Marseilles is located in southeastern France and is France’s largest cities – the second behind Paris. It is a metropolitan city that also has a rich history. Marseilles is a city filled with nightlife, great restaurants, theaters, museums, and even an international soccer stadium. Many say that Marseilles is not the kind of city you will fall in love with as it is too industrial. While the city is a bit gritty, it’s worth a visit for its beautiful waterfront.
- Hostel Prices: Dorm rooms average around $30 USD per night while private rooms are around $67 USD per night.
- Budget Hotel Prices: One or two star hotels cost around $80 USD per night for two people.
- Average Cost of Food: There are many bread, cheese, and meat shops around throughout the city and a week of grocery is about $50 USD. Eating pre-made sandwiches and fast food will cost between $5-7. A nice restaurant dinner will cost around $30 USD, including a glass of wine. Overall, food is pretty expensive here compared to the rest of France.
- Transportation Costs: Taxis cost between $25-50 USD for a trip around the city. Tickets for bus and the metro can be bought in the cafes, at the subway stations, or on the bus. It is best to buy groups of tickets at $9 USD (6 trips) or $17 USD (11 trips) as buying in bulk is cheaper. A daily ticket costs $6 USD.
Top Things to Do
- Le Vieux Port – An old port where you can watch the fisherman sell their stock by auction, have great seafood, or hire a boat for the day. Or simply just sit and gaze at all the expensive yachts of the world’s rich.
- Notre Dame de la Garde – Known as the big church, this church overlooks the city as well as one of the best views to take in or to photograph. Old fisherman used to have their boats blessed in this church.
- Le Cours Julien and La Plaine – This is known as the trendy part of Marseilles and is full of bookstores, cafes, fountains, and tons of walking space. Every Thursday and Saturday morning the Plaine market is here and offers the best time to shop for bargains.
- Borely Park - A beautiful park only about 300 meters from the ocean. You can go there to have a nap, meditation, picnic, play some sports, or venture down for an afternoon drink in any of the numerous restaurants or bars on the beach.
- Le Panier – This is the oldest area in Marseilles and in French its name means “the basket.” While you are here, be sure to gaze at the Vielle Charite, an old monument that now has museums and exhibitions.
- The Château d’If (If Castle) - This small island off the city was a penal colony. It is famous from the novel of Alexandre Dumas, the Comte de Monte-Cristo. Tourist boats leave from the Old harbor.
- La Place Castellane – This roundabout has a magnificent fountain surrounded in columns and sculptures. On the street are excellent cinemas and cafes. This is a pretty neat place to check out.
- Mazargues War Cemetry – On the way to Luminy, you’ll come across this cemetery, which is dedicated to martyrs from the WWI and WWII Allies. This place is very serene—perfect for reflection and some down time.
- Palais de Longchamp – This is a quiet, public garden in the center of Marseille, that dates back to the Mid-19th century. There is a stunning fountain here, and the Durance river is nearby. There are gorgeous symbolic figures everywhere.
- Vieille Charite – Now host to a museum, this building was originally built in the 17th century as a place for the homeless, sick, and old people. The architecture is amazing—there is a pantheon like church and a 3 story high building.
- Fort St. Nicolas – Built between 1660-1664, this fort was used to aid in the protection of the port of Marseille. Today it is separated into two parts. Beyond the fort to the northwest is the Park of the Pharo.
- COMING SOON
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