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Classy and clever, Aix-en-Provence is like an upmarket, more suburban version of Paris' left bank. All leafy boulevards, grand public spaces and ordered, but lovely, gardens. Aix is also wealthy. The TGV station brings in a lot of people, and some of them are here to treat themselves. In the charming cafes, restaurants and bars on Aix's most expensive street, the Cours Mirabeau; in the upscale boutiques in the beautiful, largely pedestrianised town centre and in the wonderful hotels in the same area. These luxurious dwellings are some of the best places to stay in Aix-en-Provence.
Aix became a cultural centre in the 15th Century, and has has never lost that high balance of intelligence and creativity per-capita. Zola and Cezanne are Aix's most famous sons. It has three universities and several big French language schools, so it's also a student town. Albeit a grand one. In addition to the swanky cafes there are also more student-y options.
What not to Miss
- Like many Provencal towns the centre of Aix-en-Provence wasn't built to accommodate cars, so the narrow streets and beautiful plazas are all yours. You can probably walk across it in 15minutes, but there are many winding routes, so you can also spend hours getting lost amongst the fascinating buildings.
- Aix-en-Provence is known for its fountains and gardens. Some of the grandest fountains are on the Cours Mirabeau. The Romans founded this city here partly because of the thermal springs it sits over, and it's these waters which bubble through some of the fountains.
- Some of Cezanne's work can be seen hanging in the Manor of Jas de Bouffan, but you can also visit his atelier, where you can see some of the objects he painted in his still lifes.
- There's a market in Aix-en-Provence running almost every day of the week, but Saturday is the biggest, when there's a flower market at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and a fresh produce market at Place Richelme.
The best places to stay in Aix en Provence tend to be fairly upmarket establishments, but we've managed to scour the area and have come up with a few ideas for those with more restricted means.
The Best Places to Stay in Aix-en-Provence
For a city break
- If you want an authentic experience, book the Villa Gallici. This hotel is luxurious inside and out. From the magical, terraced gardens to the sumptuous interior, where 18th Century furniture is favoured, and the wallpaper is bold and colourful. This is also one of the best places to stay in Aix-en-Provence if you're planning a romantic trip.
- La Maison d’Aix is a charming townhouse hotel with just four stylish rooms and a ‘Secret Spa’. The rooms are decorated with Venetian mirrors and teak furnishings and you’re close to all the main sights.
For Rural Bliss
- Built in 1576, the Villa Baulieu originally belonged to Henry III. Now it's an opulent guesthouse with 11 plush rooms. The 220 hectares of the estate which still belong to the house are peaceful and beautiful. And some of it’s obviously given over to wine production.
- Mas de Fauchon is a charming, 16 room property in the beautiful Provençal countryside. The decor is classically French with exposed beams, chintz fabrics and antique furniture. The fire-lit restaurant specialises in regional cuisine.
- Les Lodges Sainte Victoire is a stunning, 35 room property surrounded by fragrant gardens. The decor is understated and elegant with beautiful views of the Provençal landscape. A secluded oasis.
Aix for families
- For sunshine and Provencal views, you can't beat the Mas d'Entremont. Set in peaceful, green gardens, this hotel is more like a set of villas, though there's hotel room type accommodation as well. There are lots of large sliding doors allowing you to let the beautiful Provencal air and sunshine in.
For Great Value
- La Bastide de Cabries is about ten kilometres south of Aix-en-Provence, in Cabries. There are 12 rooms available, all with panoramic rooftop views and pop-art inspired decor. Romantic, yet affordable, with rooms starting from around £90 per night.
For a self-catering Apartment or private Villa
- If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.
- Aix-en-Provence is served by Marseille-Provence Airport, which has a lot of international connections, and Nice Airport, which is favoured by the budget carriers. If you want to arrive by train, Aix-en-Provence has both TGV and regional trains, and is well connected to Paris, Nice and Marseille.
- If you want to hire a car - which we strongly advise if you’re staying in Aix-en-Provence and want to see more of Provence - we recommend you visit our online partner, Holiday Autos.
