Marseilles Memories

Marseilles, oldest and 2nd largest city in France, isn’t one of the most visited city in France.  It’s reputation has changed over years from being a dangerous city, city of drugs and crime to being the European Capital of Culture this year.  As one of the biggest city in Mediterranean, capital of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, and having largest port, Marseilles became a cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting immigrants from rest of the world over many years decades. 
Contrasting Old Vs New architecture
Obviously, this is not a economically wealthy city, and it is evident when you walk along the streets of Marseilles.  There are dirty streets, chaos traffic, graffiti art on deteriorating buildings, yet there is something striking about this city.  Probably it’s confluence of old and new architecture, multicultural crowd, or it’s fabulous people.

While there are lot of things to see and do in Marseilles, I enjoyed doing simple things like strolling along the vieux port, seeing plethora of cafes and restaurants around, garnered with old and historical buildings.  Due to it’s long history with Italian immigrants, there are so many restaurants that sold pizza. And they tasted great. 

Cute corner!
I walked, walked and walked – so much that the streets and buildings and people became  familiar in that 48 hours that I stayed in Marseilles.  There were cozy corners like this  (above pic) where hot coffee and croissant were served.  It’s a city full of immigrants  Italian predominantly besides Spanish, Corsicans, Armenians and North Africans. So, there’s a variety in their gastronomy.  There was one tiny restaurant where I had a delicious couscous with veggie stew.  

An unknown beautiful church in Marseille
An unknown yet beautiful church, quite close to the central railway station.  Talking about it, there are plenty of artistic sculptures like these I saw all over the city, particularly impressed with the statues in the railway station.  After a long stroll, I went to Cours Julien, a laid back place besmeared with graffiti art and markets of all kind.  
Along the Quay
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I din’t see any tourist attractions in Marseilles because I was happy roaming on the unknown roads, and capturing those simple moments.  Here’s one such night shot of the port.
Top things to see and do in Marseilles:
1. Visit Notre Dame De La Garde, a beautiful church sitting on top of the peak. It offers amazing 360 degree view of the city.
2. Take the tiny train and tour around Marseilles effortlessly.
3. The city is flooded with museums which were recently renovated as an initiative to improve tourist attractions. 
4. Take a trip to Château d’If, a tiny island just about a mile off the coast. 
Other Information:
Marseilles has an International Airport, and main Railway Station St.Charles.  It’s about 2 hours drive from Nice and Lyon. 

28 Responses

  1. The statues and cathedrals are amazing. I remember studying about Versailles, but not about Marseilles!! 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  2. Beautiful pics and its worth observing different cultures living together. I will visit this place while I come to France next month.

  3. Beautiful pics as usual Anu 🙂 Never heard about this place before. Hope to make a trip to Europe sometime in the future. Europe has such beautiful buildings. I loved the night shot a lot.

  4. There's nothing quite like simply strolling the streets of an old city. That's a lot of sightseeing by itself. I love seeing bits and parts of Europe through this blog.
    Nice pictures, Anu.

    • Very true Divya. And I absolutely love strolling around these towns doing nothing. Gives a different perspective of the city.. makes me feel that I am a traveller, and not a tourist 🙂

  5. Lovely pictures, and an interesting place too.

  6. Exciting for me for it's less popular reasons 😛 You know like Detroit. I like exploring a city on foot, nothing beats that. Lovely shots too 🙂

  7. City walks are always fun! Beautiful pictures!

  8. it does look like a beautiful place through your lens

  9. Lovely post with some fantastic shots! If this is a dirty city, I think the word clean is misnomer in any Indian city.

  10. Lovelyy city 🙂

  11. Wow! Amazingly beautiful place and fab clicks!

  12. I was in Marseille a couple of years ago and fell in love with the city. Everyone always said I shouldn't bother about visiting it, as it was "too dirty and dangerous". As you put it, it's changed and it's well worth a visit.

    Great pictures too!

  13. Great tips.. V r planning a trip to Paris in May..

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