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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   France   >   Towns and Cities   >   Marseille



Located on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille (sometimes spelled "Marseilles" in English) is France's largest commercial port, second most populous city (after Paris), and center of the country's third most populous metropolitan area (after Paris and Lyon). The city has an estimated population of 820,900 (as of 2005), and the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,605,000 (as of 2007).


Key Facts about Marseille

Here are some facts about Marseille:
  1. Marseille (sometimes spelled "Marseilles" in English) is a city on Mediterranean coast of France.

  2. Marseille is the second most populous city of France (after Paris), and center of the country's third most populous metropolitan area (after Paris and Lyon).

  3. Marseille has an estimated population of 820,900 (as of 2005), and the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,605,000 (as of 2007).

  4. Marseille is France's largest commercial port.

  5. Marseille may possibly be the oldest city in France. It is believed to have been founded either by the Phoenicians, or possibly by the Greeks at around 600 BCE. In ancient times, Marseille was known as Masalia, Massalia or Massilia (Greek: Μασσαλια).

  6. People from Marseille are called Marseillais in French, or Marselhés in Occitan.

  7. A number of famous French recipes originate from Marseille. These include:

    • Bouillabaisse - A stew/broth made from at least three varieties of fish (in the traditional version, the broth is served separately from the fish).

    • Fougasse - A type of flatbread, traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven. It is sometimes filled with anchovies, cheese, or olives.

    • Navette de Marseille - A type of biscuit flavored with orange blossom and made in the shape of a boat.

    • Panisse - A type of pastry made using chickpea flour.

    • Pastis - An alcoholic beverage made using aniseed and spices.

  8. The most commonly used type of tarot card deck is known as "Tarot de Marseille".

  9. Marseille was designated European Capital of Culture for 2013.

Weather in Marseille

Marseille has a Mediterranean climate with mild and humid Winters, and relatively hot and dry Summers.

For current weather information, we recommend:

Comments about Marseille

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Books about Marseille

Here are some books about Marseille:

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Fodor's Provence & the French Riviera (Full-color Travel Guide)

By Fodor's Travel Guides

Released: 2016-11-15
Paperback (416 pages)

Fodor s Provence & the French Riviera (Full-color Travel Guide)
List Price: $19.99*
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Product Description:
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years.

The darlings of French tourism, Provence and the French Riviera have always been beautiful destinations attracting everyone from the rich and famous to world-renowned artists. With unbelievable coasts and rustic-chic villages, the regions draw travelers eager to experience their azure skies and legendary landscapes. This full color-guide highlights the best of this region, from the urban buzz of Marseilles and Nice to the glamorous meccas of St-Tropez, Cannes, and Monaco.

This travel guide includes:
· Dozens of full-color maps 
· Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks
· Multiple itineraries to explore the top attractions and what’s off the beaten path
· In-depth breakout features on Provence's Lavender Route, the region's artistic legacy, and the area's outstanding cuisine
· Major sights such as Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, the Calanques, the Camargue, the Lavender Route, Marseille, Pont du Gard, St-Paul-de-Vence, St-Remy-de-Provence, St. Tropez
· Coverage of The Alpilles, Arles and the Camargue; The Vaucluse; Aix, Marseille, and the Central Coast; The Western Cote D'Azur; Nice and the Eastern Cote D'Azur; Monaco

Planning to visit more of France or focus on Paris? Check out Fodor's travel guides to France and Paris.

Marseille (Travel Guide)

By Top Deals Hotel

Released: 2013-04-09
Kindle Edition (206 pages)

Marseille (Travel Guide)
Product Description:
Marseille is the star of European culture in 2013, being elected the European Capital of Culture. Marseille is the place where guests will be greeted with a wide range of special cultural events and hundreds of stories about the past of one of the largest ports in Europe. Because the whole region of Provence is truly impressive, Marseille's cultural status is reflected on all major cities in Provence.
Being the second largest city in France, Marseille has a lot to give to those who decide to visit. The city fascinates with the diversity of cultures and an incredible history that charms everyone who briefly stops to listen. Marseille knows how to tell a story, so you just need to learn how to listen.
To help you find its mysteries, the Top Deals Hotel team made a comprehensive guide of the city, in which you will find all the details you need for a pleasant stay that will make you enjoy good memories and new knowledge.
Learn what's new this year by reading the chapter dedicated to Marseille-Provence 2013 events. You will find which new museums will be open this year, what interesting exhibitions are worth your visit and what events are taking place both in Marseille and Provence region.
Marseille is an amazing city regardless of the period you decide to visit, but 2013 will be truly spectacular.

