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Also known as Marseilles, Marseille is the third largest city in France after Paris and Lyon. Dating back to 600 BC the city was known as Massalia by the natives and is the oldest city of France. This place was used as a port city since ancient times, the rise of the 19th century assured a good economical time in the city due to the sudden boom in the commercial side during the colonial period ensuring the natives' employment and prosperous environment. Marseille was an important point of transition and trade amongst the Greeks and later the Romans.
Situated near the zenith of Rhone, known to be the most alluring yet natural corridor of Mediterranean and the northern part, it has been an exemplary place to explore of all the tourists all around the world. The city falls in close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea which has given it the pass to lure the tourists with its rich history and culture that dangles in the air and gets absorbed into the blood of every person that inhales it. After London and Paris, Marseille is the third city that boasts the largest Jewish community in the world. Contemporarily, the city is seen to be the most vibrant city to explore in the entire Europe.
From adventure lovers to history geeks and all the food fanatics out there, Marseille will please you with it’s fine cuisine that is worth drooling over. Now, if you are a foodie, you might already be aware of all the wonderful local dishes that France has to offer, especially the city of food, Marseille. The rustic cuisine will give you the smell of fresh oil and purity throughout the trip. Some of the most famous dishes of the city are Soupe au Pistou- A fresh bowl of vegetable soup with natural spices, topped with some sautéed finely chopped vegetables and herbs. Bouillabaisse is the perfect dish if you are fond of seafood, the dish consists of variety of fishes served with a rouille and bread with some garlic stopped on them.
Shopping in Marseille requires the shopaholics to let go of the love for the brands for a while cause the city offers numerous unique shops spread evenly throughout the city. La Canebier has some of the best shops in town so make sure to explore them and grab some souvenirs for your loved ones. If you are an interior decor lover, make sure to take a big bag and comfy shoes before going to the market as you have to walk a lot and shop a lot, make sure to set your words right as you will get a chance to haggle a lot. For an ideal day out, you can consider relaxing at the beaches, soaking up the beauty of the sun.
Best Time To Visit Marseille
The peak season is from the months of May to August when the sun is shining bright and cool winds bless the travellers with the ethereal beauty in ambience and atmosphere. During the peak season, the price of the accommodation, attraction and the airfare bookings increase.
The shoulder months of September to November is the best time to visit the city when the peak season is over and the price drops back to normal, you would not be able to witness the rush and enjoy your trip in serenity visiting during the shoulder months. April is yet another best month to visit Marseille, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance to avail the best price for your trip and witness the mirth in the atmosphere during the festive seasons.
image by paspog from flickr
Also known as Vieux Port, Old Port is one of the most important reasons why people go gaga over the beauty of this city. Home to numerous restaurants, cafes and hotels that rests adjacent to the historical places in the city such as Sainte Marie lighthouse and Maison Diamantée, the vibrant marina has a lot to offer to its visitors. Make sure to experience the adventurous ferry ride and stroll through the fish market to witness the lively crowd of the locals.
Image by smallkaa from flickr
Dating back to the 16th century, this fortress is home to numerous movie scenes such as The French Connection which lured viewers all around the world to adore the ethereal beauty of the city. The place is of great historical importance and provides an impeccable view of the surrounding from the ground, the serene water flowing and the tranquil atmosphere will rejuvenate your soul and heal you thoroughly.
Image by Jorge Lascar from flickr
Notre-Dame de la Garde
If you’re visiting Marseille but missing out on Notre-Dame de la Garde, you better have a good excuse for it. The iconic symbol of the city provides its travellers with some of the most stunning views ever, the basilica displays a Roman-Byzantine, baroque architecture encrafted with mosaics and stones in playful colours. On the outside of this basilica, you might be able to find a tall statue of Virgin Mary standing on the top of the bell tower.
