Cheap flights to Marseille
This is one of the oldest cities in Europe and since its founding by the Phoceans in the 6th century B.C., it has had a turbulent history while always providing a stark contrast to the sleepy Provencal region that surrounds it. Today, this cosmopolitan town is the second largest in France, so it comes as no surprise that Marseille has a lot to offer its visitors -- from rich cultural offerings, noisy and colourful street markets and a multicultural gastronomic scene. Dive into its beautiful coastline of Calanques or fjords and admire architecture from the ancient to ultra-modern left by an industrial heritage characterised by both its port and the local tradition of soap-making. The city might not be the prettiest, but it's certainly got an edgy dynamism that draws in its visitors.
Things to do
Any city visit to Marseille should include time spent at the Old Port of Marseilles or Vieux Port. It's been a deep harbour since ancient days but recent years have seen a revitalisation that's turned it into an entertainment and cultural hub. Enjoy a glass of wine and a spot of yacht and people-watching before exploring the city.
The city's symbol
The gleaming white Notre-Dame de la Garde is the city's best-known symbol and most popular attraction. This beautiful Neo-Byzantine Basilica sits above the town and was consecrated in 1864. It is the site of an annual Assumption Day pilgrimage.
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the city's main museums and occupies a wing of the 19th-century Longchamps Palace. It is full of paintings, sculptures and drawings as well as decorative furniture and furnishings dating from the 16th to 19th centuries. While here, take in the palace and its stunning water feature as well.
You need to take a short boat ride to the Frioul Archipelago to visit the sinister Chateau d'If. Located on a small island, it was a former fortress and grim prison that became immortalised in Alexandre Dumas's novel The Count of Monte Cristo.
Calendar of Events
As a previous European Capital of Culture, Marseille likes to invite visitors to share in its annual programme of festivals and events. Theatre, dance and music from around the world are showcased, and Summer draws to a close with a big street party.
Festival du Plateau. Late Summer sees the city inviting everybody to the Festival du Plateau, a lively celebration of street life. Theatre, music, dance, sport, food and intellectual debate all take place at this huge street party.
Marsatac. Since 1997, Marsatac has taken place every September. This electronic and urban music festival sees both French artists and performers from around the globe entertaining the huge crowds.
La Foire aux Santons. Marseille sees out the year with its famous Christmas Market, which takes place throughout December at the Vieux Port. Santons are the little terracotta figures that are used in seasonal nativity scenes.