Things to do in Marseille
Things to do in Marseille include visiting gorgeous Mediterranean beaches, eating at wonderful restaurants, shopping in a variety of unique districts, and generally enjoying the rich cultural traditions of this city that is over 2,500 years old. It is difficult to pinpoint the top things to do in Marseille since there is such a wide variety of activities and attractions to choose from, but most would agree on a general list when it comes to visiting or seeing the most significant monuments, districts, and landmarks, as well as the natural beauty of the city, including the Mediterranean coast and resort towns like Cassis.
Seeing major tourist attractions like the Palais Longchamp and Parc Borely, and visiting the surrounding areas of the calanques, Cassis, and Chateau d’If are among the most popular things to do in Marseille. The fact that the city is located on the Mediterranean Sea means that you will have breathtaking views around every corner, not to mention excellent food that is caught fresh every single day. It should go without saying that eating, drinking, and relaxing are among the most popular things to do in Marseille. You will be able to enjoy many of these amenities along the way, whether on a guided or self-guided tour. Some of the main attractions you should consider putting near the top of your list besides the above mentioned couple include the Basilique du Notre Dame de la Garde, The Marseille Cathedral, and Le Panier.
One of the best Marseille things to do is enjoy shopping in areas like the Vieux Port, hanging out in the trendy Cours Julien area, and seeing what the local vendors have to offer at the multitude of open-air markets and artisan stands. You will not only be able to find amazing Provencal food and beverages in the streets of Marseille, but also everything from designer clothing to souvenirs and trinkets. Most of the shops close down for something akin to siesta during the afternoon, but stay open a bit later into the night. There are exceptions to the rule, like at the more commercial shopping centers like the Centre Bourse, which features over 60 shops. The best shopping take place in the streets and independent shops of this city.
One of the top things to do in Marseille, especially for first-time visitors, is to take time to enjoy the slow pace of the café and restaurant scene of the Vieux Port and the other popular places around the city to experience the best of the local French gastronomy. Restaurants and cafes alike position their storefronts in order to allow guests to enjoy views of the harbor while taking in a meal or perhaps just a glass of wine or cup of coffee. You will also find a range of independent restaurants and cafes tucked behind the major streets of the Vieux Port. After you have checked out the Vieux Port, you may want to consider a trip to the chic and trendy Cours Julien area where there are more places to experience great food and wine. All of the residents of the city know that the best Marseille things to do are the simple things in life, and you can enjoy them around every corner.
The city comes alive in a number of ways in the city of Marseille at night. Depending upon your specific areas of interest, you should have no problem finding something interesting to do for everyone in your group. There are night clubs and pubs, wine bars and fine dining restaurants, and chill bookstores and cafes where you can simply sit outside and enjoy a drink while people pass by. A walk through the town and the harbor to see the lights of the city and the docked boats is also a quite pleasurable experience. Taking it nice and easy and experiencing the slow pace is one of the best things to do in Marseille for some, while hitting it hard at the clubs is the preference of others. Luckily enough you will find it all in this third largest city in France.
Marseille enjoys a fantastic position on the Mediterranean Sea. There are a variety of beaches in and around Marseille where you can enjoy a number of water sports and activities including the Plage du Prado, the Plages Escale Borely, and the numerous unfettered beaches of Cassis.
Marseille celebrates a variety of exciting festivals and events each and every year, from the Carnaval celebration in May to the Festival de Marseille in June and July. The events calendar is literally loaded down with alluring activities, from film and music festivals to art exhibitions and periods of religious observation.