Travel to the Beautiful Marseille with TourFrance.com
Built by the Phoenicians in 600 B.C., the beautiful French city of Marseille is one of the oldest cities in Europe. With over a million and a half people of different cultures and social backgrounds living in this metropolitan area, Marseille is a true melting pot. It is a living and breathing example of the complexity in trying to define the modern French culture, now stretched out to accept fashionable economical elites, North American immigrants, Comorian people and many others. Marseille is therefore an extravagant, colorful, noisy mixture of languages, clothing, languages and styles.
But for those travelers who will not be intimidated by the city's extreme attitude and untamed character, Marseille holds many treasures waiting to be discovered. It stands in sharp contrast to the Paris area with its big shops and made-for-tourist sites. In this magical port city, the people are real, and they offer an authentic view of France as you've never seen it before.
Take a walk on the old road which stretches along the ocean or visit the the old harbor (called Vieux-Port by the locals) and feel your lungs with salty, fresh air. Don't miss the fish-auctions where the fishermen promote their freshly fished merchandize and enjoy the view from the Pharo Palace. If you walk towards the East you'll encounter a small fishermen village named Callelongue and from it you can explore the Calanques, a coastal area full of small fjords and scattered cliffs, half dipped in the sea.
If you are tired of natural views and crave for a more human experience, visit one of the local markets. In the Noailles bazaar for example, you can mistake yourself for being in Africa. This area surrounds the Noailles sub-way station and it has a fascinating combination of Indo-Chinese, French and Arabic influences, all blended and altered by each other.
In old times, fishermen used to come to the church of Notre Dame de la Garde and ask their boats to be blessed so they will be safe at sea. Nowadays you can still admire the ancient power of this magnificent structure and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.
If you're seeking to try out the local entertainment visit la Place Castellane. It is not much more than a roundabout with an impressive sculpture rising in its center, but it offers some lovely small restaurants, bistros and cinema theaters. Another area that offers coffee shops, fashionable stores and places for leisure are La Plain and le Cours Julien. The Plaine market is at its peak on Thursdays and Saturdays and offers a fun experience, even if you're not out to buy anything.
There are many other things to do in the city - museums to visit, old churches to admire and lovely old-town areas to see, but we cannot cover all of them. For more information regarding Marseille, try the official Marseille-Provence.com or any of the many other online resources.