no alt text

Bucket list experience:

The audience of an opera performance on stage, sat in tiered open-air seating

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Founded in 1948, this international festival of lyrical arts, dedicated to opera and classical music in particular, is one of the most prestigious in France.

Each year it attracts top singers, as well as the likes of Les Arts Florissants, the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra – although more contemporary works are performed as well, some specially commissioned for the festival.

Concerts, along with an elite array of masterclasses, take place in beautiful historic venues in and around Aix-en-Provence.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: July
Duration: 1 month

Getting there & doing it

All events are ticketed. Tickets go on sale on the festival website on February 1st and sell out fast – so buy ASAP. Tickets can also be bought at the Boutique du Festival ticket office, next to the cathedral in the Palais de l’Ancien Archeveche, or at FNAC superstores.

The main opera venue is the Theatre de l’Archeveche in the courtyard of the Archbishop’s Palace, while concerts take place in the Cathedrale St-Sauveur and other glorious buildings in and around Aix. The furthest out, the Theatre du Grand Saint-Jean (10km north), is linked by a free shuttle from La Rotonde.

Various special discounts are available for under 30s and for children. Arrive on time for performances, or face lock-outs until the intermission.

When to do it

The festival tends to run for a month from the end of June.

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[0.7 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[0.8 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:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Provence, France

Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.

Website >
Overview >

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

Wine harvest at Les Pastras [grape stomping]

Wine harvest at Les Pastras [grape stomping]

Cadenet, Provence, France[24.8 miles]

An organic farm in the Luberon run by a French-American couple that offers the chance to experience a traditional French wine harvest, including a tour of the farm, lessons in cultivation, and the chance to stomp on the grapes. Weekdays only.

Best for ages: 13+ | £50 | 3 hours

Website >
Overview >