From the seafront promenade to the picturesque neighbourhood of the Estaque or ancient Massalia, discover the most welcoming and authentic corners of this Mediterranean city. Don't miss the extraordinary views of the sea from the Calanques National Park. Welcome to Marseille - here are the 10 places you just can't afford to miss in this city.
THE NOTRE DAME DE LA GARDE BASILICA
Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica
Both a lookout and place of worship, the Neo-Byzantine Notre Dame de la Garde basilica is a symbol for the city of Marseille and its inhabitants. Consecrated in 1864, the basilica is known affectionately as “la bonne mère” and is topped by a golden statue of the Madonna and Child. The top of the hill affords the most spectactular views of the city of Marseille.
THE OLD PORT OF MARSEILLE (VIEUX-PORT)
The old port of Marseille - Wikimedia Commons - Ingo Mehling
At the very heart of Marseille and opening out the city to the Mediterranean, the Vieux-Port has been its economic centre since antiquity. Nowadays the port is mainly for tourists and is the main meeting point and one of the symbols of the city. It also has historical monuments, as well as the old dock workshops and the lighthouse.
LA CITÉ RADIEUSE – LE CORBUSIER
La Cité Radieuse, le Corbusier - Wikimedia Commons - Michel-Georges Bernard
Work of one of the most famous modern architects, the Cité radieuse is a place where you can really appreciate Le Corbusier's seemingly endless imagination. Also known popularly as the “maison du fada” (“The Nutter's House”), the building is part of the residential concept of modern architecture. Other similar designs can be found all over Europe, but this is the original.
MUSÉE DES CIVILISATIONS DE L'EUROPE ET DE LA MÉDITERRANÉE (MUCEM)
Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (MUCEM)
Designed to be a reflection of the “new Marseille”, this design museum which only opened its doors last year, is meant to showcase the most important stages in Mediterranean civilisations. It also offers a serie of different temporary exhibitions all year round. Don't miss the amazing views of the sea that the museum offers!
LE PANIER NEIGHBOURHOOD
Le Panier - Wikimedia Commons - phgaillard2001
Discover one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods. With its tiny alleyways and colourful walls, take a walk around this typical Mediterranean neighbourhood and treat yourself to a glass of pastis and a game of pétanque in one of its charming little squares. Come visit one of Marseille's friendliest areas!
La Canebière - Wikimedia Commons - Philippe Alès
Marseille's historic high street runs for about one kilometre which will take you to the Old Port of Marseille. It's ideal for taking a relaxing afternoon out to go shopping. La Canebière is known affectionately as the Champs Élysées of Marseille.
THE ESTAQUE NEIGHBOURHOOD
The Estaque - Wikimedia Commons - Irønie
Just next to La Nerthe, you’ll find the picturesque fishing neighbourhood of the Estaque. Visit the bastide and the little houses by the sea and fall in love with this magical place. It was the inspiration for many a famous painting in the past.
THE CALANQUES NATIONAL PARK
The calanques national park
Just outside Marseille, the magnificent coves or calanques have been declared as National Park. The park covers three towns along the Côte d'Azur: Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat. You'll find wonderful natural coves with stunning blue water. A real paradise on Earth you can't miss if you come to Marseille!
THE PALAIS LONGCHAMP
The Palais Longchamp - Wikimedia Commons - Georges Seguin
Come and discover one of Marseille's most amazing buildings. With its majestic fountain, this building (inaugurated in 1869) is one of the symbols of power of Marseille during the19th century. It houses the city's museum of "beaux-arts", natural history museum, botanical gardens and a zoo.
THE FRIOUL ARCHIPELAGO
The Frioul Archipelago
Just off the coast of Marseille, you'll find the Frioul archipelago with its four islands: Pomègues and Ratonneau (the largest islands), If with its famous castle, and Tiboulen. You can get to these unique, historical islands from the Old Port. Don't miss out on this amazing archipelago to discover one of the natural wonders of the Mediterranean.