I’ve wanted to go to Aix-en-Provence ever since my high school French teacher showed us pictures of it. I had vibrant pictures of what it would be like in my head.
On a recent day trip from Marseille, what I found wasn’t far off. Aix-en-Provence is a gorgeous little town, filled with shops and open air markets for you to get lost in for hours. I went on a day when the thrift market was open on Cours Mirabeau, which was fun even if I didn’t end up buying anything.
The street is lined with vendors selling dresses, shoes, jewelry and anything else you’d like to buy. It’s fun to walk around and I got to practice my French with vendors. Whether or not you end up taking anything home with you, it’s worth a visit.
The flower and produce markets are why I originally wanted to visit. They are open most days I believe, each located in their own square within town. They aren’t far from each other, but picking up a map of the town from the tourist center (near the bus stops) is probably a solid choice.
The produce is fabulous. Local, fresh, vibrant. And delicious. The vendors were more than happy to help and tell you about their products. It’s a must-do for anyone who enjoys food. The colors of all the fruits and vegetables alone are stunning.
After making a couple laps and tasting some perfectly ripe cherries, I picked up some apricots, tomatoes, peaches, cheese and a baguette and headed to Parc Rambot for a picnic lunch. My favorite part was that everything you need is right there within the square: fruits, vegetables, fresh breads and cheeses. Strolling around and purchasing your lunch items is fun all in itself.
The market also happens to be perfect for vegetarians and vegans considering the whole market is made up of veg-friendly foods. I opted for some cheese, but homemade tapenades would be a great option for vegans to round out a lunch from the market.
The flower markets are gorgeous as well. Flowers in full bloom are everywhere. It’s a place you want to just dance around in for a little while. It’s beautiful. I love fresh flowers, but they’re not ideal for backpacking so I window shopped this time.
I came to Aix-en-Provence by bus from Marseille (5₡70 each way). If you get the chance to visit, absolutely go! It’s one of my favorite parts of my trip thus far.