1. The Old Port
Marseille's legacy as France's leading port town is what gives the city its character and personality so it's no surprise that the Old Port makes it to the top of your must-see things to do in Marseille. The incredible rectangle harbour has been trading for over 2,600 years and is more of an expansive district than a single tourist attraction.
You can spend a fantastic afternoon - or entire day - exploring the Old Port, with cafes, seafood restaurants and bars adorning each of the quays. Most of the day-to-day industry has moved to the more modern docks to the north, but at the Quai des Belges you'll still find the catch of the day brought in every morning.
2. Calanques National Park
A break to Marseille isn't complete without a trip to its national park. The stunning area is home to craggy limestone cliffs that jut straight out of the water. These Calanques are what make this area so visually impressive and attract both locals and tourists.
If you're feeling fit, you can embark on the lengthy hike from Marseille to Cassis that will allow you to see the Calanque National Park in all its glory. However, if you prefer your holidays to be a bit more romantic, there are many boat tours that will take you around the area and even mini-cruises that depart from the Old Port.
3. Le Panier
Much of Marseille's charm is that each part of it is in vibrant contrast to each other and nowhere is this more true than in the town of Le Panier. It has been inhabited since 600 BC and much of its development was forged by immigrants who flocked to Le Panier for its proximity to the dock.
For many years, it was known for being one of the poorest areas in Marseille but recently its vibrant ochre-painted houses have seen it become a thriving, trendy district bursting with independent boutiques and cafes.
4. Delux Visit to Provence Avignon & Aix-En-Provence
If you’re a couple that loves to immerse yourself in local history when exploring a new part of the world, then the Delux visit to provence excursion should be top of your list of things to do in Marseille. Giving you plenty of chances to see the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour, before going to your next stop to the monumental Papal Palace, the seat of Christianity in the 14th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Boulevard Longchamp
There's no better place in Marseille to go for a romantic stroll than Boulevard Longchamp. The 19th-century houses, impressive fountain and greenery make it a fantastic area to spend a few hours, while the nearby Natural Museum and Museum of Fine Arts can easily extend your visit.
Palais Longchamp is at the very east of the boulevard and remains one of Marseille's top tourist attractions thanks to its impressive Espérandieu design. It is also nestled in front of the highly regarded Zoological Gardens if animals are more your thing.
6. Frioul Archipelago
The Frioul archipelago is a collection of beautiful islands; Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen. You can easily get boat trips from the Old Port to the Frioul archipelago to explore the age-old islands that have stood in their current position since 6 BC. The microclimate houses unique floral species and more than 200 different types of plants can be found, while many birds also flock to these beautiful shores.
If walks are more up your street, the islands are packed with beaches, rocky inlets and creeks for you to explore at your own pace. Although it is officially part of the Calanques National Park it is worth a trip all of its own to make the most of the stunning landscape and unique wildlife opportunities.
Visit Marseille on a Mediterranean cruise on MSC Bellissima!