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AixEnProvence, France » City Info » Travel Tips

Aix-en-Provence, simply known as Aix and pronounced as ex, is an alluring, romantic town about 25 km away from the urbane city of Marseille. A visit to Aix is like a step back in time to the 15th – 17th century townhouses, narrow pathways, tree-lined boulevards and bubbling fountains. Besides its stateliness, the city is well known for its foreign students and the great French dressing sense.

Get in

  

By plane

Travellers visiting Aix land at the Marseille-Provence Airport located a 25-minute car journey from the city. The airport is served by UK cities via British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet and other major international airlines such as Air France. A complete list of destinations covered by the airport is found at Marseille Airport (Direct destinations)

By train

There are number of trains those opt to stop at Aix-en-Provence TGV railway station. This option is however explored by tourists who are on a long journey of visiting several places in Europe and Aix is one of the destinations. The Eurostar journey from London's St. Pancras changes stations at Paris, Gare du Nord and Gare Lyon before arriving at TGV. It alone takes about three hours for the train journey to pass through France. You can also book a Eurostar trip from Lille to Aix TGV which takes about four hours.

Get around

(Visit Site)

Aix is comparatively a small city and tourists find it viable to navigate it either on foot or by renting a car. The bus system is also very well-organized, connecting the city with nearby villages and towns. Tourists can avail frequent traveller discounts as well buy multi-pack tickets for the Aix-TGV Station-Marseille trip, at the main bus station. Another way of exploring the city is on a bicycle while enjoying the weather, which makes the whole experience so memorable. It lets you visit the remote corners, small villages and immerse in the sights and scents of the place.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Kevin.B

Tipping

There are no fixed guidelines on tipping in France. Waiters in France are salaried a fixed income which may be monthly or hourly. They are also covered by retirement benefits, paid vacations and health care, which comes from the 12-15% service charge levied in the bill. Since waiters in France don't live off tips, you are not expected pay one, especially if the service is poor. However, you can pay a few extra Euros if you find the service outstanding.

Safety

Aix is a safe city but like any other town some amount of precaution is mandatory on part of the traveller. Beware of pickpockets and thieves and remain alert of your surroundings. Do not leave valuables or important documents in your parked car. While travelling to distant neighbourhoods at night, take taxis from the Rotonde fountain. Also, avoid public parks after dark.

Weather and When to Go

With 300 days of sunshine, Aix can be visited all throughout the year. However, spring and fall are the best months to experience the unforgettable treasures of the countryside and stunning orchards. Tourists throng the place in the summertime to witness the blooming of the lavender fields and attend cultural events, but at the same time, the city, its beaches and the connecting roads can get crowded.

During the winters, the days are pleasant with moderate temperatures. The locals are able to enjoy their peace as there are virtually no tourists. But, it also rains during winters and the bone-chilling mistral winds can force you to stay indoors. Note that, Provence weather is rigidly divided into summer, fall, winter and spring. Since there is no bad time to visit Aix, before you embark on your trip, decide which weather you are comfortable with.

It does get chilly at night in Aix, so it is advised to bring some warm clothing like a long sleeved jacket, mitts and scarf to feel warm.

Emergency Contacts

  • SAMU (medical emergency) : 15
  • Police : 17
  • European emergency line : 112
  • SOS – all services (calling from a mobile) : 112
  • Missing children: 116000
  • Social emergency : 115
  • National centre for emergency calls for deaf and people with hearing problems. : 144

Important Emergency Phrases

EnglishFrench
Accident / Crashun accident
Bleedinghémorragie
Burglar/intrudercambrioleur/intrus
Burnbrûlure
Drowningnoyade (se noyer)
Emergencyune urgence
Explosionun explosion
Firefeu
Floodune inondation
Have Asthmaêtre asthmatique
Have Diabetesêtre diabétique
Heart attackcrise cardiaque
Help meaidez moi
Help!au secours
I am being burgledje suis en train de me faire cambrioler
I am in laborje suis en train d'accoucher
je suis en train d'accoucherj'ai eu un accident
In labor/having contractionsavoir contractions
Injuredblessé(e)
Need a doctorbesoin un médecin (il me faut un médecin)
Need an ambulancebesoin une ambulance (il me faut une ambulance)
Need an inhaleravoir besoin d'un inhalateur
Police Officerun policier
Someone is in the housequelqu'un est chez moi (quelqu'un est entré par effraction chez moi)
Strokeavc (un accident vasculaire cérébral)
The car is on firela voiture a pris feu
The house is on fireTla maison a pris feu
Watch Out!Attention!
Unconsciousperdre connaissance
Very sicktrès malade

Basic Phrases

EnglishFrench
HelloBonjour
GoodbyeAu revoir
Thank YouMerci
YesOui
NoNon
Excuse Me / SorryExcusez-moi
PleaseS'il vous plaît
I don't speak FrenchJe ne parle pas français
I speak a little FrenchJe parle un peu français
Please speak slowlyParlez lentement, s'il vous plaît
Do you speak English?Parlez-vous anglais?
Can you help me, please?Pouvez-vous m'aider, s'il vous plaît?
Train stationLa gare
The AirportL'aeroport
A roomUne chambre
A TicketUn billet
The BathroomLa sale de bains / La toilette
A Public PhoneUne téléphone public