Flower Market: Take Time To Smell The Flowers
This is a beautiful display of flowers. It is worth walking back here just to look and smell, if not to buy. I prefer the market at Place de l'Hotel de Ville
Everyday from 9am to 12:30
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville and Place des Prêcheurs
The website below will give you all the information you need.
What to buy: Flowers
- Women's Travel
PLACE AUX HUILES.....: NOSTALIGIA
This sweet shop has a gigantic collection of SPECIALITIES.....
Olive oils which you are invited to taste on little pieces of bread.....afterwards the oil of your choice will be put in a bottle...
There is oil with all kinds of hebs and plants in it, also several kinds without these additions....but there is more: LAVENDER products, soap, bath gels, apéritifs anisés de Marseille, HONEY from the Provence.....and more, to much to mention here....
This shop is a real MUST.....
MICHEL: INTERESTED IN HANDICRAFTS??
MICHEL is the name of a PAPETERIE WHICH IS A GREAT PLACE TO SNIFF AROUND....
They sell everything concerning HANDICRAFTS BUT ALSO HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF splendid calendars AND OF COURSE I BOUGHT 2: THESE WILL MAKE ME THINK OF Aix and the PROVENCE....month after month ..... which makes you want to go there again!
Looking for postcards ?? This is the place to buy them.
Bread at the market
Ok now I am very serious about this !!
Bread is sacred in France. But very good bread has become very rare.
I buy my bread at the market of Aix en provence ONLY and store it in the freezer.
If you go to the market you MUST try some of the Olive bread and the Chestnut bread.
The baker is situated not far from the café la Madeleine. He is an Algerian and his name is OMAR. Try to make an effort to find him, his bread is really excellent.
What to pay: Bread : about 5€ / kg
- Family Travel
La boutique Tintin: For TINTIN fans
There are very few of Tintin Shops. Aix en provence has got one. You can find all kinds of items such as clothes, essay books about Hergé's work, Tintin scenes re-created in 3D, stationary, etc...
What to pay: Unfortunately , apart for the post cards, it is quite an expensive shop.
- Family Travel
The picture here gives a few of the numerous streets where you can shop. As a matter of fact, the whole historical centre of the city holds hundreds of shops of all kinds. From provencal fabrics or earthenware to expensive brand clothes.
What to pay: Aix en provence is a very expensive town. Many shops are "prestigious" for cosmetics or women clothes for instance. So don't expect to make deals there. You will find some really nice items though.
- Family Travel
Bechard: Calissons d'Aix
There is, on the Banks side of the Cours Mirabeau, a really nice Calissonerie - that is, a shop that makes the traditional Aixois sweet, the Calisson. You can buy these little almond flavoured diamonds all over Provence, but I really like this shop. There is a lot of choice for sweet things - chocolate olives, all that - but the Calissons are the main thing, so if you want to get someone a really nice pressie, get the some Calissons. Now, the shop in question is called Bechard, but it matters not a whit, for it is very pricey and you can get them anywhere. So voila.
Compact club: La musique
Cds, DVDs, this is where I used to come ALL THE TIME. they have most of the new titles in by artists from around the world, not just France, and they have a great second hand section downstairs, where I picked up many a rare CD that I had hitherto not yet found even in London.
Virtu@lis: Internet cafes
There are a few internet cafes in Aix, but i used to go to the comfy, friendly one on rue des Cordeliers, Virtu@lis. It's never cheap in Aix for this type of thing, and at almost 3 euros an hour this place is no different, but the computers are generally fast.
The markets of Aix-en-Provence are one of the things that make this such a colourful place. My local one, at Encagnane, was on about three or four times a week (with Friday being the biggest day), selling not only fruit and vegetables, flowers, fish and other foods, but clothes and second-hand goods. The most popular Aix market is the one that straddles the town every Saturday, based around the Place des Pecheurs and all of the streets approaching. This is a vibrant sensation of colour and aroma, busy with locals and tourists stocking up for the week. You can buy anything, but i recommend you get some of the paella from the huge vats some vendors have - it is divine!
