|Marseille has a lot going for it! It’s a city that attracts all kinds of tourists because of its great variety of things to see and do. There’s the historical connection, as this is after all the oldest city in France; there’s the old harbour, architecture and museums, plus there’s the more cosmopolitan side to this chic Mediterranean city where you’re encouraged to sit back and enjoy the city’s popular cafés and restaurants.
The Old Port
The Old Port (or Vieux-Port in French) is the main harbour for the city and it’s still very much at the centre of life in Marseille, especially for visiting tourists. This is a lovely place to enjoy a walk, watching boats come and go and admiring all the high class yachts moored in the marina. In addition this is one of the top places for restaurants in Marseille. There are many restaurants and cafés lining the port, so whether you’re here just for a drink or a full blown French meal this is the place to come.
On either side of the port, and built to defend the harbour are two huge forts, Fort St Nicolas and Fort Saint Jean, while at the end of the harbour the daily fish market is quite the tourist attraction too.
Landmarks in Marseille
Amongst the older architectural sites in Marseille is the Abbey of St Victor. There has been a monastery here since around the year 415 though the original was destroyed. What remains here now is just the church with its fortified tower, first dedicated in 1040 and rebuilt in 1200.
There are several important and impressive churches in Marseille. Notre Dame de la Garde is one of the major ones and from here at its elevated position you can get great views over the city.
Museums in Marseille
Marseille has both minor and major museums, some of which are contained within its older buildings and may not at first be obvious. Some of the most important museums include The History Museum with a preserved hull of a 6th century boat, said to be the best preserved in the world. The archaeological gardens next door are interesting too, with their ancient remains for the original Hellenic port that was here in Marseille.