France’s second largest city, Marseille is an up-and-coming cultural destination in the South of the country. Previously not seen as much competition for its neighbours Cannes or St Tropez, Marseille has been extremely successful in its urban renewal, reclaiming its place as one of the French Rivera’s top destinations.
Venture up to the Notre-Dame De La Garde to get impressive panoramic views over the entire city and out onto the nearby islands. Since the city’s modernisation, there is now a fantastic range of museums and art galleries which are well worth spending the afternoon in. Perhaps the jewel of the city’s cultural crown is the MuCEM the first national museum devoted to heritage and culture of people around the Mediterranean. One of its buildings, the spectacular J4 was designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti and features some of the largest and most interesting exhibitions as well as a picturesque roof terrace.
Be sure to spend time in the Old Port; exploring the renowned morning fish market as well as the various small shops and restaurants all found within the heart of the city. Here, it is easy to simply wander and enjoy this beautiful setting or you can even take a boat ride out to visit the island fortress of Chateau d'If.
If you would prefer to venture out of the city, then the French Riviera is bursting with postcard perfect destinations for you to discover. Said to be more laid back and quieter than the likes of Nice or St Tropez, the quaint village of Cassis offers a charming port and restaurants, and its beautiful, dramatic rocky coast line makes it ideal for rock climbers. Furthermore Aix-en-Provence, a small city just inland again offers something a little special with its markets, culture and thermal hot springs.