City breaks in

Marseille City

A swaggering city by the sea

Choose a holiday to Marseille City, and you'll soon see that France’s second biggest metropolis is having a moment. Once poor cousin to Nice and Cannes, not everyone appreciated Marseille’s earthy vibe. No longer. It’s bonjour to swanky new museums, designer hotels, galleries and stylish restaurants. European Capital of Culture 2013, Marseille City is getting some ooh la la. Get your arty fix at any one of Marseille’s museums and galleries, including the incredible Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. There are also trendy boutiques along newly created tree-lined boulevards. Make the most of that shiny blue sea with a boat trip to one of the nearby islands, or a walk over the limestone cliffs of Calanques national park. With beaches, shopping, sunshine and a buzzy nightlife, there are a lot of things to fall in amour within Marseille.

Your Marseille City questions, answered

Marseille is famous for pizza; bouillabaisse, a two-course meal of fish soup followed by the fish itself; and pieds et paquets – tripe and trotters.

May to August is peak season, during which the city can be crowded. Consider visiting between September and November for a little space.

You can visit many of Marseille's best attractions on foot. For anything else, hop on the metro, tram or the extensive (but slow) bus network.

Best things to do in Marseille City

Spend a morning portside

The old port is the heart of Marseille. Watch the fishermen offload their catch, then grab a seat in the sun at a seafront café.

Hit the beach

Flop down on Plage des Catalans, just a short walk from the centre. Feeling active? Bring a ball and take to the volleyball courts.

Walk around Le Panier

Le Panier is the oldest part of the city, a lovely jumble of narrow streets, pastel painted houses and quirky shops.

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