You might be wondering, “Why Marseille?” That was a common question people had when I told them where I was going this past weekend. While we had an absolutely wonderful weekend in Marseille, I’ll be honest, I booked the plane tickets there because they were the cheapest! My boyfriend and I wanted to get away for a weekend and didn’t really care where so we put our dates into skyscanner.com and found the best deal.
While I didn’t know too much about Marseille before visiting, I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of visiting. I can imagine how beautiful this city is in the summer, but even with the cooler weather, there was plenty to do.
We decided to rent a car because we really wanted to explore some of Calanques National Park and we had a late flight in and an early flight out. We were able to find parking within the city very easily(and free!), never having to spend more than 10 minutes looking for a spot! Marseille is a city where you don’t need a car if you visit (they have trams, metros, and ferries) but it was really convenient to have. Check out our stylish and practical car ↓
Our Airbnb was in the Old Port neighborhood, a cute, rustic area that had the charm of coastal city. The view from the apartment we were in was beautiful, and it even had a little porch. (our Airbnb)
Day 1: It was raining when we woke up, so we were a little worried it would be like this all day, but it cleared up quickly. I ran to the supermarket next door and got picnic supplies consisting of fresh fruit, cheese, and bread! Then we packed up our car and drove to the park.
Our Airbnb host was kind enough to show us some really nice hiking areas. It took about 45 minutes to get there, 15 of which were spent going down a narrow, 1-lane road through the national park. When we arrived we decided that we would hike for a couple hours and then head back. We ended up staying for almost six hours! It was just so beautiful, every turn revealed a new hidden treasure of the park.
We had plans to go out for a nice dinner, but we only wanted a hot shower by the end of our hike so we grabbed some takeaway pizza and called it a night.
Day 2: We woke up early this morning, keen on making the most of our day. We took the car and drove to Parc Longchamp. The park has many beautiful water features and green spaces.
A bonus of going in February is that the touristy places are virtually empty. As we walked through the park it was really just us and a few people working out.
Afterwards, we checked out the port. Filled with beautiful sailboats and fisherman selling their catch, it is a great place to experience some of the coastal culture. We walked along the water and worked our way towards Mucem, a museum about the modern cultures of the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful combination of old and new architecture.
As we walked further along the water, we found a perfect restaurant for lunch, with a beautiful view of the port. I had mussels and Nathan had seared tuna. Both delicious!
Day 1 had been warm, but Day 2 was quite cold. At this point, we’d been outside all day and headed back to our Airbnb to warm up a bit. Our Airbnb was a five-minute walk from Catalans Beach. After warming up, we walked there to watch the sunset and had most of the beach to ourselves. This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen, with almost every color visible in the sky!
We ended our day with a home cooked meal and a beautiful view in our cozy Airbnb.
Marseille itself is a true hidden gem, I would highly recommend to anyone considering going. Not only is Marseille beautiful, but the surrounding area has endless opportunities for things to do and see.