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Saint Jean Castle und Kathedrale de la Major und der Vieux Hafen in Marseille, Bild: S-F / shutterstock

Marseille: Port city with charm, culture and delicacies

In the beautiful port city of Marseille, French charm and maritime flair meet. It is one of the oldest cities in France and is located on the Gulf of Lion. In addition to the beautiful landscape, Marseille offers interesting cultural impressions, which even made it the Capital of Culture in 2013. The port metropolis enchants its visitors with many sights and an unmistakable atmosphere, which is particularly noticeable at the Vieux Port, the old port of the city.

Marseille maritime at the Vieux Port

Old Port, Marseille
The old port in Marseille, Image: Vieux Port / shutterstock

The yachts of the rich and beautiful sail in the water, the salty scent of the sea combines with culinary smells from the surrounding restaurants. A fish market takes place every morning on the harbour quay, where the fishermen’s catch of the day can be admired and, of course, purchased. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Vieux Port doesn’t just attract tourists. It is also a meeting place for many locals. Here you can enjoy life with a good meal and a glass of wine. It is particularly atmospheric in the evening. Then the area exudes all its charm. The restaurants are decorated with romantic wind lights and candlelight dinners are held on the yachts. For lovers of maritime flair, the Old Harbour is the perfect place to stroll and relax. In addition, you can quickly reach many surrounding sights from here.

Marseille impresses with its variety of museums

More than 20 museums offer rich historical variety. The Musée d’Histoire de Marseille, for example, provides an attractive and very lively insight into the city’s history. In addition to historical recreations and films, there are suggestions for special walks, children’s programs or virtual “contemporary witnesses”.

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La Vieille Charité, Image: Pani Garmyder / shutterstock

The Vieille Charité was once a hospice for the poor and is now used as a cultural and museum centre. It is home to the Musée d’Arts Africains, Océaniens, Amérindiens and the archaeological collection of the Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne.
A collection of 850 works of art can be admired in the Musée Regards de Provence . The art objects range from modernism to the present day. Represented artists include Marcel Dyf, Joseph Garibaldi and Adolphe Monticelli. Bikers on holiday in Marseille should definitely visit Le Musée de la Moto. On display are various motorcycles from the 70s and 80s, special prototypes and also posters and newspaper articles.

The Savonnerie du Midi soap factory with its soap museum takes guests to one of the last historic soap factories and brings the production and history of soap closer.

From imposing architecture to historic districts, Marseille is well worth a visit

It is not only the variety of museums that provides plenty of variety. The picturesque port city also has a lot to offer in terms of other sights. The Swiss architect Le Corbusier is responsible for one of them. His residential complex Cité radieuse impresses with its imposing architecture that is visually reminiscent of a passenger ship. Colour accents complete the extraordinary sight.

Inside the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, there are beautiful mosaics, mobiles with ships and signs of thanks. The church is located on a hill and thus offers not only its own beauty but also a breathtaking panoramic view over the city.

Directly at the Old Port, the view falls on Fort Saint-Jean. The fortress was built in 1660. Its towers allow for a wonderful sea view.

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If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city a little, take a leisurely stroll through Parc Borély. The main attraction here is the Château Borély castle complex. There are also a number of leisure activities and the opportunity to visit the adjacent botanical garden.
Enchanting buildings, beautiful squares, colourful houses and antique signs can be discovered while strolling through the steep streets of Le Panier. In this oldest district, you can experience the everyday life of Marseille.

Bouillabaisse and other delicacies

Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille
Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, Image: Sergey Novikov / shutterstock

France is enjoyment and therefore there are also dishes and specialties in Marseille that you should definitely try on a holiday in the port metropolis. At the top of the list is the bouillabaisse. It is a seafood stew seasoned with garlic. A paste with olive oil, capers and various herbs is particularly popular on fresh baguettes. Its name: Tapenade.

There is also a special speciality from the hearty cuisine in Marseille. The stew Daube consists of beef braised in wine with carrots, onions and tomatoes. Those with a sweet tooth will love Navette de Marseille. The small biscuits taste simply tempting due to the production with orange blossom aroma and good olive oil.

If you are looking for a traditional alcoholic drink, you will always come across Pastis in Marseille. The spirit tastes of liquorice and anise. It is a typical summer drink, but it also tastes good at other times of the year. It is usually served on ice cubes and infused with water.
These and many other delicacies also make Marseille an attractive culinary holiday destination. If you go shopping in the “Comptoire Mathilde” boutique before returning home, you can treat yourself to some culinary delights such as high-quality olive oils, spices or chocolate spreads at home.