Mini guide to Marseille
Marseille is a bustling, always fascinating city unlike any other in France, and
is a wonderful place to visit. It is a down-to-earth yet cosmopolitan port town
with a trading history going back over 2,500 years.
The Vieux Port (old harbour) is especially colourful, compensating to an extent
for the dreary industrial dockland nearby. It is here where you can find the
majority of the historically interesting sights of the city, as well as the
area of La Canebière, the bustling heart of Marseille. As you'd expect
with such an influx of immigrants from far off shores, there's a plethora of
restaurants and cuisines.
There is so much of interest around Marseille that having your own transport
is essential. The beaches at nearby Cassis are an easy jaunt along the D559
and there are some beautiful parklands nearby also. The glamorous resorts of
the French Riviera should not be overlooked, and the coastal roads offer some
stunning vistas on the way.
Located 770kms south of Paris on the Mediterranean, Marseille is France's second-largest
city but actually occupies twice the amount of land space of Paris. The population
here surpassed that of Lyon in the early 1990s and today there are over a million
inhabitants. Marseille enjoys scorching hot Mediterranean summers and mild winters.
The city has both prospered and been ransacked over the centuries. It has lost
its privileges to sundry French kings and foreign armies, recovered its fortunes,
suffered plagues, religious bigotry, and republican and royalist terror. It
was the presence of so many Marseillaise revolutionaries marching from the Rhine
to Paris in 1792, which gave the Hymn of the Army of the Rhine its name of La
Marseillaise, later to become the national anthem.
Marseille is a regional air and rail hub, and there are flights here from all
over Europe, including several daily from Paris. Another attractive option is
arriving by high-speed TGV train; trains from Brussels or London go via Paris.
Driving is also straight forward with just the A6 and A7 motorways to follow
Selection of hotels in this region:
Mercure Marseille Prado
Holiday Inn Marseille
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking