1st day: The must-see sightseeing
Morning: Viewing Marseille from height
Get in the bus 60, the Petit Tourist Train, Grand Tour or City Tour from the Old Port to Notre-Dame de la Garde to view Marseille from the height. Visit the basilica and the Musee de Notre-Dame de la Garde.Go back to the Old Port and visit the fish market on L’Ombrière by Norman Foster and Quai de la Fraternité. Take a walk along the port’s docks. The famous free Ferry Boat will take you across Old Port to and from the Town Hall and Place aux Huiles. Have a lunch in one of the numerous restaurants in the Old Port: you must taste a bouillabaisse or a simple dish from Provence. You can check Coursd’Estienned’Orves, Quai du Port,Rue Sainte, Quai d’Honneur or any other nearby.
City’s old town, “Le Panier”, lies behind the Town Hall. You can visit the hidden gem that is Marseille’s old town with or without guide, on foot or on the Petit Tourist Train. Lose yourself in the little lanes and discover the Roman Docks Museum, the VieilleCharite Museum or the children’s museum Preau des Accoules. Go the end of the Old Port or take the Fort Saint-Jean bridge to the J4 Esplanade. Go back to the Old Port or get in the bus 82, 82S to Pharo-Catalans, 60 to Notre-Dame de la Garde, get off at the Old Port metro station and walk to La Canebière. As you walk up the street, on your left you can see the Palais de la Bourse, Marseille History Museum and Ancient Port.
Go back up La Canebière to CoursJulien until you see PalaisLongchamp. You can take metro line 1 (to La Rose, stop at Cinq avenues Longchamp) or use the tram line 2 on CoursBelsunce (to Blancarde Foch, get off at Longchamp). You can admire exhibitions and collections at the Fine Arts Museum and Natural History Museum and check the Longchamp grounds. If you’d like to go shopping, you can find Marseille souvenirs like olive oil, pastis, soap, santons, lavender etc. along the docks. You can also get your shopping fix on Rue de la République, Rue Paradis and Rue Saint-Ferréol with their high street brands, up-and-coming designers and luxury names.
Check the coastline, Marseille’s harbour and its islands. Get in the bus 83 (to Rond-Point du Prado), cycle the bike paths along La Corniche,hop on the City or Grand Tour or even a shuttle boat along Corniche Kennedy to Prado’s beaches. If you’d like to try something sporty then go kayaking or diving to investigate Marseille Bay from the sea. As you walk around you can see the areas of Vallon des Auffes, the Maregraph building, the Monument des Rapatriés,Malmousque,Porte d’Orient,Marseille’s islands in the distance, mansions, secret beaches and lots of restaurants. As you reach Prado’s beaches, check the Hippodrome de Marseille with its golf courses, de la mode et de la faïence, Château Borély and with its grounds home to the Musée des arts décoratifs and a botanical garden.
Keep going to the Goudes or Callelongue using signs for the Pointe Rouge (you can take bus 19 to La Madrague de Montredon from the Borély Park stop then get in the bus 20 to Callelongue) and you will see a peaceful heaven far from the city, the awesome place for a drink by the water.
As you go back to the city center stop at StadeVelodrome (first take the bus 20 to La Madrague de Montredon then switch it on the bus 19 to Castellane and stop at Rond Point du Prado). This place is the home of Marseille football and was built in 1937 for the 1938 Football World Cup. Preparing for Euro 2016, the stadium can now seat 67,000 which makes it the second largest in France.
A bit further along Boulevard Michelet visit the Unitéd’Habitation: La Citéradieuse designed by Le Corbusier in 1952. Take a walk form the Rond du Prado or take the bus 21 or 22 and get off at Corbusier. This building is an example of a post-war architecture. It’s open to visitors and provides you with guided tours which are available with the Tourist Office.
3rd day:From L’Estaque to the Calanques
Spend this day in the Calanques exploring its National Park. It’ll take keen hikers 11 hours to walk from Marseille to Cassis through the Calanques. To enjoy family-friendly 90 minute walk, set off from Callelongue to the Calanque de Marseilleveyre. You can choose any of several routes. If you’d like to sail through the Calanques, hop on board a Calanques Cruise at the Old Port.
You can also enjoy the L’Estaque Quarter. Reach it on a shuttle boat from the Old Port (April-September) or by bus 35 from La Joliette. To get to La Joliette, take metro line 2 at the center of the Euroméditerranée project to Bougainville and stop of Joliette or use tram line 2 and get off at Joliette. L’Estaque is a small fishing port with the industrial past. Take a pause and sample the famous “chichisfregis” (doughnuts) and “panisses” (chickpea flour chips) cooked exclusively in “chichi” stalls along the port. Don’t forget to enjoy the catch of the day with a mouth-watering grilled fish dish at one of the numerous restaurants on the port. And finally visit the Monticelli Museum to see the biggest collection of paintings by the Marseille artists and exciting modern exhibitions.