Nov 072016

Location Marseilles Facts: Marseilles (or in French Marseille) is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 853,000 on a land area of 240.62 km2 (93 sq mi). It is the third largest urban area after Lyon. Located on the Mediterranean coast in the region of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur and the department of Bouches-du-Rhône.  Its inhabitants are called Marseillais in French.

marseille france facts and information

Marseille Old Port

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Jeanne Menj

What to do in Marseille

Marseille is a major centre of art and history. The city has many museums and galleries and there are many ancient buildings and churches of historical interest. For more about Marseilles tourism.

Old Port of Marseille

The Old Port (Vieux Port) was renovated in 2013. It is still the beating heart of Marseille. The U-shaped port is lined by restaurants and cafés, and is a social focus of the city. In 2013, the area was semi-pedestrianised as part of a big redevelopment project designed by the British architect Norman Foster.


It is a Roman Catholic cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Mary Major), and a national monument of France. It lies to the north of the Vieux Port. One of the largest cathedrals in France, and this multi-domed is a Neo-Byzantine-style church.

Flights to Marseille airport

Marseille, Provence is 12 miles from Marseille Airport with over 64 airlines operating out of Marseille Airport and offering nonstop flights to 92 cities.

Every week, over 1,000 domestic flights and 800+ international flights depart from Marseille Airport.


Although Marseille is a busy commercial port, Marseille tourism is on the up!

Some beaches are natural sand, others artificial sand, though most have pebbles or rocks. Of course sunbathing is high on the agenda at all of them. Marseille stages sports and activities for both adults and children at the Plage des Catalans and the Plages du Prado in July and August. They include kayaking and snorkeling to beach rugby, hip-hop dancing and kite flying!

Interesting Facts

  • The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey and Roy Scheider. It was filmed around Marseille.
  • Marseilles is the oldest city in France. It was founded 2,600 years ago.
  • Marseille has been designated as European Capital of Culture for 2013
  • Marseille is diverse in location composed of 16 arrondissements or districts and a total of 111 different quartiers or neighborhoods.

Marseille Famous Food

Bouillabaisse is the signature dish of Marseille. It is a traditional Provençal fish stew. method of serving. In Marseille, the broth is served first in a soup plate with slices of bread and rouille, and then the fish is served separately on a large platter.

Other delights include Navettes (small hard biscuits flavoured with orange) and “Pieds et Paquets” (not for the faint hearted: trope and trotters. Pastis (for example: Pernod) is made in Marseille, and is drunk mainly as an aperitif.

Video Tour of Marseille

The video below illustrates ….  Marseille is a rich, pulsating port city bubbling over with history, cutting-edge creative spaces and hip multicultural city dwellers. Since Greek settlers came ashore around 600 BC, waves of immigrants have made Marseille (now France’s second largest city) their home.

Marseille’s maritime heritage thrives at the vibrant Vieux Port (Old Port), where fresh-off-the-boat catches are sold each morning. Along the coast, seaside roads and cycling tracks veer around sun-scorched coves and sandy beaches. In July and August, Marseille hotels can be very busy from the massive migration of the French from Paris and the North on vacation! We like to book a vieux port hotel for the ambience. For more on Marseille history go here

Marselles Map – Location

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