The heart of ancient Aix, the Vieil Aix, or Old Town, is marked out by the ruins of its medieval ramparts and remains one of the liveliest areas of Aix-en-Provence. Home to the city’s historic marketplace and sprinkled with grand buildings, there are plenty of things to do in the Vieil Aix. Stroll through the pedestrianized Cité Comtale, the former City of the Counts; admire the opulent 17th and 18th century mansions lining the Rue Gaston de Saporta, many of which have now been converted into luxury hotels; check out the striking 16th century Clock Tower and the Church of the Madeline; rummage through the Saturday flea market at Place de Verdun; or join the locals at the legendary food and flower markets that take over the neighborhood each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Don’t miss a visit to the exquisite Cathedrale Saint Sauveur, a masterpiece of design that blends elements from the 5th century through the 18th century, and houses the famous Burning Bush Triptych by Nicholas Froment. Next door, the equally impressive Archbishop’s Palace was the former residence of the archbishops of Aix-en-Provence and now houses the popular Tapestry Museum. Finally, catch your breath on the central Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined avenue dotted with cafés and patisseries that runs between the boundaries of the old and new city.