Marseille – Marseilles – the southern French port city with Oriental charm

22.09.2016
Marseille Hill

Fans of southern France rejoice! Marseilles marks the addition of a new destination to Berlin’s flight schedule in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in the South of France. Those travelling through this part of France will discover wonderful landscapes: lavender fields, ancient olive groves and white sandy beaches. As an old port city and the region’s capital, Marseilles is characterised by its cultural diversity. Being the oldest city in France, Marseilles can look back on a history spanning 2,600 years and a rich cultural heritage. But after being crowned ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2013, France’s second-largest city also boasts a contemporary new look. 

Discover Marseilles

Marseille Harbour

Anyone visiting Marseilles will not be able to escape the famous Vieux Port, the city’s old port. This has been the main harbour and heart of Marseilles since antiquity. Many an immigrant has landed here and stayed over the centuries: Greeks, Spaniards, Armenians, Italians and inhabitants of the former African colonies. The Capital of Culture in 2013 provided the perfect opportunity to redesign the inner harbour and waterfront based on the designs of Norman Foster. From the harbour you can see the city’s landmark: the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. The pilgrimage church, dating back to the 19th century, sits atop the 154-metre-high La Garde hill, the highest point of Marseilles. Also worth seeing are the two cathedrals ‘Vieille Major’ and ‘Nouvelle Major’, located in the oldest district in Marseilles: the Panier quarter. Here you will find a wonderful place to stroll around the small alleyways, cafes and shops. 

Marseilles – a cultural melting pot

Marseille River

Marseilles is often called the ‘Gateway to the East’. The term cultural melting pot applies first and foremost to the Panier quarter. But the Noailles quarter, too, has a particularly Oriental charm: close to the Old Port, the quarter is reminiscent of a North African souk. Amongst the vibrant hustle and bustle of the market you will find fruit and vegetable traders offering everything from Egyptian bread to Indian pancakes. A feast for the senses! All those interested in the cultural diversity of civilisations in the Mediterranean region should visit the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) in Marseilles. Tip: On the first Sunday of every month, France offers free entrance to its museums.

 

Culinary Marseilles – bouillabaisse and pastis

Marseille Dining

The cultural diversity of Marseilles is also reflected in the city’s culinary delights. The city’s most famous dish is bouillabaisse, a traditional Provençal fish stew. The best place to try this stew is in a restaurant in the Old Port, accompanied by a pastis aperitif or digestif. Also very popular are pasta dishes such as pistou, every kind of seafood imaginable, ratatouille, baklava and couscous. Oriental-style French cuisine is very typical of Marseilles. 

The gateway to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region

Marseille Coast

Marseilles is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. A region offering the most varied of landscapes and nature reserves – from the lakes and marshlands of Camargue to the peaks of the Queyras to the ridge of Mont Ventoux and the gigantic Verdon Gorge. Closest to Marseilles is the wonderful Calanques National Park. The famous Calanques, surrounded by little turquoise bays, stretch for more than 20 kilometres. A place of retreat, here holidaymakers will find many beautiful hiking and climbing trails as well as the perfect opportunity to combine a city break with the great outdoors.

 

Getting there / Airport

Starting from 1 November 2016, British low-cost airline easyJet will be offering a new connection from Berlin to Marseilles. Flights will be operated from Berlin Schönefeld to the French city three times a week – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Marseille Provence Airport is located 20 kilometres north-west of Marseilles. The airport is a 25-minute shuttle (navette) ride from the city centre. A taxi from the airport into the city costs EUR 50 during the day and EUR 60 of an evening/night and on Sundays.

Airport Info

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