Take in France’s oldest city, a combination of old town charms, thriving café culture and the unique beauty of the Mediterranean Coastline.
Expect a historic bounty in Marseille, a city that blends a long-developed café culture with art, architecture and medieval landmarks. Not limited to history however, the city is home to exotic markets, spacious parks and breathtaking outdoor daytrips. Be sure to bring hiking boots.
Spring into the morning with a coffee at Vieux Port, Marseille’s historic centre. Here, the cafés have spent the last century tinkering with their formulas, perfecting each coffee to an art form.
Explore the nearby Panier, the city’s maze-like old town. Browse historic artefacts at Vieille Charité Museumor discover the stunning Baroque façade of the Hotel de Ville. The Petit Train provides easy access to the hilltop Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, where you’ll find a panoramic view of Marseille.
Join the bustle along the Canabière thoroughfare, the city’s main road and home to galleries, theatres and the magnificent Opéra de Marseille. Nearby, the city’s main tourism office provides event schedules and ticket booking. Step into the Noailles district, which is an exotic experience highlighted by a bazaar-like African market.
For some sun and fresh air, explore the intricately designed Borèly Park. Here, a grand chateau and botanic gardens provide memorable sights, historic items and exotic plants. Take the short walk to Prado Beachor Borèly Beach and enjoy a swim and a drink.
Further afar, the adventurous will delight in a day of hiking or boating around the soaring limestone formations that characterise the Calanques National Park. Combine a daytrip with a boat tour from Vieux Port to Chateau d’If, an island that once held a prison, as memorialised in Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo.
Get around the main areas of Marseille on foot, or use frequent bus and boat routes to the southern parks and more distant attractions. Trains connect Marseille to most regions of France, as well as major hubs in Central Europe. Alternatively, get to Corsica, Sardinia and North Africa via frequent ferry routes.