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My Ideas for Enjoying a Few Days in Marseille

Below is a collection of things you can do while visiting Marseille. These are only some of my ideas for a day in the city or a few days. The list includes something for everyone from beachgoers to art lovers. Enjoy this fascinating city.

Head to the Beach

I was interested in reading this in my weekend paper, especially the Tuba Club, a boutique hotel by the sea.  However, I couldn’t determine the location until I realized they meant Les Goudes! I hadn’t heard of this conversion of an old scuba diving centre into five cabanons and a villa into a hotel, but the photos look idyllic. And it seems that they are attracting a very cosmopolitan young crowd, according to CN Traveler  – having engaged the coolest designers to build on the natural beauty of the position. Continue reading here for the original Aixcenttic article.

Le cabanon by Jean-Max Tixier is a good read (my book review) on the cabanons typical of this part of the Mediterranean and the lifestyle of their owners. Here is my book review.

Tuba Club
2 Boulevard Alexandre Delabre,
13008 Marseille
Telephone +33 (0)9 66 95 13 16

Whether you stay or not, going to Les Goudes is a fun day trip or a place for a seaside lunch. Take the boat to Les Goudes from Marseille’s Vieux Port on two boats. All passengers must disembark at Pointe Rouge. Those continuing to the tiny fishing port of Les Goudes take a smaller boat. The Marseillais affectionately call Les Goudes “le bout du monde.”  Les Goudes feels like the end of the world on the edge of a metropolis. Technically still within the city’s 8th arrondissement, Les Goudes has a population of fewer than 500 inhabitants, although numbers swell on hot summer days. Swimming and casual dining are two reasons to visit this bay.

Alternatively, the Point Rouge beach is a family-friendly option for a day of swimming. There are lifeguards and a big sandy stretch of waterfront.

To Market

Marseille Vieux Port Marseille City

A Sunday morning market for seasonal produce is now open on the Vieux-Port. We’re talking fruit and veg, cheeses, charcuteries, spices and bread, alongside the existing fish stalls on the quai de la Fraternité, between the Brasserie de la Samaritaine and l’ombrière du Vieux-Port. The new 37-stall market will complement the fish market – it will eventually be part of an outdoor food court with food trucks to cater to hungry customers.

Marché alimentaire du Vieux-Port
Sundays 08-13h00

Marseille for Art

Marseille MuCEM View

In 2023, Musée Regards de Provence celebrated the 25 years of its foundation with  « La Collection – ses 25 ans ». The exhibition combined 40 works painted locally during the 19th and 20th centuries. These works were created in Marseille, along the coast (Martigues to Agay) and inland in the Provencal countryside.

Allée Regards de Provence
13002 Marseille
Telephone: +33 (0)4 96 17 40 40

Parking: The closest parking is Parking Indigo Vieux-Port/Mucem and exit via Major/Regards de Provence.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 18h (last entry 17:30h)

Tours: There is a free guided tour in French on Saturdays at 10:30 (minimum of six people). Reservations are required. For English tours, they are available Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are required for the English tours, and there is a small fee.

Don’t Miss: The view from the Restaurant – Tea Room Regards Café on the museum’s top floor. Reservations are highly recommended for the main restaurant. In addition, a take-out counter with a limited food selection can be eaten on the outdoor terrace.

Also worth seeing during your visit is the 45-minute film “Memory of the Sanitary Station” about the original use of the building. It was a medical staging centre to monitor and detect infectious diseases for passengers arriving by ship.

A List of Marseille Museums

The Calanques

Calanque En Vau Provence

The Calanques National Park stretches between Marseille and Cassis. Dominated by stark grey limestone and dabbed with greenery here and there, the park contrasts the Mediterranean’s deep blue waters. Eons ago, ancient rivers carved canyons through this limestone on their way to the sea, forming the calanques we see today. However, due to this coastline’s beauty and popularity, access to the Calanques National Park is controlled in the summer. This is due to damage to the ecosystem caused by the burgeoning number of visitors and increasing fire risks.  The Calanque de Sugiton, which used to attract up to 2,500 people daily, is limited to 400 entries. Pre-booking one of the free passes is via the smartphone app ‘Mes Calanques.’

Go Caving

Cosquer Mediterranée in Marseille

Aerial view of the site: The Cosquer cave in the Mediterranean landscape. © Luc Vanrell/Ministère de la Culture

Cosquer Mediterranée in the Villa Méditerranée is a multimedia recreation of the prehistoric cave paintings at Villa Méditerranée. The actual location is below sea level near Marseille in an underwater cave discovered by speleologist Henri Cosquer. Henri Cosquer first discovered the cave (grotte) in the calanques, near Marseille, in 1985. The cave remains an important archaeological find, the only known site east of the Rhône River. La grotte Cosquer is a historical monument in grave danger of disappearing with rising sea levels. Today, the cave sits 37 metres below the water level, inaccessible except by experienced divers.

Villa Méditerranée
Promenade Robert Laffont
13002 Marseille
J4 esplanade adjacent to MuCEM

Hardware Shopping

Did you know Marseille has France’s oldest quincaillerie or hardware shop? Maison Empereur is a must-visit if you are interested in traditional Provencal life. Take the magnificent big hand-graters, for instance – just the gadget used in café kitchens many years ago for churning carrots and cabbage for salads.  Then there are traditional crepe pans for sale and Provencal jugs for the table.

4, rue des Récolettes
13001 Marseille
Open Monday to Saturday from 9h to 19h (does not close for lunch)
Telephone: +33 (0)4 91 54 02 29

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Lynne Alderson

Lynne Alderson

Aixcentric was set up by Lynne Alderson three years ago as a channel to send out info on events taking place around Aix as well as news, relevant books, the latest films, new shops and of course where to eat locally. Why?

According, to Lynne:

"It came about out of frustration with the lack of communication in the town. Posters would suddenly go up about an event that week. No prewarning. I had difficulty too in finding information from many of the tourist offices. Things are slowly getting better and there is sometimes information in English. Hopefully by keeping an eagle eye on the local press and talking with contacts in town, I can publicize fun things that people would otherwise miss. It's a ragbag of info that I come across on my travels. I've published nearly 600 posts now and have lots of followers so hopefully, it is fulfilling its role of helping people, residents and visitors alike, get the most of their time in Aix."

For what is going on in Aix-en-Provence, Lynne has you covered at Aixcentric

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