Marseille in France Travel Infos
One of Europe’s oldest cities and France’s second largest city, Marseille is a major Mediterranean seaport located off the southeast coast of France. Boasting an idyllic climate, Roman ruins, medieval architecture and distinguished cultural venues, Marseille is also a working city with several universities and industries. At the core of Marseille is its old port. Dominated by two historic forts, this bustling harbor is lined with waterfront cafes, shops and bars. One of Marseille’s best natural attractions, the Calanques are a series of small inlets with astonishing blue water and majestic limestone cliffs.
Marseille, a port city in southern France, has been a crossroads of immigration and trade since its founding by the Greeks circa 600 B.C. At its heart is the Vieux-Port (Old Port), where fishmongers sell their catch along the boat-lined quay. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is a Romanesque-Byzantine church. Modern landmarks include Le Corbusier’s influential Cité Radieuse complex and Zaha Hadid’s CMA CGM Tower
Marseille is an overall safe city, however like in any major large city there are some areas which are best avoided. The main tourist areas are safe, even though they attract pickpockets. With a rating of 54% France, is ranked 58th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
Marseilles is a city that only really opened up to tourism at the very end of the twentieth century. Marseille is the “oldest city in France” and indeed one of the oldest in western Europe. The city was founded as Massalia in around 600 BC, and soon developed into an important port in the ancient Greek world. For the Greeks, and later for the Romans, it was a major point of transition and trade between the civilisations of the Mediterranean, and those of Gaul and northwest Europe.
And that, essentially, has been Marseilles’ role ever since. Located near the mouth of the Rhone – the greatest natural corridor between the Mediterranean and the lands to the north, it has long been one of the most important, when not the most important, port in France – a role that explains its importance and its size, as France’s third largest urban area, to this day.