Start your day in this beautiful harbour which is also the birthplace of Marseille. Considered by many a focal point for tourists it’s definitely a great place for understanding the true essence of city and observing bot the locals and one of the most iconic monuments of Marseille that appears so many times on the postcards of Marseille: Notre-Dame de La Garde.
Imagine Oxford Street but with a more relaxed vibe and then you’ll see one of Marseilles’ most emblematic streets: La Canabière. The amazing view of the Old Harbor at the end of the street makes this place great for shopping even for people who don’t like to shop!
Notre Dame de La Garde
This catholic basilica is considered one of the most important landmarks of Marseille. Visible from afar, this basilica is located at the highest natural elevation of the French city, making it the perfect place to have a panoramic view of the city and also to spot the Chateau d’If and the îles du Frioul.
Hard Rock Cafe
This is not exactly a landmark of Marseille but it’s so close to the old harbor that it’s almost impossible not to stop there. Besides, it’s on a a small square making it a very pleasant place to have lunch!
Now, for those of you that are visiting Marseille on a budget here’s my tip for you: bring some sandwiches from your hotel (or accommodation) and try to have a picnic right beside the Port. (Trust me, you won’t be the one doing it). You may not try bouillabaisse (the best ones are expensive) but you will be on the front row to see the boats arriving and leaving the harbor – what can be better than that? And while you are having your picnic, try not get too amused with the boats and check out the french men (and women!) with their bouquets of flowers that they will be offering to who knows who…
If you are really short on time and you are worried about how much time it will take to get from one place to another (and how much $$) try to take the touristic train. You can catch right next to the Vieux Port and it will give you an amazing view of the city in a crazy short amount of time. I chose to do the Circuit 1 which allowed me to visit Le Vieux-Port, les Forts, le Vallon des Auffes, la Corniche, le Vallon d’Oriol and Notre-Dame de La Garde. You can choose between two circuits, costing around 6-8€ each.
If you are worried about what to take from Marseille as a souvenir, why don’t you take one of the Marseilles most iconic symbols: soaps! You can buy them next to the harbor or in souvenir shop (when I went there, there was a small store on a street on the left side of the Canabière-if you are facing the harbor backwards- that sold a variety of soaps for a great price )
That is my suggested itinerary for Marseille. It may seem like there is not much to do but trust me, there is (at least if you take the touristic train, which I highly recommend). It will give plenty of time not only to explore the city but also to enjoy the vibe of it and admire its beautiful coastline, which to be honest, was my favorite part of this trip.
What do you think? Have you ever been to Marseille? If so, is there anything else you would add to this itinerary? Leave you’re comments down below, I would love to hear your opinion!