Marseille’s Old Port is one of the very picturesque elements of France’s second largest city. This area has been the hub of activity in Marseille from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, and today it can be as busy as ever. We list 10 things to do in this beautiful spot Visit https://wikitravel.org/en/Marseille for travsel info about Marseille.
People/ Boat Watch
Marseille’s Old Port has been the beating heart of the town for centuries. This is the middle of maritime activity at the same time when trade from the sea was the city’s main supply of income. Today the port continues to be filled with boats, old and new, which you can admire as you stroll over the quays. The promenades may also be lined with cafés, bars and restaurants in order to have a pit stop and watch the entire world around you go by.
Quai des Belges Fish Market
Each morning, vendors set up shop on the Quai des Belges for the daily fresh fish market. This Marseille institution is part of the life and soul of the Old Port area and here tourists brush shoulders with the locals who have been coming here to purchase food from the ocean each of their lives. The fish for sale, that is caught in the Mediterranean Sea in the early hours of the morning, can be as fresh as it gets.
Phare de Sainte-Marie
Built in 1855, the Sainte Marie lighthouse on the esplanade de la Joliette marks the northernmost point of Marseille’s harbor. The cylindrical turret is an extraordinary 60 feet high and is encased from top-to-bottom in brilliant white local limestone. The lighthouse, that has been electrified in 1922, is now inactive but nevertheless makes a great photo opportunity because the dazzling white of the limestone contrasts against the azure blue of the cloudless sky and the Mediterranean Sea Visit https://www.tripindicator.com/best-cruise-boat-tours-marseille.html for more information about Marseille boat and cruise tours..
This picturesque little ferry boat sets sail from Marseille’s town hall repeatedly each day, going from one side of the Old Port to the other. The ferry, that has been originally steam driven, has been replaced with a far more eco-friendly version equipped with a solar propeller, in order to ride the waves without a heavy conscience.
Sample the Food
France is world-renowned for its gourmet cuisine, and the food scene in Marseille’s Old Port isn’t any exception to this rule. Great quality bars, restaurants and cafés line the edges of the port and many have outdoor seating in order to fully take advantage of the South of France sunshine. The seafood restaurants particularly are, unsurprisingly, outstanding.
Museum of Old Marseille
The Museum of Old Marseille, or the musée du vieux Marseille, just a few streets back from the port itself, can be an ideally situated museum housed in the 16th-century Maison Diamantée. Given its marina location, fishermen likewise have a try here in the number of rare and found objects related to traditions of the sea. The view from the rooftop café can also be magnificent.
Saint-Ferréol les Augustins
This Roman Catholic church is situated on the Quai des Belges at the eastern end of the Old Port of Marseille. The annals of the church goes back to when the website was owned by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. The building has been put into and altered since, with the addition of the Italian-style bell tower and the neo-baroque facade. The mish-mash of styles and influences, actually, works to great effect and this is a stunning addition to the already beautiful Old Port.
Boat to Château d’If
Although strictly speaking not part of the Old Port of Marseille, no trip to the location will be complete without a trip to the fascinating island of Château d’If. The island remained completely uninhabited until the 16th century when François I spotted its strategic potential and allowed plans for a fort to be built on the island. Today you can have a 20-minute ferry ride from the Old Port to the island made famous by Alexandre Dumas’The Count of Montecristo.