With a population of 1,604,000 as of 2007, Marseille is the second-largest city in France and number one port. Marseille takes pride in its uniqueness and diversity. Indeed it is not like the rest of France; being the major gateway from Africa, it has a Mediterranean flavour that may remind you more of Africa than Europe.
Marseille is by far the oldest city in France, dating back 2500 years. Its rough and tumble history is still evident today.
The top five attractions of Marseille, France.
- Calanques. Tall cliffs by the Mediterranean Sea, make this a spectacular outdoor attraction.
- Marseille Cathedral, a massive Roman Catholic cathedral that was built in the 19th century. It was also a National Monument of France.
- Chateau d’lf. Famous for being one of the settings in the novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, it was constructed initially as a fortress and then later turned into a prison.
- Notre Dame de la Garde, an iconic landmark, overlooking the city from its highest point. The interiors are particularly ornate and memorable.
- Vieux Port. It’s hard to imagine this city without the old port. Popular among locals as well as visitors, it is definitely a must see during your trip.
There are countless beautiful old buildings to be admired in Marseille. Some of the more notable ones are the Abbey of St. Victor, La Vielle Charite and the Opera House.