- Provence has 300 sunny days a year, so the best places to stay in Aix-en-Provence enjoy a climate which borders on 'Mediterranean', with hot summers and mild winters. It’s in the path of the famous mistral wind, which blows through the Rhone Valley on the way to the Mediterranean keeping it clear and sunny in spring and winter. If you don’t mind the heat and the influx of Parisians and other visitors the best time to visit is during the summer - the lavender is in bloom and this is how this region is supposed to be seen. Aix-en-Provence also hosts a number of summer arts and music festivals. By October the rains have come, which are beautiful too in their own way. Spring is perfect if you prefer milder, sunny weather and fewer other visitors.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Aix-en-Provence for you?
Best Hotels in Aix-en-Provence
Mas d’Entremont 20 rooms from $291Aix-en-Provence, Provence
A rural property set in beautiful gardens boasting open courtyards with shaded seating, old beamed living rooms and a large pool. Bedrooms are light and modern with crisp white linen. A tennis court and gym entertain the active. The restaurant serves local cuisine. The ideal country escape.Total relaxation - Relax and unwind at this peaceful and spacious country house, surrounded by beautiful gardens.Sights nearby - Pavillon de Vendôme hosts exhibitions as well as having immaculate gardens.Local markets - Local fruit, vegetable and book markets run three days a week.Romantic - Good for couples.
La Maison d'Aix 4 rooms from $279Aix-en-Provence
A charming hotel set in a picturesque Provençal townhouse. The comfortable rooms are stylish and elegant with Venetian mirrors and teak furnishings. The Secret Spa provides the ultimate relaxing break from the city. A great choice for a romantic weekend in Aix-en-Provence.Total relaxation - A relaxing city break with deluxe suites and rooms, pocket sized spa and a chilled out library slash games room.Sights nearby - Art lovers will be fascinated by a visit to L'atelier Cézanne, his former studio.Great walks - Head to the outskirts of Aix and walk up the famous Montagne Sainte-Victoire.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Tablet
Villa Gallici 22 rooms from $497Aix-en-Provence, Provence
A flamboyant hotel surrounded by Florentine gardens, terraces, and large pool. Lavish fabrics and a healthy smattering of bold wallpaper give a over wrought luxurious feel to the suites. The restaurant is one of the best in Aix and always full of locals. Romantic and pampering, for a special treat.Garden - Beautiful Florentine gardens shaded by Cypress trees.Restaurant - Recommended.Local markets - Just a short stroll down the road to Place des Prêcheurs brings you to the local market.Sights nearby - Right in the centre of town you are a few minutes walk from the beautiful Aix Cathedral.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux
La bastide de Cabries 12 rooms from $114Aix-en-Provence (Cabries/Calas)
Panoramic views over Provencal rooftops, gourmet food, and pop-art inspired rooms at this attractive sandstone bastide. A romantic setting for couples and great venue for a wedding reception.FoodiesSights nearby - Some 10km south of Aix en ProvenceLocal markets - Good for local colour.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Sawdays
Les Lodges Sainte Victoire 35 rooms from $195Aix-en-Provence
The stunning property, surrounded by elegant grounds and fragrant gardens. Its rooms are understated and elegant, some with balconies looking over the unfolding Provençal landscape. With serene swimming pools and a deluxe spa devoted to your relaxation, it's something of a secluded oasis.Total relaxation - A charming villa set on acres of vineyards and Olive trees with two swimming pools and spa facilities.Local markets - Navigate your way through the bustling markets of Aix-en-Provence.Great walks - Great walking routes around the nearby Sainte-Victoire Mountain.Romantic - Good for couples.
Villa Baulieu 11 rooms from $366Aix-en-Provence
Originally a property of Henry III in 1576, and the wealthiest Provencal families - now an opulent guesthouse. The rooms are plushly fitted out, without being excessive: traditional wallpapers and soft colours. 220 hectares of estate to explore, and its wine to sample - experience true Provence.Views - Outstanding views over the surrounding parklandSwimming Pool - SeasonalGreat walks - Good for walkers.Landmark - Comes with a reputation.