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Destination Guide: Marseille

Bouillabaisse, lavender and the Count of Monte Cristo's castle
Hear the silky drawl of Provencal fishmongers in the Old Port. Indulge in smart designer boutiques on rue de la Tour and admire the sunset over white cliff-tops.

Food and Drink

Dine in laid-back cafés or sea-view restaurants. Refresh your palate with a cool Pastis, then head to the cliff-side Corniche to sample Marseille's saffron-tinted bouillabaisse, thick with poached fish. Enjoy al fresco dining in Cours Julien's bohemian cafés. Creative cuisine with a North African flavour is served in the Old Port.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Literary islands and atmospheric museums. Narrow medieval stairwells in steep le Panier lead to the Vieille Charité museum with its baroque chapel and archaeological collections. Climb to the gold-topped Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica for sea views or sail to the eerie Château d'If fortress, where Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned.

Shopping

Fill your suitcase with scented soap and Provencal delicacies. Take home a cube of olive-oil Marseille soap scented with lavender, or glazed pottery tagine dishes from Morocco. French and international labels line chic rue de la Tour. Cours Julien entices with quirky accessory boutiques and galleries.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Bar-hopping and floodlit football. Join well-heeled crews socialising on bar terraces around the quays of the Old Port. Live pop concerts and cutting-edge disco nights happen at venues like the Friche in the Belle de Mai district. Watch Marseille's revered Olympique football team in floodlit nights at the Vélodrome.