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Retire in Aix-en-Provence Guide

Retire in Aix-en-Provence with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Aix-en-Provence. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.

Retiring in Aix-en-Provence, France, is a dream for many international retirees. This charming city in the South of France offers a relaxed lifestyle, rich history, and stunning natural beauty. However, like any foreign destination, it comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. From the cost of living to the climate, healthcare, and social life, here’s what you need to know about retiring in Aix-en-Provence.

Cost of Living in Aix-en-Provence

Compared to other European cities, Aix-en-Provence offers a relatively high standard of living. While it’s not the cheapest place to retire, it’s certainly more affordable than Paris or Nice. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around €800 per month, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs about €20. Groceries are reasonably priced, and public transportation is efficient and affordable.


Aix-en-Provence boasts a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The city enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal destination for retirees who love outdoor activities. However, the Mistral wind can be quite strong and cold in the winter months.


France is known for its excellent healthcare system, and Aix-en-Provence is no exception. The city is home to several top-notch hospitals, including the Aix-en-Provence Hospital and the Clinique Axium. Many doctors speak English, which can be a relief for international retirees.

Public Healthcare System

France’s public healthcare system, Assurance Maladie, is available to all residents, including international retirees. However, it’s important to note that the system doesn’t cover 100% of all healthcare costs, so supplemental insurance is recommended.

Residency Options

France offers several types of visas for international retirees, including the long-stay visa and the visitor visa. Both allow you to stay in the country for up to a year, with the possibility of renewal.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Aix-en-Provence is surrounded by natural beauty, from the Sainte-Victoire Mountain to the numerous parks and gardens in the city. The Parc Jourdan and the Parc de la Torse are popular spots for picnics and leisurely walks.


The city is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants serving both local and international cuisine. Some popular spots include Le Formal, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and Chez Feraud, known for its traditional Provençal dishes.

Learning the Language

While many locals speak English, learning French can greatly enhance your retirement experience. The Alliance Française Aix-Marseille Provence offers language courses for all levels.

Local Culture

The locals in Aix-en-Provence are known for their warm hospitality and love for art and culture. The city hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, including the famous Aix-en-Provence Festival, a celebration of opera and classical music.

Market Life

Aix-en-Provence is famous for its markets, which are held daily in different parts of the city. The markets offer everything from fresh produce and flowers to antiques and crafts.

Meeting People and Socializing

Joining local clubs and organizations is a great way to meet people and integrate into the community. The International Club of Aix-en-Provence, for example, organizes regular events and activities for its members.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is another excellent way to get involved in the community. Organizations like the Red Cross and the Secours Populaire Français often need volunteers.

Housing Options

Most retirees in Aix-en-Provence live in apartments in the city center or in villas in the surrounding countryside. The Mazarin district is particularly popular for its beautiful 17th-century mansions.


Aix-en-Provence is a walkable city with an efficient public transportation system. While having a car can be convenient for exploring the surrounding areas, it’s not necessary for daily life in the city.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

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