Marseille Airport is fairly close to the centre of the city and hiring a car here is a great way to explore further afield.
Areas such as the Old Harbour are simply unforgettable, but a visit to the cathedral and some of the beautiful churches are certainly worthwhile. There are some natural sights to explore within a reasonable driving distance away, so make the most of your trip to Marseille and see it all.
Things to See in Marseille
The Old Harbour (AKA the Old Port) should be your first stopping point. Soak up the fantastic views and marvel at this bustling port still used by fishermen today. You can catch a boat to Château d’If, a fortress situated on one of the islands of the Frioul archipelago. Once a prison, it was the setting of the famous book, The Count of Monte Cristo.
The Basilique de Notre-Dame de la Garde is a highlight. Due to its hilltop location, you can survey the city from here too.
La Panier is a real treat for those who enjoy viewing historical areas. Amble along the streets and look out for the beautiful examples of architecture such as Maison Diamantée and Hôtel Dieu. Perfect for a spot of retail therapy too, there are some great shops to head into here.
If you do wish to dip your toes in the water at Marseille, find your favourite beach and spend some time relaxing. Plages de Bonnevein, Plage de la Pointe Rouge or Parc Balneaire du Prado are all good starting points. Parc Borely is also nearby and great for a saunter around.
Make sure you see the Porte d’Aix on your trip, then head to La Canebière and wander along the historic high street. Noailles, a vibrant market is also close by.
Day Trips From Marseille
Les Goudes is not far from Marseille and provides a selection of great beaches, and a variety of shops and restaurants. Stop by and sample some Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew, whilst you are here.
The Calanques found along the coast are home to a variety of flora and fauna. You can drive along certain parts during the summer months, or even arrange a boat trip to get the best from your visit. Once you are finished here, visit Cassis which is home to several beaches on which you can relax including La Plage de le Grand Mer.
Aix en Provence is only a short drive away. Saunter through Cours Mirabeau and enjoy the wondrous fountain here. Littered with fantastic examples of architecture, a day spent here will not be wasted.
Toulon has a fabulous medieval centre, perfect for further exploration. Look for Tour de l'horloge and Place Puget and then stroll along the promenade.