16 Magical Places to Discover in Aix-en-Provence

I read somewhere that Aix-en-Provence has over 1000 fountains. After exploring the city for one week in June, I can certainly believe it. Fountains of all shapes and sizes seem to be everywhere which is a large part of what makes this small city in the south east of France so charming! Walking through Aix-en-Provence reminds me of the Marion Cotillard romantic film “A Good Year.” With outdoor restaurants, cobblestone plazas and the scent of lavender in the streets, Aix-en-Provence has something for everyone. Take a walk through this beautiful city with me and explore sixteen of my favorite magical sites!

On y va!

1. Place D’Albertas

Place D’Albertas is a small square in the centre ville of Aix that was created in 1741 by Jean-Baptiste d’Albertas, a man who lived across the street. Completed over the course of six years, the place was designed by aixois architect Laurent Vallon, and inspired by the grand plazas of Paris. Nearly 200 years later, in 1912, the students of the school of Arts & Métiers designed and constructed the central fountain. Today, it’s a quiet area frequented by tourists and locals alike who come to relax and admire the 18th century architecture.

Aix-en-Provence Place D'Albertas

Aix-en-Provence Place D'Albertas

2. Paul Cézanne’s Former Studio

You can walk inside the studio Cézanne used in his last years, where many objects have remained as he left them. It’s a quick 20 minute walk north of the centre ville in Aix-en-Provence. Read about my visit here!

Aix-en-Provence Cézanne Studio

3. Café Saint Honoré

I stumbled upon this café by chance and found it to be the quintessential southern French café: Round tables, wicker chairs and umbrellas to shade you from the sun as you eat your croissant and coffee…

Café Saint Honoré in Aix-en-Provence

Café Saint Honoré in Aix-en-Provence

Café Saint Honoré in Aix-en-Provence

4. Pavillon de Vendôme

A beautiful French garden precedes this lovely mansion designed by Pierre Pavillon and completed in 1667. The mansion was a home, a Catholic boarding school and an art studio before being purchased by Swiss art collector Henri Dobler, who donated it to the city of Aix-en-Provence after his death. Today it’s a museum housing temporary art exhibitions.

Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence

Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence
Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence

Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence

Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence

Pavillon de Vendôme, Aix-en-Provence

5. Rue Fernand Dol

I found this street just south of the centre ville to be particularly charming with its pastel façades and white wooden doors. Be sure to visit the agnès b. and Confiserie Bremond shops nearby.

Rue Fernand Dol, Aix-en-Provence

Rue Fernand Dol, Aix-en-Provence

Rue Fernand Dol, Aix-en-Provence

6. Pâtisserie Weibel

This lovely bakery certainly caught my eye with a muted grey façade and turquoise tables lining the exterior. I enjoyed one of the best almond croissants I’ve ever had here, and highly recommend a visit!

Pâtisserie Weibel, Aix-en-Provence

Pâtisserie Weibel, Aix-en-Provence

Pâtisserie Weibel, Aix-en-Provence

7. Jas de Bouffan

The former country home of painter Cézanne during the late 19th century is now open to the public. With a sprawling grass lawn, enormously tall trees and even a family of ducks, Jas de Bouffan is a charming countryside retreat just steps away from the bustling city center.

Jas de Bouffon, Aix-en-Provence, France

Jas de Bouffon, Aix-en-Provence, France

Jas de Bouffon, Aix-en-Provence, France

Jas de Bouffon, Aix-en-Provence, France

Jas de Bouffon, Aix-en-Provence, France

8. Forum des Cardeurs

An open square filled with restaurants, cafés and shops, the Forum des Cardeurs is a lovely city square to have lunch and people watch. Surprisingly, the plaza only dates to 1963 when it was created.

Forum des Cardeurs, Aix-en-Provence

Forum des Cardeurs, Aix-en-Provence

Forum des Cardeurs, Aix-en-Provence

9. Cathedral Saint Sauveur

This beautiful Aix Cathedral has elements dating back to the 6th century! It’s considered a national monument in France.

Cathedral Saint Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence

10. Place de la Mairie

Pick up some souvenirs from Place de la Mairie, the town hall city square where you can find all sorts of local goods from Provence like soap and lavender!

Place de la Mairie, Aix-en-Provence

11. Les Deux Garçons

Have a drink at Les Deux Garçons, located on the famous Cours Mirabeau. Cézanne came here many afternoons with his friends while growing up in Aix.

Les Deux Garçons, Aix-en-Provence, France

Les Deux Garçons, Aix-en-Provence, France

12. The Fountains

They shouldn’t be hard to find because they are pretty much everywhere!

Fountain in Aix-en-Provence

Fountain in Aix-en-Provence

13. The Cave à Vin Mural

I happened to come across this lovely mural on the corner of Rue Lieutaud and Rue des Cordeliers, showing a man in a wine shop, with a woman walking her French bulldog outside! Fun fact: mur means “wall” in French…

Cave à Vin Mural in Aix-en-Provence

14. Le Garde Manger

Probably my favorite coffee shop that I visited in Aix. They have tons of sweets and pastries, along with fresh juices, coffee and tea! Go upstairs to see their well designed lounge and get some sun with a great view on their rooftop terrace! See more here.

Le Garde Manger, Aix-en-Provence

15. The Supermarket & Your Local Bakery

Nothing better than some rosé and a fruit tart when you get home after a long day of exploring Aix! The region is known for their rosé so be sure to pick up a locally made bottle.

Aix-en-Provence Rosé

Aix-en-Provence Apartment

16. Bibliothèque Méjanes (Cité du livre)

So, my travel nightmare came true. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this incredibly unique library was in Aix-en-Provence until after I left, so I didn’t get a chance to visit. Don’t make my mistake, ALLEZ! :)

16 Magical Places to Discover in Aix-en-Provence!

August 11, 2016
I’m a photographer and writer who left New York City after 7 years to explore the world. Culture Passport is a place to share my travels and experiences in new cities, art fairs, galleries, museums and private art collections. My work has been featured by the Paris and Nice Tourism Offices, Art Basel, and Refinery 29.

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