Come visit Aix-en-Provence in the footsteps of famous people and with a genuine local. From great classics to the inescapable pleasures of the city, find out what to do in Aix-en-Provence by tapping into our suggestions to make the most of the city of Paul Cézanne, a must-see place to visit in France.
1/ Head to the market
To start your visit to Aix-en-Provence in style, why not start by shopping local products? The main local markets are in Richelme and Verdun squares.
In Aix, the food market is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Get in the mood of Provence by walking among the stalls of fresh fruits, vegetables, fishes and delicatessen.
Direction Richelme square (just next to the Place de la Mairie). Stroll for a moment, enjoy the scents and the atmosphere and stop especially on the stalls of tapenade (the famous Provence olive spread).
On Saturday, the flower market is at the Place de la Mairie. A festival of colors and scents. Then head to the Place des Prêcheurs and the Place de Verdun, to continue the gourmet walk and enjoy on the way the clothing market that settles near the Court of Appeal.
2/ The Rotonde seen from Cours Mirabeau
From place de Verdun, take the passage Agard which leads to the top of the famous cours Mirabeau! It’s the heart of the city. From here, you can admire the beautiful perspective offered : plane trees and bourgeois buildings. At the end, you will see the big fountain of the Rotonde. If you have not taken your camera out of the bag yet, now is the time!
3/ Lunch on a terrace
With 300 sunny days a year, the weather is often nice and a lunch on the terrace is required. Return to the maze of the city center and find the Place des Cardeurs, further north of the historic center. The esplanade is a grid of restaurants and sunny terraces. You will not know where to start with such a choice of restaurants! According to your taste and budget, you can opt for Le Juste en Face, Provençal and successful cooking on a very nice central terrace. For those who want a semi-gastronomic lunch, go to Le Poivre d’Âne, one of the best addresses in the city!
4/ City of water, city of art
No need to visit all the mansions of Aix-en-Provence to enjoy its elegant architecture. You can opt for a stroll around the many fountains.
Fountains of Aix-en-Provence are a big thing in Aix and a pride topic (although the city is called the city of 1000 fontains, there are actually a 10 times less than that : we’re not far from Marseille where people are known to axagerate a lot!
Fountaines of place d’Albertas , iof the 4 Dolphins, the mossy fountain on Cours Mirabeau. Be careful, although the temptatiopn might be great on hot days, not all the fountains deliver drinking water, ask your guide for advice.
5/ Treat yourself to a gourmet break
It’s now time to test local sweets and delicacies! A break at Weibel the famous pastry shop at the angle of Rue Chabrier (next to Richelme square) or Brémond on rue d’Italie or Béchard cours Mirabeau or Léonard Parly is essential! The cakes and sweets are legendary there! Just taste a raspberry shortbread or a simple chocolate loaf. Take the opportunity to taste the calissons, among the most famous in the city!
6/ Have a drink on the terrace
The hour of the aperitif is approaching. The sun goes down on the horizon and it’s time to settle on the terrace to enjoy the last hours of the day. The city does not lack cafes and bars so let yourself be guided by your inspiration. As for the choice of the drink, choose for example a rosé. A wine from the estate of Bargemone or a castle La Coste, to name a few. In Aix the rosé is drunk with a very clear dress.
7/ Dinner in a small restaurant lost in an alley
For dinner you will find several very nice restaurants indoors. You just have to know them and find them. For those who do not know the city well, it can quickly turn into a labyrinth … So do not hesitate to ask your way. Among the hidden pearls of the city center, two suggestions: if you are rather wine bar, head to Le Petit Verdot; if you are rather products of the market, tasty and balanced cuisine, find un drôle d’endroit, a real little reference of the initiates whose cooking is always faultless
8/Attend a contemporary dance show at the Black Pavilion
In the evening, if you’re lucky, you can attend a performance or rehearsal of the Preljocaj ballet at the Black Pavilion, the magnificent building that serves as their headquarters. Other dance companies are often invited to make representations. If there is no show tonight, just go for a walk in the new neighborhood and admire the extraordinary architecture of the pavilion. Next door, the Grand Théâtre de Provence also offers a nice program!
9/Experience the Swing Era dance
Have you ever heard of the Lindy Hop this marvelous and energetic dance from the 1930s danced almost one century ago? Well, Aix en Provence is a string place with this demonstrations often performed on the streets by the local Lindy Hoppers and solo jazz dancers from Aixtraswing (your guide may even entertain you with a little dance to show as they love this kind of entr