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Marseilles, France: Your Essential Weekend Itinerary

Marseilles, a port centre in the south of France, is a charming metropolis located along the Mediterranean Sea. Influenced by the region’s southern culture and their interconnections of immigration and trade posts, Marseilles is scattered with multicultural activities and attractions in addition to the wide range of selective cuisine. From the crystal blue water of Old Port to the fortress island of Château d’If, Marseilles offers a historic, relaxing adventure for those seeking an unworldly beauty. While a weekend here is not enough to explore all of the city’s appeals, listed below are four suggestions on how to spend 48 hours in Marseilles, France:

Taste The Historic Pastis At Le Bistrot Plage

Pastis is considered a customary drink of France, though travellers shouldn't expect it to be a casual delight. Licorice-flavoured and containing an amount of 40 - 45% of ABV, this strong-willed drink is a refreshing replacement to the anis-based absinthe. It was first commercialized by Paul Ricard in 1932 and has since found a popular following in Marseilles, where liquor stores and restaurants carrying the drink are loosely scattered across the city. One of those restaurants is Le Bistrot Plage, a terraced venue that hovers above the coastal wall south of the city centre. While food is on the menu at this stunning location, time is best spent here for the views and the drinks, which serves anything from mojitos to the traditional pastis. After finishing, people can even go swimming in the water below, where the crystal blue looks brighter with the sunlight directly above.

Hike Up To The Notre-Dame De La Garde

As one of the first things you notice when entering the city, the Notre-Dame De La Garde is a remarkable Catholic church perched on a hilltop south of Old Port. Featured with a panoramic view of Marseilles and surrounding mountains, the landmark is an essential attraction to explore, although gaining access to it provides quite the opportunity for a treacherous hike. With the option of a tourist train available for those who cannot manage the trek, the walk to the top is a satisfying and beautiful path along the centre of the city. The climb isn’t to be taken all so lightly on warmer days, though if you do make it to the church; needless to say, the long walk is definitely worth it.

Discover The Beauty Of Their Many Beaches

Despite the city’s location along the Mediterranean coast, Marseilles isn’t exactly considered a top beach destination. Surrounded by various bodies of water and sandbanks, the beaches of Marseilles offer visitors with preferences ranging from family-orientated spaces to cozy nooks only known to locals. In the south lies Calanques Massif, a jagged terrain with a mountain peak of 565 metres; whereas the northern territory is home to the sport-centered Corbière beaches. While there are various other beaches scattered between the two coasts, perhaps the most popular beach is the Prado seaside park. With 42 kilometres of coastline and 10 hectares of sand, this acclaimed location is surrounded by numerous outdoor activities such as a skateboard park and a nearby Ferris wheel. For those seeking relaxation,exploring the beaches of Marseilles is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Experience Bouillabaisse At Restaurant Le Château

Originally a casual stew made by Marseilles fishermen, Bouillabaisse is a traditional dish originating from this Mediterranean port city. Most commonly served with four kilograms of fish and selfish - including garlic, onions, wine and olive oil - this French cuisine is a delicacy that is constantly craved by locals throughout the coast. There are numerous restaurants that serve this customary meal, though if you want to try one of the best variations, then Restaurant Le Château is where to go. Located in the Calanque de Sormiou, Restaurant Le Château is a small restaurant with a passion for classic Mediterranean meals. Their bouillabaisse is home-cooked and served against a stunning backdrop, where you can enjoy the classic dish while also enjoying the view of white rocks and crystal blue water.

Scattered with beautiful beaches and landmarks, the port city of Marseilles is a beautiful destination in the southern region of France. Founded by the Greeks around 600 BC, the influence of the Mediterranean is deeply felt within its backdrop and cuisine, where the craft of fishermen is a vital aspect to the city. From the modern landmarks of Zaha Hadid’s CMA CGM Tower to the monument of the 19th-century Marseille Cathedral, expect a weekend in this luxurious metropolis to be both relaxing and adventurous.

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