It is difficult to write briefly about this impressive and interesting capital of Provence. Marseille is the second-largest city in France and the most populous after Paris. An ancient city that saw a lot did a lot, and still remains one of the most interesting and attractive destinations in France. The city was founded 2,500 years ago by the Greeks as a commercial port city and was home to Romans, Celts, French, immigrants, and seafarers. It was part of the kingdom of France that rebelled against the revolution, the home of a large and ancient Jewish community (about 75,000 Jewish residents today), and a place where countless religious, political, and social upheavals took place, making it a city full of storytelling stories.
Today the city enjoys a combination of old and new: between bustling markets and hipster cafes and art and nature, from archeology and vessels from the 3rd century to modern art by Andy Warhol, from ancient basilicas and cathedrals to excellent shopping in almost every corner.
Marseille combines large and luxurious hotels with rustic and nostalgic accommodation options. The hotel rates in the city are among the highest in France and are very similar to those in Paris, especially in the sought-after 3-4 star hotel segment. It is advisable to choose a hotel that is close to the city center so that you can walk and get anywhere on foot. In addition, it is very advisable to request a room on a high floor, because the view from the hotels in the city is beautiful and unusual.
The main tourist sites next to which you will probably prefer to stay are La Cathedrale de la Nouvelle Major and La Paneier district. You should also stay in hotels in the areas of La Corniche – Stade Velodrome and Vieux Port – La Canebier.
As a lush port city, the home of Provence, and the place of immigration of many immigrants to France, Marseille abounds in traditional, contemporary, local and multicultural cuisine. In the city, you can find hundreds of restaurants, from prestigious and Michelin-starred to home breweries and food stalls for foodies with ten fingers. In the city, you will find a rich variety of seafood and fish, grilled meats of various kinds, kosher restaurants for the benefit of the large Jewish community, large markets for free or guided food tours, and more.
The popular dishes in Marseille are Bouillabaisse soup which is considered a delicacy and was born as a result of finding a solution for fish not sold that day and also Neapolitan pizza courtesy of veteran Italian immigrants, Moroccan couscous in Tajine, and lots of other delicacies that create an excellent Mediterranean French celebration.
The ancient port of Marseille is a successful starting point for city excursions. It is a colorful, vibrant, beautiful experience, with plenty of restaurants and cafes, clubs, shows, and parties. There is an underwater tunnel, which will connect you to the other side of the harbor. By the way, there is also a famous Ferris wheel located next to the harbor and you should get on it for a ride.
The beautiful Roman palace contains courtyards and an interesting water tower. In its area, you will also find the Museum of Arts and the Museum of Nature.
In Marseille, you can find quite a few basilicas and cathedrals. St. Victor’s Basilica is the oldest in the city and was built on an underground hall built in the 5th century AD, which was a church and a monastery. Inside the fortified basilica are underground tombs and ancient coffins. This is an impressive architectural structure that is well worth a visit.
A must-see site for your visit to Marseille! It is the highest point in the city, from which one can gain a stunning view of the entire city and port. At the top of the tower is the gilded statue of St. Mary and next to it is the bell. Inside the basilica, you will find models of boats and ships, spectacular decorations, and stained glassworks.
This is a very worthwhile amusement park, built entirely in the style of the Wild West. The name of the park is derived from the name of a famous gunfight in 1881. The invested family park will allow you to participate in riding and rodeo, amazing battle reconstructions with players, and facilities for all ages. In addition, there is a camping site within the park for those interested.
The residents of the city are proud of their football and enjoy a home stadium for the Olympic Marseille team, which has been renovated and expanded courtesy of FIFA to about 67,000 seats. In addition to football, the stadium also hosts rugby matches of the national team.
The Le Panier district is the ancient and mysterious quarter of Marseille. It is built on the ancient Greek city established here in 600 BC and its appearance is reminiscent of the most picturesque and authentic villages in Provence. In the district, you will find small galleries, boutique shops, and of course good cafes.
This impressive and free fortress offers a stroll between the fortifications and its perimeter park in front of a wonderful view of the sea. Two bridges connect the citadel to the excellent La Penier district and to the MuCEM Museum which is famous for its special appearance.
You were looking for a good place for shopping. Here you will find the sweet and tie-dyed bohemia that comes to visit the fashion stores. The street is one km long, from the old port. Along with it, you will also find lots of restaurants and cafes.
