Street art in Marseille

Street art in Marseille

In the quartier of Cour Julien and the in theĀ quartier of Le Panier walls are extravagantly painted for everyone to decipher and enjoy.

Both are wonderful areas with loads of quirky stores, cafes, restaurants, bars, and colourful street art and graffiti covering most of the facades.

Make sure you have the time to explore it!

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Marseille is a real treat for street art lovers, hope you have enjoyed this small gallery.

photography ā€“Ā all rights reserved ā€“ Ana Rocha

 

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Marseille, the French Port

Marseille is the second largest French city on the Mediterranean and capital of Provence-Alpes-CĆ“te dā€™AzurĀ region. Unfortunately doesn’t have the best reputation, due to high crime rates and immigration.

From my travels around France, ALL the people I meet said to be very careful in Marseille or even not to go there.

I can’t say that Marseille is very safe, I could have been luckyĀ becauseĀ fortunately, I didn’t have any problems at all as a solo female traveller.

Its great to explore the city on foot, but I also recommend you to buy a bus card because the city is quite big.

 

Vieux-Port (Old Port)

The Old Port is located in the heart of the city and is a very popular place. The bay is packed with boats and yacht surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels.

It is quite busy but still picturesque, with a mish-mash of styles and influences.

 

Notre-Dame de La GardeĀ ā€œLa Bonne MĆØreā€

TheĀ Notre-Dame de La Garde sitsĀ on the highest point in the city. The best part is to walk up theĀ hill and the 360 panoramic views.

The basilica is ornamented with coloured marble, byzantine-style mosaics, and murals.

 

Chateau D’If Frioul

Is an incredible landmark because of The Count of Monte Cristo from Alexander Dumas. If the weather is good, you can go by boat to the island,Ā from the Vieux Port (old port).

The fort is nice but to be honest not much to see, although the views are great.

La Major, Marseille Cathedral

It is a beautiful and at the same time Ā unusual roman catholic cathedralĀ built in the nineteenth century in Romano-Byzantine style.

TheĀ Cathedral of MarseilleĀ stands on the western edge of the old town above theĀ Quai de la Joliette.

 

MUCEM Museum (Museum of Civilization in EuropeĀ and the Mediterranean)

The MUCEM, is an iconic museum mostly because of the structure of the building. It’s really a magnificent place and a fantastic playground if you like photography! I strongly recommend a visit even if is just to contemplate the remarkable building.

You can access, to both the courtyard of J4 and the ramparts of the fort, for free. To visit theĀ permanent and temporary exhibitions is 9,50ā‚¬.

 

Vieille CharitƩ

The VirileĀ CharitĆ©, located in theĀ heart of Marseille’s Le Panier quarterĀ was built as an almshouse, although the beauty of the building doesn’t really give thatĀ impression with itsĀ neoclassical central chapel and elegant arcaded courtyard.

TodayĀ is home to a number of cultural institutions and museums.

 

Fort Saint-Jean

The Fort Saint-Jean, is for me one of the best places in Marseille.Ā The fort lies at the northern mouth of Vieux PortĀ and was recently restored.

Its perfect for scenic strolls through its gardens, and to enjoy the views of the Mediterranean coastline.

If you go to the top of the gardens near the footbridge to MuCEM, you can see Marseille’s Cathedral, andĀ admired the amazing views of Marseille and of the Mediterranean.

 

Natural History Museum of Marseille

The museum is inside the astonishing Palais Longchamp, which is worth a visit just to contemplate the architecture and the gardens. Not really worth to visit inside.

 

Ā Les Docks Village

If you are into shoppingĀ Les DocksĀ are aĀ mid-19th century complex of shipping warehouses, that has been redeveloped and now includes shops, boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants.

TheĀ buildings are connected by creative courtyards. This alone can be goodĀ a reason to visit.

 

Street Art

The quartier of Cour Julien walls are extravagantly painted for everyone to decipher and enjoy.Ā A wonderful area with loads of quirky stores, cafes, restaurants nice bars, and colourful street art and graffiti covering most of the facades. Make sure you have the time to explore it!

 

Farmers’ Market

A great place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.IMG_7699

David’s Statue

For some reason, Marseille also has a copy of the famous David from Michelangelo, placed in the middle of a roundabout near the Prado beaches.

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photography ā€“Ā all rights reserved ā€“ Ana Rocha

Have you ever been to Marseille? What other places would you include here?

 

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Carcassonne, medieval France

Carcassonne is located in the southwest of France.Ā Is a well known fortified Medieval town part of theĀ UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The walled city is very old, founded by the Romans, andĀ is the largest citadel in Europe.Ā The walls of the city are 1.9 miles (3 km) long andĀ have 52 massive towers.

This medieval town is aĀ picturesque place, that attracts plenty of tourists, unfortunately, too many in my opinion.

CarcassonneĀ was fortified by the Romans and strategically located between Toulouse and the Mediterranean sea.

I’ve visited CarcassonneĀ 12 years ago and really loved it, this time I felt a bit disappointed. The walled city felt more like a themeĀ park than a real town where normal life takes place.

I arrived early in the morning, and the entrance was already packed with buses and excursions.

Within the walled cityĀ all the buildings, squares, and alleyways have retained their medieval character.

La VilleĀ Base

This time I have enjoyed more to walk aroundĀ Carcassonne Town (La VilleĀ Base) than the citadel. I found it quite charming and I really had a great time strolling through its streets.

From Toulouse, Carcassonne is an easy day trip and Bla Bla car works really well.

photography ā€“Ā all rights reserved ā€“ Ana Rocha

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Albi a beautiful town in southern France

Albi is small and relatively off-the-touristy radar town on the Tarn River in southern France,Ā conveniently located about an hour northeast from Toulouse.

