Marseille… a New Year’s getaway

This trip happened because my friends and I wanted to go somewhere during Christmas holiday when I studied in Bolzano, Italy in 2011. It was my first Christmas and New Year in Europe and I wanted to make it worth my time. Most European friends came back to their home towns, but, instead of going back to Thailand, I wanted to explore Europe.

My friend told me that she found cheap tickets to Marseille. I admit that at that time the only city in France I knew was Paris. My friend told me that Marseille was a city in the southern of France that was worth visiting. Since we needed to book tickets in advance and I did not know where to go, we just planned to celebrate Christmas in Italy, where we lived, and celebrate New Year in France.

The main three cities that we planned to visit were Marseille, Cannes, and Nice. And we also planned to visit Monaco, a small country which is bordered by France. Oh wait… Not only Paris, I also knew Cannes. Who would not know the city of international film festival?

From Wikipedia, Marseille is the second largest city in France with a population over 800,000. It is considered as a big city in France, but for Bangkokian like me, I would say with this number it is not that big.

We started exploring the city by foot first.

Vieux Port from a far distance Marseille01

La vieille charité


Marseille Cathedral


Getting closer to Vieux Port Marseille05

Then, we decided to take a tram to Notre Dame de la Garde, where we could get views over the city. Marseille06

Going back to Vieux Port


On the next day, we took ferry to Château d’If, a fortress located on If island. Because of the novel named “The Count of Monte Cristo” which was written by Dumas, France author, this fortress became a tourist destination.

Marseille08 Marseille09 Marseille10

Then, we were back to the city and visited Palais Longchamp. Marseille11 Marseille12

All in all, there were many nice things in Marseille, but comparing to other cities in Europe, I would say this city looked messy. During a few days in this city, I always saw litter on the streets. And I had a bad experience there! While I walked in the city, there was a group of people tried to open my handbag!! And when my friend helped me, they also tried to open my friend’s bag!!! Luckily, we did not lose anything.

I know it is normal that this kind of situation happens for the tourist cities and we have to be careful when we travel. But, it still made me feel bad 🙁

Have you ever been to Marseille? Do you like this place? Share your experience with me in the comment!

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