Marseille’s warm climate attracts many sun worshippers to its beaches, the most popular being Plage des Catalans. The city itself has many interesting historical buildings, and it’s also an ideal place from which to explore the surrounding villages of Provence. As well as being the birthplace of the famous dish bouillabaisse, Marseille is the most culturally and ethnically diverse French city.
To get a bird’s eye view over the city, visit the Notre Dame Basilica, a 19th century Roman Byzantine construction. From here you can catch a shuttle bus to the port, which trails through some of Marseille’s residential areas.
The Chateau d’If prison, famous for being featured in Alexandre Dumas’ ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, was originally built as a fortress to defend the city and its port. To get there, catch a boat from the Quai des Belges; it’s worth the trip for the views of the mountains in the distance.
Palais Longchamp on Boulevard Montricher is an opulent building with an impressive fountain, and contains an aqueduct which is no longer in use. The north wing contains the Musee des Beaux-Arts.
For culinary delights, visit the Vieux Port, or old port, which is at the heart of the city and where you can sample the local cuisine of fish and seafood.