Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Marseille is the second biggest and top populated city in France after Paris , known as the historical city of ( la Provence ) and is one of the oldest cities in Europe.. It was founded by the Phoceans (from the Greek city of Phocea) in 600 B.C.
Marseille is a real place with real people, not that touristy, yet its airport serves the provence region.
If you talk about Marseille, you talk about colorful markets (like Noailles market) that will make you feel like you are in Africa, to the Calanques (a natural area of big cliffs falling into the sea ), from the Panier area (the oldest place of the town and historically the place where newcomers installed) to the Vieux-Port (old harbor) and the Corniche (a road along the sea) , to the trendy neighborhood ( cours Julien ) to Canebière ( the shopping street of Marseille), Marseille has definitely a lot to offer.
The airport is about 30 km from Marseille, easily accessed by taxis and shuttle buses ( La Navette Aéroport ). An easy way to get to Marseille's city centre. The shuttle leaves approximately every 15-20 minutes, taking 25 minutes and goes directly to the St. Charles bus/train station where you can take the metro or walk to your hotel, or even connect to another city .
Must see in Marseille :
1. Le vieux port / the old harbor : Marseille’s Old Port is one of the most picturesque parts of France’s second largest city. This area has been the hub of activity in Marseille from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, and today it is as busy as ever.
2. Le panier: Marseille's oldest quarter loacted behind the old port , on an uphill, famous for the small alleys , nice artisan shops, ateliers (workshops) and terraced houses . Known being site of the original Greek settlement .
In le panier, it feels like artsy ambience, in a cool hidden squares and sun-baked cafes make it a delight to explore.
3. Cours Julien : the coming and trendiest neighborhood, known for the graffiti all over the street walls.
Located right in the city's center, this is one of Marseille most lively quarters.
After wandering the place , you can have a sip in one of the busy cafes in the area .
In cours Julien, there is an elongated concrete square shaded by palm trees, lined with great bars, cafes and music venues .
4. Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)
Marseille Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and basilica located in the Vieux port ( Old-Port of Marseille)
Known as the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée), the national museum features both permanent and temporary exhibits on history and society
Below image is showing Marseille from top, located on the stairs leading to the Mucem.
6.Massif des calanques : these are massive rocky cliffs and bays in Marseille reaching to Cassis, south-east of Marseille. You can reach there by boat or hiking .
Take the metro to get Rond Point du Prado. From there there are a few buses that take you to different parts of Les Calanques. Take bus line 22 to Les Baumettes all the way to the end (about 20min). Then walk up the road two blocks and you'll find the entrance to the hike.
7.Chateau d’if: off the coast of Marseille, Francis I of France wanted the Château d’If to fulfil three functions: protect the coast from invasion; provide cover for the new royal fleet of galleys, and keep watch over Marseille.
This Chateau is renowned worldwide. since the novel of the famous writer Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo in 1844 wrote that its main protagonist Edmond Dantès is imprisoned at If. Hugely popular, the novel has been translated into most languages and has inspired twenty-three films
Very easy and reliable public transportation, Marseille is served by a very good transit system, the Régie des Transports de Marseille (RTM) / La metropole comprising 2 subway lines, 2 tram lines and 74 bus lines. http://www.rtm.fr/
I downloaded the RTM application for routes and hours, which was so easy for me to navigate in the city.
Main station : Marseille St-Charles links you to top French cities , and to the coastal cities on the Mediterranean
Beaches near Marseille :
Beaches are easy accessed by bus:
Prophète Beach : Located on the corniche, after the Vieux-Port (Old Harbor)
The steady slope into the water allows us to touch the sandy bottom for a long way into the sea,
To get to this beach, take bus number 83 - direction (Rond point Prado ) and stop at Le Prophète. From the Vieux-Port, you will need about 45 minutes to get here by foot.
Le pointe rouge beach :
One of the rare fine sand beaches in Marseille, Plage de la Pointe Rouge south of town was ideal for my kids. The sand is soft and comfortable.
To get there, you can take bus number 83 and exit at the (Rond point) .
Going to Cassis for a full day at the beach :
Easiest and quickest way to reach Cassis from Marseille is by train, cost for 2 way ticket is around 10 Euros.
When you arrive Cassis, after exiting the train cross the tracks via the underground tunnel, make your way to the bus stop in front of train station, take the bus to the end station ( Casino ), exit and walk for 3 minutes to find yourself at the waterfront to enjoy the day.
Plage de la grande mar ( Cassis)
This is a main beach near the town of Cassis. The fine sand is soft, and the pastel-colored buildings of this picturesque village make a great view amid the natural beauty of the coastline. Not quite as touristy as Marseille, the beach at Cassis is slightly less crowded, with a great deal more local charm.
Seafood is everywhere, yet, Marseille is known for la bouillabaisse as this Provençal dish is originated from Marseille.
In its most basic form, bouillabaisse consists of a collection of fish boiled up with fennel and saffron and served, broth first, followed by whole fish. The broth is thickened and flavored with a rouille sauce, a deep red sauce made with peppers and sometimes saffron
Le Miramar restaurant in Vieux port makes the original bouillabaisse perfectly .
This city has too much to offer, these are the main highlights for 2 days in Marseille.
next stop :
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