Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013
Why Go Now Get ready for a year packed full of arts and culture events as France's newly vibrant port city of Marseille takes on the role of Europe's 2013 Capital of Culture. A slew of new art galleries and venues (including the Le Silo concert arena) will host rotating exhibitions all year long, along with a full roster of street fairs, open-air concerts, fireworks shows, and food events. In June, MuCEM, a major new museum dedicated to the cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean, is set to open. Plus, it will soon be easier to get to Marseille. Starting on May 31, XL Airways France will offer nonstop routes to Marseille from New York. –by Erica Duecy
Where to StayThe gorgeous, modern InterContinental Marseille, located in the historic former Hotel Dieu on the old port, has been beautifully restored just in time for the city's Capital of Culture events. A hip newcomer from Paris, Mama Shelter, is an affordable hotel with of-the-moment style. The tres chic bar and restaurant have become hangouts for stylish locals.
Insider TipThese days, the in-crowd meets for cocktails and tapas at Rowing Club, a hip, rooftop restaurant located above Marseille's competitive rowing club. Another intriguing find: Mix en Bouche, a creative collective that hosts roving food-and-music events.
Word of Mouth Fodorite tarquin recommends his can't-miss Marseille experiences: "Walk down the Canebiere, go to the old Arab quarter, eat bouillabaisse in the port area, drink a pastis."
When to Go Marseille is a year-round destination, but is generally mobbed in the summer months, especially June through August. Visit in spring or fall for better deals and fewer crowds.
Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Provence Travel Guide.