Late June I set out on my journey to explore the world. After arriving in Paris, I quickly found myself in Marseille, which is arguably my favorite part of France thus far.

To arrive in Marseille from Paris, one of the most environmentally and budget friendly ways to arrive is by train. The train takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, and is comfortable and peaceful. Bring a book and headphones and await your arrival to paradise. I set out from Charles de Gaulle Airport, which connects to the high-speed Ouigo train station. While you can get these tickets (one-way) for as little as 12 euros, I had missed my train, and overall the trip cost me a little over 250 euros. Bummer for the price, but nothing could have beaten the city that I arrived to the 6th of July, 2021.

Apart from being in good company, Marseille was majestic for me in all aspects. For starters, the Airbnb had a large King bed, an in-home washer, and a beautiful balcony where I enjoyed breakfast every morning. Because Marseille is still in France and not necessarily budget-friendly, I opted to make about half of my meals in the Airbnb.

Homemade breakfast on the balcony in Marseille

Once you arrive to Marseille you are hit with a million options of activities to choose from. I have chosen to speak on my top 3 favorite things about Marseille: the food, the Calenques, and the architecture/Old Port of Marseille (which I’m classifying under one activity as they’re both something that you can do within a full-day adventure of exploring).

Let’s start with food. My favorite restaurant that I visited in Marseille was Boteca Brasil, which had delicious Brazilian food, caipirinhas, and spectacular views. You can also find cheap bakeries with every French pastry that you can imagine, cheap happy hours, and a wonderful selection of international foods. Marseille is a traveler’s paradise, as it takes you on a trip around the world, all while staying in France.

View from the dinner table at Boteca Brasil.

Next, the Calenques. These days were amongst my favorites in Marseille, as I had the opportunity to soak in some sunshine, swim in the Mediterranean Sea, and go on the most beautiful hike I have ever climbed. Bear in mind, to arrive to the Calenques, you will have to climb. There is one rope between you and a tall mountain that bears the deep sea on the other side. I saw some small children and hikers in flip-flops, but if it’s your first time visiting the Calenques, be sure to come prepared for a proper hike. Once you reach the first beach, you can either keep walking to more isolated, more beautiful beaches, or you can stay put. I was on a time crunch, so I stayed put. However, I had nothing to complain about. I spent hours swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and soaking up sunshine. It was more than magical.

My view after taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.
All magical days should come to an end with gelato. From here, I caught a train back to Marseille’s city center, where the Airbnb was.

Finally, the architecture and Port held enough beauty to draw you to Marseille on their own. This is a city to get lost in, and trust me, I did. Around the city, you can explore, shop, eat, do whatever your heart desires. Many days I brought food to the Port and ate lunch while I watched the locals fishing. If you’re looking for a more activity-based trip, there is plenty to do, and plenty of people to meet. The people here get together for soccer games, for cheap happy hours, and to explore the city on foot, as I am recommending you do as well. If the first few steps outside of the train station in Marseille aren’t enticing enough, perhaps you just will not like Marseille. I can promise you, however, that this city is worth the trip. For me, it is worth many more trips.

Marseille’s Train Station

À bientôt, Marseille. I look forward to many more days like this…


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