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Marseille, the city on the Mediterranean sea, is the second-largest city in France. Known for its gritty exterior, it has undergone a transformation in recent years, with a substantial renovation of its Vieux Port (Old Port) and downtown to take its place amongst the other top tourist destinations in France.
If you don’t have much time in Marseille, there’s still a few things that you can squeeze in such as: Mucem, Vieux Port, Le Panier, Notre Dame de la Garde and Prado Beach.
How to Get to Marseille
The easiest way to get to Marseille is by high-speed train. It is a mere 3 hours away from Paris. If you drive, it will take around 8 hours from Marseille. There is also an International Airport, with direct flights from London, Amsterdam, and other major European capitals.
The city has a new metro system, and a good network of buses. If you have a car and want to drive, get a good GPS system because a lot of the roads in Marseille are one-way streets and getting around can be tricky, even for the locals.
Where to Eat in Marseille
Le Bistrot du Panier // A classic French bistro in the heart of the charming Panier.
La Poule Noir // A French Mediterranean restaurant, in the heart of the Vieux Port, with an elegant atmosphere and classic dishes from Provence.
O’Bidul // A classic French restaurant near the Vieux Port, where the quality of the food is excellent.
Tapas Rojas // A Spanish tapas restaurant with excellent drinks, near Longchamps Palace (a park).
La Rocha // A Lebanese and Armenian restaurant with a terrasse on Prado Beach.
Things to See in Marseille
Vieux Port // The heart of the city, the Old Port is a must. With a large ferris wheel in the center, boats galore, a ton of bars and restaurants, this natural harbor has been the heart of the city since 6 BC.
Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (known as Mucem) // Mucem is Marseille’s newest attraction, having been opened in 2013 when Marseille was designated the European Capital of Culture. It is open up to 8pm in July and August, and up to 7pm at other times of the year. Check opening hours before you head over.
Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral // Overlooking the Vieux Port from the top of a cliff, the Cathedral is not the easiest to get to by bus, but the views are worth it. It is open to 18h30 in the evening, but you can still see the view from the outside after it is closed.
Prado Beach // If you’re looking for a beach, head over to the Prado. It is the largest beach in Marseille, with several restaurants and bars directly and a festive atmosphere at any time of the day or night.
Le Panier // The oldest neighborhood in Marseille, Le Panier is right next to the Vieux Port. With its narrow cobblestone streets and charming little squares, you’ll feel like you stepped back in time.
Also check out:
- Bilbao, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Copenhagen, Denmark After 5:00 pm
- Sol Area of Madrid, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Brussels, Belgium After 5:00 pm
- Dubrovnik, Croatia After 5:00 pm
- Nuremberg, Germany After 5:00 pm