Art Galleries & Museums

Marseille’s galleries and museums have flourished in recent years. In addition to the many makeovers of local institutions like La Friche La Belle de Mai, the Musée des Beaux Arts and the Musée Cantini, spectacular new facilities have been built for MuCEM and the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain.

The outstanding arts organisation Marseille Expos (www.marseilleexpos.com) sponsors the festival Printemps de l’Art Contemporain each May, and also distributes an excellent map of hot galleries. Copies can be obtained at the Tourist Office, La Friche La Belle de Mai and most theatres and museums.

Along the Coast

Mesmerising views of another Marseille unfold along corniche Président John F Kennedy, the coastal road that cruises south to the small, beach-volleyball-busy Plage des Catalans and the boat-filled fishing cove of Vallon des Auffes.

Further south, the vast Prado beaches are marked by Jules Cantini’s 1903 marble replica of Michelangelo’s David. The beaches, all gold sand, were created from backfill from the excavations for Marseille’s metro. They have a world-renowned skate park. Nearby lies expansive Parc Borély.

Promenade Georges Pompidou continues south to Cap Croisette, from where the beautiful Parc National des Calanques can be reached on foot.

To head down the coast, take bus 83 from the Vieux Port. At av du Prado switch to bus 19 to continue further. Espace Infos RTM sells tickets for ferries between the Vieux Port and La Pointe Rouge, just to the south of the Prado beaches; the City Pass does not cover the ticket.