Despite its size, Albi is incredibly rich in history and charm.Ā For me is without a doubt one of my favorite small town in France.

Albi is covered in red bricks, what gives this town a charming and distinctive aspect.Ā The best way to visit Albi is by wandering around the historicĀ center.Ā Through the small cobblestone streetsĀ and alleyways near the river.

AlbiĀ Cathedral

The Cathedral is anĀ UNESCO World Heritage Site. This placeĀ will take your breath-way, it’s imposingly tall and has a distinctive look for the use of brick to construct its exterior. I personally, never came across a construction of this size made ofĀ bricks.

This incredibly beautifulĀ Gothic Cathedral is located in the middle of the lovely charmingĀ plaza filled with cafes,Ā boulangeries,Ā and other stores.

I found the interior as impressive as the exterior.

Maison du Vieil Alby

TheĀ Maison du Vieil AlbyĀ is a brick-half-timbered house covered inĀ red-bricks. This house isĀ one of the oldest-surviving buildings in Albi.

Ā CollĆ©gialeĀ Saint-Salvi

A Catholic church with a small cozy cloister, perfect stop, to have a snack or to relax.

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Palais de la Berbie

TheĀ Palais de la Berbie was aĀ former Bishopā€™s Palace that serves today as an art museum dedicated to the artwork of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

The gardens behind it, are truly fantastic and the view of the Tarn RiverĀ spectacular.

Old medieval bridge.

The special thing about the Albi bridge is that itā€™s also constructed with the same red brickĀ from which all the buildings in the old town were made.

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From the bridge, you get a great view over the rest of Albi and the city of Madeleine which is located on the other side of the bridge. The river itself is also quite pretty.

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From the other side of town, you haveĀ excellent views of the cathedral and theĀ theĀ Pont VieuxĀ along the Tarn River

MarchƩ Couvert

It’s a small indoor marketplace, unfortunately with no vegan options.

where to stay and how to get there

Albi is a great place to visitĀ but is really small. So its betterĀ to base yourself in the nearby big city of Toulouse and do Albi as aĀ day trip. Toulouse as plenty of accommodation choices and Albi doesn’t.

Toulouse has plenty of hostels, hotelsĀ as well as a range ofĀ AirB&BsĀ to choose from.

Blabla car works really well in France and is a great way to meet local people.

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photography ā€“Ā all rights reserved ā€“ Ana Rocha

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Toulouse, La Ville Rose

ToulouseĀ is a charming French town that surprises with its enchanting atmosphere, and location betweenĀ the Garonne River and the mighty Canal du Midi, plus it’s still a bit off the radar to most people.

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TheĀ ochre rooftops and coral-pink brick facades gave this sunny town theĀ nickname ā€˜La Ville Roseā€™ (the pink city).Ā I found Toulouse quite romantic, perfect for a couple.

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Toulouse is an easy stop-off in the heart of the south west of France.Ā Has plenty to do and see fromĀ ancient palaces to greatĀ food markets.Ā Toulouse has two Unesco heritage sites, the Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the biggest Romanesque building in Europe.

Toulouse is a “big small city“, where everything you may want to visit is quite close, plus the public transports are amazing, making it reallyĀ easy to get around.

Basilique Saint-Sernin

As I mention beforeĀ this Basilique is a Unesco heritage site, and itā€™s considered one of the largest remaining Romanesque buildings in Europe. Ā I found the bell-tower especially impressive, standing 64 meters above the ground.

The city is quite clean and many streets in the center are limited to pedestrians. Bikes are also everywhere. The Old Town not only is a concentration of monuments and old buildingsĀ but is also the place where the normal everyday life takes place.

TheĀ Capitole

It’s the majestic square in theĀ heart of Toulouse,Ā bordered by grand buildings made from Toulouseā€™s hallmark rose-red bricks.

The building itself is accessible to the public, and the entry is free.. Going inside is definitely worth it.

MusƩe des Augustins

Used to be a convent, nowadays is aĀ fine art museum which houses some of the works from the French school between the 15th and 18th centuries.Ā The medieval cloister and garden are especially magical, surrounded by salons filled with evocative statues and sculptures.

CathƩdrale saint-Ʃtienne

Also know as Toulouse Cathedral, it’s a Roman Catholic church built between the 13th and 17th centuries. The cathedral is a combination of northern and southern Gothic styles.

Canal du Midi

A picturesque canal whose waters flow throughout the southwest of France until exiting into the Mediterranean Sea, perfect for aĀ stroll along the River GaronneĀ during a sunny day.

Pont Neuf

TheĀ Pont-Neuf is the oldest and also the main bridge in town, a great place to walkĀ along the Garonne river. The bridge was constructed in the 1500s.

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Jardin Japonais

Located in the north of the city near theĀ Compans Caffarelli. On the day I visited theĀ garden, there was virtually no one there, it’s a gorgeous place, that definitely deserves a visit.

Chapelle des CarmƩlites

It’s aĀ stunningĀ chapel that will absolutely take your breath away. Inside thisĀ chapelĀ is covered in fresco painting, from the wall to the ceiling. The chapel isĀ covered with religious depiction of the Heavens, definitely worth a peak.

Market of Saint Aubin

The Market happens every Sunday morningĀ and is run by local farmers. It’s a great place to buy organics products, vegan street food, find local artists and books.Ā Although Toulouse hasĀ several markets this one was my favorite

The MarchĆ© Victor Hugo, is quite big and well known forĀ its gourmet stalls and restaurants but more is more suitable to non-vegans.

How to get there

Toulouse has its own airport, 20 minutes away from the city center. It also has great connections from the airport to the city.

photography ā€“Ā all rights reserved ā€“ Ana Rocha

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