Marseille's Top 10
Collected by Lisa Cheng, AFAR Contributor
3bis Rue Reine Elisabeth, 13001 Marseille, France
Marseille began its life as a trading port founded by the ancient Greeks, and the city’s heart remains at the waterfront. Here, you can witness the city's vibrant Mediterranean soul: Restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops bustle, pavilions host...
Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13281 Marseille, France
Notre-Dame de la Garde, built in 1864, stands guard over the harbor from the highest point in the city, with the Christofle-made bronze-and-gold-leaf Virgin Mary casting a watchful eye over sailors and fishermen. The neo-Byzantine-style church...
7 Prom. Robert Laffont, 13002 Marseille, France
This museum consists of three sites that collectively encompass 4,100 square meters (45,000 square feet) dedicated to exhibitions on Mediterranean civilizations, from ancient to modern. The newest of the buildings is the Rudy Ricciotti–designed...
Embarcadère Frioul If, 1 Quai de la Fraternité, 13001 Marseille, France
This imposing island fortress constructed under Francis I in the 16th century guarded the Marseille coast and served as a prison made legendary by Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. Inside, you can take a tour of the dark and dank cells....
Boulevard Jardin Zoologique, 13004 Marseille, France
Centered around an elaborate water fountain constructed during the Second Empire, the Palais Longchamp is home to the Natural History Museum, with its cabinets of curiosities and zoological specimens, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts. Here...
Calanque de l'Escalette, France
Calanques are fingerlike inlets with rocky promontories and steep walls of stone that lend their name to the newly designated Parc National des Calanques in a protected area south of Marseille. You can reach the park by foot (caving, hiking and...
Place Saint-Victor, 13007 Marseille, France
Dedicated to the martyr St. Victor, this Romanesque abbey was founded in the 5th century. The imposing stone turrets of the edifice date from the 11th to the 14th century, and the crypt holds a sarcophagus of St. Victor’s remains as well as the...
280 Boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille, France
Built between 1942 and 1952, Cité Radieuse was the most famous of the residential buildings that Swiss architect Le Corbusier built across Europe—an experimental housing design that was innovative for its time. Classified a national historic...
21 Bis Rue Vacon, 13001 Marseille, France
This grand thoroughfare—named after the medieval trade of rope-making—was expanded under Louis XIV and again during the Third Republic, and flourished as a magnet for high society with its fashionable hotels, cafés and department stores. Once...
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