Attractions nearby Marseille Provence International Airport
Marseille is the oldest city in France with 2600 years of history and tradition. It is the second largest city in France and the capital of the Mediterranean. Besides the many museums and attractions, Marseille boast 57km of beautiful beaches and coastlines in a magnificent natural location. Within an hours drive of Marseille there are also many other interesting towns and cities.
There are 21 museums in Marseille that range from archeology to motorbikes, fine art and traditions, and capture every historical period. The museums are housed in fascinating historical buildings and some of them include the Fine Arts Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Porcelain Museum.
In Marseille, there are many parks and gardens that have playgrounds for the children and offer a peaceful surrounding that the whole family can enjoy. Some of these areas include Parc Longchamp, Parc Valmer, Parc Pastré, Parc Chanot, Park Saint-Cyr, Parc de l`Oasis and Jardin du Pharo-Emile Duclaux.
Many activities are arranged throughput the year for children’s entertainment. There are different children’s theatres ( La Girafe, le Badabourn and Massalia) as well as a museum that is dedicated to children, the ‘Préau des Accoules’.
There are many festivals in Marseille. At Candlemas, navettes are eaten, which are boat-shaped biscuits. There is also the Garlic Fair, water jousting at l’Estaque, the Kite-flying Festival, the Carnival, the feast of Saint-Eloi and the Santon fair. Marseille is well-known for soap-making, and is the home of the world-famous santons, which are Christmas crib figures of well-known Provencal people.
The Vielle Charité
The Vielle Charité is in the heart of the Panier, and is a popular tourist attraction. The massive building was created by Pierre Puget. In the center of the courtyard is a chapel. The building has fulfilled a variety of scientific and cultural functions, and houses several museums.
If-Castle and Frioul Islands
The If-Castle was built in the 16th century on an uninhabited island as a Fortress for prisoners. The Fortress was opened to the public in 1890 when it’s prison functions ceased. One of the cells still has a hole in the wall which was supposedly dug by Edmont Dantès, although the count of Monte Christo has no record of his imprisonment. A regular boat service enables thousands of tourists to visit the island.
The Frioul Island are the Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen.
The La Canebière area is well-known throughout the world, and is one of the symbols of Marseille and its port. Some of the buildings are now classified as National Heritage Sites. The café alla turca (the Turkish cafe) was one of the first cafes to be set up on the Canebière.
The Velodrome Stadium
Today, the Velodrome is the second largest stadium in France, with a capacity for 60 000 spectators. It was originally built for the 1938 Soccer World Cup, and was the first stadium in France to be built with concrete.
Marseille beaches are extremely popular for all sorts of water sports like wind-surfing, diving and sailing. They also attract the ordinary holidaymaker who would just like to soak up the sun.
Other cities nearby Marseille include Aix-en-Provence, the city of 1000 fountains with picturesque pedestrian lanes, Calanque de Port Pin with endless landscape for climbing and beautiful waters for driving, and Les Arènes d‘Arles, which has fieras, corridas, races and many concerts in the arenas of Nîmes and Arles.
The Southern Alps offer wonderful skiing opportunities in the winter, and hill-walking, climbing and paragliding in the summer.