What To See: Aix

Lenfant Pavillion in Aix en Provence

A guide to some of the most interesting things to see and do in and near Aix en Provence. Our gallery previews some of the city's most exquisite pleasures. Scroll down the page to read more about them.

Click here to read about ideas for families with children in the wider area around Aix, which is covered in a separate section and here to read about the city's important annual opera festival, its world-class Pavillon Noir ballet centre and the Château La Coste art park and winery to the north of the city. Click here for practical information about the city to help you enjoy your trip.

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aix calissons smallOn most weekdays, the Old Town of Aix turns into a giant extended market where you can browse delicious regional produce in an exquisite historical setting.

Vega by Victor VasarelyCreated in 1976 by the father of Op Art, the Fondation Vasarely has been eroded for decades by a family dispute. But a major restoration programme is well underway and this visionary centre remains a key destination for anyone interested in modern art.

The Cours Mirabeau, Aix en ProvenceThe Cours Mirabeau is one of Europe's great boulevards. The first thing you're likely to see when you arrive, it cuts a dash of Parisian Left Bank chic and sophistication under the sun of Provence.

Children's workshop at the Vasarely Foundation Aix en ProvenceAix en Provence is a city, whose pleasures - wine, art, history, culture - are very adult ones. But there are plenty of fun options here for children too.

The Place de l'Hotel de Ville, Aix en ProvenceAix's Old Town is perfectly poised to seduce the visitor with its winding streets, craft shops, boutiques, restaurants, elegant squares, refreshing fountains, markets - and all steeped in centuries, if not millennia, of history.

Pavement stud on the Paul Cezanne walk in Aix en ProvenceIn a couple of hours you can connect with Paul Cézanne's spirit on a leisurely self-guided walk through the heart of Aix past many of his haunts.

Cupid by Francois Dusqueno in Cezanne's studio at Les LauvesThe studio where Cézanne worked till the end of his life, the Atelier des Lauves is steeped in the artist's personality. It displays his painting materials and personal belongings as if he had just popped out for air.

The front approach to the Jas de BouffanThe Jas de Bouffan is the intensely atmospheric mansion where Paul Cézanne worked, on and off, for 40 years and produced some of his greatest art.

The Bibemus QuarriesHidden in a pine forest high on a sandstone plateau, the brooding Bibémus Quarries are a majestic location and Paul Cézanne mined them for inspiration at the peak of his career.

Gold-flecked Puyricard chocolatesIn the countryside just outside Aix en Provence, Puyricard, a luxury chocolate factory, offers tours, courses and, of course, chocolates for sale. It also has an extraordinary story behind it.

Box of Leonard Parli calissonsLéonard Parli was a candied fruit confectioner who, like many fellow-countrymen, fled Switzerland in the 19th century to escape famine. He ended up in Aix and in 1874 set up a company to make the city's famous speciality, the calisson.

The Musee Granet, Aix en ProvenceOnce a sleepy provincial gallery, the Granet Museum has, thanks to some important loans and bequests, built up a fine collection of modern art over the last decade. It now stages several major exhibitions a year.

Aix fountain at La RotondeAix en Provence is often called the City of a Thousand Fountains - and they come in all shapes and sizes. This picture gallery offers up a small sample for you to enjoy.

Hotel de Caumont, Aix en ProvenceThe Mazarin Quarter is Aix's answer to the Marais in Paris. Like it, this ultra-elegant residential district was built on marshland just outside what was then the city walls and swiftly became the most desirable address in town.

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