The city of a thousand fountains

Things to do in Aix-en-Provence

A hub of lifestyle, heritage, and outdoor activities, Aix-en-Provence checks all the boxes when it comes to unforgettable experiences. Discover a selection of the best things to do and see in Aix-en-Provence.

Take a style lesson in the center of Aix-en-Provence

In Aix, a simple stroll becomes a voyage through time, paced by the discreet murmur of fountains and orderly line-up of 17th and 18th-century frontages. The town’s architectural harmony is rare in itself and comprises France’s 3rd largest Baroque ensemble (after Paris and Versailles), offering a soothing impression of timelessness. Of course, that’s not true of the whole town: thanks to its young and creative population, Aix’s restaurants and galleries have become genuine experimental hubs. A visit to the city center of Aix-en-Provence promises delightful surprises. Whether for a shopping spree, a gourmet break, or the desire to admire beautiful old houses!

Do you love heritage? Are you looking for unusual activities? Do you prefer indulging in gourmet moments? Are you eager to get closer to nature? There are plenty of things to do in Aix-en-Provence, whether you’re alone, with your partner, or with your family!

Culture and heritage

Discover awe-inspiring monuments

The stage is set: noble frontages with sculpted gargoyles, Roman tiles worn to a patina by the passage of time, mossy fountains and delicate squares, such as the ravishing Place d’Albertas. And Cours Mirabeau sets the pace – that of a pleasant stroll along an ancient carriageway, shaded by plane trees and adorned with the magnificent, mossy Fontaine de la Rotonde fountain. To the South of Cours Mirabeau, the Mazarin quarter built under the reign of Louis XIV is embellished with gorgeous mansion houses. If you fancy an extra immersion in genteel lifestyle, simply retreat to the French-style gardens of Pavillon de Vendôme. Beautiful surprises await you as you explore the city of Aix-en-Provence. The Albertas Square, in the heart of Old Aix, is one of them.

In addition to their undeniable panache, Aix’s monuments are still instilled with pomp and splendour. And speaking of pomp, the pompe à l’huile (made in Provence) is actually the name of one of Aix’s typical culinary specialities: a simple flatbread made with olive oil.

Savor the famous Calissons of Aix-en-Provence

In the early 20th century, Aix-en-Provence was the world’s leading hub for the almond trade. Almonds were first introduced into Provence in the 15th century and the invention of the Calisson dates back to the same era. This story of this little, lozenge-shaped candy, made with ground almonds and candied fruit and topped with rice paper, is traditionally tied to that of the fight against the Great Plague. Another – more romantic – tale tells that it was a love note created by a cook for the austere Queen Jeanne. When she tasted it, she is said to have exclaimed: “di calin soun” (these are like cuddles!). So, is the Calisson sacred or simply sweet? Whatever the case, there’s no doubt Aix is a place for people of taste.

You can also plan a stop at a restaurant or visit one of Aix-en-Provence’s markets to discover all the treasures of Provencal food.

Follow the wine route of Aix-en-Provence

Red, white or rosé, the Pays d’Aix area alone boasts five Protected Designation of Origin (AOP) wines, selected on three criteria: soil, grape varieties used for production and growing & wine making know-how. The 5 AOP wines  – Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Côtes de Provence, Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Palette and Côtes du Luberon – are grown at a total of 70 vineyards on a 1,300 km2 terroir spanning the 36 towns forming the Pays d’Aix area and 8 towns forming the Sud Luberon area.

Tours and guided visits are offered to explore the vineyards around Aix-en-Provence.

Wineries and estates

Take a stroll around Mount Sainte-Victoire

The Sainte-Victoire is one of Provence’s three sacred mountains, along with Sainte-Baume and Ventoux. Its rocky spur stands out sharply against the azure-blue skies, making it a favourite subject for many artists. After Cézanne, Picasso also came to live in Vauvenargues to admire it. You can opt for a variety of footpaths leading to the summit: the Lac de Bimont lake or Carrières de Bibemus quarry, or by winding their way around Plateau du Cengle, which forms the mountain’s base.

Don’t enjoy hiking? Is the massif off-limits due to weather conditions? You can embark on a road trip to enjoy different viewpoints of Mount Sainte-Victoire, taking breaks in some of the most beautiful villages in the region. Enjoy the trip!

Hiking in Provence

Visiting the museums of Aix-en-Provence

The city of Aix-en-Provence is home to numerous museums that offer a variety of activities for all weather conditions, including rainy days.

The Granet Museum houses hundreds of artworks, featuring collections of paintings and sculptures. Paul Cézanne holds a prominent place in the collections. If this artist fascinates you, we invite you to also visit the Cézanne Studio.

The Vasarely Foundation is entirely dedicated to the visual artist Victor Vasarely.

The Museum of Old Aix, located in a former mansion, allows you to become familiar with the history of Aix-en-Provence.

Less known, the Tapestry Museum exhibits pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Outside the city center, the memorial at Camp des Milles immerses visitors in the concentration camp experience of World War II, offering a moving and educational visit.