and almond, or try the cake version from Maison Weibel.

People Also Ask

What is Aix en Provence known for?

Aix en Provence is known for the Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined thoroughfare with shops, cafes, and fountains. The Aix Cathedral is another well-known attraction, celebrated for its mélange of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It also houses two important pieces of 15th-century art: the Burning Bush Triptych and the stone Aygosi Family Altar.

What are the top attractions in Aix en Provence?

Aix en Provence's top attractions include the Granet Museum, with its large collection of 15th- through 19th-century artwork and Aix Cathedral, which boasts a mix of architectural styles. Other popular attractions include Cezanne's old studio, which is now a museum, and the Cours Mirabeau, a popular stretch of tree-lined promenade.

What activities do people do in Aix en Provence?

Aix en Provence has a strong musical culture, and going out to concerts and performances is one of the more popular activities in town. While there are performances staged throughout the year, visit in July to check out the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, an international celebration of opera.

Is Provence and Aix en Provence the same?

No. Aix en Provence is the name of a city in the Provence region of Southern France. The name literally translates to Aix in Provence. There are a few other Aix places in France, including Aix-sur-Vienne (Aix on the Vienne River) and Aix-les-Bains, named for the town’s thermal baths (bains).

What makes Aix en Provence special?

Aix en Provence’s overall ambiance is what makes it so special. This charming university town is full of old architecture and museums, and it's just a short jaunt from the beaches of the French Riviera. Aix also has great weather throughout the year, with mild winters and hot summers.

How pronounce Aix en Provence?

If you aren’t familiar with French, the “aix” in Aix en Provence might throw you off—it’s pronounced just like the letter “X.” The city’s name is generally pronounced by anglophones as ex-on pruh-vonce. However, most people familiar with the city simply shorten it to “Aix.”If you aren’t familiar with French, the “aix” in Aix en Provence might throw you off—it’s pronounced just like the letter “X.” The city’s name is generally pronounced by anglophones as ex-on pruh-vonce. However, most people familiar with the city simply shorten it to “Aix.”


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