Make way for… hens hens hens! 🐔

For my gal pal Liv’s hen-do (‘bachelorette party’ for Yankees), we flew down to the Marseille for a quick 36-hour visit. Around 30 of those hours were spent drinking rosé, signing karaoke, dancing, and sleeping. But here’s what I managed to see of Marseille in the little time we had there.

Marseille is France’s biggest port city. This 2000-year old city has had a bit of a bad reputation it’s trying to overcome. Over the last few years, it has reinvested itself as a gritty, stylish getaway for sunseekers on a budget. Marseille’s renaissance has produced some excellent restaurants, bars and even coffee shops.

The heart of the city is Vieux Port (Old Port), which is lined with yachts and day boats.

Uphill from Vieux Port is La Panier, the oldest section of the city. And formerly the sketchy quarter. It is now one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods to stroll through – not just in Marseille, but perhaps in France. The uphill hike through colourful street leads to hidden squares and al fresco restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, here are four you should try to check out when you are in Marseille:

Chez FonFon – Mains of fresh fish starting from €10 served from a beautiful cliff-side location.

Les Arcenaulx – Part bookshop, part tearoom, this former warehouse overlaps a public square and offers delicious set menus.

La Cantinetta – Amazing Italian restaurant serving homemade pasta sourced from Italian suppliers.

Chez Ida – a karaoke restaurant (read: hen do gold!). A set menu with the option to sing your favourite ballad between courses. The staff is super friendly, but note that they only speak French. Definitely go here if you are looking for an “experience”.

To enjoy the sea breeze on a budget, look no further than Marseille.

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