Over 300 days of sunshine per year.
The best surprise this summer was when I discovered Marseille! I didn’t really know what to expect but I can assure You that it was really a marvelous discover. This city is amazing in more ways than one, why not go there and get inspired!
We had 5 fantastic days in Marseille and we will definitely come back for more, that’s for sure! I’m certain that Marseille or “The Phocaean City” will fascinate You too once You get there!
Marseille is the second largest city of France and the oldest (founded by Greek traders 2600 years ago) in the south of France. The city, which has a reputation of hospitality, is really superbly situated between the azure water of the mediterranean sea and scenic green hills. For sure You’ll get a perception of vacation as soon as You arrive!
Marseille offers a great deal of tourist and cultural attractions which I find interesting. The combination of cultural attractions, shopping, nice dining, cafés, pubs, lot’s of sunshine and beautiful beaches is really awesome.
The city is a Cultural melting pot with a strong identity or “character” and a lot of energy.
Last year (2013), Marseille was selected to be the host of the prestigious event “European Capital of Culture”. During this hectic year Marseille covered hundreds of events and exhibitions and had several millions of visitors.
If You stay in Marseille for just a few days try to visit:
- The Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde (We took the small train from the Old Port area to get there).
- The Frioul Islands and The Château d’If. (Regular transfer with ferry boats down at the harbour).
- Visit the area of The Old Port / Vieux Port. Some days it’s possible to buy fresh fish and shellfish direct from the seamen.
- To eat a Bouillabaisse!! (We had a fantastic meal in a restaurant called La Daurade).
- Taste a Pastis! Make a visit to La Maison du Pastis in the Old Port. They offer heaps of different varieties and they also explain the best way to drink it.
Looking for a beach?
There are several really nice beaches in the Marseille area, family beaches, surfing beaches, sandy beaches, rocky beaches etc. The closest ones are within walking distance (≈25min. from the Old Port), the recompense… a swim in the refreshing mediterranean sea!
The easiest way to reach the area from the city center is to jump on the bus N°82 (only summertime) in front of the Old Port. The bus will make a stop in front of all the beaches close to the coast road (also called “La Corniche”). We took the bus, that sometimes can become packed with people…, several times and we stopped in a different place every day as we thought it was fun to discover new sites.
Another nice thing to do is to visit The Frioul archipelago which is situated 4km from the mainland. Ferry boats leave regularly from the Vieux Port, it takes about 40min. to get to the islands. On one of the islands, the smallest one, You’ll find Château d’If, the same Château d’If You read about in the famous novel “The Count of Monte Cristo” from Alexandre Dumas.
Just delicious! This is the place where You really should order a Bouillabaisse! The Bouillabaisse is a french traditionell soup with fish, shellfish and several accompaniments. My friend and I had a very tasteful one in a restaurant called La Daurade (8, rue Fortia – 13001 Marseille). La Daurade is situated in the dense and very popular area of the Old Port. You better be hungry because the serving is extremly generouse!
Hang outs and places we liked in Marseille.
Pub O’Malleys (9, Quai de Rive Neuve – 13001 Marseille). A crowded and cool place were You can start or finish the evening. I had my first Guinness here…
When I’m searching for a place to stay there are a few things that I always check before making my reservation. For me those three points are really important as they normally will assure a successful stay.
- The situation, central (So that You can walk back within a few minutes in the evening or when needed).
- Clean and proper (I’m always reading some advice from people who stayed at the place before me..).
- Friendly and helpful staff.
We stayed in a 2-star hotel named Europe Hotel Vieux Port (12, rue Beauvau – 13001 Marseille). The staff was very helpful and came with suggestions about things to do during our stay. The situation was perfect, only a 2 min. walk from the Old Port where You find all the cafés, restaurants, pub’s and of course… the crowd.
*Good to know. To access to the check-in level You need to climb some stairs from the entrance/ground floor up to the check-in counter, the elevator only starts from there.
One evening there was an hour of sensual tango dancing just in front of the Opera House. We discovered the happening from our hotel window and of course we went down to have a closer look.
Addresses & Google maps
- Marseille – Département of Bouches-du-Rhône and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region.
- La Daurade – 8, rue Fortia – 13001 Marseille
- Pub O’Malleys – 9, Quai de Rive Neuve – 13001 Marseille
- La Maison du Pastis – 108, Quai du Port – 13002 Marseille
- Europe Hotel Vieux Port – 12, rue Beauvau – 13001 Marseille
- Notre Dame de la Garde -Rue, Fort du Sanctuaire – 13281 Marseille
- The Little Tourist Train – 176 Quai du Port – 13002 Marseille
*how to use the Google map links