Travel guide - Marseille
In Marseille, a permanent good mood seems to reign among the city’s inhabitants. From the Cannebière to the Old Port, Marseille lives in a world of its own, as the result of the happy meeting of Provencal and Mediterranean attitudes.
Since it was founded, in around 600 BC, Marseille has been a joyful mess, a Babylon proudly overlooking the Mediterranean.
On your visit to Marseille, you can expect sunshine and beautiful scenery. With exuberance in the Vieux-Port or discretion among its calanques, Marseille is a generous host. And along the corniche, where the azure waters come crashing in, you can look out and admire the sea that is the lifeblood of Marseilles, the Mediterranean.
A theatrical city, Marseille also specialises in majestic panoramas. Overlooking Marseille from the top of a hill is Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, or la Bonne Mere, as the locals affectionately refer to this church. In this authentic region where the air is filled with the cicadas’ song, the districts of Le Panier and Vieille Charité resemble Provencal villages.
Your holiday in Marseille is the chance to discover the capital of the Mediterranean. Visit the MUCEM, a symbol of the great artistic and cultural revival which has gripped the city in recent years. This cultural renaissance echoes the heyday of the Radiant City, and the work of architects like Le Corbusier who demonstrated Marseille’s audacity and inventiveness.
Your stay in Marseille will naturally involve discovering the flavours of Provence, one of the most popular local cuisines in France. Indeed, the sea is Marseille’s lifeblood, and this theme continues in the kitchen. Bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew, is one of France’s national dishes, and should not be missed during your trip to Marseille, just make sure you find somewhere that does a really good one.
Take to the sea and moor up at the Chateau d'If, or visit the islands of Friuli, just a few minutes from the Old Port. Wild and unspoiled landscapes will give you another glimpse of Marseille, the radiant and ever-cheerful city.
With friendly banter and a frank manner, Marseille is an authentic city that is proud of its traditions. The city continues to look out to sea, towards a future that holds out its arms.
For information on all your tourism needs, such as visas, healthcare and useful numbers, make sure to read our Practical Information guide before you go on holiday.Discover our practical information