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Bucket list experience:

The exterior of Saint Saveur gothic cathedral seen from the ground on a sunny day

Last updated: 10 May, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Aix’s medieval cathedral is packed with treasures. Foremost among these is its recently restored masterpiece, the intricately detailed triptych of The Burning Bush (1476), painted by Nicolas Froment for Provence’s King Rene. It also contains a striking 6th-century baptistery and a tiny but exquisite 12th-century cloister, as well as beautifully sculpted doors.

The adjacent archbishop’s residence contains a fascinating tapestry museum, containing 17th- and 18th-century tapestries hidden there during the French Revolution, and only rediscovered in the 1840s.

The cathedral is a national monument, with architectural elements stretching back to the original Roman Forum of Aix, on which the cathedral was built. Later renovations include Romanesque and Gothic elements. The elegant columns in the baptistery, which was built in the 6th century, were probably from an ancient Roman temple that stood on the same site. The famous 16th-century walnut doors, sculpted with sibyls and fantastical beasts, are protected by wooden panels, which may be removed by request. Ask one of the volunteer guides.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Visitors may wander the main building freely, but the cloister and gardens are only accessible with one of the volunteer guides, who are on hand to help.

When to do it

The cathedral is open all year round, seven days a week.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Grand Hotel Roi Rene

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.4 miles]

Stylish hotel with a swimming pool and gardens, in walking distance of lovely Aix-en-Provence. Great for those self-driving around Provence.

Official star rating:

Hotel Cardinal

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.8 miles]

A handsome 18th-century townhouse, furnished with traditional Provencal antiques and full of 18th-century charm, in the heart of Aix-en-Provence.

Official star rating:

La Maison d’Aix

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.9 miles]

Cutting edge interior design, welcoming touches and an intimate number of guests converge in this luxurious, boutique townhouse hotel – perfectly located in the centre of Aix.

Official star rating:

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Aix-en-Provence Festival

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.1 miles]

Founded in 1948, this prestigious international festival of lyrical arts, dedicated to opera and classical music, takes place in the picturesque setting of Aix-en-Provence.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free | 1 month

Cezanne’s Studio

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.7 miles]

The studio where French artist Paul Cezanne painted – evocatively preserved, as if he had just put down his brushes.

Best for ages: 13+ | £6

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

pretty town square with market stalls selling food
Experience

Place Richelme Food Market

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.3 miles]

Each morning, Aix hosts one of Provence’s best markets, overflowing with the freshest fruit, vegetables, herbs, meats, seafood and cheeses from local producers. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, it expands tenfold and includes a massive flower market.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Website >
Overview >
External view of the beautiful golden stone building
Experience

Caumont Centre d’Art

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.7 miles]

This magnificent townhouse (1715), a beautifully restored hôtel particulier, features lavishly furnished period rooms, an exquisite garden, a film on Cezanne and temporary art exhibitions; a good stop for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner too.

Best for ages: 18+ | £12

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Overview >

Granet Museum

Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France[0.9 miles]

A must for any art lover, this museum holds one of Provence’s top art collections, including works by Cézanne, Rubens, Rembrandt, and the Collection Planque.

Best for ages: 18+ | £5

Chocolate-making at the Puyricard Chocolaterie
Experience

Chocolate-making at the Puyricard Chocolaterie

Puyricard, Provence, France[6.5 miles]

Visit the most famous chocolate factory in Provence, just outside Aix in Puyricard, where you can go behind the scenes in their atelier or spend an afternoon at a hands-on chocolate-making workshop.

Best for ages: 6+ | £8

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Overview >