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Aix en Provence in a Nutshell

Unveiling the Provençal Charm:
A Comprehensive Aix-en-Provence Travel Guide

Tourism Summary:

Aix-en-Provence, a captivating city in southern France, is renowned for its elegant architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and rich history. Founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, Aix-en-Provence flourished as a spa town and later became the capital of Provence. Its charming streets, bustling squares, and numerous fountains create a unique atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world. The city is also known for its association with the famous painter Paul Cézanne, whose studio and other landmarks can be explored.

1. Transportation Options to Aix-en-Provence:

  • Air:Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) is the closest international airport, located about 30 km (18.6 miles) from Aix-en-Provence. From there, you can take a bus, taxi, or shuttle service to reach the city center.

    Imagem de Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)


  • Train:Aix-en-Provence TGV station is well-connected to major French cities like Paris, Lyon, and Marseille, as well as other European destinations.

    Imagem de AixenProvence TGV station


  • Bus: Regional and national bus services connect Aix-en-Provence to various cities and towns in the region.

2. Accommodation for All Budgets:

  • Luxury Hotels:
    • Villa La Coste: A luxurious hotel and art center nestled in the countryside, offering elegant accommodations, a spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
      Imagem de Villa La Coste, AixenProvence
    • Hotel Le Pigonnet: A charming 5-star hotel with a beautiful garden, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a spa.
      Imagem de Hotel Le Pigonnet, AixenProvence
  • Mid-Range Hotels:
    • Renaissance Aix-en-Provence Hotel: A modern hotel with a central location, offering comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace with city views.
      Imagem de Renaissance AixenProvence Hotel
    • Aquabella Hôtel & Spa: A stylish hotel with a spa and wellness center, located near the Cours Mirabeau.
      Imagem de Aquabella Hôtel & Spa, AixenProvence
  • Budget-Friendly Options (2 and 3-star hotels):
    • Hôtel des Augustins: A simple and affordable hotel in a historic building, located in the heart of the old town.
      Imagem de Hôtel des Augustins, AixenProvence
    • Hotel Rotonde: A budget-friendly hotel near the Rotonde fountain, offering clean rooms and a convenient location.
      Imagem de Hotel Rotonde, AixenProvence

3. Must-See Attractions:

  • Cours Mirabeau:A grand boulevard lined with plane trees, fountains, and elegant mansions, the heart of Aix-en-Provence.
  • Atelier Cézanne:The former studio of the famous painter Paul Cézanne, offering a glimpse into his artistic process and life.
  • Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur:A cathedral with a mix of architectural styles, from Romanesque to Gothic, showcasing beautiful stained glass windows and a baptistery.
  • Musée Granet:An art museum housing a collection of paintings and sculptures from the 14th to the 20th centuries, including works by Cézanne, Picasso, and Monet.
  • Fontaine de la Rotonde:A monumental fountain at the end of Cours Mirabeau, a symbol of Aix-en-Provence.

4. Enriching Day Trip Options:

  • Marseille:Explore the vibrant port city of Marseille, known for its Vieux Port (Old Port), Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, and diverse cultural scene.
  • Luberon:Discover the picturesque villages and lavender fields of the Luberon region, including Gordes, Roussillon, and Lourmarin.
  • Cassis:Visit the charming fishing village of Cassis, known for its calanques (inlets), colorful houses, and local wines.

5. Best Times to Visit Aix-en-Provence:

  • Spring (April-June) and Autumn (September-October): Pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and blooming flowers in spring, perfect for exploring the city on foot and enjoying outdoor cafes.
  • Summer (July-August): Warm, sunny weather, lively outdoor events, and extended daylight hours. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices.
  • Winter (November-March): Cooler temperatures, fewer tourists, and some attractions may have reduced hours. However, the Christmas markets in December are a charming experience.

6. Public Holidays in France:

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Easter Monday (Varies)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Victory in Europe Day (May 8)
  • Ascension Day (Varies)
  • Whit Monday (Varies)
  • Bastille Day (July 14)
  • Assumption of Mary (August 15)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Armistice Day (November 11)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

7. Useful Recommendations:

  • Purchase the Aix-en-Provence City Pass: This pass offers free entry to many attractions, including museums and guided tours, as well as discounts on shops and restaurants.
  • Learn a Few French Phrases: Basic French phrases like "Bonjour" (hello), "Merci" (thank you), and "Au revoir" (goodbye) will be appreciated by locals.
  • Savor Provençal Cuisine: Indulge in the diverse flavors of Provençal cuisine, from bouillabaisse and ratatouille to calissons (traditional almond sweets).
  • Explore the Markets: Visit the daily markets in Place Richelme and Place des Prêcheurs for fresh produce, local specialties, and artisanal products.
  • Take a Calisson-Making Workshop: Learn to make the traditional almond sweets, calissons, at one of the many workshops offered in Aix-en-Provence.