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Top Tours

 
"Private Tour: Street Art
Food and History Tour""Private Tour: Street Art Food and History Tour in Marseille""We will start with a tour of the district Le Panier the most ancient of Marseille to explore the narrow streets filled with history street art and traditions. You will taste some local biscuits specialties the Navettes.Discover the Cathedral La Major
From EUR35.00
 
Marseille Electric Bike Tour
"Begin your small-group electric bike tour of one of the oldest cities in Europe at the historic Old Port (Vieux Port) in central Marseille. Your deluxe electric bike requires much less pedaling than a standard bike so you can explore the city with ease. Plus attachable baby seats and trailers make this an activity the whole family can enjoy. Throughout your trip your native guide will share anecdotes about Marseille's rich heritage and show you secret streets and places only locals know about. You may even get the chance to see the locals playing their favorite game pétanque which is a type of boules and similar to bocce.Ride up to Palais du Pharo (Napoleon's Palace) where you’ll take in lovely views of Marseille and the Old Port. Marvel at Notre-Dame de la Garde
From EUR42.00
 
Private Tour: Marseille and Aix-en-Provence Day Trip from Avignon
"You’ll be picked up from your Avignon hotel in the morning for your full-day trip to Marseille and Aix-en-Provence two gems of southern France’s Provence region.Start with a visit to Aix-en-Provence the former capital of Provence. Aix is most famous for its opulent 17th- and 18th-century mansions that line Cours Mirabeau the grand boulevard that cuts through the city. Wander down Cours Mirabeau and explore Old Town with your guide. You’ll also visit Atelier Cézanne the studio of the famous post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne who was born in Aix-en-Provence. See where Cézanne created his masterpieces and venture to the foot of Montagne Sainte-Victoire to see the actual landscapes that inspired him.You’ll then drive south to the colorful Mediterranean coastal city of Marseille. Learn about the fascinating history of this ancient city — the oldest
From EUR70.00

Vieux Port Tips (39)

The Old Port of Marseilles (Vieux Port)

As I'm was staying by the Old Port I had an opportunity to walk around this area a lot. The port is by the old town and on the side where the Panier district is and all along the sea front are many restaurants, cafes and bars which is a nice place to sit and relax watching the world go round.

On each side of the port there are the two forts, fort Saint -Jean which you can visit and Bas fort Saint Nicolas which it has not access to the public. Also from here you catch the ferry to Frioul islands.

Galaxy31's Profile Photo
Galaxy31
Jan 18, 2016

The Old Port (Le Vieux-Port)

The Old Port is where Marseille was founded over 2,600 years ago.

This was the city’s commercial and military harbor for most of that time, but now it is used mainly for pleasure boats, since the new container ships have their own bigger harbor just a short distance away to the north.

My first photo shows the Old Port as seen from the Frioul If Express.

Second photo: The Old Port on the left and Fort Saint-Nicolas on the right.

Third photo: Looking south across the harbor. The church up on a hill behind the harbor is Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde.

Fourth photo: Here we are also looking south, not only at Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde but also at La Criée, a former wholesale fish market which is now the home of a major theater, the Centre Dramatique National de Marseille.

Fifth photo: The Old Port from Fort Saint-Jean.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Nemorino
Mar 11, 2013

Project Vieux-Port

When I took this photo in the autumn of 2012, the quays at the Old Port consisted mainly of large construction sites, for the purpose of transforming the streets into a pedestrian area. The space devoted to motor vehicles will be greatly reduced, with the goal of having 50 % fewer cars in the area by 2013.

The Quai des Belges, a nine-lane highway that runs along the end of the port, is gradually being changed. First it is being reduced to four lanes, and at some point there will be just two lanes, both reserved for buses.

In a car-fixated city like Marseille, this sort of change awakens various sorts of anxieties. Car drivers are of course unhappy about losing their near-monopoly on the use of public space. They claim to be afraid that the new pedestrian area will be taken over by anti-social elements who will use it for criminal purposes. Their idea of public safety is for everyone to stay in their cars with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, because anyone not in a car is considered a potential troublemaker.

Non-drivers, who consider the whole project too timid and gradual, are afraid the new pedestrian area will soon be full of illegally parked cars and motorcycles.

