picture of Marseille a city in France

If you are taking a business or leisure trip to Marseille for the first time, then you would want some information about the city as well as what you can do. Knowing beforehand where you can lodge and what to eat, will save you a lot of time when you are Marseille. This article will provide you with all the information you will need to enjoy your time in Marseille.

About Marseille

Marseille is the administrative seat of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and Bouches-du-Rhone department. The area of the city is 241 square kilometres, while its metropolitan area extends to 3,173 square kilometres. The city has the reputation of being the biggest port for cruise ships, freight, and commerce in France as well as France’s biggest Mediterranean coast. The city is France’s second-biggest metropolitan area.

Also, Marseille was the European Sports Capital and European Culture Capital in 2017 and 2013 respectively. Some of the matches played during the Euro 2016 and World Cup 1998 were hosted in Marseille. The economy of Marseille is majorly powered by its port, high technologies, services, companies, as well as tourism and attractions. 

And a fun fact about Marseille, the port in Marseille was a significant part of the French Empire as it linked France with its colonized countries in North African, which  included Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. The city of Marseille is mostly warm between April and October while it is cool between November and March.

Why you should visit Marseille

There are several reasons why you should visit Marseille. We would like to provide you will all the reasons why you should visit Marseille but we prefer to provide a small selection of why you should plan a trip to Marseille and the rest will be for you to discover!

New Fantastic Museums

Considering the vibrant culture and long history of Marseille, the city hosts world-class art galleries and museums. You can explore the Musée d’histoire de Marseille to browse through the chequered history of the city. You can also find exquisite nice sixteenth to nineteenth centuries pieces of art in the Musee des Beaux-Arts. 

Also, you could decide to visit the Muséum d’histoire Naturelle de Marseille that boasts 8,000 rocks and minerals, 20,000 plant specimens, and 80,000 animal specimens. 

Finally, the MuCEM or Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee is the newest and very exciting museum in the city.

History of Cavalcade

Marseille was founded about 600 BC by the Greek, the Romance captured it in 49 BC while it was revived by Provence counts in the tenth century. Over time, the city has always been a strategic and important port in Marseille. It hosts the busiest port in France and holds the reputation of being the second-largest city in France. 

Many items that depict the history of France can be found all over the city. You can begin from the Vieux port which is the city’s oldest port, where you will find the Musee des Docks, which is where the Romans cited their shipping houses.

Bouillabaisse’s spiritual home

Whenever you visit Marseille, you should not leave without trying the Bouillabaisse . Initially, it was a means of utilizing scraps of seafood and fish that could not be sold. Over the years, improvements and refining of the dish has made it become the city’s symbol.

There are now five various types of bouillabaisse that include spider crab, red scorpionfish, conger eel, red mullet, and rockfish. So, if you want to experience Marseille, you can not leave without trying Bouillabaisse.

A sort of Africa in Europe

Considering that Marseille is a port city, the city has been a melting pot of culture. Compared to other cities, Marseille contains more cosmopolitan than other French cities as well as a more radical approach to its policies that are influenced by immigrants and traders that passes through the ports. 

Also, when considering that it is one of the major ports that is closest to Africa, it has also attracted a lot of Africans and has been influenced by Africa. You could feel the African influence  in the city by looking at the south side of the harbour. In some ways you will feel Africa in Marseille, especially with the warm breezes from North Saharan Africa, the flavours of spices and herbs sold at the market, the sizzling grills on the streets as well as the mosques’ call for prayers.

Hot spots Marseille

If you are visiting Marseille, there are some parts of the cities that you should definitely visit include Musee d’Histoire de Marseille, Chateau d’If, Calanques national park where you can enjoy scenic boat tours and nature walks, MuCEM, Pe Panier, Vieux Port, Basilique Saint-Victor and Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. 

Also, don’t forget to include Cathedrale de la Major and Vieille Carite.

Culture of Marseille

Marseille has a rich historical and cultural heritage. It is reputed to be France’s oldest city and when walking through the streets and taking simple glances, you will find various buildings in the city that were built across different eras.

There are many attractions and events you can visit to learn more about the culture of certain area in Marseille. Some of these attractions include local perfumeries, Marseille soaps, and the petanque game.

Best restaurants in Marseille

When it comes to food, there are various restaurants scattered around the city where you can settle down to eat. Some of the top restaurants in Marseille include Topas Rojas, Tapas La Picadita, Chez Ida Restaurant Karaoke – Cours, La grivoise, Aux Antipodes, La Table de l’Ours, Le Bistro Du Panier, Twist Avenue, O’Bidul, Le Panier à Burgers, Bistro 13B, Le Poule Noire, AM par Alexandre Mazzia, Bistrot O’ Prado, Lacaille, Restaurant l’Inattendu, Chez Marinette – Restaurant Marseille, Maison mv, L’Arôme, and L’Epuisette.

Best hotels in Marseille

There are many hotels in Marseille where you can lodge during your stay in the city. Some of the best hotels where you can book at night for less than 250 USD include Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port, Hotel Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port, Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port and InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu.

Things to worry about in Marseille

Generally, Marseille is a safe city. However, there are some areas you should avoid. These areas are mostly outside the tourist areas so you wouldn’t have any reason to go to those areas in most cases. 

However, the tourist areas attract pickpockets like in virtually every city in the world. Thus, you should be careful with your valuable belongings. Some of the restaurants also sell overpriced food to tourists, so you might want to read up on any restaurant before reserving a table, also, always confirm the prices on the menu before ordering meals.