Marseille is a city steeped in history. One of Europe’s most important ports, it is France’s second largest city and considered to be a multi-cultural hotspot. Situated on the south coast of France, Marseille’s weather is an average of 75°F, with its hottest months being in July and August, perfect weather for a quick swim in the sea. There are lots of things to do in Marseille and the surrounding areas. Explore the port and see the local fishermen bring in their daily haul or visit the many museums explaining Marseille cultural history and importance. From Le Panier to le Vieux Port, there are plenty of winding streets to spend your days getting lost in. Then, when you feel like a change from the city, beauty spots such as Aix-en-Provence and La Calanques are just a short trip away.
Situated at the bottom of Marseille’s main street, the Canebière, is the natural port of Marseille. First used by the Greeks in 600bc the area has developed over time to be the historically rich port that it is today. Mostly pedestrianized you’ll find markets regularly and the highly popular MUCEM.
One of the most popular attractions in Marseille is the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, a Catholic church situated 149m above Marseille. The Basilique was completed in 1864 and draws thousands of visitors a year for its intricate architecture and stunning views of Marseille. Although it is possible to walk to the Basilique, many visitors opt to use the local RMT bus.
Once a fort and then a prison, Chateau d’If is a small island located 1.5km away from the port of Marseille. Famous for being the location of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, the island is only accessible by ferry. Tickets cost 6E and can be bought on the day at the harbor.
The picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence, is just 11 minutes away by train from Marseille. The TGV leaves from St Charles train station and arrives into Aix-en-Provence TGV. There are approximately 30 trains and tickets on the day cost approximately €5.09.
A small commune to the east of Marseille, Cassis is just a 20 minutes train ride from Gare du St Charles station and cost €6. From Cassis station you can take bus to reach the beach or the famous Calanques, which are great for hiking.