Every few weeks or so there are also many craft stalls that congregate around the Rotonde, which last all weekend and are definitely the place to pick up a kitsch souvenir, if you dare.
And in the Place de l'Hotel de Ville every other Sunday is a big book fayre, just the place to pick up that old French atlas you've been after.
What to buy: If you are off on a daytrip, get yourself a roast chicken, and maybe some sausage, and there's your lunch. Stock up also on 'fougasse', a wonderful bread snack which can come with olives, or anchovies, or tomatoes, or whatever you fancy.
Fanny Fanny Fanny: Fanny Fanny Fanny
What a great name for a shop! Of course, it means different things to Americans than to British. Nevertheless, Fanny Fanny Fanny, situated on the cours Mirabeau, is a popular shop for locals. Every year they hold a "Miss Fanny" competetion. Generally they sell clothes, women's undergarments mainly.
Discount Photo: Where to develop photos?
So you have film you must develop, but most places are expensive, right? And to get doubles is a load of money better spent on a meal, right?
Go to Discount Photo, on rue Espariat. I went there almost weekly - they knew my name and everything - because of the good value. A set of doubles is FREE, you can get gloss or matt, you can have the 'marges' - the white borders - free, and all for under nine euros, which is the cheapest in town. For all that? I'm actually saving my film from the Grand Canyon in the USA for when i go back to visit Aix, JUST SO I can develop them here.
They offer you a carte de fidelite at this place, and man, am I fidele!!!
Michel: Art for all, wall of art
So you want to paint and draw in Provence, eh? Aix is great for that. There are lots of art students here from all over, so therefore ther are lots of art shops. My particular favourite though is Michel, on the Cours Mirabeau. Here you can get everything for every type of art, as well as cards, diaries, postcards, calendars, that type of thing.
See here the Wall of Art at my appartmnent, a collaborative effort which brought colour to our kitchen...
Book-in-bar, Librairie de Provence, Goulard...: Books, books, books
Being a student town, and a former home of Zola and others, Aix is a great place to get books. In the Place de l'Hotel de Ville there is a book market every other week on Sundays. Second-hand books can also be picked up at a place in Rue des Tanneurs (I forget the name).
But for first hand books, I don't think they come much better than Goulard. With two entrances (one on cours Mirabeau, next to Quick), this shop is a lot bigger than it seems from the outside. Foreign language books can be found, and all the travel books - of which there are plenty - are downstairs.
Just down Mirabeau is the Librairie de Provence, not as neat as the Goulard, and with more magazines and BDs.
For anglophone books, the best place is Book-in-Bar, a small cafe-cum-bookshop on Rue Joseph Cabassols. It is friendly, has some second-hand books, hosts events, has a WC, and customers can play a game of chess, if they desire.
And for more English (or even German) books, go to Paradox, at Rue du 4 Septembre, in the heart of the Quartier Mazarin.
Geant, Super U, Casino, Monoprix...: Les supermarchés
So you want to go shopping? Here are my tips!
For those on a budget who dont want mind a tatty store, go to ED - it's near the Rotonde post office at Place de Navrik. But beware, they do not have hand baskets, and the queues are long and tiring.
then there is Monoprix, on the Cours Mirabeau. Much more upmarket, but it sells clothes and fancy goods as well as food (found downstairs). this place, thankfully, does not close for lunch.
Casino, a larger supermarket at the end of Avenue Bonaparte, has a wider selection of food and a pretty good fish counter.
Super U is another choice, down Ave de l'Europe - for those trekking to the hostel. This one closes at lunch, though.
Out of town slightly are th hypermarlets - Geant is nice, easy to get to by bus and has everything. Carrefour is a little further out, and though open until ten, the buses do not run there at night.
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