Peculiarities distinguish cities from each other. Such unique features could be historical, social, political, cultural, or even economical at times. They are part of what puts cities on the map and enter discussions through reputations. Located in the southeast of France, Marseille has its specialties that have come to make up its astonishing and enduring fame across the world.
The city blends the vanity of a cosmopolitan center and the sociability of a thriving fishing scene. Marseille is a place that locals love despite the mass media’s tendency to paint the city as the crime hub of the south. In recent years, however, France’s second-largest city (by population) has somehow lured Parisians who desire more sun and less noise. Travelers have also turned to Marseille to enjoy the best of the Mediterranean setting.
The city has its issues, among which are economical and social concerns like any major city in the world. Marseille’s attractions are not of gigantic curiosities but uncomplicated things like street art, outdoor terraces, and many others.
Here Are Some Things Marseille is Known for:
Marseille is not California, but its weather is a big charm. As attractive as it can be, it is important to keep an eye on weather forecasts and the weather app. Moving with a speed of 120 km/h, there is a massive mistral that blows ferociously in the north. In the winter, it chills the bones but raises dust in the summertime.
In its wake, a crystalline and clear sky appears, and despite this, the city still manages 300 days of sunshine a year. And even though there are rain showers in November and February to March, it rarely snows.
Except you want only the sun, one can enjoy Marseille all year long. Bear in mind also that some shops and restaurants do not open in the winter holidays and in August when the locals get away from the heat.
Go farther than the Old Port when you visit Marseille. While it is the second most populous French city, it covers twice the area of the country’s capital (241 square kilometers against 106 km2 ). This urban expanse is split into two districts, each with its character. When you visit, do not stay in the city center alone where the Old Port is located. Explore the Bohemian enclave of Vauban, the rising Chave, the tranquil Longchamp, and the lively setup of the Cours Julien bar.
Marseille’s Winding Streets
Strolling the colorful streets can be the highlight of your Marseille vacation. Invite the feeling and take on the vibrant street scenes there when you can. Do not forget to get your walking shoes as well because you will be needing them to navigate the skew-whiff sidewalks. Stairs and hills are things you should expect to be part of the adventure. Without a doubt, a brilliant way of discovering the city is to meander along the winding streets, meet people, and be crammed by the never-ending sounds of scooters.
Marseille is well connected with an effective transport system. The bus, tram, and metro networks are expansive, and they work through midnight. Do not forget that buses are often late, which is part of the city’s reputation. If you have a time-sensitive appointment in any part of the Marseille, a taxi or Uber will be an efficient alternative. Do not make the error of paying with a credit card because the distributor is usually broken, so pay with cash.
But if you will rather take a means of public transport but want to arrive at your destination on time, monitor proceedings on the RTM application for real-time updates. Getting to the beach is not difficult. Take the 83 bus or the Vélo (the bike-sharing system) or the Lime scooter.
The Bonne Mère
The highest point in the city and the most visited monument is the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica is surmounted by an imposing beacon visible from anywhere in the city: a statue of the Virgin and Child. This is known as the ‘Good Mother’ for the statue’s unofficial designation as the city’s guardian. Residents bring ex-voto, offerings, to appreciate her protection. The statue also offers 360-degree views; you will not get anywhere else.
Pastis (Aniseed Spirit)
Pastis is a Marseille darling! The rule of thumb when ordering a Pastis is to ask for its name. In fact, it is the first thing to do. The most popular brands of the aniseed spirit are 51 and Ricard. The latter is named after the city’s first Pastis company (1932). It might be a tad confusing because 51 is no different from Ricard after the 1975 merger with Pernod, who is 51’s creator. You can request that the bartender pour you Casa, which is also known as Casanis. This, with Cristal Limañana, is distilled locally. The petit Jaune will be served with a pitcher of cold water and occasionally ice. Add water till the dark golden liquid turns pale cloudy; the regular dosage is five liquid parts for Pastis and is guided that Pastis has around 45% alcohol by volume. Therefore, it should not be rushed when drinking.
The popular fish soup of the city is a must-try when you visit, but it can be expensive. Locals do not cook or eat this dish regularly- it takes more than a day to prepare a traditional version of the bouillabaisse. When it is prepared, know that there is perhaps a major celebration or special occasion in the household. What locals eat from the sea is grilled and spicy sardines, brackish oysters, raw red sea urchins, and many others. You can get the freshest catch at a place like La Boîte à Sardine, which gets their own supplies every morning from fishmongers. But if you still want to order the bouillabaisse, there are options across the city, and it will cost around 75 euros.
The Noailles District
Marseille is popular for its diverse demography. The Noailles area is the place to be for a multicultural experience. Chez Yassine is a Tunisian leblebi, the Algerian Bradj filled with dates, the Lebanese cedar pita, and the burlap spice sacks at Saladin are part of what to expect in this rich area. Steaming paella and roasted chicken fill the streets, including rue du Longue des Capucins and rue d’Aubagne.
Shopping in Marseille can be a thrilling encounter, and the shopping centers have a long history that hints at the city’s commercial relevance. Imagine the Opinel knives, La Boule Bleu petanque balls, and blue laborer cotton jackets. Customers have filled the Ali Baba cave since the 7th generation owner Laurence Renaux. It has grown to increased immensely to 50,000 pieces. For tinctures and teas, the Pere Blaize has been treating Marseillais since the 19th –century.
Along the Marseille coast are many beautiful and varied beaches. Under the trendy Petit Nice hotel, Anse de la Fuasse Monnaie’s flat rocks are great for making pancakes and gazing at the Corniche Kennedy divers. Find the Anse de Maldrom curved inlet, which is a pebble beach ideal for a quick swim.
Just a 15-minute walk from the Old Port is the Catalan beach. Its proximity to the city means visitors will always fill the sandy beach. You can make a picnic with fries, olives, rosé, and cold cuts to enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean sunsets. Do not bath the day after heavy downpours when sewers tend to overflow into the sea.
Olympique de Marseille
In the city of Marseille, the name Olympique de Marseille, stylized as OM, invokes passion. Indeed, Marseillais love their football outfit. President Emmanuel Macron is a fan of OM, and on match days, the 66,000 capacity Stade Velodrome comes to life as the city comes out to watch its titans play.
The Famous Marseille Soap (Savon de Marseille)
The Marseille soap is good for the skin and washing clothes. This traditional soap is popular across the world and is based on vegetable oils proudly manufactured in the city. It might interest you that the soap has been in production for about 6 centuries. Its formula is not difficult- a mixture of seawater from the Mediterranean, olive oil, and alkaline ash gotten from water plants.
What is Marseille Famous For – Summary
Today, the city of Marseille is marked with chic restaurants, interesting museums, a busy nightlife, and one of the biggest football stadia in Europe. Its waterfront and historical buildings combine to give off a captivating aura that visitors will immediately perceive the moment they settle in. From its local delicacies to its winding streets, Marseille is quite popular for a lot of things, including world-famous soap, which is an ecological and natural product. It will be a worthy souvenir to get before departing the city.