The Vieux Port is full of restaurants.
It is also where the people of Marseilles meet up during big events: we ‘go down’ to the Vieux Port to celebrate OM football victories, accompanied by the sounding of car horns and blaring of trumpets; there are even some who go as far as diving for joy into the water!
It is also the ferry departure point for trips to the Islands and to Château d’If
The Hôtel de Ville dates back to the end of the 17th century and it looks out over the Vieux Port and the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde.
Not far from here, there is the ‘Maison de Cabre’ , dating from 1535 and the oldest residence in the city. It survived even the destruction caused in the area during the war in 1943.
Go and see the Musée du Vieux Marseille, housed within the Maison Diamantée, 2 Rue de la Prison , not far from the Town Hall.
Opposite the Town Hall is the famous Théâtre de la Criée, (it actually did used to be a ‘criée’, a fish market), where you can often see ballets by the French choreographer and dancer, Roland Petit.
Among the numerous surrounding businesses, you can still find, opposite the pontoon, the original ‘Bar de la Marine’, famous for the card game scene in Marcel Pagnol’s ‘Marius’.
NOTRE-DAME DE LA GARDE
The most beautiful place in Marseille.
There are numerous votive offerings to be seen inside the Basilica, attesting to the history of great religious fervour among the people of Marseilles.
Bus n° 60 from Cours Ballard – to the left of the Hotel.
Whilst out strolling in the Vieux Port, turn back to the Town Hall and take the FERRY BOAT (around €2) to the Quai de Rive Neuve
- Quai de Rive Neuve
- Fort St Nicolas
- Palais du Pharo – beautiful view over the Vieux Port
On your return, make a detour to the ABBEY OF ST VICTOR, one of the oldest monuments in Marseille, built over the tombs of the Christian martyrs of the 3rd century, and most certainly over the tomb of Saint Victor, a martyr of the Roman persecution, around the year 304.
Don’t miss taking a look at the relics around the Palais de la Bourse or in Place Charles De Gaulle, where some new and important discoveries have recently been made.
There are several museums to be visited, including :
The MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations)
The MuCEM, successor to the national Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions in Paris, stretches for more than 40 000 m²; from the restructured Fort Saint-Jean, to the former port terminal J4, and through the Centre for Conservation and Resources in the Belle-de-Mai area,
The Marseille History Museum, 2 Rue Henri-Barbusse -13001 Marseille
Tel: (00 33) (0)4 91 55 36 00
The Musée du Terroir Marseillais in Château-Gombert – Provençal crafts and traditions.
Musée Cantini – Important fauvist and surrealist collections, as well as post-war artworks – Modern Art
19 Rue Grignan -13006 Marseille
Tel: (00 33) (0)4 91 54 77 75 – Fax: 04 91 55 03 01
Musée Borély – Museum of Decorative Art, Ceramics and Fashion
134 Avenue Clot Bey – Château Borély -Parc Borély -13008 Marseille
Tel: (00 33) (0)4 91 55 33 60 / (0)4 91 55 33 63
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Palais Longchamp – left wing -13004 Marseille
Tel: (00 33) (0)4 91 14 59 30 – Fax: 04 91 14 59 31
Musée d’Art Contemporain – 69 Avenue de Haïfa - 13008 Marseille
Tel: (00 33) (0)4 91 25 01 07 – Fax: 04 91 72 17 27
Take Route D559, ‘La Gineste’, taking you through the garrigue. Spectacular views as you leave Marseilles and looking down over Cassis.
Whilst in Cassis, go and see the Calanques.
LA ROUTE DES CRETES
Leaving Cassis, take the road for La Ciotat, then take the first right on to the Route des Crêtes. The road climbs up as far as Cap Canaille (10%), then winds its way along the cliff tops.
LE CASTELLET VILLAGE
A very pretty village full of little medieval streets (Marcel Pagnol chose this setting for his film ‘The Baker’s Wife’).
Numerous artisan workshops.
AUBAGNE and LA TREILLE
Discover Marcel Pagnol’s favourite haunts – Musée des Santons
Sainte Baume Cave.
SAINT-REMY-DE-PROVENCE, LES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE, FONTVIEILLE (Moulin de Daudet)…..
FONTAINE-DE-VAUCLUSE, ISLE-SUR-LA-SORGUE (Sunday flea market)…..
AVIGNON – THE PONT DU GARD, NIMES, ARLES, SAINTES-MARIES-DE-LA-MER, ST TROPEZ…..
METRO & BUS
St Charles Station Metro Line 1 from the Vieux Port (direction La Rose), 2 stops
Gare Maritime Bus 55 (outside the hotel) to the Joliette metro station, then Bus 35
Notre Dame de la Garde Bus 60 from Cours Jean Ballard
‘ La Major ‘ Cathedral Bus 55 (outside the hotel)
Four des Navettes + Abbey of St Victor Bus 61 or 55 from Cours Jean Ballard
Plage des Goudes + Musée de la Faïence Bus 83 (Vieux Port) to the Statue of David, then Bus 19
Plage de l’Estaque Bus 55 (outside the hotel) to the Joliette metro station, then Bus 35
Parc Borély Bus 83 (Vieux Port) to the Statue of David
Calanque de Luminy Bus 21 (Centre Bourse) to the end of the line
Palais Longchamps Bus 81 (outside the hotel) direction St Just, or Tramway (Cours Belsunce), to Longchamps
Le Corbusier Metro Line 1 (direction La Timone) to Castellane, then Bus 21
Château Gombert Metro Line 1 (direction La Rose) to the end of the line, then Bus 5T
Aubagne Village Metro Line 1 to the end of the line (La Timone), then Bus 40
Parc Chanot Bus 21 (Centre Bourse) to Rond-Point-du-Prado
Palais du Pharo 20 minutes on foot, or Bus 83 from the Vieux Port
Cinéma Prado Metro Line 1 (direction La Timone) to Castellane, then along Avenue du Prado
Plan de Campagne shopping centre Coach from the Gare Routière, direction Aix-en-Provence
Bonneveine shopping centre Metro Line 1 (direction La Timone) to Castellane + Metro Line 2 (direction Dromel) to Rond-Point-du-Prado, then Bus 45 (direction Marseilleveyre)
La Valentine shopping centre Metro (direction Timone) to Castellane , Bus 50
Grand Littoral shopping centre Bus 97 (Centre Bourse) to Notre-Dame-Limite, then Bus 96