Last July my boyfriend and I booked a last-minute trip to Marseille in the South of France. We wanted to take a trip to a sunny city surrounded by stunning nature, which was not to far of a flight neither too expensive. Marseille was the perfect place to go.
We flew with Ryanair of Marseille. You can find pretty cheap flights and the city centre of this southern city is easily reachable from the airport. We stayed for a week. This was a bit too long for only visiting the city but since cosy Cassis and the stunning Calanques are nearby a week is the perfect length for a trip to this area when visiting it all.
We stayed in a studio at Residhome, which was located perfectly for us: in Marseille’s multicultural neighborhood. It is a less known area but beautiful with all its colors and smells. Residhome is located at 200m from the Saint Charles‘s train station and subway and on a 10min walk from the Vieux Port.
So what did we do in Marseille? First of all, there are the highlights like you find them in all guides, the Vieux Port, Notre-Dame de la Garde, Cathédrale de la major, Le Mucem (visit this during the day and at night!!), etc. All the things you have to see and yes, they are beautiful! In addition, we love to stroll through the city and come across some hidden squares or resto’s. The area we loved most is Le Panier which is the old city center and it is just lovely. One of the places we really like in this neighborhood is Le Panier a Burgers. Their burgers are delicious and they do have vegan options (ask for them)!
To shop you have to be at Rue Paradis, here you find the chains that you can find all over Europe. In the side streets of this pedestrian zone you can find the more expensive chains as well as little shops with a more original content. But to find the most trendy and original clothes, jewelry and gadgets you have to be at The Docks in the new upcoming part of the city. Here you can find clothes, sportswear, gadgets and a grocery shop. Moreover, Marseille’s most trendy restaurants are located in this ‘shopping center’ which is a work of art itself. We loved this place so much we strolled through it twice.
What we loved most about Marseille? Definitely its Calanques! Although it is seen as a part of the city you totally forget the city’s busyness and rush when you are here. You can only reach the Calanques by foot or by boat, we decided to challenge ourselves and go by foot. Firstly, you take bus 21, 22 or 23 from the city center to the Calanque that you prefer to visit. We took the bus to Le Calanque de Sugiton. Then, we walked downwards to the Calanque. The walk was beautiful but longer than we expected, still worth it though! When you are in Marseille in Summer and you want to visit one of the Calanques, our most precious advise is to take enough water with you. It will be hot and going down will be okay, especially because once you reach the water you can swim to cool off but when going back up the trip will be harder and very hot. But again, it is totally worth it!
A couple of days later we took the bus to Cassis to visit this little coastal city and to hike to some of the other Calanques. Cassis itself was a bit of a disappointment because of the lack of attractions, except from the beautifully painted houses. That’s why we soon took of to the city’s beautiful nature again. This time we hiked to Calanque de Port Miou, Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d’En Vau. On our way back to Cassis we took a detour to Pointe En-Vau from which we could see Cap Canaille. Believe me, the view is stunning! When hiking to these Calanques you have to be aware that there will be a lot of people, however if you take the detour you will be walking alone most of the time.
What do we remember from visiting Marseille? The cosyness of the Le Vieux Port, Marseille’s multicultural appearance and of course the beauty of its nature. A trip to Marseille is absolutely worth it, especially if you go hiking to the Calanques.