Favourite things to do in Marseille

I spent 5 wonderful months in Marseille in 2008-2009, here are a few of my favourite things to do:

Stroll along the old harbour, possibly buy a fish for your supper or on a Saturday a bouquet of flowers.

Have a cup of coffee and a macaroon – the big ones are fantastic! I personally think they are the best in the world! – in a tiny Patisserie Ines just between the harbour and the Opera. (93 rue Paradis, 13006 Marseille, France), See UK Tripadvisor.

Have tapas at Dos Hermanas in one of the small streets off Cours Julien

Walk up from the old harbour, and have a walk in the small streets of the market around Noailles tube station.

If you are in to football, watch a match of l’OM at Stade Velodrome

Visit l’abbye St. Victoire, and go into the fascinating crypt. For more info, have a look at their site: http://www.saintvictor.net/

Take the bus from Vieux Port up to Notre Dame de la Garde to admire the view of the town, and then walk back down.

Stop at Le Four des Navettes, and taste a navette – the hard orange water biscuits of Marseille. They’ll last for months, so buy some to take with you home.

Take a walk in the small alley-ways of Le Panier behind the town hall, on the right of the old harbour, if you are facing the water.

Visit the museum and cafe in La Vielle Charité, a beautiful building designed by Pierre Puget

Look for beautiful ceramics in the streets in front of around La Vielle Charité, I especially admire, Tassara‘s decorative tiles, but there are lots of little workshop and galleries around.

LePanier is also the home of a famous French TV-series – Plus Belle La Vie, but you will have to find their merchandise shop yourself.

The street (rue Caisserie) behind the town hall and parallel with the harbour – walk up the stairs – has a selection of cafes, restaurants and a take a away pizzeria (and certain days a week a pizza van). Near the end you find a small square (Pl de Lanche) with a view of the harbour and more places to eat and have a drink.

Walk down Rue de la Republique and end up by the Docks, old industrial docks that were built to handle the merchandise to and from North Africa, and now have been redone as offices and shops. They are about to be re-renovated, but I don’t know what will become of them.

In 2013 Marseille-Provence will be European capital of culture, so there will be even more things to do. Have a look at the official “avant” programme to find out more about what is going on in the lead up to 2013.

Guides to Marseille:

Guardian Travel

Lonely Planet – BBC

If you want pictures from Marseille you can have a look at my Marseille set on Flickr

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If you have the time, it’s lovely to head out either to Cassis (by boat from the old harbour) or Aix-en-Provence (best bet is by bus from the main station). For either a small harbour town with lovely walks (even if crowded in the summer) along the sea or a beautiful bourgeois university town, with charm, fountains, shopping and great crepes…

Guides to Aix-en-Provence:

Lonely Planet – BBC

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Karen Melchior

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