02 Aug Why visit Marseille
by Yannick Apers from Belgium
If you’re thinking about going to France, you are mostly going to end up in Paris. Massive amounts of tourists, good transportation, many monuments and a charming river: in Marseille you got all of that without the all year tourists. In this article I give you a look at the charming city of Marseille.
This second largest city of France is located in the south between Nice and Montpelier. With all year sunshine, you can visit it practically anytime. I started my journey in Brussels where I took a direct tgv train to Marseille. Once arrived in Marseille st. Charles you get a feel of the gorgeous architecture that this city has to offer.
I took the metro to the hotel: Ibis Centre Euromed. You got two metro lines M1 and M2 that covers the hole city, I suggest you buy (according to your stay) a 72 hour pass. For 10,80 euros you can make unlimited use of the bus, tram and metro. Compared to other large cities (Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam, ..), Marseille offers very cheap and reliable public transportation. But I wouldn’t recommend taking a bus all the time either.
Once arrived in the hotel I headed to villa méditerranée, a gorgeous architecture building that’s very close to the old harbor. It perfectly blends in with the rest of the city. Next to that you can find another modern building: Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations which is as equally photogenic or better then the villa. I brought a hole range of gear to be as flexible as possible: a Nikon D5500 with a 16 to 85mm and a 70-300mm lens, my three legged thing tripod, a polarizer filter, a six stop neutral density filter and a remote shutter release. All of that was packed in my lowepro 150awll. Just be careful that you don’t overpack, just take the gear that you need.
After shooting the architecture in blue hour it was time for some food. The best places for food in Marseille is definitely the center. I ate at la brasserie soleil, a great place for typical
french dishes close to the old harbor and the metro. Or if you want some more chose you can head to “Place Thiars” where you have many different restaurants. And for the people on a budget you have many fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and subway all close to the old harbor.
In the afternoon I headed out of the city to visit the national park: Parc national des Calques which stretches all the way to Cassis. I took the bus from the center to Madrague de Montredon. It’s then a 3 minute walk to the entrance of the park. After that it is a 30 minute walk to the top where you have this magnificent view of Marseille and the sea. You can’t get this anywhere in the world:
The parc is usually all day open and is very well maintained. As a landscape photographer I was very pleased with the weather during that day. This photo is a blend of two exposures the sky and the houses or in other words the shadows and highlights.
It was already my third and last day in Marseille and I still wanted to visit one of of the top tourist spots. So I packed everything in and took the tram to Longchamp. A minute away from
the parc Longchamp, where you can find the famous monument “Palais Longchamp”. Once you got up the stairs you have a decent view over the area. I took that opportunity, got my 70-300mm lens and I photographed the iconic buildings which made for a great black and white image:
If you have a little bit more time in the city, I really suggest you go to Notre-Dame-de-la- Garde, a famous church that has a 360 degree view over the city. Also the beach: Plage du Prado is great for relaxing a day. At the end of the trip I can really recommend this city, it has everything to offer and more.
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