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Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille

Details

  • Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Food Scene
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Vieux Port started docking ships and boats back in 600 B.C., and it was a vibrant hub of the city until steamboats became the preferred mode of transport and Vieux Port was considered too shallow. Later in WWII, the Germans bombed the port, and it was left in disrepair until the mid-1900s when a revitalization project restored the port. These days, it is back to its former self, with scores of bobbing sailboats and an array of restaurants, bars and shops located just ashore. 

Recent visitors said you could easily spend hours strolling through Vieux Port, perusing various shops and restaurants to satisfy any taste – and even hopping aboard a Ferris wheel. History buffs will be entertained here too, as there are several historical structures still standing, including Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins, a Roman Catholic church that dates back to the 12th century. 

Access to the port area is free and available 24/7. You'll find the port at the end of La Canebière, tucked between Fort Saint-Jean and Fort Saint-Nicholas. To see the port from the water, you can hop aboard an eco-friendly ferry boat, which departs from the town hall several times a day and takes visitors from one side of the port to the other. For more information, visit Marseilles tourism office website

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#1 Le Panier Le Panier – or the Basket – gives a glimpse of Old Marseille and real Marseille culture. From its narrow winding streets that spill into squares to its restaurants, ateliers (worskshops) and ... Read more » Sami Sarkis / Getty Images

#2 Vieux Port Vieux Port started docking ships and boats back in 600 B.C., and it was a vibrant hub of the city until steamboats became the preferred mode of transport and ... Read more » ThomasSaupe / Getty Images

#3 Abbaye Saint Victor Abbaye Saint Victor is a working Catholic church, which was founded back in the 11th century as an abbey and named for the Roman soldier and Christian martyr Victor of ... Read more » RnDmS / Getty Images

#4 Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde – translated as Our Lady of the Guard – was built in the 1850s on the foundation of Marseille's ancient fortress. Today, this working Catholic ... Read more » Daniiielc / Getty Images

#5 Fort Saint-Jean Built in 1660 by Louis XIV, Fort Saint-Jean is a well-preserved fortress guarding Marseille at the entrance to the Old Port. Interestingly, it was built not to keep invaders at ... Read more » Evgeniya Ivanova / Getty Images

#6 Parc National des Calanques Visualize jagged limestone cliffs dropping into secret pebble beaches, which are lapped by the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and you'll start to get a picture of the ... Read more » Raffi Maghdessian / Getty Images

#7 MuCEM The Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Mediterranée, which goes by its acronym MuCEM, is Marseille's history and cultural museum that leads visitors on an anthropological ... Read more » Cultura/Tim E White / Getty Images

#8 Cathedrale de la Major Where the Abbaye Saint Victor is unembellished in its design, the Cathedrale de la Major is ornate. But it's also younger: The Cathedrale de la Major was built in ... Read more » Fred Bahurlet / EyeEm / Getty Images

#9 Chateau d'If Château d'If is a 16th-century fortress, commissioned by King Francois I, set atop the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago less than a mile from Marseille. It was later ... Read more » Photograph by Paul Atkinson / Getty Images

Le Panier picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Abbaye Saint Victor picture in Marseille
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Parc National des Calanques picture in Marseille
MuCEM picture in Marseille
Cathedral picture in Marseille
Château d'If picture in Marseille
Le Panier picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Abbaye Saint Victor picture in Marseille
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Parc National des Calanques picture in Marseille
MuCEM picture in Marseille
Cathedral picture in Marseille
Château d'If picture in Marseille

Visitors say Le Panier offers an authentic look at Marseille life.  Sami Sarkis / Getty Images

Vieux Port – the Old Port – is the heart of Marseille, with its congregation of docked sailboats and yachts and lineup of restaurants, bars and shops.  ThomasSaupe / Getty Images

Compared to other churches in the city, Abbaye Saint Victor offers a stark façade. RnDmS / Getty Images

You can't miss the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde as it's the focal point of the Marseille skyline.  Daniiielc / Getty Images

Fort Saint-Jean offers some wonderful views of the Mediterranean.  Evgeniya Ivanova / Getty Images

You'll experience colors galore at Parc National des Calanques – from the green pine trees that top its white cliffs to its blue Mediterranean waters.  Raffi Maghdessian / Getty Images

The gorgeous contemporary design of MuCEM contains the anthropological history of the region.  Cultura/Tim E White / Getty Images

The Marseille Cathedral was designed by architect Léon Vaudoyer in the Romanesque Byzantine design.  Fred Bahurlet / EyeEm / Getty Images

The fortress-turned-prison, Château d'If, inspired the nearly inescapable setting of Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo."  Photograph by Paul Atkinson / Getty Images

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