THINGS TO DO IN MARSEILLE, FRANCE
THINGS TO DO IN MARSEILLE, FRANCE
Looking to visit the south of France and need some ideas on things to do in Marseille, France. This part of France is a typical definition of an old, idyllic city by the port. The city borders clear waters that gracefully give way to a landscape so luscious with incredible rock formations and it boasts of being the second largest and the oldest city in the whole of France. It is a rich historical tourist destination, so even as you plan your trip to Marseille, exploring the historical landmarks in the region should be on your itinerary.
Apart from the historical landmarks, there are several other things you can do in Marseille that will keep you entertained for the whole period you will be in the city. The rakish character of Marseille tends to give it the dynamism and colour it deserves. You could go from discovering the city’s local crafts to sipping some pastis in the Old Port. The city is a breeze of urban vibes with a touch of traditional traditions that give it an intricate blend of cultures altogether. We have compiled a list of some of the top incredible things to do in Marseille. We spent two days here and we were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was!
STROLL AROUND THE VIEUX-PORT:
The Vieux-Port, also known as the Old Harbour, is probably one of the most popular parts of the whole of Marseille. It is the perfect destination for some sessions of photography with tourists, both local and international flocking to this area all year round. Take a peaceful stroll around the harbour and while at it, grab a bite of some seafood and fresh fish (if this is what you are in to). You can also watch the boat rides at sea. A noteworthy fact is that the sunset during late autumn are particularly pleasant to watch and on certain days there are a number of market stalls selling anything from souvenirs, crafts, meat and fish produce.
ENJOY THE LOCAL CUISINES:
One of the best ways to experience a new city is eating like the locals do. Take a stroll around the city and stop at one of the many eating spots and experience the culinary delights of Marseille. Take a morning run as you make your way to Galeries Lafayette and grab some of the tasty pastries and/or take a slow stroll to the La Canebière. The Old Port is also a great location to try out the freshest seafood in the region – Bouillabaisse, a mix of 5 different types of local fish, served with sauce and croutons, much like a seafood soup. As you walk along the old port, you will see that just about every restaurant offers this local dish. Unfortunately, as we’re not very adventurous with food, we didn’t try it! Maybe one day we’ll work up the courage!
VISIT THE CALANQUES NATIONAL PARK:
The southern and eastern suburbs of Marseille uniquely brush up to the natural beauty of the sea. The Calanques are limestone cliffs that are white in colour and craggy in nature that extend towards the gargantuan and sharply descend to the sea. If you are a hiking fan with an intrepid spirit, then this is the perfect location for you. It could be tiring but the views and scenery are going to make it worthwhile. We saw many enthusiastic hikers while on our boat trip. We experienced a guided boat ride of around 3 hours return through the Calanques and it was truly spectacular.
SEE CHATEAU D’IF:
If you’re familiar with the 2002 film, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo”, then you’ll know that Chateau d’If was used as the prison in the movie.
When taking a cruise from Vieux-Port to the Calanques, you’ll pass this fortress (later a prison).
We don’t know about you, but we always love seeing landmarks that appear in movies.
SEE NOTRE-DAME DE LA GARDE:
While visiting Marseille you cannot fail to spot this magnificent monument that towers beyond the south of Old Port’s skyline. The monument is a church built in the 19th century that is home to a large golden statue of the Virgin. You can head over to the very top of the neo-Byzantine building to have a 360 degree view of the city’s maritime communities. This was meant to be a religious sanctuary and a watch tower too on La Garde. The scenery is more than jaw-dropping. The climb cannot be taken lightly but you can be sure to catch a train from the Old Port making easier on your legs.
Don’t forget, you can also check out more of our travel adventures here.