Marseille is renowned in the French Riviera for its several ports which are lined along its long Mediterranean coastline and when you talk about to the port in Marseille, it is the Vieux Port (The Old Port) that comes in reference.
The Vieux Port of Marseille juts beautifully in the heart of Marseille’s Old city, ideally located at the end of the Canebiere, it has been the natural harbor of Marseille since antiquity.
The Vieux Port islet was used as a landing site by the Phoecaens in 600 BC and remained the center of the maritime activity until the 19th century. The modern port was originally built to handle the large steamships and with its several kilometers of artificial waterway, it is also crammed with numerous boats and yacht of all shapes and sizes. The port offers more than 3200 berths for yachts and is considered as an ideal yacht charter destination in the French Riviera.
It is also a perfect starting point to discover the nearby islands of Isle d’If and Isle de Frioul. The Vieux Port is usually filled with small fishing boats and yachts .
However, it is quite an original experience when you will find the famous barquentine Le Marseillois tied to the quai. The boat looks authentic and was used for long sea voyages in the past, today it hosts a good restaurant inside its wooden hull.
Around the port area, you will find the many small streets filled with seafood restaurants and shops. The famous Quai des Belges which lies at the end of the port, hosts a fish market and the wide quai is popular spot for leisurely strolling and there are also various terrace cafes around which provide rest stops when you are tired of walking.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the Old Port are which have some fine examples of French architecture, such as Hotel de Ville (the City Hall), the medieval churches and le Chateau de Pharon (not open to the public). If you are hungry, you will not find better seafood than here. The local specialty is bouillabaisse, a delectable seafood soup.
The Hotel de Ville faces the Quai du Port on the northern side of the Vieux Port and just behind you will see the famous 16th century Maison Diamantee which hosts the Museum of Old Marseille.
The La Major Cathedrals , built in the middle of the 11th century, it is located at the northwest of the Vieux Port is also worth visiting, it lies next to the Gare Maritime.