Experience Marseille Like A Local: 7 Activities To Truly Enjoy The City

Are you looking to fill your next vacation with Mediterranean sun, warmth and colours? Look no further!

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Experience Marseille Like A Local: 7 Activities To Truly Enjoy The City

Are you looking to fill your next vacation with Mediterranean sun, warmth and colours? Look no further! Forget Greece or Italy; your new must-visit summer destination is Marseille. Thanks to non-stop flights from Canada (Montréal), you can arrive in less than 7.5 hours, ready to discover the Phocaean city’s islands, beaches, beautiful sunsets, pizza, and wild evenings.

Bring lots of sunscreen with you, as the climate is sunny in Marseille, with over 300 days of sunshine a year!

Welcome to the Oldest City in France!

The moment you arrive at Marseille Provence Airport, you’ll be greeted with a smile and the charming Marseille accent. The warm, relaxed and easy-going ambience of the Mediterranean will envelop you instantly! In the South of France, they know how to enjoy the good things in life, and this is reflected in the joyous and relaxed atmosphere permeating the region.

Marseille is the oldest city in France, with 2,600 years of history! Strategically positioned, it is the perfect starting point for your adventures in Provence or the Côte d'Azur. And that’s not all: you can even take a ferry from Marseille to Sardinia, Corsica, Algeria or Tunisia!

1. Explore the Vieux-Port during the day or even better, after dark

Discover the charm of Marseille's Vieux-Port, where the architecture, picturesque terraces, and street artists combine to create a captivating atmosphere from the moment you arrive.

Since being named the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Marseille has really highlighted its cultural and artistic assets. Whether you prefer to stroll on land or water, you will not be disappointed exploring the Vieux-Port. At nightfall, the city comes alive with vibrant lights, creating a spectacular scene reminiscent of an impressionist painting.

And to top it all off, don't miss the sight of the setting sun casting its rays through the modern architecture of the Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations).

2. Climb the steps of Notre Dame de la Garde basilica for a 360-degree view of the city

Also called the “Bonne Mère” (Good Mother) by Marseille residents, this magnificent basilica watches over the city’s citizens, sailors, and fishermen.

After climbing the stairs leading to the basilica, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view at an altitude of 157 metres. From this unique viewpoint, you can admire the vast surroundings of Marseille, a sprawling city that covers an area two and a half times larger than Paris.

Take the time to appreciate the beauty of this breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings.

3. Sip a cocktail on Europe’s most beautiful hotel terrace

You don’t need to be rich and famous to enjoy the breathtaking view from Europe’s most beautiful hotel terrace. Make your way to the 5-star InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu’s terrace to drink a cocktail while admiring the view of the Vieux-Port.

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Although the hotel boasts a 5-star rating, the prices of the drinks are surprisingly reasonable, making it an accessible experience for anyone. The terrace, originally part of a hospital and inaugurated by Napoleon III, offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.

4. Visit Le Panier, the oldest district of Marseille

To truly experience Marseille's authentic and creative side, venture to the city's oldest district, the Panier. Stroll through its charming streets and be captivated by the vibrant graffiti and street art that adorn the walls. Embrace the local culture by relaxing on one of the many picturesque terraces and immersing yourself in the vibrant neighbourhood life.

Marseille's beauty and rebellious spirit leave an indelible mark on all who visit. While the city's tumultuous past may have coloured some people's perceptions, today it's the vibrant street art that captivates travellers from around the world. The street artists display their talent in the city’s alleyways, creating an iconoclastic and fascinating atmosphere.

5. Eat pizza in the Vallon des Auffes

Marseille is known for its delicious pizza! For an unforgettable culinary experience, you must go to Chez Jeannot

Indulge your senses with a meal at this restaurant-terrace that not only offers delectable cuisine, but also a front-row seat to Vallon des Auffes, a picturesque slice of paradise with an unparalleled ambiance. Join the locals as they unwind and revel in the charm of this beloved spot at the end of a long day.

6. Sunbathe at Plage des Catalans

Catch some rays at Plage des Catalans! No need for a car or public transportation, as this beach is easily accessible on foot. With its golden sand, Plage des Catalans is the perfect spot to work on your tan and play beach sports such as volleyball. 

On weekends, the beach is crowded with locals who come to swim in the sea. Marseille has more than 15 beaches to choose from!

7. Sail to the Îles du Frioul

Embark on an adventure to the Frioul Islands! When the heat becomes too much to bear, there's no better way to cool off than with a trip to this archipelago located just off the coast of Marseille.

In less than 20 minutes by boat from the Vieux-Port, you can dive into crystal-clear waters and enjoy the sea breeze. Moor on one of the islands to stroll or relax on the beach, dine at one of the charming restaurants-bars or play some pétanque—the options are endless!

Plan your vacation in the South of France!

Marseille is a good arrival and departure point for your stay in the South of France! 

Discover the endless possibilities for exploration in the oldest city in France, from climbing up to the iconic Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, to savouring cocktails on a chic hotel terrace, or taking refreshing dips in the pristine waters of the Frioul islands. With a myriad of activities to choose from, Marseille offers something for every type of traveller.

So don’t wait, plan your vacation to France and contact a soNomad agent to discuss your travel insurance needs.

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