The city council says the rules for people and cars will be strictly enforced, with the aid of video cameras and a new lighting system.

Second photo: A sign at the Old Port to promote the project.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Nemorino
Mar 11, 2013

Musée d’Histoire et Port Antique de Marseille

In Roman times the harbor was somewhat larger than it is today, so the remains of their Ancient Port are now about two blocks away from the water’s edge.

These remains were discovered in 1967. They are now an archeological site and will be accessible as part of the city’s history museum (Musée d’Histoire et Port Antique de Marseille), starting in June 2013.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Nemorino
Mar 11, 2013
 
 
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Hotel de Ville (City Hall)

The Marseille City Hall is on the north side of the old harbor. It was built in the seventeenth century, from 1653 to 1673, directly across the harbor from the Arsenal of the Galleys.

The Arsenal was considered an expression of the power of the king, so the impressive baroque façade of the City Hall was intended to show that the city was just as powerful as the king.

The City Hall just barely avoided demolition during the French Revolution. And it was one of the few buildings in the Old Port district that was not destroyed by the Nazis in 1943, as we learned on our guided walking tour of the Panier district.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Nemorino
Mar 11, 2013

Palais du Pharo and Missak Manouchian

For the best view of the Vieux Port, keep walking on the south side along the busy road. This will take you past a small naval base (?) housed in Fort St Nicolas, and a Novotel, as well as another fort under restoration presumably to be opened as a new tourist attraction in 2013. Eventually, you'll come to a gate into a park, which leads you to a palace, the Palace du Pharo. You can't go inside the palace, unless you're a guest at a conference being held inside, but the gardens are a public park, and at the far end you have an uninterrupted view over the whole Vieux Port, as well as north to the modern port, the Cathedrale de la Major, and further on to L'Estaque. Annoyingly, the part of the park on the headland with perhaps the best views was fenced off in 2012.

Just before the park, close to Novotel, is a little garden with a statue of Missak Manouchian, an Armenian who arrived in Marseille as an orphaned refugee from Syria. During the Second World War, he moved to Paris and joined the Resistance movement, eventually being captured and executed by the Nazis. Similar views of the Vieux Port are to be had from here too.

maykal's Profile Photo
maykal
Nov 11, 2012

CRAFT MARKETS AT VIEUX PORT

Vieux-Port - The old Port, and such a busy area, especially the day we were here, as lining the pavement were many Craft stalls. Fabulous! I love a market in a country different to my own!

It is a Summer market, and sells all sorts of nice things like soap, Provencal honey, paintings and beaut smaller items that make good souvenirs. I have my reminder of Marseille bought from this market at home.

The market operates from 11am - 9pm on weekends.

balhannah's Profile Photo
balhannah
Sep 10, 2012

ST. AUGUSTIN CHURCH

Also in the old Port area, is the lovely white-washed, St. Augustin Church.
In the 12th Century, the Headquarters of the Knights Templar originally stood where the Church stands today.

It was in 1369, the Augustin monks bought the building, and work began on the Gothic church. Events took place over time, with the Church being consecrated in 1542, although not completed until 1588. The Italian-style bell tower wasn't added until the 18th Century. A monastery was also here, but this was divided up and sold during the Revolution and only the church remained.

If it is open, take note of the throne, now a National Heritage work of art, the high altar made of polychrome marble and some fine paintings. The church also contains the ossuary of Saint Louis d'Anjou that had been stolen in 1423 when the city was pillaged, it was only returned to Marseille in 1956.

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balhannah
Sep 10, 2012

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LE VIEUX PORT

The Old Port of Marseille is known as Le Vieux Port. Found in the heart of the city, it has been here since the Greek-Phoenicians arrived back in 600 BC.

It's a lovely area, with a great atmosphere. It was buzzing with people! I thought it very pretty, loving all the yachts and Boats in the Marina and the surrounding setting. It is here, where the Ferries leave for the Islands, and the Little Tourist Train departs on its scenic tour of the city.

Going back in time when the city was built, this setting was very well planned.
The Port in the centre, the city on either side and protected by Forts Saint-Nicholas to the South and Fort Saint-Jean to the North.
The Ferry Bridge which once spanned the port between the Fort Saint-Nicholas and Fort Saint-Jean was damaged in an explosion in 1944 and the bridge was demolished after the Second World War.

