Marseille

Marseille

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About Marseille

Unmistakable style of French cool permeating historic city streets

Second only to Paris in size and stature Marseille is a bustling, cosmopolitan port city where the very best of France is on offer, including international standard cuisine, outstanding shopping opportunities and an unmistakable style of French cool that runs throughout the historic city streets. Thanks to a rich maritime history Marseille has an exciting multicultural atmosphere, with influences evident throughout the fine local cuisine and enviable selection of stores.

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Marseille’s hotel scene takes cues from its sumptuous southern French coastal setting and rich multicultural tapestry. The city’s seafaring past is best experienced around the attractive Vieux Port, and the 194-room InterContinental Marseille (1 place Daviel) offers superb views of this area. A 10 minute walk away lies the 13-room Music Hôtel (12 boulevard Salvator), a contemporary three-star establishment, while the elegant La Luna guest house (4 impasse de la Lune) is notable for its inviting infinity pool. If you'd prefer to stay on the outskirts of the city, Hôtel 96 (96 avenue de la Soude) is set in a 19th-century building.

Marseille is second only to Paris when it comes to size, so it offers the variety of shopping that you would expect. Head to the Vieux Port’s daily fish market and run the rule over the day’s catch in a picture-perfect setting, while the gigantic Marché aux Puces (Avenue du Cap Pinède) is the city’s leading market and sells all sorts from traditional fisherman’s sweaters to Provençal artwork. In the heart of town you'll find a sizeable Galeries Lafayette (28 rue Bir Hakeim), which offers lots of opportunities to shop for designer clothing, while French fashion label Sessùn (6 rue Sainte) has its own boutique.

Marseille is renowned for bouillabaisse, a fish stew that is traditionally made with leftovers from the day’s catch. The gourmet version on offer at Miramar (12 quai du Port) is often acknowledged as the city’s best, although Chez Fonfon (140 rue du Vallon des Auffes) puts up a good fight for this title. Navettes are another Marseille speciality, orange blossom-flavoured biscuits that are exquisitely put together by the famous Four des Navettes bakery (136 rue Sainte), while those after a relaxing drink with incredible views might want to head to the portside balcony at La Caravelle (34 quai du Port).

Fête de la Musique

21 June

A selection of free concerts take place across Marseille on 21 June each year as part of a nationwide celebration. The enjoyment of open-air music is timed to coincide with the summer solstice.

Festival de Marseille

June-July 

This festival showcases Marseille’s diversity across a variety of art forms, and particularly dance and cinema. Meetings with artists and workshops complement the packed programme of live performances.

FIDMarseille

July

Having been running for nearly 25 years, Marseille’s international film festival celebrates both French and international cinema, with screening locations centred around the city’s historic core.

Mondial la Marseillaise

July

In the region of 13,000 participants gather to compete against each other at this international tournament of pétanque, or boules. Large crowds gather for the free event, which offers a quintessentially French experience.

Fiesta des Suds

October 

International and local performers and artists combine to put on this family-friendly celebration of live music and art, which encompasses everything from reggae to electronica.

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Key facts

Language:French
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours
Airport code:MRS
Holiday type:City Break / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

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