Fans of “The Count of Monte Cristo” – this is a must-see trip for you! The cruise, which departs from the old port, takes only about 20 minutes to the nearby island with the famous Eiffel Fortress and the famous Monte Cristo prison. Here all the enemies of the empire were imprisoned and the prison became a creepy and creepy myth. Here is also based on the story of Alexander Dumas, the Count of Monte Cristo who over the years has become a favorite of filmmakers.
This is the trendy and new area of Marseille and you will find a variety of nightlife, a great market, bookstores, children’s playgrounds, cafes, amazing murals on the walls, and a vibrant and young atmosphere.
The city boasts a huge number of museums so we recommend some of them: the Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (Musee des Civilizations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee) which deals with Mediterranean European culture, the MuCEM Museum (Musée d’histoire de Marseille) for the city’s history Early to date, the Muséum d’histoire Naturelle de Marseille which displays over 80,000 different animals, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Fashion (Musée des Arts décoratifs) which displays original models from all the major fashion houses in the world and the Museum of Mediterranean Archeology (Musee d’Archeologie Mediterraneenne), which displays ancient and ancient archeological finds from the area.
If you are traveling in Marseille with the kids, this is the place to go. A small, central park, with lots of sports playgrounds: wooden houses, climbing walls, omegas and lots more.
Like all (almost) French cities, Marseille is less recommended to enter by car. It is advisable to use the city mainly in the developed public transportation system and save the vehicle for trips out of the city and for the rest of the trip in the Provence region. The car rental can also be used for a trip to the French Riviera.
It is worthwhile and desirable to travel to Marseille by public transport and enjoy high availability and maximum comfort. Underground, buses, trams, and taxis are available throughout the day. Some bus lines also run into the night. In addition, you can travel by train and from there travel to other areas in France and Europe in general.
When renting a car, please note that you must return the vehicle after it has been fully refueled. In Marseille and France in general, a vehicle that returns to the rental agency that is not refueled will carry heavy debts and many drivers fall into the trap with this matter. If you have had an accident, you must report it to the police and the rental company and fill out an accident report. Please note that the deductible may reach thousands of euros.
Marseille Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city center and is called Marseille Provence Airport. This is the main field in the Provence region and although it is relatively small, you will find all the services you will need to pass the time until the flight: cafes, restaurants, food machines, ATMs, free internet in all terminals, slot machines, paid computer stations and of course not bad fruit. You can get out of the field to Marseille by public transport or a rental car.
From Israel, there are several direct flights to Marseille via Rainier, El Al, and Air France mainly. The flight lasts about 4 and a half hours by direct flight. El Al’s flights depart all days of the week except Tuesday and Saturday. The flight arrangements of Air France and European airlines, along with low-cost carriers, usually include a stopover in another French city (usually Paris), or in a particular European city. From there you can continue to Marseille. Out-of-season tickets can be found back and forth at prices of $ 300-400, which of course may go up during the peak season.
To reduce prices, it is advisable to opt for low-cost flights. The low-cost revolution brought with it a new set of services and pricing that allows an open and accessible sky for anyone who wants to fly abroad without being left with a hole in their pocket. Companies such as Rainier, Pegasus, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Lot, and others fly from Israel to Paris Although you will have to give up the comfort of the flight, in practice, they will allow you to travel with a much larger budget. Beyond that, you should know that the longer the wait at the stopover destination, the lower the ticket price.
Another option is to fly to the city of Nice, which is about a two and a half-hour drive and has its own airport. You should check the ticket prices for Nice and compare them, because the flight there may end up costing less. From Nice, you can reach Marseille by rental car or train.
The weather in Provence and the capital is relatively comfortable. The climate here (unlike cities like Paris or Strasbourg) is Mediterranean and lighter, which may be ideal for those who want to hike in winter.
The most recommended months for a trip to Marseille are the transition seasons and the summer months. The city is not too hot but sunny, very comfortable for walking outside and pastoral. And yet, it should be remembered that in summer the city is crowded with tourists and therefore its hotels and accommodation prices go up. The transition seasons in this context, remain at their regular prices and are also less full of tourists. It is advisable to visit the city by the end of November at the latest because then the temperatures drop and the rainy season officially begins.
And another way to decide on the times of arrival in the city is through events and festivals that take place here as usual. Marseille excels in a huge selection of activities, performances, and exhibitions so you should keep up to date with what is happening here and incorporate your arrival. A unique event is held here in July every year – the International Petanque Championship. Petank is a common game of throwing iron balls, the purpose of which is to approach a small wooden ball (“pig”). The nearest ball gives its owner the victory. The event gathers about 150,000 tourists to the city who gather for the tournament.