On the mouth of the old port of the city is situated this Saint-Jean fort. The fortification is constructed on the hill which is why the dusk and dawn appear infinite time better than the city, the ecstatic view is simply breathtaking and provides some of the most aesthetically pleasing views of the city. Notre-Dame de la Garde can be observed via the fort of Saint-Jean comfortably and is connected to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations with the help of a bridge. History lovers would not be able to get enough of this place, so make sure to include this fort in your itinerary to get a good knowledge of the city.
The cathedral crafted in Romanesque-Byzantine style is one of the best as well as most visited places in the city. Also referred to as the National Monument of the country, the cathedral has the capacity to host a total of 3,000 people at a time. The cathedral provides ecstatic views of the serene sea and the calm sound of the shore is nothing less than a bliss, to visit this cathedral is to unlock the key to heaven on the earth. The inside of this cathedral consists of numerous statues, mosaics and floors inlaid with marble.
Now that you have kept all the places in mind, what’s the last thing that you seek for while you’re on a nice trip to slip away from the burly-burly environment of your usual life, it’s serenity, right? Well, this garden is known to be one of the most beautiful gardens in France and paints the ambiance in a beautiful colour so that it becomes almost impossible for the visitors to get enough of the scenic beauty. You can witness numerous small gardens in numerous designs, architecture, you can also visit Borely Castle. The entry to this place is free and the timing to visit is from 6 AM to 9 PM.
Calling out to all the history lovers out there, make sure to keep this city in your list if you are looking for a trip filled with fun, culture and learning. This ancient city is seen to host popes in the 14th century when the corruption rate rose in Rome. Le Palais des Papes palace is seen to be the largest gothic edifice in the entire world.
Situated in the French Riviera, at the foot of the Alps, this city is the second largest French city squatting on the Mediterranean coast. Nice is also known as Nice la Belle by the locals which means ‘Nice, the beautiful’ which is the title of the unofficial anthem of the city. Founded in the year 350 BC by a colony of Greek mariners, the city became a leading trade station in the 1st century after getting conquered by the Romans. The arrival of the 17th and 18th century marked the victory of French over the Romans which resulted in Nice becoming a French city. Nice, a seaport city and Mediterranean tourist centre which is known to be the capital of Alpes-Maritimes département, is the seventh most populated city in France. Situated at a distance of 32 km from the border of the country, wrapped amidst the serene tall mountains where a pleasant atmosphere pleases the tourists to explore the city without any nuisance.
Image by stupiddream from flickr
Calling out to all the nature lovers, if you are visiting Marseille but missing out on this natural wonder known to be an absolute paradise on earth, we can not even tell you what you are missing out on. The Calanques are a series of rocky cliffs setting amidst Marseille and Cassis, the place is now known to be a national park.
This small commune is situated on the eastern side of Marseille whose coastline is referred to as the French Riviera. Cassis is one of the most visited places in France due to its serene atmosphere and Calanques. Book a day trip to Cassis with Rydeu to enjoy the trip at its best.
Image by Wolfgang Staudt from flickr
In ancient times when Roman culture was inhabited, Arles was one of the most venerated cities for Gaul. With rich architecture and magic that dangles in the air, it is said that renowned artists like Vincent Van Gogh spent an year making some of his fine arts in the city that still stands proudly in the museums of Arles. Make sure to explore some of the best places in Arles such as Amphitheater, Van Gogh Heritage and Church of St. Trophime.
The luberon is a massive southern part of the country, known for its vineyards, laid back yet lavish resorts and some of the best shopping places that can be ever found in France. The Luberon is known for its mouth-drooling local dishes, hill-top villages, the light of Van Gogh and the Cizzane. Adventure lovers can go for some hiking and biking to kick their adrenaline rush.
Image by jean-louis zimmermann from flickr
Squatting on the back of Auzon, the commune is situated in the Vaucluse department in the southern part of the country. Known to be the capital of Comtat Venaissin, the town is famous for the pure production of its fresh black truffle and the rustic buildings that it boasts.