4 days in Marseille!

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Day 1 : The Marseille highlights

 

Morning: Take the little tourist train to visit Notre-Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the guard) Basilica and enjoy the panoramic view over Marseille. Proceed with a boat trip to the If Castle island,  famous prison of the Count of Monte Cristo and the islands of Frioul or sail to the Calanques National Park and enjoy the exceptional bay of Marseille and its breathtaking landscapes.

Afternoon: Visit of the Mucem, National Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations opened in 2013, and discover the suburb ‘Le Panier’, the oldest district in France with its historical monuments: the Cathedral of the Major, the Old Charity, its narrow streets looking like a village with its handcraft shops (navette biscuits, olive oil chocolate, soaps, ceramics…).

Evening: Enjoy a Provencal restaurant around the Old Port, then to extend the evening, continue the party on the Old Port or on a rooftop at the Friche Belle de Mai or at the Terrasses du Port.

Day 2: Discovery of Marseille’s traditions

 

Morning: Visit of the daily fish market on the Old Port of Marseille in the heart of the city, then, walk up the mythical Canebière street to the Longchamp Palace, a majestic water castle which houses the Fine Arts and Natural History museums. Continue the visit to the Cours Julien, bohemian and street Art district to admire the graffitis and have a lunch on the square while tasting a pastis or a glass of rosé wine from Provence.

Afternoon: Visit of a Marseille soap museum and create your own soap during a workshop near the Old Port. Then, visit of the New Marseille in the Euroméditerranée district with its new buildings designed by renowned architects: The Regional Fund for Contemporary Art by Kengo Kuma, the CMA-CGM tower by Zaha Hadid and La Marseillaise by Jean Nouvel. And finally, discover the trendy and lively shopping areas: Les Terrasses du Port with its sea view promenade or the Docks Village building

Evening: Savour a traditional bouillabaisse in a restaurant on La Corniche, a seaside road or in the small fishing port of Vallon des Auffes located a few minutes away from the city centre.

Day 3: UNESCO heritage and nature (south of the city)

 

Morning: Visit of the Cite radieuse of the world-known architect Le Corbusier listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its rooftop and its flat. Continue to the Orange Vélodrome and discover the stadium’s backstage area.

Afternoon: Hiking or diving in the Calanques National Park and enjoy the beaches, the sea and the sun! Or visit the Château Borely, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Fashion near the Prado beaches, or the Museum of Contemporary Art [mac].

Evening: Nibble some tapas while listening to music in one of the food markets in the city centre or enjoy Provencal specialities in a restaurant on the Cours d’Estienne d’Orves near the Old Port or in one of Marseille’s many small fishing ports.

Day 4: The surroundings of Marseille and unique activities

 

Morning: Book a guided tour or an excursion in Provence via the Marseille Metropolitan Tourist office and Convention Bureau. For example, take a yoga hike or a via ferrata in the National Park of Calanques, hike in Marcel Pagnol’s hills towards La Treille village, or visit the Cassis village and its wineries. Eat lunch by the sea or in the Old Port.

Afternoon: visit a traditional Marseille boat-making workshop at the entrance of the port to learn more about local know-how. Continue with a visit to the park of the Pharo Palace built under Napoleon III for Empress Eugenie and enjoy a spectacular view of the Old Port of Marseille. Finish off the day with a game of pétanque with a typical aperitif at sunset in the historical district.

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