Marseille is a portal city; its attraction is connected to the city itself. With its static location between sea and hills gives its charm. Being situated in the southeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea; this privileged location; has made it the France’s biggest commercial port. This “Phocaean city” in the memory of the Greek sailors has a long ancient history. It was founded by the Greeks in the 600B.C. It is the France’s oldest city full of all the peoples of France’s former colonies. Marseille is the oldest and second largest city in France where you can find unique variety of historical and intense cultural attractions to enjoy. Thus, enjoy the unique heritage, historical attractions of this sightseeing city.
The city is situated in the southeast coast between sea and hills, along the Mediterranean Sea. Marseille enjoys a privileged location; this strategic location has made it the France’s biggest commercial port. Marseille is France’s oldest city Founded 2600 years ago by Phoenician settlers in 600 B.C. by Greek sailors from Phocaea in Asia Minor, and still known as the “Phocaean city” in memory of the ancient Greeks from Asia Minor. Now it is known for fashion, its beautiful beaches, the theater, music and sport. It is the oldest and second largest city in France it has remembered and retained values of sharing that have shaped its territory for centuries. Marseille is the largest port in France and the gateway to Provence. Its proximity to North Africa has created an ethnic melting pot beside the local culture that blended Gaelic and North African heritages. This exceptional location combined Marseille the richness of a unique heritage; wide variety of historical and intense cultural attractions makes it an appealing tourist destination. Marseille is an amazing city that moves with the seasons and passions. There are in fact so many things to do in Marseille with City Sightseeing, that there’s no time to sit because a week might not be sufficient to visit all the interesting places. Thus, read more about the Top 10 attractions in Marseille, France, which includes only some of the richest history and impressive sights that awaits you.
1-Notre-Dame de la Garde Marseille France:
The basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde is a historic church and one of the major sights in Marseille. It is a prominent part of the Marseille skyline, situated atop a hill overlooking the city with a height of over 150 meters above sea level so it can be seen from most places in the city, the urban landscapes, the harbor, and the Mediterranean Sea. The unique Neo-Byzantine architectural design, style and structure of the basilica dominates the hill and is definitely an amazing view to witness. This is one of the top attractions to observe almost the entire cityscape of Marseille.
2. Marseille: Old Port (Vieux Port):
Another major attraction to visit in Marseille is the Old Port – Port Vieux. The Old Port – Port Vieux is situated only a few meters away from the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. This is the Old Port of Marseille is still Marseille’s main draw, originates from 6th century BC. Today, it is the largest marina in Marseille dotted with hundreds of boats and yachts, of all shapes and sizes, from humble fishing boats to medium-size yachts used mainly for pleasure.
3. Marseilles (Porte d’Aix):
Porte d’Aixisis the old main entry gate to the city situated also only a few meters away from the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, but on the opposite side of Port Vieux. It is definitely one of the most impressive historical structures in Marseille. This triumphal arch was built in 1839 and was inspired by the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire. The Port Vieux arch simply signifies victory; it was conceived to honor the French role in ending the American Revolution.
4. Parc Borely:
The Parc Borély is a big, lovely park, classified as one of the Notable Gardens of France and one of the best places in southern Marseille. The Park is 17 hectares in size close proximity to the shoreline and was designed by landscape gardener Alphan. It is a unique romantic place covered by green forests, vast meadows and ponds typical sunny weekend to enjoy a relaxing afternoon, for example. There are other Parc Borely attractions as the replica of the Basilique du Notre Dame de la Garde, which is a landscape garden in the English tradition.
The Calanques are natural phenomenon; a geologic formation of a series of limestone cliffs, fjords and rocky promontories topped by green trees and plantations. The deep narrow inlets, steep sides and a part submerged by the sea for about 20 kilometers of coastline between Cassis and Marseilles, typical for the Mediterranean coast nearby the city of Marseille.
6. Cantini Fountain:
The fountain is one of the most beautiful fountains of the city and another famous place to visit during your vacation in Marseille, carved in 1911 by French sculptor Andre-Joseph Allar and It was presented to the city of Marseille by Jules Cantini. Cantini fountain is inspiringly dominated in the center of the square of Place Castellane, at the intersection of Rue de Rome, Boulevard Baile and Avenue Jules Cantini and du Prado. Cantini fountain is made entirely of white Carrara marble and features numerous carvings and sculptures.
7. Abbey of St. Victor:
TThe Abbey of St. Victor is located at the southern section of the Old Port Vieux-Port above the dry dock and is one of the oldest and one of the most beautiful historical landmark attractions in Marseille.
The Abbey of St. Victor was built in 5th century as a Roman monastery. The crypts of the Abbey of Saint-Victor in Marseille contain highly valuable archaeological remains and ancient sarcophagi of a quarry exploited in Greek times, and a Hellenistic necropolis (2nd century BC) that was used up to Christian times.
8. Palais Longchamp:
Palais Longchamp on place Bernex is one of the most beautiful places in Marseille, located 1 kilometers to the east from the old port.. It is actually an irrigation project (water tower), constructed in the 1860s to deliver water to the city from the River Durance during the Second Empire (the time of Napoleon III).
In the Palais itself, the 2 wings house Marseille’s oldest museum in its left wing, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in the right. This masterpiece of the Second Empire unites the glory of water, the arts and the sciences under one magnificent roof.
Today, the waterfalls, ornamental lakes, lovely gardens with lakes, fountains, and numerous sculptures gives an impressive sight to witness and an Italian Renaissance feels that you should include in your travel list.
9. Chateau d’If:
Chateau d’If is one of Marseille’s most popular tourist attractions. The Château d’If is a fabulous fortress (turned-prison) located on the tiny small and rocky island of If, in the harbor of Marseille.
The fortress was built in 16th century by King François I as a defensive construction, then it was transformed In a very short time to a prison. Today, the château is still in operation it stands majestically over the blue horizon of the harbor as a reminded of these periods. People from all over the world visit to enjoy the fantastic views of the smallest island of the Frioul Archipelago,and explore the famous prison
10. Le Panier:
Le Panier “The Shopping Cart”, is a historic quartier one of the oldest and most picturesque areas in Marseille, situated right north of the Old Port. Built on the site of the ancient Greek Massalia which was built in 600 BC, famous with its narrow and picturesque streets always remember that it is one of the oldest parts of the city. Le Panier still and used to be an Immortal and popular marketplace. Typically like most of the Mediterranean cities you can feel the ancient spirit.
Plan a trip to Marseille as it is a beautiful ancient city with vibrant mixture of history, and natural splendor. Marseille has countless amusements and a fantastic recreational base, Check out the places to see Marseille’s top attractions.