Day Trip to Aix-en-Provence from Marseille, France

Before I jump into our day trip to Aix-en-Provence, I want to thank you all for reading my 600th blog post! I started this blog over a decade ago, as a way to keep family and friends updated while I worked as a travel nurse, and now has hundreds of subscribers and thousands of views every month! A lot has changed since I started, but my love for travel has remained the same.

Anyway, back to our day trip. The main reason we stayed in Marseille was that it close to Aix-en-Provence but was larger and had more to do. Aix-en-Provence, abbreviated to Aix (pronouced X) is an adorable little town, full of culture, shopping, and good food.

We walked from our Airbnb to the Marseille train station and took the 40 minute train ride to Aix. The Marseille train station looks pretty rough outside but the inside is gorgeous. We were warned that Marseille, especially around the train station, is dangerous and to watch our stuff extra carefully, but we didn’t have any issues. Pro tip: don’t book the Aix-en-Provence TGV station- it’s not near the city center.

The ride was quick and the train was relatively empty and cool, so it was a comfortable ride.

We headed to lunch first. Since The Husband doesn’t eat most French food, we ended up at a pizza place, Le Mariole. It was down a super cute alley and ended up being the best pizza we’ve had since we left Italy.

After lunch we headed down the main street, Cours Maribou. In the morning it has an outdoor market full of local vendors, but it also has lots of permanent shops and restaurants.

It’s also a very artsy little city. Since it’s the birthplace of the artist Cézanne, it’s not surprising. Even the fountains have a je ne sais quoi quality.

But the main reason we went to Aix was to see the giant books at the Les Méjanes library. The entrance of the library has three giant books painted on it, including one of my favorite books of all time, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince. It also has Camus’s L’Etranger (The Outsider/The Stranger), which I don’t love, and the writings of Moliere, which I admittedly have never read.

It was so cool to see and alone worth the train ride and visit to Aix. We went inside the library as well, and it was pretty neat. But nothing compares to the giant Little Prince book.

Three and half hours after we arrived in Aix, we walked back to the train station and headed back to Marseille. While we saw the main things we wanted to in half a day, I would love to go back and stay for a few days in Aix. We really wanted to see the lavender fields, but all the tours were sold out and we didn’t have enough time to rent a car. Luckily, we ended up seeing some lavender fields from the train from Marseille to Lyon.

Adding the library to your bucket list after reading this? Want to celebrate 600 posts? Cheers me with a glass of wine!