Big cities always have this electrifying charm: speedy live, lots of traffic, thousands and thousands of people. And yet, it’s still kind of great if you escape that from time to time. Besides that, we just love to have some spots only to ourselves – not just for the peace but also for creative moments while taking pictures. During our stay in Marseille we looked for that quiet areas and maybe even secret spots and found the 10 best viewpoints in Marseille.
1. NOTRE-DAME DE LA GARDE
The Notre-Dame de la Garde is basically THE landmark of the city and our favorite of the 10 best viewpoints in Marseille. It is located on a 161 meters high hill and you can spot it from almost everywhere. There are different ways to get up to the Basilica. And one of them is an amazing alternative to escape the crowds and get rewarded with a nice view over the city and the surrounding islands. Honestly, we have found this little trail by accident and while we were already on the top. So, we cannot really say, which way you have to take if you start from downtown. If you are on the platform of the basilica, stay on the first level and don’t go any higher. Walk along the main entrance up to the front where you can see the ocean. Go to the middle of the platform. There you should see a small gate on your left. If you walk through it, you discover a huge arrangement of smaller trails around the hill. You can walk through the area or just sit there and enjoy the view.
2. PALAIS DU PHARO
You can find this beautiful spot very close to the Vieux-Port. If you are in this area you should definitely give this one a try. Simply walk down the main road heading south for around 10 minutes (depends on where your start). Pass the Sofitel and the New Hotel of Marseille and you’ll find the entrance to the park on your right. There is also a bus station in the front (lines 82, 82S). The parc is named after Émile Duclaux, a French microbiologist. The Palais du Pharo itself was built by Napoleon III approx. in 1851. After his death it became a medical school. Now it is used as a congress center. The surroundings are still accessible for everyone from 07:00 am till 9:00 pm for free. Up there you have an incredible view over the entire Vieux-Port, the MuCEM, the Cathedral and the islands.
The area of the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean is basically free of charge. You can enter through the main entrance on the ground floor or pass the bridge next to the Vieux-Port. We recommend you to walk over the bridge, because from there you’ll already experience a great view over the Port. Except of that, it doesn’t matter which entrance you choose. You still have to pass security control and might have to say “see you later” to your tripod. After that you can feel free to explore the surroundings. Only if you want to visit the exhibitions you might have to buy a proper ticket. In case you’ve been to the Palais du Pharo before or you drove though the city by car, you might have recognized a very strange building: a black cube with curved and transparent ornaments. Yeah well, that’s the main building of the MuCEM. On the top you can find a roof terrace that offers you great views over the Palais du Pharo and the ocean. You can sit on one of the chairs and just relax for a bit. Fun fact: it faces west – so you could get lucky and see a hell of sunset up there. Due to the unconventional architecture the light breaks through the ornaments and leaves an astonishing image on the ground.