It may be over 1,500 years old, but Marseille knows how to set trends, from its edgy bars to its world-class museums. There are characterful neighbourhoods, bustling markets to get lost in and plenty of history to soak up.
Things to do in Marseille
Also known as the Old Town, Vieux Port is brimming with charm. A short stroll uphill leads to the historic Le Panier neighbourhood. It's Marseille's oldest district, lined with cobblestone streets, sun-dappled squares and colourful terraced houses.
For Marseille's best shopping, make a beeline for the trendy Republique quarter. Its streets are lined with elegant Haussmannian buildings that house everything from stylish boutiques and French perfumeries to artisan chocolatiers and gourmet patisseries.
Housed in a modern building, the Musee des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee is the grandfather of Marseille's museums. Inside you'll find a treasure trove of artefacts and anthropological exhibits. You can also stroll across the dizzyingly high footbridge to the 13th-century Fort St-Jean, which commands sweeping views over the Mediterranean.
Lined with trendy bars, hip tattoo parlours and ethnic restaurants, Cours Julien is the beating heart of Marseille's multicultural scene. The square is surrounded by colourful graffiti murals that give it an edgy feel. The palm-lined square hosts weekly markets, including flowers on Wednesday, second-hand books on Saturdays and vintage stamps on Sundays.
Getting around Marseille
Marseille is serviced by a metro, tram lines and an extensive network of local buses. You can also take advantage of the city's bike-share scheme, with rental stations dotted across the city. Marseille Provence Airport is around 25 kilometres out of town, with the drive taking around 30 minutes.