As France’s oldest and second largest city, Marseille boasts a long, rich history, fascinating culture and bags of personality. But unlike Paris, this French city offers near-constant sunshine, miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a unique and exciting flavour.
You won’t be disappointed by the colourful port, picturesque buildings and world-class galleries on holidays in Marseille. But you’ll be blown away by its breathtaking coastline, dramatic cliffs and hidden creeks. With sandy beaches to explore, coastal paths to cycle and secret coves to discover - a getaway to Marseille is much more that a city break.
The diversity of shopping in Marseille is quite incredible; a short walk can take you from the exclusivity of designer boutiques to the vibrant and energetic food markets. Stroll down Rue de la Tour, which showcases Marseille’s own designers to the Galeries Lafayette department store. Awaken your senses at Rue Longues-des-Capucins food market or peruse the book and music stores of Cours Julien.
As the second largest city in France, the city is steeped in history, from the Musee des Arts Africains in the old town to The J1 Hangar, a converted ferry terminal in the heart of the bustling port area. Marseille’s flagship museum, MuCEM is a ‘must see’ on any trip to the city, as is the futuristic cultural centre, The Villa Mediterranee.
Head to the Chez Toinou at the old port for fresh shellfish or enjoy affordable, imaginative food at central Le Café des Epices. For something different, dine in Le Petit Nice, the only Michelin three-star restaurant in Marseille or go to Vallon for a boat ride, followed by traditional bouillabaisse.
Enjoy an aperitif on the terrace at Le Bar de la Marine or sip cocktails until sunset at Vieux Port’s fashionable bar, Le Crystal. Ascend the grand staircase at Hotel Belle Vue to La Caravelle, a first-floor jazz and tapas bar. This atmospheric bar has retained its 1930’s character and boasts great views of the port.
You may not expect it, but Marseille is home to some fantastic beaches. Sandy Plage des Catalans boasts plenty of facilities, while The Vallons consists of a series of small creeks, perfect for a spontaneous dip. Plage du Prophete is a great spot for families or an impromptu seaside picnic.