The heart of Marseille : the Old Port
For the early outters, the discovery of the fish market on the famous Old Port is a must do ! Iconic place of the city, fishermen come daily at the early morning to sell the fish at the auction. A very typical atmosphere !Looking for a great selfie spot ? Rendez-vous under Norman Foster’s « Ombrière » (shadehouse), a huge mirror ceiling inaugurated in 2013 that has now become the inescapable place.
A must-see : Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica or la « Bonne Mère » (the Good mother)
To get to the basilica, take N°60 bus line from the Old Port or choose fancier way in getting on the Petit Train (included in your Marseille Pass) or Hop on Hop off Cölorbus. As for sportspeople, walking up to the basilica will take a little more than 30 minutes from downtown. Once up there, the climbing is worth it ! The view over the city is breathtaking. The visit of the basilica is free of charge. Decorated withe 19th century ex votos (ship models , paintings, military medals or simple gifts) offered for good fortune. The Notre Dame basilic ais open from 7am to 6.30pm on high season.
Lunch in Noailles
For a gourmet break downtown, new addresses in Noailles district will offer you a large range of places. « La Mercerie » restaurant for a bistronomic lunch, « Chez Sauveur » pizzeria, one of the best place to taste a pizza in the centre, « l’Epicerie idéale », perfect to eat on the go (very tasty !) or maybe « le Bistrot du Petit St Louis » with its retrochic atmosphere and tasty food.
Discovering « le Panier » traditional district
Located by the Old-Port, le Panier district is one of the most picturesque one. Tourists and locals stroll along its colourful streets all year round. Nice place for shopping and discover the traditional craftsmen, culture is also plainly represented with « La Vieille Charité » musuem (free of charge with the Marseille Pass) and the many street arted façades. For a sunny break, le Panier offers plenty of nice squares with terraces such as place de Lenche, place des 13 Cantons (famous for the shooting of « Plus belle la vie » TV soap opera) and place des Pistoles. For the « pétanque » lovers, visit and buy a « triplette (3 boules set) at the must-see « Boule bleue » shop for an original souvenir. As for gastronomy, the Panier offers many restaurants, a lovely shop « les navettes des Accoules.” (famous traditional orange blossom flavoured biscuit). For gourmets, we highly recommend the great artisanal ice cream shop « Le glaçier du Roi » or the chocolate shop “l’Espérantine” using olive oil basis!
The Tourist Office regularly schedules guided tours of ” le Panier”.
Walking around the Major Cathedral and visit Mucem
A stone’s throw from the Panier district, do not miss this important religious building of Marseille also named « La Major ». Less famous than its facing sister, Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, the impressive building designed by Leon Vaudoyer in neobyzantine style dates from 1852. Next are public courts to play the game of « pétanque » (using your newly bought triplette set !) ; below the cathedral, shops and restaurants inside former voults will lead you to « Regards de Provence Foundation » and via the J4 Esplanade to the « Villa Méditerranée », future home to the Cosquer Grotto replica.
The Mucem (Museum of European and mediterranean civilisations) is now one of the iconic building of the city. Open from 10 am to 8 pm in summer (11am to 7 pm the rest of the year), a refreshing walk on the terrace is free of charge. Sunbathe at Saint-Jean fortress and admire the magnificent view over the entrance of the Old Port.
Entrance fee to the permanent and temporaty exhibitions is 11€ and free of charge with the CityPass Marseille.
Trendy dinner in Sainte street
Marseille offers lots of restaurants ! heading to Sainte street, only a few minutes from the Old-Port, you will discover a wide range of bars and various food spots. Tapas at « La Ruche », « La cave à jambon », friendly atmosphere and an authentic one at « Pastis et olives », Provençal food at « Le Caroussel » or even bistronomic one at the « 44 restaurant ». Every taste will be satisfied ! During summer time “La passarelle ” restaurant will offer you a dinner out in the fresh air…