A Weekend Guide to Marseille

Marseille is known as the oldest city in France and with its mild winters and dry summers, it really makes this coastal city a great destination for older folks who are looking for a quick and relaxing weekend getaway.

Getting to Marseille

There are many options when it comes to getting to Marseille. You can either arrive by plane, car or even by train.

By plane

The Marseille-Provence International Airport is located 30 minutes outside of the city. Getting to and from the Marseille airport is easy as there are a wide variety of transportation options available.

By train

The Gare Saint-Charles train station is very well connected to cities such as París, Lyon, Niza, Brussels and Barcelona.

By car

All of the motorways leading to and from Marseille are very well marked. Travelers can arrive from Niza in 2 hours, Lyon in 3 hours, Toulouse in 4 hours and París in 8. Once in the city visitors can park their cars in the main parking lot of the train station and get their weekend underway.

Things to See and Do

The main attractions of this renowned french city include beautiful old style architecture and a wide variety of buildings that have been converted into museums and other monuments.

For example; The Old Port and the 19th-century Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde are just a few examples of what can be found there.

Marseille is also full of natural urban areas where visitors can enjoy fresh air and the outdoors. Calanques, for example, is a wild mountain coastal area of outstanding natural beauty. It became France’s tenth National Park back in 2012. You can visit this area easily if you are renting car at Marseille airport when you arrive by plane to the city. 

Old Port

Vieux-Port in French, is one of the most important places in Marseille. In front of the Marseilles town hall there is a ferry boat which will transport visitors to the Old Port for free. Visitors can then travel from the Old Port to an island which is home to the If Castle.

If Castle

The If Castle was built between 1527-1529 and was originally built to be a fortress but instead became a prison for many years after. Today it’s one of Marseilles most popular tourist attractions.

Basilica of Notre Dame de la Grand

The Basilica of Notre Dame de la Grand was built by Francisco I to resist the attacks of Carlos V. Years later the protestant architect Henri Espérandieu turned the Basilica into a fortress. Many visitors consider this to be a highlight of Marseille.

Marseille is a perfect place to visit for a weekend. While it’s more suited to the older crowd due to it’s relaxing and laid back vibes, a weekend trip to Marseille is the perfect recipe for those who enjoy city walks, beautiful views, stunning landscapes and mild year-round temperatures.