There are a lot of very upscale boutiques in Aix, but I think Gago has the most contemporary pret a porter for both men and women. Designers such as Prada, Helmut Lang, Tsumori Chisato, Marjolin Van Den Heuvel, and Gucci are included in their collection.
What to pay: Very expensive.
All over Aix, you can find some top line tart shops. Their cakes, tarts and biscuits can be real works of art - with prices to match.
The photo is of one on the Mirabeau, but keep your eyes open and you will see many.
I bought quite a few napkins for the kitchen table as well as dishcloths. The napkins were 6 euros each and were a beautiful linen print. Just so appealing.Great color combinations. The weight and pattern were of a great quality. I also bought a lot of dishcloths for drying dishes which were 10 euros each. Also a great weight and with charming patterns and colors. There is also a nice shop to buy cotton aprons with beautiful block prints for 15 euros almost right across the street from Souleiado, as you descend and head towards the Place de l'Hotel de Ville.
What to buy: napkins, dishcloths
What to pay: 5 to 10 euros each
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.
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.
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.....
Aix is my new favorite place to shop. It's like a mini Paris. I was particularly taken with La Grand Baix with it's designer fashions not seen in the USA. That's where I discovered Catherine Michiels' inspired jewelry. And I was looking for a unique fragrance, which I found at Rose et Marius. The Saturday markets were also not to be missed, especially if looking for lavender products. All of Provence was a delight to shop in, which I wrote about on my blog, http://secondlivesclub.blogspot.com/2013/07/shopping-in-provence.html. I can't wait to return. Now I know where to shop!
What to buy: Women's clothing, jewelry, shoes and perfume
"Rosalie de Montmartre" is a young designer's shop. She makes very original dresses, blouses, skirts, and... wedding dresses !
She imagined a nice colorful shop, where you can admire hand-made clothes, with lace and ribbons.
As she usually does only one per kind, you may need time to see everything...
What to pay: T-shirt are around 25 euros, and count 120 euros for a dress.
Local wine shop specializing in wines made in the immediate region. This place is off the beaten track, a mile on the Cezanne walk to view Mount Victoire. I picked up a local syrah-cabernet by loacal vintner Domaine des Masque which was very tasty. The woman was very helpful although spoke no English. It did not matter with my clumsy French she was able to figure out what I was looking for, all done with excellent (pardon the pun) spirits.
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...
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.
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.
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.
One of the specialties in Provence are the small cake like Calissons. Leonard Parli has the reputation of the best in Aix and his product can be found in many places. However, close to the train station is the Leonard Parli Calisson store.
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.