How to Spend 48 Hours in Marseille

How to Spend 48 Hours in Marseille

When some of my London friends suggested going to Marseille and the French Riviera for a weekend, I knew I wanted to put my tour guide cap on and introduce them to some of my favourite spots there. And with Marseille being the second largest city in France, there was plenty for me to show them - and you. I really tried to squeeze in as much as possible in the short time we had so I hope you're ready...


Hannah, Michelle, Sarah, Sophie and I ended up staying at my parents' house on the Riviera and taking the train into Marseille. One thing to know about the South of France is that the SNCF rail network will take you pretty much anywhere along the coast for about 15€ or less. Trains can be pretty irregular though, so do check the timetable in advance.

Now, you might not think I am the best person to give hotel recommendations since I have never actually stayed in Marseille myself, but believe me when I say I've had plenty of friends and family do and both these places came in highly recommended. First is maybe the best value for your money you'll find in Marseille : Phillipe Starck's Mama Shelter. Still, my personal favourite has to be Casa Honoré, a beautiful Bed & Breakfast bang in the middle of the old town. It doesn't get much better than this, believe me. Of course, you could also go for one of the many beautiful AirBnBs available in the area.



Known as the oldest part of town, it is also the most picturesque. Located in the 2e arrondissement, it is the area everyone thinks of when they first book their trip to la cité Phocéenne. If you're anything like me, you'll fall in love with all the little cafés and boutiques around, especially le Bazar du Panier. There's even a museum dedicated to the unofficial sport of the South, pétanque - believe me, it doesn't get more marsaillais than that. When you're planning your day, make sure to leave plenty of time to explore the winding streets of Le Panier and La Vieille Charité, an old almshouse-turned-museum designed by French architect, Pierre Puget. The exhibitions are always on point and the place itself is also well worth a visit (and perfect for an outfit shot, as demonstrated here by Michelle.)

7 promenade Robert Laffont, 13002

Relatively new to the Marseille landscape, the MuCEM (a.k.a. The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) is a must-see for anyone in the area. And if the current exhibitions aren't your thing, I still highly suggest you go, if only to walk around the building and enjoy the breathtaking views from its rooftop café and footbridge.


Whether you go early in the morning to catch the fishmongers at work or just want to see Norman Foster's L'Ombrière in person, no trip to Marseille is complete without exploring the harbour in the Old Town. And yes, that's what that giant mirrored art installation is called in case you were wondering. Those who aren't too scared of heights will also be able to watch the city from above thanks to the ferris wheel next door.

Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13281

Notre Dame De La Garde is probably one Marseille's most famous landmarks. Built on the highest natural point in town, the church is said to look over Marseille and its people at all times. It is a little bit of a hike, but it is one of the most beautiful (and iconic) views of the city and a must-see if you've got time. Not so keen to hike up there? Just hop on the 60 bus, which will take you straight to the top of the hill.


Navettes are traditional orange blossom-flavoured biscuits baked in the South of France. They are a real delicacy here and believe me when I say that they don't get much better than the ones from le Four des Navettes, the oldest bakery in Marseille. In fact, they are so good, the local Archbishop comes in every year to bless a batch. Needless to say, those sell like hot cakes - pun intended. The original location is on Rue Sainte, but you can also buy these delicious biscuits directly from their shop in Les Docks de Marseille (pictured here).

36 Grand Rue, 13002

Le savon de Marseille is a bit of a local pride and joy. It has been traditionally made for over 600 years here, using sea water and olive oil. If you would like to know how exactly, you can actually learn and give soap making a try at La Grande Savonnerie. Or you could leave the experts to it and  just buy a few bars to bring home with you. Either way, feel free to talk to the people there - they are always happy to their knowledge of the traditional savon de Marseille and its history.


French people take l'apéro very seriously, especially in the South. If you're confused as to what "l'apéritif" or "l'apéro" is, it is what the French call gathering around for drinks and nibbles before a meal. On a hot weekend, we're even known to do this twice - once before lunch and once before dinner. If you want to do "l'apéro" like a real Marseillais, order a pastis, a local anise-flavored liquor, or a glass of rosé.

Some more things you might want to do while you're there : go on a boat trip around les Calanques de Marseille, visit the MAMO and La Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier, see what's on at Studio Fotokino, take a day trip to Cassis, watch live music at the Dock des Suds and lay on the beach in la calanque de Sormiou.


110 Rue Paradis, 13006

You might have already seen this place pop up on Instagram (#Ihavethisthingwithfloors anyone?) and let me tell you, it's a good one! I particularly love their buffet-style lunch menu where you can choose  from the best organic, local ingredients. It's also a great place to grab a glass of wine or two. Or three... Really, who's counting?

