Of all places on the French Riviera, Marseille had the worse reviews. I was told to avoid this place. I was told that it was no good. “Visit Nice or Cannes instead. Don’t go to Marseille.” I didn’t listen to the negative stories, and I went anyways.
With a Eurostar ticket, I set off for the French Riviera.The train ride from Paris to Marseille was scenic, going past azure rivers and green countrysides. As it was my first time in the Mediterranean and I couldn’t wait to see what the coast looked like. When I stepped outside of the station, that’s when I realised that Marseille was gentle on the eyes.
First it was the view. The station has a good view over the city and I wasn’t the only newcomer who stopped to take it all in. Seccondly, it was the beauty of the train station’s exterior . Marseille was an important city for many years and I could see this by the statues that adorned the station. I liked the fact that the statues were in a state of disrepair, it highlighted the truth about Marseille that this once glorious city has been left behind for the likes of Nice and Cannes.
Despite this, many tourists still come to Marseille. There is a certain charm the city has that I couldn’t find in Nice. After two nights I made my way back to Marseille. It is a diamond in the rough. There are improvements going around the city but it does not feel touristic like other cities on the French Riviera. Even with a large Arab/North African population, the city still feels french.
Fortunately my visit to Marseille was timed perfectly because there was an exhibition of photography and even the exhibition did not take away the beauty of the train station.
Don’t listen to the negative reviews of Marseille. Come to this gem on the coast. Or, don’t visit Marseille and leave it all to me.