What you'll enjoy the most in Aix-en-Provence will certainly be walking along the small streets and avenues of its historic centre. You'll discover remarkable houses and fountains, as well as high-street shops and designer boutiques. Another of the city's attractions is its exceptional museums.
Aix-en-Provence was founded under the Roman Empire near thermal springs and to protect Marseilles. It became the residence of the Counts of Provence in the 12th century, making it the capital of the province. A university city and cultural centre since the 15th century, it remains a leading light in the art world today.
Walk along the cours Mirabeau, between the fontaine de la Rotonde and the statue of King René. Here you'll find many remarkable town houses, such as the hôtel Maurel de Pontevès, the oldest, at number 38. Be sure to stop by the fontaine des Neuf-Canons and the amazing warm-water fontaine moussue. You can also admire the many town houses in the quartier Mazarin, named after the eponymous cardinal, south of cours Mirabeau. To the north of cours Mirabeau lies the oldest part of the city. One of its curious features is the particularly narrow rue Esquiche-Coude. Guided tours are arranged by the tourist information office.
Art lovers will be spoilt for choice in Aix-en-Provence. They will surely start by visiting the musée Granet, filled with hundreds of works by some of the most famous painters from the 14th to the 20th century: Rembrandt, Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, not to mention Picasso, Dufy, Klee and many other equally illustrious artists. They will then follow in the footsteps of Cézanne by visiting his studio and the bastide du Jas de Bouffan.
How can we talk about Aix-en-Provence without mentioning the calisson? The sweet treat made from almonds and candied melon, flavoured with orange blossom, is truly delicious. You'll find many other regional products at the city's various markets, which are held every morning.
To explore Provence, book a rental car on Expedia's website when booking your hotel. You'll also be able to travel to nearby Marseilles and visit the brand-new MuCEM.