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Top French Cities - Aix-en-Provence at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office at

City region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Population & what they are called: 145,160 inhabitants (2014 census); Aixois (or, rarely, Aquisextains)

Access from Paris:

  • by road: between 6 h 40 min and 8 h 50 min (470 miles) via A6 and A7 autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 3 hours by TGV from the Gare de Lyon

  • by plane: 1h15, landing in Marseille-Provence Airport, then 20 minutes by shuttle

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Paul Cézanne, painter

  • Hélène Grimaud, concert pianist

  • Thylane Blondeau, top model and actress

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Aix is known as the city of a thousand fountains.

  • The Fondation Vasarely was established in 1966 by Victor Vasarely himself, leader of the op art movement, who chose Aix-en-Provence given the city’s rich history, artistic and architectural activities, world-renowned festival, exceptional network of motorways and, finally, Vasarely's admiration for Cézanne.

Notable sites:

  • Vieil Aix – the historic old town

  • Cours Mirabeau – the city's most famous grand boulevard, lined by fountains and lofty plane trees, and bordered by fabulous Renaissance mansions

  • Montagne Sainte-Victoire – the nearby mountain that inspired Cézanne and was, in turn, made famous by him

Top annual events:

  • Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – a month-long festival of classical music, opera and dance, celebrating its 70th year in 2018 (

  • Festival de Pâques (Easter Festival) – a classical music festival (

  • Les Rencontres du 9e Art – a festival of comics and other innovative graphic and popular arts (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée Granet – a showcase of iconic artists associated with Provence, including Picasso and Cézanne (

  • Caumont Art Center – rotating exhibitions about the region’s artistic and cultural heritage set in a stunning 18th-century mansion (

  • Atelier de Cézanne – the former studio of Paul Cézanne

Culinary specialties:

  • Calissons d’Aix – diamond-shaped delights with almonds, sugar, candied melon and orange peel

  • Olive oil – there are 2,000 olive growers in the Aix region

Local wines & spirits:

  • Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC – the second largest Provençal wine appellation whose rosés are considered especially unique

Shopping: * antiques – the best markets are in the Mazarin District and around the Cours Mirabeau

  • artisanal crafts – such as soap, santon (clay figurines), ceramics, mosaics, metal art

Most popular night spots:

  • Les Woods Cardeurs – a student bar with music a large terrace

  • Le Mistral – for anyone in the mood to dance

  • Au Verre Levé – a café with a great selection of organic wines from small producers

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Montagne Sainte-Victoire – a popular place for outdoor sports (hiking, biking, paragliding, climbing and more)

  • Cours Mirabeau – the most famous of many superb shopping boulevards; also location of Brasserie Les Deux Garçons, the city's most famous café

  • Parc Jourdan – one of the largest parks in the city and a great place to play pétanque

Local industries:

  • cosmetics – several leading firms, such as Esthederm and Daniel Jouvance, lead the charge in scientific research into nutrition, anti-aging, dermatology etc.

  • energy research – Cadarache, a research center of the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, is one of the most important centers for energy research and development in Europe.

In Pop Culture:

  • Cézanne and I (Cézanne et moi) – a 2016 French movie about the friendship between Emile Zola and Paul Cézanne

  • The Horseman on the Roof (Le hussard sur le toit) – an award-winning 1995 movies about an Italian nobleman in France during a time of cholera

  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – the famous book about life in Provence Major 2018 development: