Heading to Marseille at the start of June

  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    May 04, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
    Does anyone have any tips on what to see besides the Callanques and the Chateau d'If, where the Count of Monte Cristo was set?
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1830

    May 06, 2012 10:01 AM GMT
    You might try visiting Aix, which is a short distance (they share the same airport).
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    May 17, 2012 6:29 PM GMT
    Thanks, guys! Yes, I'm looking forward to the fish stew, too, JP!
  • Manarii2281

    Posts: 148

    May 28, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    I studied for a year just "up the road' in Aix en Provence, so I and friends would take the 30 minute bus trip to Marseille often. The bus was easier than the train and cheaper for us students then... But the walk from the grand staircase at the train/bus station down to La Canabiere is spectacular. Marseille, for us, was the closest to a big city and had the nearest Galeries Lafayette department store (if you like shopping lol), big outdoor cafes, shops and an old roman built layout street wise. Also there was a heavy north african influence, so you'd find some great Tunisian and Moroccan restaurants there as well. Yes, some bouillabaisse on Vieux Port is probably touristy but a must, but I don't think tourist levels in Marseille are like Paris, so it retains a lot of local influence, even downtown.

    If you're taking the TGV, you might stop in Avignon, which is (or used to be) the stop before Marseille coming in from Paris. I think it now stops in Aix en Provence as well.
  • Limoncello

    Posts: 20

    May 28, 2012 4:22 AM GMT
    If you are into 20th century architecture, be sure to visit Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse. There is also a restaurant in it, which is not that great, but the view is spectacular (the restaurant is called "le Ventre de l'Architecte").

    Avoid restaurants on Le Vieux Port.

    High street shopping is on Rue de la République and Rue Saint-Ferreol, chic shopping on Rue de Paradis, alternative shopping on Rue Sainte, antiques shops are behind the Prefecture.

    Bars popular among locals are located around Cours Julien.

    Visit Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde church, it is the highest point in the city, and a figure for locals, even if they are not catholic.

    Marseille is beautiful in an intriguing way but not "pretty", it feels a bit dangerous, dirty and kinky you may or may not like it (it is the city in France with the highest rate of homicides). Many areas of the city centre will make you believe that you are somewhere in Morocco and some people may not feel comfortable with it.

    Aix in much more consensual (pretty, clean, affluent), in fact Aix almost work as a posh suburb of Marseille.

  • Limoncello

    Posts: 20

    May 28, 2012 4:25 AM GMT
    And yes, TGV now stops in Aix before Marseille.

    The TGV station in Aix is not in the city centre though, you must use a bus shuttle.