By Sumit Sharma
The natural beauty amongst picturesque settings and rich architectural and cultural heritage make Marseille an ideal tourist destination. It is the oldest city of France founded around 600 BC. There are some of the most beautiful hotels where you can stay and cafes where you can enjoy light meals on La Canabiere which is the main street of Marseille.
The Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde is a 19th century basilica which has been designed on the Romano-Byzantine style. You will find this in the south of Vieux Port and is a major draw for the tourists visiting the region. One is truly amazed at seeing the huge gilded statue of the Virgin standing regally atop the basilica’s 60 meter high belfry. You must not miss the opportunity of watching the sunset views from here which are breathtaking and spectacular.
Art lovers will like the Museum of Fine Arts (the Musee des Beaux Arts) in Marseille, regarded as one of the finest museums in France. Built in the left wing of the Palais Longchamp, it displays major works of French, Italian and Flemish schools between the 17th to the 19th centuries. The museum has an exhibition room which will keep you glued to its impressive drawings.
The history of Marseille cannot be separated from its close links to the sea. Hence, you will find that the Vieux Port is the starting point for many of its sights as well as the destination for cruise ships from all parts of the world. The beaches near the Prado are quite popular. You can obtain a selection of leaflets from the tourist office highlighting the major places of interest and maps to guide you on your sightseeing tour.
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