Hotels in Marseille
An extravagant stay under the sun of Marseille
The oldest city in France, Marseille is a must-see destination. A city with a rich historic and cultural heritage, both cosmopolitan and vibrant, it will provide you with an unforgettable holiday, whether it be with friends, as a couple, or as a family. Here you will discover antique relics, soak up the warm atmosphere along its quaysides, admire the scenery from seaside to mountains at the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Basilica, or even try a local bouillabaisse fish stew. Staying at the Radisson Blu Marseille, you will be conveniently placed in the heart of the Vieux Port Quarter, near shopping streets and with a wide choice of restaurants and bars nearby. You can relax in the rooftop open-air swimming pool, with a stunning view of the port, and benefit from the many top of the range services available in the hotel, such as the fitness centre. It’s a fantastic way to spend a holiday that combines luxury and relaxation with discoveries in the heart of Marseille, known in France as the Phoenician city. A perfect trip full of sun and sensation!
The Radisson Blu Marseille offers you a holiday in the most ideal conditions. You will be conveniently located for discovering all the city’s unmissable attractions, whether it’s the Vieux Port, St. Victor Abbey or even a boat trip to the Château d’If. Your hotel offers two restaurants, one of which is the Quai du 7e with its stunning terrace overlooking the port. The restaurant and bar Blu Square invites you sip a cocktail around the open-air swimming pool which crowns the hotel. A fitness centre and solarium offer total relaxation, making for an unforgettable stay.
Top up on new discoveries
The Vieux Port is one of the most iconic Marseille locations, just a stone throw’s away from your Radisson Blu Hotel. It’s a lively area that’s great for strolling around, sitting on a sea-front terrace or buying fresh fish at the market in the morning. The Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Basilica, which dominates the skyline and watches over the city, is another must-see site for your itinerary. Amongst the most iconic monuments, you can also count the Fort of St. Jean and the Fort of St. Nicolas, which faces the port, as well as the St. Victor Abbey, a real 5th century medieval gem.
The oldest city in France
The city’s history began 600 years ago, when it was founded by the Phoenicians. It quickly became a prominent and important location for the Mediterranean, as a centre for trading between the Greek and Gallic worlds. Marseille then found itself under the control of the Romans and later on the Franks. From then on and during the Middle Ages, it became an important catholic centre, especially due to the influence of the St. Victor Abbey, which you can still admire today. While the city saw some difficulties around the end of the colonial French Empire in the 20th century, it gained momentum again in the 80s, particularly as a result of multiple urban redevelopment schemes.
Between land and sea
Marseille is firmly turned towards the sea and it is easy to take a boat trip from the port and head out to the Frioul Archipelago, the Château d’If and to destinations even further afield in the Mediterranean, Northern Africa and the Middle East. By plane, you can reach it through the Marseille-Provence international airport, located merely 25km from the city centre. The train station SNCF Marseille-Saint-Charles is served by trains from all over France, most notably the TVG Paris-Lyon-Marseille and the Eurostar, which links the Mediterranean city to London in just 7 1/2 hours.
The ultimate symbolic district of Marseille, the Vieux Port is a bustling, lively and picturesque area. Descendant of the Phoenician Port, which was founded here 2,600 years ago, it has preserved a charm where traditions and modernity blend. Take a stroll down the length of the quays, where boat masts alternate with Mediterranean architecture, before taking a break at a terrace with a view of both the sea and Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. In the early morning, you can buy fresh fish directly from the fishermen who sell their day’s catch on the quayside. The Capucins or Noailles Markets are also lovely places to buy fresh products from Monday to Saturday, between 8am and 7pm.
Located 149m above the sea at the top of a rocky peak, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is one of the landmarks of Marseille. Often nicknamed ‘La Bonne Mère’, the modern basilica dates back to the middle of the 19th century, but a chapel already existed on this site in the 13th century. Hundreds of people a day visit the hill of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde to walk, relax, picnic or simply admire the view.
