Day 1 in Marseille
Welcome to Marseille! Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do.
Begin the afternoon in Vieux Port (Old Port), the city`s birthplace where its maritime heritage thrives. Search for some good bouillabaisse for lunch while you check out the scene. Afterward, we recommend that you get acquainted with the city by choosing an optional tour such as `Marseille Hop-on Hop-off Tour`, to get a flavor of this beautiful French city rich in history.
As night falls, head over to the city`s multicultural area, Cours Julien, a square lined with hip bars and cafes, and the graffiti-covered streets that are great for strolling and finding an ethnic restaurant to try out.
Day 2 in Marseille
Start the day off early and head to Marchédes Capucins (also known as Le Marché de Noailles), a crowded, chaotic, cheerful food market that takes place in the narrow side-streets just off the top of the Canebière. It is an exciting way to start your morning, and an experience that is uniquely Marseillaise.
After you`re done there, head up to Notre Dame de la garde, the basilica that overlooks the city from high up on a hill. Its Byzantine architecture is worth seeing up close, and the views of the city are priceless.
Make time to visit the rejuvenated docks district, now the Cité de la Méditerranée, which includes Fort Saint-Jean and the architectural wonder that is MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations). This audaciously designed gallery puts on exhibits from all over the Mediterranean. Use the footbridge connecting the museum to Fort Saint-Jean to explore the rooftop terrace before descending via the glassed-in external staircase.
Spend the rest of your afternoon strolling around the maze of narrow streets of Le Panier, the oldest part of Marseille. The area offers an artsy ambience with cool hidden squares, artisan shops, ateliers (workshops), terraced houses and charming cafes. Make sure to stop in the Vieille Charité located in the heart of Le Panier quarter. This gorgeous architectural complex was built as a charity shelter for the town`s poor and offers a neoclassical central chapel and elegant arcaded courtyard.
After a busy day of sightseeing, enjoy the evening in Old Port, offering many amazing seafood restaurants to choose from and a great evening ambiance.
Day 3 in Marseille
Start your day off with a 20-minute boat ride to the 16th-century fortress Château d’If, France`s equivalent to Alcatraz. Prisoners were housed according to class: poorest at the bottom in windowless dungeons and the wealthiest in paid-for private cells. Alternatively, there are a variety of boat tours offered at Vieux Port to see Marseille`s coastline from a different perspective.
On your final night in Marseille, enjoy dinner at one of two restaurants in InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu. The five star luxury hotel is a landmark of the city that once served as the primary hospital for over eight hundred years. The hotel offers a sprawling terrace bar with splendid views over the Panier and old port.
Additional Days in Marseille
Should you be able to spend additional days in Marseille make a day trip to nearby Cassis and check out the Calanques along the way. Calanques are narrow, cliff-walled inlets along the Mediterranean Sea and located in the Calanques National Park. It is one of the most beautiful sites in the world!
Cassis, a former Roman trading post, is located at the bottom of one of Europe`s highest cliffs, Cape Canaille. The city of Cassis, overlooking the harbor, is quaint with many restaurants and shops along the waterfront.
Your Last Day in Marseille
Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.