Marseille’s main tourist attraction is the famous Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. Ask any of the locals where to visit in Marseille, and this site will be top of the list! Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde is visible from most of Marseille as it’s located on the top of a hill. It’s possible to walk up to it but I opted for the lazier option. Gazing up at the site from Vieux-Port, I had no idea where my trek should start as Marseille is full of hidden streets with twisting and winding hills.
The option I chose to reach this popular destination was to take a ride with Les Petits Trains. The trains are located by the port in Vieux-Port so they’re convenient and well worth the price. The best part is the return ride down from Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. Be prepared for one exhilarating journey down the twisted narrow hills of Marseille.
I visited the renowned site during December, so the wind was intense. By the time I reached the top of the steps, I thought I would be blown off. So, if you happen to be visiting during winter, hold on to your hats and your selfie sticks! Luckily, I had my loyal Timberlands keeping me on the ground haha. The architecture of the cathedral is beautiful, but it was the view outside the cathedral that captured my attention. I was met with a view of the spectacular Marseille. The captivating view made it clear why Notre Dame de la Garde is Marseille’s most popular attraction.
The oldest part of Marseille, The Panier, is known as the Old Town. It is a vibrant district, expressing France’s rich history. I just happened upon this area when I was walking around the Vieux Port. One of its main attractions feature the Cathedrale de la Major. I’m not overly interested in such sites, but this cathedral grabbed my attention the second I saw it. It’s surrounded by quaint streets and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It was the windiest day of my stay when I discovered this cathedral. Walking for what seemed like forever, I took advantage of its location and took shelter from the blustery wind. I didn’t expect to enjoy the cathedral’s history as much as I did so it’s well worth having a visit.
I met two lovely French students during my stay who advised me on things to do during my Marseille trip. On our last day together, they surprised me with one of Marseilles hidden gems. La Joliette is home to an amazing modern style mall. However, the mall’s gem is the terraces out at the back entrances of the mall. Walking through the Apple store I was astonished at the view. It was so unexpected to exit the back entrance of an Apple store, and then to be standing on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It’s not a typical tourist spot of Marseille, but it is worth checking out! Take advantage of one of the many restaurants on the terrace and enjoy the Mediterranean view with some scrumptious French cuisine.