Marseille, a little rough round the edges but ebbing with charm – this cultural melting pot has long been the centre of controversy with its crumbling facades, hints of danger and throngs of people from every corner of the globe. Yet these factors also bring beauty, color and style to the sprawling city. Perched on the shimmering blue of the Mediterranean, this is far from your average romanticized cookie cutter seaside town; this is Marseille, a city with edge, attitude and a flaring artistic temperament. All these characteristics make it a world class spot for photography tourism, enabling the adventurous to get off the beaten track and into a hidden side of France.
It’s Not as Bad as You Think
The streets of Marseille have been touted as being ravaged with crime, drugs and poverty and whilst you can catch glimpses of desperation on the fringes, the city is a thriving hub of culture, class and abundant energy. For keen photographers there is a world to capture and you will never fall short of inspiration upon the shore. From shooting hordes of locals wading into the water to old men drinking pastis on the sidewalk cafes, scores of bright walls adorned in graffiti and hidden stairwells, the city is overflowing with remarkable sights, the scent of spiced meats and a hodge podge of roof tops wrapped in vines.
It’s a Cultural Capital
The once underdog of the French shoreline is rapidly undergoing an exciting transformation and finally the clash of cultures is to be celebrated rather than swept under the carpet. The old port is pulling out the stops and the result is dazzling with its chic and trendy bars, yachts sitting prettily in the harbour and the abandoned docks of La Joliette have been renewed and regenerated to be the heart of this cultural revival with the gorgeous latticed glass building of the Museum of European Civilizations and of the Mediterranean (MuCEM), Michelin inspired restaurants and sublime new art exhibitions. Culture vultures will find the city of Marseille a real treat and your lens will never stop for a second.
*Image of Cathedral de la Major, Marseille via Shutterstock