Marseille (A Vintage Short)

By M.F.K. Fisher

Released: 2016-01-26
Kindle Edition (23 pages)

Marseille (A Vintage Short)
Product Description:
A Vintage Shorts Travel Selection
Nowhere in the world did the beloved food and travel writer M.F.K Fisher feel more at ease than in the port of Marseille. From her timeless A Considerable Town, published as part of Two Towns in Provence, here is her affectionate introduction to the old streets and bustling waterfront of France’s second city.
“I first spent a night there in late 1929, and since then I have returned even oftener than seems reasonable,” says Fisher of her long-term love affair with the city by the sea. In these recollections she paints a vibrant, sun-drenched portrait of the distinctive character of Marseille and its residents, the insolite or “indefinable” identity that makes it unlike anywhere else. As she reflects on the history, the culture and, of course, the foods, that make Marseille what it is, Fisher brings the city to life as only she can.
An eBook short.

The Marseille Caper

By Peter Mayle

Released: 2013-07-02
Paperback (224 pages)

The Marseille Caper
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When lovable rogue and sleuth extraordinaire Sam Levitt’s last adventure in France ended, he thought it’d be a while before he was back, especially with the beautiful Elena Morales to keep him in Los Angeles. But a job offer from the immensely wealthy Francis Reboul soon has Sam and Elena in sunny Marseille, on a quest for further excitement . . . and delectable dining. Yet as competition over the valuable local waterfront grows more hotly disputed, Sam, representing Reboul, finds himself in the middle of an increasingly intrigue-ridden and dangerous real estate grab.

Will Sam survive to enjoy another bowl of bouillabaisse? All will be revealed in the wonderfully satisfying climax to this as-only-Peter-Mayle-can-write-it romp through the south of France.

Top 20 Places to Visit in France - Top 20 France Travel Guide (Includes Paris, French Riviera, Loire Valley, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Lille, ... (Europe Travel Series Book 32)

By Atsons

Released: 2015-05-19
Kindle Edition (46 pages)

Top 20 Places to Visit in France - Top 20 France Travel Guide (Includes Paris, French Riviera, Loire Valley, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Lille, ... (Europe Travel Series Book 32)
Product Description:

Are You Ready to Discover and Explore France?

“Top 20 Places to Visit in France” is an easy to use, no-nonsense travel guide showing you the 20 best destinations France has to offer. Packed full of interesting and useful information for each place, this France travel guide is the ultimate travel accessory for discovering this iconic country!

Inside Atsons “Top 20 Places to Visit in France”:

  • France’s top 20 best places to visit listed in order of importance.
  • High quality photos of the top 20 places.
  • Easy to digest descriptions of every place.
  • Essential historical information to provide you with a better understanding of each destination.
  • Recommendations of attractions and activities to give you a better visiting experience.
  • The best places to visit include Paris, the French Riviera, Mont Saint-Michel, Bordeaux, and the Loire Valley.

“Top 20 Places to Visit in France” Travel Guide features:

  • Easy Navigation: Effortlessly jump from one attraction to another using the interactive contents.
  • Add notes to the guide for a more personal guidebook.
  • Use bookmarks to save your favourite pages.
  • A Map of France showing the location of every destination.


There are lots of travel guides for France, why should I get this one?
If you are looking for an easy-to-read and straight-to-the-point France travel guide, then this is for you. All the destinations listed contain high quality pictures, historical and background information, attractions and activities, and are listed in order of importance ensuring you’ll know exactly which place you want to visit when discovering France!

I’ve never been to France, will this guide help me?
If you’ve never visited France or plan on visiting but don’t know where to go then this France travel guide is the perfect starting point. France has so many interesting and unique places that it can often be difficult to decide where you want to go. This guide is here to help you with that decision by giving you 20 breathtaking destinations to choose from, with the added bonus of the guide being a top 20 list so you'll know exactly where to start your journey.

Lonely Planet France's Best Trips (Travel Guide)

By Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet
Paperback (444 pages)

Lonely Planet France s Best Trips (Travel Guide)
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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Discover the freedom of open roads with Lonely Planet's France's Best Trips, your passport to up-to-date advice on uniquely encountering France by car. Featuring 38 amazing road trips, from 2-day escapes to 2-week adventures, you can get lost among the snowcapped Alps or taste your way around Champagne's hallowed vineyards, all with your trusted travel companion. Get to France, rent a car, and hit the road!

Inside Lonely Planet's France's Best Trips:

  • Lavish colour and gorgeous photography throughout
  • Itineraries and planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests
  • Get around easily - 93 easy-to-read, full-colour route maps, detailed directions
  • Insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road - local driving rules, parking, toll roads
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Useful features - including Driving Problem Buster, Detours, and Link Your Trip
  • Covers Paris, Normandy, Brittany, Breton Coast, Lyon, Nice, Cannes, St-Tropez, Chamonix, Marseille, Biarritz, St-Malo, Loire Valley, Auvergne, Provence, Alps, Lille and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet's France's Best Trips is perfect for exploring France via the road and discovering sights that are more accessible by car.

  • Planning a French trip sans a car? Lonely Planet's France guide, our most comprehensive guide to France, is perfect for exploring both top sights and lesser-known gems.
  • Looking for a guide focused on Paris? Check out Lonely Planet's Paris guide for a comprehensive look at all the city has to offer, or Pocket Paris, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.


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