Marseille is a city situated in the south-east of France, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It is also the largest French and Mediterranean port. In general, November is a good month to visit the city. There are almost no tourists here at this time. Also, in November it rains much less than in October. However, you need to remember that Marseille is a maritime city and it can be quite windy here. Here is the list of the best things to do and attractions to visit in Marseille if you are going to travel in this iconic city in November.
Marseille National History Museum
Marseille is officially the oldest city in France. It was founded in the 6th century BC. e., so it is more than 2.5 thousand years old now. it houses the largest collection of ancient ships in the Mediterranean. The oldest part of the museum’s ship is about 2600 years old. The museum exposition is divided into 13 sections, each dedicated to a specific time period, from the 6th century BC. e. until the middle of the 20th century. It shows the founding of Marseilles by the Greeks, the seizure of the city by the Romans, the transformation into a medieval independent city, the inclusion of France, the era of the French monarchs, the revolution and the First and Second World Wars. In general, it is one of the best city museums with a large diverse collection of exhibits.
Visit Vieux Port of Marseille
The Old Port is the heart of Marseille and the symbol of the city. Despite its old history, it is still one of the largest working seaports in the Mediterranean. Until now, every morning, fishermen with nets go to sea for fishing. The real spirit of Marseille lives in the Old Port. Marseilles say that if you have not visited the Port, then you have not seen the city itself.
Visit Chateau d’If (If Castle)
Despite the fact that If Castle was built as a military fortress, it was never attacked and is perfectly preserved. However, the castle became an ideal place to keep prisoners. Therefore, in 1580, the fortress served as a state prison. Politicians, the leaders of the Paris Commune, as well as persons representing a danger to the country were imprisoned in it. The most famous prisoners in the history of If Castle were the mysterious prisoner Iron Mask and Edmond Dantes, the hero of the novel by Alexander Dumas "Count of Monte Cristo." In fact, Iron Mask has never been in If Castle, the second and Dantes is just a fictional hero. Thanks to these characters, the castle became very famous. To visit a castle you can take a boat from the Old Port in Marseille every day from early morning until 5 p.m. In summer, boats run every 15-20 minutes, and in November every 1.5 hours.
Calanques boat cruise
Calanques is one of the main attractions of Provence, with its magnificent nature and incredible beauty of landscapes. They are also called Provencal fjords. Massif des Calanques is located in the south-east of the department and covers an area of about 26,000 hectares. It begins in the south of Marseille and reaches the border with the Var department. Calanques National Park was founded in 2012, becoming the 10th national park in France. It covers an area of 158,100 hectares. There are many ways to visit the Calanques. You can go there by boat, on foot or by car. A boat cruise is a perfect way to open your canoes in the summer. You can join the cruise every one and a half to two hours at the port of Marseille. At other times of the year, it is better to take a walk there. From Marseille to Cassis, there is about 20 km of hiking trails along the Сalanques. Indeed, Сalanques are worth a visit because it is one of the most beautiful places in France.
Notre-Dame de la Garde
The most famous and most visited cathedral in Marseille is the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. The cathedral was built in 1224. Since then, it has been rebuilt and reconstructed many times. Notre Dame de la Garde is situated on one of the highest hills of Marseille, at an altitude of 162 meters, near the Old Port. It can be seen from anywhere in the city as well as from the sea. It also offers great views of the whole of Marseille. Thousands of tourists, including pilgrims, come to this port city every year to visit a historical monument.
Relax on the beach
This is interesting, that until the 70s last 20 century there was no beach in Marseille at all. Finally, in 1975, the city authorities decided to create a large artificial beach. Now on these beaches, there are always a lot of people who sunbathe and swim here in the summer. The water here is considered rather dirty, but it is constantly monitored, and when the pollution reaches the national limit, the beach is closed. However, November is a great time to have a picnic on the beach in fine weather or just take a walk along the coast. Today, the most famous and popular beaches are called Plage des Catalans and Plage du Prado, they are located in the city near the Old Port.
Discover Mediterranean cuisine
In Marseille, you must definitely try the Mediterranean cuisine. It consists mainly of delicious fish and seafood, which are delivered to the kitchen directly from the port. Also, Marseille is famous for the whole world with amazingly delicious bouillabaisse soup. This is a fish soup seasoned with garlic sauce, vegetables, saffron, and fried croutons. At least three types of fish are used for this soup. Each cook has his own secrets and personal way of preparing this popular dish. You can also try fougasse, a flat Provencal bread that is baked in a wood-fired oven. Sometimes olives, cheese or anchovies are added to it.
Where to stay in Marseille in November?
Marseille is a tourist city and it has a large choice of accommodation. If you come to visit Marseille for a short time, it is better to stay in the city center or near the Old Port. There are many hotels with beautiful sea views there. In addition, the main attractions of Marseille will be within walking distance from your hotel. For example, here are some of the best hotels in Marseille with a great view:
InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu
La Résidence Du Vieux Port
NH Collection Marseille
Best Western Premier Hotel Vieux-Port hôtel 3 étoiles