Marseille is an old city, with plenty of things to do that will keep visitors entertained for many days. Marseille is a never dull city boasting a glorious coastal location, spectacular weather, exquisite food, and vibrant multicultural population. Tourist-friendly attractions, countless cultural centers, fabulous restaurants and stunning views all make France’s second largest city a highly appealing destination.
Marseille is the capital of the Delta of Rhône and Provence, which barely borders the Côte d’Azur. Absolutely a top city to visit when staying in Nice or Cannes. Getting there is easy for tourists who can admire beautiful sights of Marseille.
In Marseille, you should stay for at least a weekend. After all, it is the second largest – after Paris- city of France. However, if you do not have time for this, and you are on the Cote d’Azur, give it at least 12 hours.
It is worth taking a walk through an old and damaged but very artistic streets to the Romanesque style cathedral la Major. Nearby, you will also find La Vieille Charite, a baroque chapel with an arcaded building that once served as a hospice. Today there are museums and cultural centers. From here you can move to the Old Port of Marseille in search of food and shelter from the heat that can be tiresome especially in summer.
From the Old Port, you can either walk or travel to the Notre Dame de la Garde, which stands on the 162-meter high hill of La Garde, overlooking the city. This place must be seen while in Marseille – you can see it from a distance and has a spectacular view on the whole town and the nearby islands. Going back down, it is worth a visit to the Abbey of Saint Victor – one of the oldest religious places in France and Europe.
Marseille is not only about Olympique Marseille and mentioned before monuments. When visiting Marseille it is worth seeing as well:
- Island of If and castle of If with the famous prison where the Count Monte Christo, the hero of the novel by A. Dumas, was incarcerated,
- Longchamp Palace with its surrounding park put by the Ministry of Culture on a list of “important French gardens”. The palace itself was built to commemorate the construction of a canal supplying Marseille with water,
- Sainte-Marie lighthouse (Phare),
- Numerous museums, including MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization),
- The famous soap factory of Marseille,
- Le Corbusier building.
Specialty of Marseille
Whilst France in general might be known for its elegant and sophisticated cuisine, Marseille is particularly known for its pastis – an anise-flavored aperitif – and its abundance of fresh seafood. Marseille has its own local dish to try. I’m talking about the Bouillabaisse fish soup that can be ordered in many places popular places in the Old Town and in marina. When being in Marseille, it is definitely a dish worth trying.