This is definitely a place you will want to come back, time and time again. Not only is the decor oh so "Instagrammable", the food is also ridiculously good, fresh and dare I say... cheap? As a matter of fact a starter, a main, a desert, a coffee and a glass of wine will only set you back a mere 26 euros if you go for their lunchtime deal. It's a real bargain on this side of town, let me tell you! The menu changes daily but that day, I had the cold pea and mint soup to start, followed by the fennel and saffron seabass - which I was told was bought a few hours earlier directly from one of the fishmongers on the harbor across the road. That's how fresh it was! -, and a pistachio and raspberry crème brûlée for dessert.

Vanille Noire is known for their - you guessed it - black vanilla ice-cream. The secret behind the rich, unusual colour? Squid ink. If that's not your cup of tea, you can always go for some of their more "traditional" flavours, like calisson, fig or even olive oil.


As I've said, l'Apéro is somewhat of an institution down there, so head over to l'Abbaye early (around 6, 6.30) to make sure you nab yourself a table and blend in with the locals while you sip on a glass of wine and snack on olives. Do I even need to mention the amazing view over the Pharo


Great views of the harbour, delicious local seafood and a Pinterest-worthy setting - what else could you wish for? If they have it on the menu that day, I highly recommend you try their clam linguine. It's rich, yet incredibly fresh and moorish.

Choose whatever you fancy from the many different stalls in this food court and go sit outside for the ultimate Marseille experience. I personally always get the crudités with anchoïade and tapenade dips to share while everyone decides what they want - and believe me, it can take a while!

Some more places places worth checking out if you have time : Le Carmine (an Italian with a view that also doubles up as the perfect spot for l'apéro), Chez Fanny (for delicious, mediterranean street food), L'Epuisette (for the best bouillabaisse in town), Chez DouceurR2 - Le Rooftop (where you can have everything from a delicious burger to thai food while looking over the Vieux Port), Carry Nation (Marseille's very own Speakeasy.  Just make sure to book ahead or you might never find it) and La Dame Noir VII (a.k.a. where the cool kids have a drink on a Friday night.)

And if don't know what to eat, here are a few local dishes I would recommend everyone tries when in the South of France : bouillabaisse (a luxurious fish stew) ; the humble soupe de poisson, which is fish soup served with croutons and rouille, a very traditional and slightly spicy spread ; the classic moules marinières ; aioli (because dipping veggies, fish and shellfish into a delicious garlic sauce never gets old), fougasse (a delicious flatbread typical of the area,) a classic tian provençal and of course, ratatouille.  Of course, there are plenty of other local dishes to try but if you're pressed for time, I'd start from here. And if you fancy something sweet, don't forget to pick up some calissons, which are traditional sweets from the near-by town of Aix-en-Provence.


Marseille is definitely a great place to shop around. You will find most high street brands (including Sephora) at Les Terrasses du Port, as well as many concept store in the near-by Les Docks so if those are what you're after, you might want to make a pit stop after you're done at the MuCEM.

If we're talking street names, Rue Paradis is where you can find local designers like GAS Bijoux or REIKO. If you're after something a little bit more luxurious, head over to Rue Grignan or Rue Saint-Ferréol. After all, Louis Vuitton is a little bit cheaper over here, am I right?

Le Panier also has some great second-hand shops, like Ma Grand Mère Avait les Mêmes, which literally translates to "my grandma had those." There you'll find vintage milk glass from the 60s, 70s crockery and of course, Ricard memorabilia. If you do end up going, I highly recommend you stay for an almond milk matcha latte and have chat with Phil, the owner. He has the best stories and yes, they may sound a little bit exaggerated and over the top but hey, this is what happens when you talk to people who are from Marseille.

For the cool kids out there, you will definitely want to leave some time to explore Noailles, a really cool, multi-cultural part of the city. It's got everything from traditional Tunisian crockery to record shops like Lollipop, Extend & Play and Galette Records. You might also want to walk down the Cours Julien and head to Fietje, a really cool independent craft beer shop where you can get your hands on some local and international brews.

Here are also a few shops I particularly love and would recommend to everyone : Kulte, a really cool concept store ; Epicerie L’Idéal if you want to bring home a little taste of Marseille ; Jogging, a former butcher shop turned concept store and Maison Empereur, the oldest "quincaillerie" in the city, where you'll find anything from vintage-looking lamp fixtures to funky kitchen utensils.

Have you ever been to Marseille? Anywhere you think I should add on my list, next time I'm in the South of France? 

- Elodie x

If you decide to book an AirBnB, don't forget you can get £30 / $37 / 30€ off your first Air BnB stay when you sign up here. Bon voyage!

In-flight Beauty Essentials

In-flight Beauty Essentials

By the time you read this, I will be packing up a storm and getting ready to fly out to Korea in a few days. From London to Seoul, that is a whole 11 hours to spend on a plane, which if you're a skincare junky like me, means you have 11 hours to pamper yourself and make sure the dry cabin air doesn't get the best out of your skin. 

