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Overview to Marseille: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Marseille's Port

Marseille is an intriguing city. On the Cote d’Azur like Cannes and Monaco, it nonetheless manages to mix the wealthy glamour of those places with the grittier, more colorful and authentic aspects of portside living.

Many travelers head initially to the Vieux Port. Here, the luxurious mixes with the functional, as millionaire playboy yachts mingle with fishing trawlers bringing in the day’s catch. Cafés and restaurants line the marina, along with hawkers selling wonderful fresh produce.

A few attractions are immediately visible while walking around the area. A couple of aging forts – ruins left over from the Roman occupation of the city – flank the Port, while the marvelous Basilique de Notre-Dame de la Garde sits majestically on the hill to the south.

And from the Old Port to the Old Town… resting to the north of the port, the area of Le Panier is affectionately known as Marseille’s birthplace. Predominantly pedestrianized and ever-so-slightly bedraggled, the medieval setting makes for a tranquil atmosphere that's ideal for an inquisitive stroll.

Inland from the Port reveals a collection of museums, including the excellent Musee d’Histoire and Musee Cantini. Further on, the Cours Julien area between and around the Places of Jean Jaures and Paul Cezanne is inhabited by an eclectically chic crowd of shoppers and diners.

And Marseille’s population is as robust as its districts. With a strong Middle Eastern and African influence, the streets beat to all manner of different tunes and cultural activity. And, ultimately, the people help make the city what it is today: a palpitating port-city with an intriguingly diverse atmosphere.

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