A few hours in Marseille’s Vieux Port precinct reveal the cultural andhistoric hub of the city: a lively promenade flanked by cafés, restaurants andcenturies of Mediterranean history. Sandwiched between the old town and thegrand Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, Vieux Port is hard to miss and mostvisitors to Marseille will pass through the area often. Learn about the localhistory as you discover some of the city’s most popular attractions.
Begin your day with some freshly baked bread and a coffee on thepromenade. Take a seat at one of the cafés on the northern side of the streetto enjoy views of the Notre Dame de la Garde rising up from its southernoutcrop.
Now that you’re ready to start exploring, spend some time visiting thestructures that expose the port’s 2,600 years of history. See the forts thatprotect the port’s entrance, which have roots in the time of French Kings.Enter Fort St. Jean, a 12th-century building at the northern entrance to theport, to see the permanent exhibition space of the Museum of European andMediterranean Civilisations.
When hunger strikes again you’ll love the range of restaurants in VieuxPort. Pick up some fresh produce from the fish market to prepare a picniclunch, or sit down at a restaurant for a plate of bouillabaisse, a provincialfish stew typical of the city. Afterwards, wander through the historic streetsto window shop at local boutiques.
Vieux Port’s central location makes it the perfect place to start eachday in Marseille. Catch the bus from the terminus to the south to reach allareas of the city, or board a boat to reach the natural attractions of theCalanques National Park. A short walk will bring you to the Canebiére, acolourful arcade lined with cultural attractions and the Marseille touristoffice.