As a matter of fact, dry skin tends to get even drier in the air, whereas oily skin will produce even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture around. I have dry skin so keeping it hydrated throughout the flight is my number one priority. Of course, it all starts with me bringing a large bottle of water to drink throughout the flight, but that's no fun so instead, let's take a peek inside my beauty bag, shall we? I might not use everything in there, every time I fly, but it's good to come prepared, right?



I rarely use wipes these days, but when I do, I reach for these by Ole Henriksen. Enriched with vitamin C and jojoba seed oil, these thick and textured brightening clothes are perfect to take off any dirt or makeup residue when in a pinch. I don't tend to wear makeup on long haul flights, but I still like to use these before using anything else on my face to make sure I start off with a clean base.


I swear by these pimple patches - both on land and in the air. Not only do they draw all the "gunk" out of any blemishes you might have, they also create a physical barrier, preventing you from picking at your skin, no matter how bored you get on that flight. They're also great to use after you land shall a spot decides to pop up out of nowhere and try to ruin your holiday. 

£3.00 per sheet / $6.00 

I'll be honest here, I rarely have the guts to put a sheet mask on a plane. I don't often fly business or first class (and by not often, I mean never,) so the idea to crack out a sheet mask so close to a complete stranger is not exactly the most appealing but I still like to make sure I have one with me, just in case. This Dr Jart+ Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution one is my all-time favourite for days when my skin feels tight, dry and lackluster. 


Since I often get too self-conscious to do a sheet mask on the plane, I also like to carry with me a sleeping mask. This Nuxe Crème Fraîche de Beauté hydrating mask isn't technically meant to be left on for an extended period of time, but I always do and have never had an issue with it. Once again, I really like the idea of the thick, clear mask creating a little bit of a barrier against the dry cabin air and my skin. You also only need the smallest amount, which means you can easily decant it into a small jar and save some space in your carry-on. Win!

£34.00 for 250ml / $32.00 for 250ml 

I always travel with some sort of cleansing water. It's great to remove any dirt or makeup, wash off a face mask or just refresh your skin right before landing. I recently picked this one up from Sephora in one of their Beauty-to-Go sets and thought it was the perfect size to pop into my little zipped lock  bag. 


Ointments are a real beauty must-have, whether you're on a plane or not. I use mine on my lips,  my cuticles or any other dry patches of skin. I'm using the Lucas Papaw Ointment at the moment, but I also love the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.


You're probably tired of hearing me bang on about this face mist any chance I get, but the truth is, I haven't found anything better yet. Of course, there's only so much a mist can do, but I still love the whole ritual of giving my face a few spritz every now and then. The scent isn't too strong either, so it's perfect to use in confined spaces, like on a plane.


Rosehip oil is a great natural source of vitamin E and is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant that soothes and moisturises even the driest and most sensitive skin - long story short, it is a real staple in my skincare routine and makes for a great source of hydration when flying. Depending on how my skin feels after spending a few hours on the plane, I either like to layer it underneath my usual moisturiser or just mix a few drops in that same moisturiser.


Last but not least, I always bring with me a moisturizer. This one by Embryolisse is one of my favourites to use, whether I'm flying or not. It's incredibly rich but very quick to absorb into the skin and makes for a great base if you're going to apply makeup over the top. And don't worry about the half empty tube, there's a full size coming with me in my checked-in luggage too.

You might have noticed that I'm not taking any of my beloved hyaluronic acid serums with me. Why? Hyaluronic acid is great to draw moisture into the skin and a real staple in my usual skincare routine but it is not so great to use in drier environments, like a plane for example. Instead of drawing the moisture in, it can actually do the exact opposite, so try and keep this in mind if you're traveling soon.


£34.00 for 60ml / $20.00 

After spending such a long time in a stuffy airplane, it's always nice like to freshen up and put a little bit of perfume on. I'm personally a huge fan of Philosophy's Amazing Grace and its fresh, soft scent and wear it all year around. 

£25.50 / $42.00

Unless I have a busy day of exploring ahead, I don't tend to put much makeup on before landing. Now, I am pretty comfortable with my bare face, but I am - and always have been - a little bit self-concious about my dark circles so I like to use the YSL Touche Éclat to bring some light back to the area. 


Remember when I hacked away at one of my eyebrows with a pair of tweezers, a few summers ago? Well, LiBrow did help most of the hair grow back but it's still a little bit sparse so I still like to fill my brows in if I can - although this might change when I finally get my hands on Glossier's infamous Boy Brow.


I'm not a nervous flyer by any means, but I do sometime struggle to fall asleep, which isn't ideal when time differences mean you can lose hours of sleep. This Aromatherapy Associates balm is, hands down, the most luxurious "sleeping-aid" I own and my favourite one of the bunch for sure. 

Not pictured : Hand sanitizer, Caudalie hand cream and my trusty Lilash, which decided to play hide and seek while I took these pictures. 

What are your in-flight beauty essentials?

- Elodie x