The din of cicadas, the southern French accent, a glass of Pastis at a table outside a café: this is Aix-en-Provence, the historic capital of Provence! It is the kind of city where even if you are not in the mood, you will be drawn to enjoy everything. The smiles and the legendary hospitality of Provencal people will surprise you!
Aix-en-Provence is the French city which people love to hate! In the heart of the historic region of Provence, It has all the advantages of a small town in spite of its size. Indeed, Aix has about 150 000 inhabitants, which is very few for a French “sous-préfecture”. Very close to Marseille, the huge French harbour metropolis, Aix-en-Provence has managed to keep its personality and its charm. Cobbled streets, an old city inaccessible by car, water fountains everywhere… without doubt, Aix is an extraordinary city known for water and art, and it keeps its promise.
A high rate of residents, called Aixois(e) or Aquisextain(e)s, are retired people or students. Retired people come to Aix for its laid back way of life. This city has every asset to seduce people, including the climate. It is very hot in the region during the summer, but the famous wind called the “Mistral” moderates the climate.
Aix-en-Provence is part of the largest education authority in France (in French “académie”) ahead of Paris! In 2012, there were 41,000 students living in Aix. With the merger of the 3 universities “Aix-Marseille” (Provence University, Mediterranean University and Paul Cézanne University), there are no fewer than 75,000 students in the académie of Aix-Marseille.
Apart from the sun and the “dolce vita”, Aix-en-Provence holds many secrets, but to discover them, you have to get off the beaten track. Then, around the bend in a road, you might come upon the house of a famous painter, a luxurious town house, or one of the 140 sites listed as “Historic Monuments”… take a look, you will be amazed!
Our pages on AIX-EN-PROVENCE
How to get to Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is easily accessible by car from Paris, Lyon and Marseille, via the A5, A6, A7 and A51 autoroutes (French for motorways).
If you travel from Australia you could take a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle and travel by TGV from the airport station straight to Aix-en-Provence. There you can catch another bus downtown (18km).
The TGV from Charles de Gaulle 2 to Aix-en-Provence station takes 4 hours. The bus trip to the city should take about 20 minutes.