Les Calanques de Marseille
An unmissable natural site, the Calanques of Marseille stretch across 20km from the village of Madrague to the municipality of Cassis. This massive coastline is formed by a very picturesque, rugged hilly area, which is lovely for walking. Multiple paths allow you to stride across this exceptional location, and some cliffs are also great fun for amateur climbers. Some very pretty beaches are situated in these coves, such as those found at Marseilleveyre or En-Vau., offering a pleasant spot for bathing and relaxing,
St. Jean and St. Nicolas Forts
The military fortresses which served to defend the city, the forts of St. Jean and St. Nicolas, are still exceptional monuments you should consider visiting during your stay in Marseille. The recently-renovated St. Jean Fort exhibits beautiful architecture and offers an unbeatable panorama of the sea. Don’t miss a trip to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM), which opened in 2013 and has some fascinating collections.
For an authentic visit to the Phoenician city, you have to sample a bouillabaisse from a table at the Vieux Port. This area is made up of a great many restaurants and bars, available across the length of the quays and neighbouring roads. Behind, around the Notre-Dame-du-Mont station, there is also a large variety of terraces where you can enjoy fish specialities, as well as all the Mediterranean cuisine classics such as tian, tabbouleh or ratatouille. Also head over to the Panier, a historic Marseille district, where you will find numerous small restaurants and artisanal stores. Further south, near the Place Castellane, there are plenty of restaurants offering international cuisine, in particular Asian.
Events and Entertainments
Every year, Marseille’s calendar is marked by a variety of festivals. For music festivals, the Jazz of Five Continents, Les Massiliades, features mainly contemporary music, la Fiesta des Suds and its world music concerts, or even Marsatac, dedicated to electronic music. Cinema is also well represented, with Marseille’s International Film Festival, which welcomes over 20 000 festival-goers every year, or the LGBT Festival in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur. Japanese culture enthusiasts can attend the Japan Expo Sud, which takes place in February or March. These festivities foster a warm and lively atmosphere, and there’s something for everyone.
In contrast to its rich heritage and delicious gastronomy, Marseille reveals another side as the night falls. The majority of nightlife venues are located around the Vieux Port and in the city centre, in the 1st Arrondissement. Here you will find both lively pubs and chic cocktail bars, as well as places with regular live music. If you want to grab an evening drink in a charming setting, head to the lounge bar Sirocco du Radisson Blu, where there is a large choice of Mediterranean-style drinks. Until 10.30pm between May and October, you can also sip a cocktail next to the open-air rooftop pool.
A charming little harbour set in the midst of the rocky coastline, Cassis is a must-see destination. Just 40 minutes from Marseille city centre, Cassis makes for a great day trip: you can stroll along its charming meandering alleyways, relax on the terrace of one of the many sea-view cafes, and walk through the heart of the coves. You could also walk across the cliffs to the Cap Canaille headland, with a peak nearly 400 metres, and then bathe at the famous Bestouan beach on your return.
30 minutes by bus from Marseille by bus, Aix-en-Provence is an unmissable city of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Famous for the charm of its old city and its gentle pace, it’s a destination that immerses you in the Provence spirit, with all its scents and colours, its small squares, ideal for relaxing, and the colourful architecture of its houses, which have inspired painters like Picasso and Cézanne. During a visit to Aix-en-Provence, do stop at the Granet Museum to discover its rich collection of Provence and international artwork.
An hour on the A7 road from Marseille, the ‘city of popes’ makes a fantastic daytrip. Its historic centre, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, makes a memorable visit that will take you back in time. The Palais des Papes, the ramparts, the mint, and the Notre-Dame-des-Domes Cathedral are among the architectural gems of this enchanting city. To benefit from the beautiful view of the surroundings, head to the Rocher des Doms with its stunning garden: from there, you can admire the Saint-Bénezet Bridge, more famously known as the Avignon Bridge.
La Corniche des Crêtes
For an excursion in a conserved natural environment differing from Marseille, take the coastal road des Crêtes. Leaving from Cassis, this picturesque route will lead you through the cliffs of Cap Canaille, then up to the Grande Tête, which is 399 metres above sea-level, before taking you to the Ciotat, a typical small village that opens onto a magnificent bay. Make the most of the trip by stopping for a picnic or a swim at Bandol, on the Barry Beach.