Fish and Craft markets are held at the Old Port, and it's here, you may see the "old" Bridge in some of the paintings for sale.

balhannah's Profile Photo
balhannah
Sep 10, 2012

TAKE A BOAT RIDE

Marseille I found to be so interesting and pretty from the water, I really think a trip on a Boat is A MUST.

Boats are pretty popular here.
There is a FREE FERRY SERVICE which crosses from one side of the old Port to the other, saves the legs if you are tired!

Since I was last here, there is a brand-new fast boat service named "batobus,' which shuttles people between the Old Port and Pointe Rouge (where you can find one of Marseille's prettiest small beaches).
Boats run once an hour until 10pm, the journey time is around 40 minutes and the trip is free for holders of a Transpass season ticket and 2.5€ each way for casual users. They leave from the corner of the Old Port where the quai des Belges joins the quai de Rive Neuve.

The Boat trip we did, was to the Chateau d'If.
Look for the Frioul If Express in the Old Port. This will take you to the islands of If and Frioul.
Boats depart from Marseille from 6.40 am ...Check the listed website for exact times.

PRICE in 2012....
One island only: Vieux Port – Island of Frioul OR Vieux Port – Island of If
Round trip: €10,10
"Family" round trip: €7.60
Combined trip: Vieux Port – Island of If and Island of Frioul
"Combined" round trip: €15,20
"Family¹ Combined" round trip: €11.40
One way.....Outbound or return: €5,10
Night : Vieux Port – Island of Frioul (starting from the Vieux-Port from 7pm)
Round trip: €5,10

We had the MARSEILLE CITY PASS WHICH GAVE US FREE TRAVEL

balhannah's Profile Photo
balhannah
Sep 09, 2012

HOTEL DE VILLE

After visiting the Fish Market, I had a look at the Hotel de Ville [Town Hall] which overlooks the Old Port.

The Architect's idea was to create a "facade of pomp and to be facing the sea", I think this has been achieved. In 1653 the foundation stone was laid, work on the building was delayed as the city was occupied by the troops of Louis XIV. It was 20years before finally being completed

Luckily, this building escaped damage under German occupation in 1943.

balhannah's Profile Photo
balhannah
Sep 09, 2012

THE FISH MARKET

By the time we found the Fish Market, most of the Boats had sold their catch and had gone home.
In the early hours of the morning, the Fish are caught and brought into the harbour where the Fishermen set up their folding tables and place the Fish in shallow blue trays to be sold.
A scale and a cutting block then is put in place, all ready to start selling by by the 8am starting time of the market, finishing time is 1pm.

Fish like red mullet, bream, grouper are kept fresh by having salt water poured over them until a customer buys them, then the Fish is weighed and cleaned for you while you wait.
Just watch the Seagulls have fun, lots of free food for them. It was quite an entertaining time watching the Seagull's squabble for the free food!

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balhannah
Sep 09, 2012

Things to Do Near Vieux Port

Things to Do

Cathédrale de la Major

Upon entering Cathédrale de la Major the first thing I have noticed it was the size of the Cathedral. It wasn't just the nave but also at the rear of the altar to were the ambulatory is. The...
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Things to Do

Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde

When we had finished exploring the crypt and the interior of the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde we wanted to visit the museum but as we didn't had enough time we had taken a walk around the...
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Things to Do

Musée des Beaux-Arts

tHIS MUSEUM IS HOUSED in the left wing of the LONGCHAMP PALAIS. It is open to the public daily except on Mondays. To reach it take MéTRO: Cinq-avenues or bus 81 Before or after enjoying the...
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Things to Do

Palais de Longchamp

Wow! If you have a chance, come here and have a look at the elaborate fountains. The funny thing here, is the Palais Longchamp, IS NOT A PALACE! It is an elaborate monument showcasing the importance...
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Things to Do

La Foire aux Santons

Whenever you visit AIX during November-December you will see numerous stands in the streets that sell SANTONS. They work all year to sculp and create the most wonderful figurines for your Christmas...
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Things to Do

Cours Mirabeau

The first time we arrived on the Cours Mirabeau I was so excited to finally be able to see it. What a disappointment, we managed to arrive when they had the entire Cours torn up for reconstruction and...
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Getting to Vieux Port

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