Visit Marseille with a professional guide and get the best experience of the destination
Marseille is the oldest French city and proud to be ! It was founded be the Greeks in 600 BC. It is also the biggest port in France and the 2nd city in the country with 1 million inhabitants.
Here you can find the best things to do in the city.
Visit the Panier neighborhood
The original settlement of Marseille was called Massalia in Greek. They were sailors who created a commercial outpost. Their city was located where is today the Panier neighborhood. It is a little rocky hill dominating the Old Port.
This is the only car free corner of the city where a walking tour is truly enjoyable. But it is also a neighborhood where you can easily miss things without a professional guide. We really recommend a guide to explore the Panier.
The Old Port
It is a natural creek which has been shaped into a perfect U century after century. Cars are few and walking space is large on the port. It is very interesting to walk around to feel the atmosphere of the city. Every morning is the fish market on the Quai des Belges.
From Quai des Belges starts the main street called “Canebière”. It is also mostly pedestrian. Formely compared to the Champs Elysées of Paris, this street will lead you to Rue Saint-Férréol : the main shopping street. If you want to taste more local life continue till Noailles.
Notre Dame de la Garde
The basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde is the symbol of Marseille. It is a 19th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary with superb architecture and decoration. It is located at the top of the highest hill in the center of Marseille and offers the best view all over the city. The cheapest way to go there without tiring yourself is by taking the city bus number 60 on the Quai des Belges.
Malmousque is a hidden peninsula facing the islands of Marseille. The neighborhood offers stunning views over the bay of Marseille. Locals are used to enjoy the sea directly from the rocks since there is no real beach in this area except for the crowded Catalan beach.
The Chateau d’If
The Castle of If was built as a fortress to protect the entrance of the bay of Marseille under King François 1st in 1529. The fortress then became a jail that inspired Alexandre Dumas “Count of Monte Cristo”. To visit the Chateau d’If you must take the boat from Quai des Belges on the Old Port.
The Longchamp Palace
Built in the 19th century, the Longchamp Palace is a celebration to water. Indeed Marseille was lacking drinkable water for many centuries and the Longchamp Palace is the end of an 80 kilometer long aqueduct coming from the river Durance. The arrival of water in the city was so necessary for its health and development that authorities decided to built an entire palace to celebrate the power and glory of the French empire.