Marseille (and Aix-en-Provence) : Travel Guide & Best things to do

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Marseille is the second most populated city in France, nestled in the south coast of the country. Surrounded by the Mediterranean sea, Marseille enjoys great weather, good food, and rich history. The city has a great affection for art and graffiti with many of its buildings covered with paintings and statements from artists.




My Favourite Moments

1. Calanque d’En Vau

This is not only one of my favourite moment in Aix-en-Provence region, but also one of my favourite activity of the year. I took an early train to Cassis (which is only a few minutes away from Marseille), and from there walked through three different calanques: Calanque de Port Miou, Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d’en vau. The Calanque d’En Vau was definitely the most beautiful of them all, but also the hardest to get to. Luckily, these areas are not plagued with touts, shops or sellers of any kind. This also means that it is a good idea to take food and water with you!

2. Marseille: Cours Julien

Cours Julien sits slightly away from the main tourist areas. I love to refer to this area as the artistic quarter of Marseille since the streets are surrounded by beautiful graffiti art, and outstanding restaurants and cafeterias. It is no wonder that you tend to see so many locals in this area!

3. Marseille: Fort Saint-Jean

Built in 1660, the Fort Sain-Jean is a fortification in Marseille at the entrance of the Old Port. Entrance to the fort is free, and also includes access to the impressive MuCEM.

4. Marseille: Vieux Port

The old port of Marseille has been the natural harbour of Marseille since antiquity and is now the main popular place in Marseille. It gets quite busy here, and there are often some buskers entertaining the streets of Marseille.

5. Marseille: Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

 Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (often called ‘the good mother’) is located on a limestone peak of 149 meters and 13 meters. Unsurprisingly, the basilica is one of Marseille’s top tourist attractions. As it sits on a high hill, visitors who are unable to manage the little hike to the top can catch the little tourist train that shuttles passengers betweel the Old Vieux Port and the mountain top.

5b. Bonus: View from Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

The view from the Basilique is as stunning as the basilica itself!

 

Top Tips

  1. Accommodation: The price of accomodation varies according to the location. While Vieux Port is the main tourist area in Marseille, it is worth considering trying to find a bed-place in the artistic quarter of Marseille. Not only is this area generally cheaper, this is also where locals gather around to meet and mingle (and it is also home to beautiful street art). I stayed in this area using AirBnB and costed me just €25 a night. Use this link to get €18 off on your first AirBnB experience!
  2. Getting around: Marseille’s major attractions are all within walking distance to each other. There are also efficient metro and buses going around every corner of the city.
  3. Bakeries: Bakeries are not only one way to save money, but also a great way to taste genuine and fresh local delicacies. 




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  • November 8, 2016, 1:54 pm  Reply

    Very nice overview of marseille! i have been to nice this year, loved the coast and the food! france is amazing!

    • November 9, 2016, 9:12 am

      France is indeed amazing! Haven’t had the chance to visit Nice yet, but it is certainly on my list 🙂

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