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A summer in Marseille


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If you have a chance to spend your vacation or a weekend in Marseille, we can suggest some nice places for you to visit!

Where should you start? The city of Marseille is full of surprises and treasures, and we have chosen four spots that you cannot miss and must absolutely visit:

Deep in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement of Marseille, you will find the “quartier” of La Joliette, where you can wander on the Terrasses du Port… so much more than just terraces! In addition, for a stunning view over the port and the cruise ships, this long terrace of 2,600 m2 stands right next to a shopping center with over 190 boutiques! What a great way to combine an unusual stroll with a shopping spree.

Joliette Cruises loading dock Marseille

A few steps from the Terrasses du Port, you will find Marseille’ Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure, commonly known as “the Major”. Built between 1852 and 1891, it is a symbol of the union between Europe and the Orient. It is one of the largest cathedrals in France, and you don’t want to miss its impressive Romano-Byzantine style.  To take full advantage of this beautiful corner of Marseilles, you should consider parking at the Joliette-Port car park.

This car park lets you easily visit the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and have direct access to the departure terminal of your cruise:
  • The terminal of the Port de la Joliette is located on the Quais de la Joliette, at the foot of the Cathedral. This terminal is accessible from the Joliette Q-Park, and leads directly to: the Joliette terminal, the Major terminal and the J4 terminal.
  • The Môle Léon Gourret terminal is accessible via a free shuttle. This shuttle connects the Joliette Terminal (J4) to the terminals of the Môle Léon Gourret, and is available to cruise passengers on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (the different stops made by the shuttle are shown on the plans of the cruise lines). When you arrive at the terminal, posters will tell you on which dock the shuttles are located. 

Near the Marseille Pharo, you have to visit the famous Palais du Pharo. Give yourself a full day to visit this part of the city; park your car at the Pharo Marseille car park and step out to explore the Anse des Catalans. This magnificent beach is the most accessible one in Marseille! Then, to discover the real charm of the city, you simply have to go in the direction of the Vallon des Auffes, a tiny traditional fishing port, which is truly a little village in this city. And to complete your trip, go to the Corniche, and walk along the water to witness the magnificent vistas over the Îles du Frioul and the Château d’If.

The Vallon des Auffes in Marseille

The famous Hôtel de Ville stands right next to the Vieux-Port de Marseille, and both are located in the heart of the city. If you are in the mood for fresh fish, the Vieux-Port is the place to buy it! In the mornings, the fishermen set up displays and sell you the catch of the day.
After you make your purchase, you should take a walk in the narrow working class streets of the Panier quarter, one of the oldest quarters in Marseille. There, you will discover:
  • The Maison Diamantée (a little treasure that is unique to Marseille for the raised diamond shaped tips in its facade)
  • the Pavillon Daviel
  • the Grand’Rue
  • the Hôtel de Cabre
  • the Hôtel Dieu
  • the Eglise des Accoules
  • the Préau des Accoules
  • the Place de Lenche 

To continue in an historical theme, head in the direction of the Fort Saint-Jean, which, since 2012 has housed the Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM). This national museum is located at the entrance of the Vieux-Port and holds numerous exhibitions and conferences each year. But before your visit, consider making an online reservation for a parking place the Vieux-Port de Marseille car park.

Mucem museum Marseille
From the Saint-Charles railroad station, you can visit the four corners of Marseilles and, thanks to the TGV station, all of France.  Consider making a parking reservation in the Gare St Charles car park during your visits to the city or your trips that leave from the railroad station!
And what is the one thing you should not miss at the end of a day in Marseille? Friche la belle de mai (accessible via bus line 49), a contemporary art and music venue with an incredible view of all of Marseille, and where you will find parties featuring the most popular DJs.

Friche Belle de Mai Marseille