The urban greyness depresses you. You dream of hearing the lilting accent of the South and the song of the crickets. We have just what you need! A three-day getaway in the city of Marseille is the perfect destination to enjoy one of the long weekends of May. Make yourself comfortable in your Campanile hotel, we'll take care of the rest! Old Port, Panier neighborhood, Mucem, Calanques... Marseille offers such a wide range of activities that you won't want to leave. You won't be able to say we didn't tell you so.
To discover the city, what could be better than walking or biking (with the kids) and letting yourself be carried away by the typical ambiance of Marseille? In addition, your stroll will take you through the must-see places of the Phocaean city!
Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, "the Good Mother" who watches over Marseille
To begin with, the most famous monument of the city, the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, perched on the hill of the same name. The edifice, dating from the Middle Ages, is surmounted by a monumental statue of the Virgin Mary (over 11 meters high!). It faces the Mediterranean and offers a 360° panorama. What a perfect opportunity to get your landmark before going on to explore more closely the different neighborhoods and points of interest. From there, you can even see the Calanques! A show that has to be earned... 150 meters of difference in level, it climbs! But you can also opt for the bus or, with the children, take a small tourist train.
The nerve center of Marseille, the Old Port
After having taken some height, come back to sea level and try to imagine... More than 2 500 years ago (in 600 BC), sailors from Asia Minor landed and founded a city: Massalia, the ancestor of Marseille. Since then, things have changed a lot, but the energy is still here! Don't miss the daily fish market, the lively cafes and restaurants on the quays, or the spectacle of the continuous bustle of the boats. In this neighborhood, you'll also find the Museum of the History of Marseille, which is particularly appreciated for its child-friendly tour.
The Panier neighborhood or the art of living in Marseille
Keep in mind and plunge into a picturesque setting by getting lost, a little further, in the Panier. The oldest district of Marseille is also THE most bohemian area! Colorful facades, craftsmen's stores, squares, terraces, alleys and stairs... let yourself be carried away! Traaaaaanquille, as they say here! With your mind charmed and your body rested, go in search of the Place des Moulins, La Vieille Charité or the Préau des Accoules (museum dedicated to children).
Well-deserved specialties from Marseille!
After this first busy day, can you feel the spirit of Marseille slowly taking over? Enjoy the last rays of sunshine on the terrace and let yourself be tempted by the local gastronomy. Why not start with the great Provençal aioli? This very garlicky mayonnaise can be served as an aperitif with raw vegetable sticks. Other variations to whet your appetite: tapenade, made with green or black olives, and anchoïade, made with... anchovies! Spread on small slices of toasted bread without moderation! After these appetizers, no hesitation, opt for the bouillabaisse! A fish soup which tradition goes back to several centuries. And make no mistake, this typical dish is not reserved for winter. A good bouillabaisse is served all year round, as it is made from seasonal fish.
Did you know that? The name "bouillabaisse" comes from the Provençal "bouiabaisso", which means "to boil and to reduce".
Excited by your first day, you can already feel a new energy taking hold of you. It's a good thing, because the program is full! Marseille hides a rich and varied cultural life, it would be a shame to miss it!
The Mucem: Marseille at the center of the Mediterranean Sea
Back to the city center to enjoy the Mucem, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. Built in 2013, when Marseille was the European Capital of Culture, the building is a work of contemporary art in itself. Inside, there is a permanent exhibition: the Galerie de la Méditerranée, which focuses on Mediterranean civilizations, and a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Do not hesitate to cross the threshold of this museum with your children! Workshops, shows, space for 4-12 year olds, tours... the Mucem pays special attention to families!
Good to know
If the exhibitions are not free, the Mucem is also a space where you can wander around... for free! And you would be wrong to deprive yourself of it! Tower, courtyard, cannons, places of arms and covered way... the entrance of the Mucem by the Fort Saint-Jean is worth the detour just for this trip in the past! Don't miss the terrace and the access ramp for their exceptional views of the entrance to the Old Port and the sea.
Visit "La Maison du Fada" in Marseille
It looks like a big building and yet everything behind it is exciting, concrete, and accessible to young and old alike! The Cité Radieuse by architect Le Corbusier was built after the war, between 1947 and 1952. It contains several hundred apartments and collective spaces: a shopping street, a bookstore, a bar-restaurant, a school, a gymnasium... Everything was thought out with the ambition of creating a new housing system. It is not surprising that "La Maison du Fada" has become a reference for architecture lovers all over the world!
Discover the secrets of Olympique de Marseille at the Velodrome Stadium
In Marseille, more than anywhere else, it is out of the question to leave the culture of football on the sidelines! For soccer fans, it would be sacrilege not to walk on the mythical Stade Vélodrome! So don't worry: if no match is organized during your stay, you can make up for it with the visit organized by the Tourist Office. Locker rooms and dressing rooms, backstage and anecdotes, press conference room and celebrities... Not only will you have access to places normally closed to the public, but you will now know everything about Olympique de Marseille! So, come to the stadium and go OM!
Two days in Marseille and you already feel like part of the family. How about a little peace and quiet before returning to your daily routine? For this third day, we suggest some green escapades. Well... blue! Because here, it is the sea that will amaze you.
The Calanques, a natural jewel at the gates of Marseille
Clumps of pine trees and aromatic plants, turquoise waters in the middle of limestone cliffs... It's certain that you will quickly fall under the charm of the Calanques! The National Park stretches over twenty kilometers of coastline, and for our greatest pleasure, just a stone's throw from the city! Bus, car or boat, you will be quickly and easily on this site with an exceptional biodiversity. Once there, there is no shortage of options: diving, climbing, hiking ... a small paradise on Earth, in other words. But beware, to preserve the fragile balance of this treasure, strict access rules are imposed. Find out more before you leave.
The Frioul Islands, 20 minutes from Marseille
You can see them very well from Marseille, the four islands of the Frioul archipelago: Pomègues, Ratonneau, Tiboulen and If. Easily accessible from the Old Port (20 minutes by boat), don't miss the pleasure of a trip to these islands whose landscapes are breathtaking: fauna and flora characteristic of the arid climate of the archipelago, but also, small sandy beaches and beautiful coves ... Don't forget your bathing suits!
Why not head for the Château d'If to meet the Count of Monte Cristo?
On one of the islands of the Frioul archipelago, a piece of history is perched on a rock: the Château d'If which was, for over 400 years, a state prison from which it was very difficult to escape! This fort was made famous by the adventures of Edmond Dantes, hero of the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Today, you can still visit the Count's cell and see the hole dug in the wall for his escape... A treat for children who will love the guided tour!
Between must-sees, cultural visits and lazing around, there is something for everyone during this stay in Marseille. Come on, let's go, we are waiting for you!