My beautiful Marseille, a city that suffers so much from clichés (often false by the way) ! Forget for a moment the story of the north-south divide which is, unfortunately, a reality. The sea, the creeks and the proximity of nature are really the strong point of the city, why not take advantage of it? I love this city for its surprising beauty, its hidden corners and its authenticity ! I lived here for a year and I really fell under the charm of the Phocaean city…It’s a city with a soul; the people of Marseille are for a lot of it ! In the street, we laugh, we speak loudly, we argue, we debate: we all live together (with tolerance and benevolence). The inhabitants are adorable and will be delighted to share their love for Marseille with you if you take the first step. Curious to know more?! A quick summary (for those of you in a hurry) of the most beautiful places in Marseille:
One week vacation program in Marseille:
- Walking in the Vallon des Auffes
- Have a picnic at the port of Malmousque
- Stroll in the mythical Panier districGetting lost in the Julian Course
- Visit the Museum for its architectural marvel
- Stroll around the Cathedral of the Major
- See the sunset from friuli island
- Discover the creeks of Sormiou and Morgiou
- Rent a car to the Goudes
- Ascent of the famous Notre Dame de la Garde
- Enjoy an ice cream while strolling on the old port
Walking in the Vallon des Auffes
The Vallon des Auffes is a small port near the beach of the Catalans on the Corniche. Between two cliffs, this pretty port with the charm of Marseille is both geographically close and far from the hustle and bustle of the old port. It is one of the most beautiful places in Marseille and has good restaurants. I recommend Chez Jeannot without hesitation!
Have a picnic at the port of Malmousque
Just after the Vallon des Auffes is Endoume with its coves of Malmousque. A district, adored by the people of Marseille, hidden on the Corniche. I love this place for its simplicity, its authenticity and its human size in this so big city. It is a small fishing port where you can swim by jumping into the sea from the rocks.
Stroll in the mythical Panier district
Discovering the Panier district is a must during your stay in Marseille. I appreciate strolling in the narrow streets of the Panier which is one of the oldest and most typical of the city. You will find small craft stores, designer stores, terraces and restaurants. The neighborhood has many squares, each one as pretty as the other. The place des Pistoles is one of the most beautiful as well as the place de Lenche, one of the oldest in Marseille, the place des Treize-Cantons where you can find the restaurant that inspired the TV series Plus belle la vie.
Get lost in the Julian Course
The artists’ district of the Cours Julien is located in the heart of the city center, 10min walk from the Canebière. It is mainly dedicated to street art, musicians, creators and second-hand shops. It also hosts the Espace Julien (concert hall) and a market of organic products. I advise you to have a drink in a warm atmosphere at the Bar du Marché (15 place Notre Dame du Mont). To do absolutely: go to the Plaine and its place Jean-Jaurès, it is the continuity of the creators’ district!
Visit the Mucem for its architectural marvel
Along the old port is the Fort Saint Jean, a historical monument with free access. Nearby is Le Mucem, designed by Rudy Ricciotti, a jewel of French architecture. I really appreciate the terrace at the top of Le Mucem with a magnificent view of the port to have a drink or relax on a deckchair.
Stroll around the Major’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Major is located between the districts of the old port, the basket and the joliette. Built in a Byzantine style, it is one of the largest churches in France that evokes the East. I then advise you to go down to the docks and discover the halles de la major dedicated to gastronomy.
See the sunset from frioul island
The island of Friuli consists of two islands: Ratonneau and Pomeges connected by a dike forming a port. It faces Marseille and is accessible by boat. Ratonneau is the busiest island. To get there, take the boat at the old port near the Ombrière (the big mirrors on the square). After 30 minutes by boat you will find the peaceful, beautiful and wild creeks. Incredible contrast with the effervescence of the city center.
Discover the creeks of Sormiou and Morgiou
The nature of Marseille is so beautiful. Before spending your day in the calanques, I strongly advise you to check the weather forecast. When there is too much wind the calanques park is closed for security reasons. Avoid in hot weather.
I appreciate leaving early enough in the morning to discover the landscapes with a pleasant temperature in the morning and less people.
I advise you to discover the two calanques through a hike by the Escourtines pass. Count half a day.
Rent a car to Les Goude
In the extreme South of Marseille, in the 8th district, are the Goudes. It is one of my favorite places in Marseille. I recommend you the 20 000 places: a small bar where you can eat a pizza and drink a beer, all in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
I advise you to plan your trip with Waze and avoid peak hours. I insist on this point because I’ve already been stuck for more than an hour… paradise can quickly change.
Ascent of the famous Notre Dame de la Garde
The beautiful Notre Dame de la Garde overlooks the Phocaean city. She is nicknamed “the good mother” by sailors, fishermen and people from Marseille. The steps to reach the basilica are numerous. For the most reluctant, there is a small train leaving from the old port or a parking lot near the basilica.
The view is exceptional all along the ascent. One reaches it by steep streets and the reward at the top, is incredible!
The baroque interior of the basilica is worth the detour.
The little minus is the crowd …
Enjoy an ice cream while strolling on the old harbor
A cool break on the old port? You will find the Amorino glacier with its irresistible artisanal ice creams.
I invite you to discover the walk on the old port through this article.
I hope this article has made you more Enjoy! Love, Peace and Viva Massilia! ?