Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 B.C., but its history stretches much further back to underwater cave paintings dating to 19,000 B.C. A cultural mish-mash characterizes the city today, with North African influences butting up against the centuries-old but still vital fish market at the Vieux Port. Marseille is anything but touristy. ... Read more
France’s oldest city is an edgy corner of Provence where you will be hard-pressed to find (native son) Cezanne themed tote bags. Instead, take a bag to the Vieux Port and stock up on the day’s catch-and then try your hand at concocting bouillabaisse, the fish soup native to Marseille. Wash it down with a Pastis, then check some of the city’s excellent French hip-hop or head to the Opera House, whichever your plaisir.
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Marseille places to stay and top hotels

Marseille things to do and experiences

  • Calanques National Park
    9.833 reviews
    Outdoors, Scenic Lookout, Park
    Popular withOutdoorsyBackpackers
  • Vieux-Port
    9.033 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site
    Popular withHistoryFoodies
  • Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde
    9.330 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Religious Center
    Popular withHistorySpiritual
  • Chateau d'If
    9.516 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Landmark
    Popular withHistoryOutdoorsy

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Marseille

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Marseille

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Marseille reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 8.9
    Adventure Travelers
  • 8.5
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 8.5
    Foodies
  • 7.7
    Outdoor Enthusiasts

Member Reviews(95)

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San Francisco, California, USA

Nifty city by the sea, and a major thoroughfare for travel to Southern Europe.

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Bedford

This beautiful port city is the largest city in the region of Provence. It is the perfect home base to explore Provence and the French Riviera.

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Bedford, New Hampshire, USA

Once mainly a naval port, Marseille is now France's second largest city. Foodies will love the local seafood, including regional specialities such as moules frites and boulliabase. For history and culture seekers there are numerous museums and cathedrals (don't miss Notre Dame de la Garde) and the infamous Chateau d'If.

Recommended for:History BuffsSpiritual SeekersArt & Design Lovers
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London, UK

Like an aging glamour queen who's partied too hard, Marseille is slightly gritty and a little dangereuse. She's still lively, hip enough, and sells great soap.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFoodiesHistory Buffs
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Longmont, Colorado, USA

In 2005 I spent three lovely days in Marseille during which I visited Chateu D'If, climbed the hill to Notre Dame de la Gard Cathedral and made my way through the bars and cafes of Vieux Port.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersArt & Design LoversFoodiesHistory Buffs
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Local from Orange, France

Wonderful, sunny city.The Château wasn't spectacular, but the boat trip to get there was nice with amazing views. ALso good seafood for sale at themarket places, nice restaurants, very nice atmosphere: Street artists, people dancing in the street, etc...You can easily get a cheap hotel (30 to 40 euros) next to the train station. Didn't go around the city much, but in the 2 days I stayed, I didn't encounter any problems. Very, very hot in the summer though...

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Brisbane, Australia
First to Review

Marseille is one of France's most import port cities. It has a long history dating back to its founding by Greek colonists. Make sure you check out the old port, which has a couple of imposing fortresses guarding the harbor.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Nizwa, Oman

Marseille is a sultry Mediterranean seaport. It bustles with the hustle of immigrants trying to make ends meets for the families there, back in Africa and the Middle East. For inveterate fans of Alexander Dumas and his 'Count of Monte Cristo' a visit to Chateau d'If (the French version of Alcatraz) is de rigueur, for sure. You can even see the cell of the man in the iron mask! One of my top ten skateparks is in Marseille. Curvaceous concrete curves complement those on the topless beach just steps away. Vive le France!

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory Buffs
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Santa Clara, California, USA

Marseille gets a bit of a bad reputation in France and elsewhere in Europe for its gritty landscape and high crime rate. While the grittier areas are prevalent along the northern parts of the city and being vigilant remains advised, it's a beautiful sun-kissed city. For one thing, on average it has 300 days of sunshine per year. The locals are friendly, the diversity abounds in religion and cultures, and the plentiful amount of seafood makes Marseille a worthwhile stop along the South of France. Also, did I mention the Old Port is gorgeous during the day and night?

Recommended for:FoodiesHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers
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Brooklyn, État de New York, États Unis

Marseille is gritty and has a bad reputation but I loved it. The areas near the seaside are gorgeous -- but you'll definitely find the grit as you move in farther from the water. The cultural diversity and excellent food here are major highlights. This is also an easy transit point to / from the less hectic parts of Provence.

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