I wouldn’t suggest you to visit Marseille in just one day, since the beauty of this town deserves to be savoured slowly, with long breaks in the many cafes or ethnic restaurants in Des Arcenlaux and Panier. But if you plan to do so, you can, and here is how!
Start your day in Notre Dame de La-Garde Basilica, or “Bonne Mère” as they say here. This church is located on Marseille’s highest peak, 162 metres over the sea level, and you can reach it with a 15 minute walk from the Old Port, but also by car or public means.
From the Basilica you can enjoy a 360 degree view over the whole town: from Fort Saint Jean and the Old Port, Marseille’s city centre and the green hills surrounding it, the sea and the islands Ratonneau and Pomègues.
From the Basilica walk down to the Old Port and stop at the oldest bakery in Marseille, Four Des Navettes, and have a tasty navettes, delicious biscuits baked according to a 200 year old recipe.
While just a few steps further is Le Savon de Saint Victor, a shop of authentic savon de Marseille (Marseille soap).
One of Marseille’s most charming corner is undoubtedly Panier, with its pastel colour houses and its narrow alleys. Located on Moulins Hill, where ancient Massalia was set, this neighbourhood is the last trace of the old town. Over the last decades the area almost became a ghetto, but new restaurants and shops bringing Panier to new life. But it is better to avoid roaming alone here at night, when this pleasant corner becomes far less comforting.
For further information visit Marseille’s tourism board.