Marseille has always had a bad reputation in France. In the world, too. As a port city, and in the Mediterranean, mafia and drugs have been connected in the subconscience of Frenchies for… too long.
Things do change, though, and although some older (and more conservative) people in France will still make a funny face when you talk about Marseille, it has now become a beautiful, hip city that you should not miss out on.
A city of mixed flavours
With the mix of cultures found in a Mediterranean port city, and most evidently in an already multicultural country like France, Marseille has a bit of everything. It has great gastronomy from the south of France and amazing blends with Nort-African cuisine, Italian influence never being too far.
The city itself is full of history and plenty of places have been renovated and give way to many hang-out areas in the centre and elsewhere. The small streets of the old fishermen settlement behind the city hall, or the alternative neighbourhoods of Nouailles and Cour Julien, give a romantic taste for any visitor of the city.
The views from Notre-Dame de la Garde, covering the entire city, are breathtaking – although climbing up on a sunny day needs to be timed with the earliest or latest time of the day. The coastline, which is all walkable and truly close to the centre, with the Plage des Catalans being the closest beach. The southern sector “La Plage”, with long sandy beaches and many watersport options. And of course scuba-diving, which is a delight in the many islands near Marseille.
The region is beautiful and accessible with public transport, a short train ride away from cliffs and beaches and coastal little villages.
And Marseille in itself is a gem of culture and events, with music and art playing a big role. Discovering Marseille and breaking some stereotypes is one of the best things I ever did.
As in previous posts, I created a map to help you navigate through the city and help you discover what makes this city so special and charming.
The map is created with Mymaps by Google. To open it with google maps, go to:
- Your places
- Select your map (if you opened my link before, it should appear there too).
- It should appear overlaid on your google map, with your position included if you have GPS/internet.