Top 5 Instagram spots in Marseille
The city of Marseille often tends to get overlooked by its big Parisian brother for several reasons. Namely, its size, popularity and also its landmarks.
However, when it comes to travel photography, there are just as many magnificent Instagram spots in Marseille as in Paris.
From Gothic churches to a labyrinth of mural-walled side streets, Marseille makes for one vibrant photo essay. And if you’re a fellow Instagrammer, you’re going to appreciate knowing where to find the best spots in the city.
‘If you can’t beat em, join em’, was my feeling when I first entered the Instagram ring. Zero clue, or excitement, as to what it was about, I could’ve easily signed up for Instagram for Dummies.
A fish out of water — Instagram spots in Marseille
Polished travel blogger profiles with insane numbers of followers flooded my feed. It left me feeling slightly hopeless and unsure whether it was for me.
I later discovered that many of these ‘travel bloggers’ were in fact models. Fast forward to the present, and while a little wiser, I’m still learning as I go.
The thing I enjoy most about Instagram is its intended purpose, and that’s sharing my photos with whoever is looking. With every new country, city or town I visit, it’s always possible to find beauty in every destination.
The trick is knowing where to find the best photography spots.
Best Instagram spots in Marseille – Au Vieux Panier
1. Le Panier neighborhood
In the 2nd arrondissement of Marseille is the Insta-ready quarter of Le Panier. For someone who enjoys exploring the places the locals frequent, there are plenty of Instagram opportunities waiting here.
The neighborhood’s a maze of narrow streets — some cobbled — with plenty of independent shops and tree-lined plazas. Le Panier is also one of the most colorful areas to photograph in Marseille. Do a color count of how many you can find; one mural alone clocks up at least 20.
An area to return to — Instagram spots in Marseille
We returned to Le Panier a few times during our stay in Marseille. One, because it was a shortcut to our hotel, NH Collection Marseille, and two, because of its restaurants and cafes.
Au Vieux Panier is a cozy, yet rustic French eatery that’s ideal with friends or for a romantic dinner. It’s intimate, local and very French.
Extra tip: take a coffee in the outdoor seating area at Awash Marseille. This Moroccan restaurant, shop and gallery is bohemian, edgy and very Instagrammable.
“When the sun’s out, the orchestra of boats resting atop the gentle ripple of water makes for a pretty photo.”
2. Notre Dame de la Garde
You can’t visit Marseille without traveling to the highest peak in the city, Notre Dame de la Garde.
This iconic cathedral overlooks the city and the Mediterranean Sea below, and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Saying that, you’ll be in good company with plenty of other visitors taking ‘photos for the gram.’
There are several levels in the cathedral to visit, and the higher up you go, the better. Taking photos outside is better than in, given the lighting and the photogenic views of the city.
With ample room to photograph different angles at Notre Dame de la Garde, there’s no need to compete here.
The higher, the better — Instagram spots in Marseille
Arguably, however, the best Instagram spot is on level 6. It’s the highest level, and the one that gives impressive panoramic views of Marseille. As you head out the double doors, you come into an area with viewing platforms and observation binoculars.
Extra tip: wait your turn to visit the highest point on level 6. It’s a small stone staircase that leads to another viewing platform. It gets busy very quickly, so pose, take your photos and let the next ‘grammer’ take their turn.
Admiring the panoramic views at one of the top Instagram spots in Marseille
3. Vieux Port
There’s no escaping the grand harbor of Marseille — not that you’d want to. For despite it being the center of the tourist action, it’s ideal for taking photographs.
When the sun’s out, the orchestra of boats resting atop the gentle ripple of water makes for a pretty photo. Just watch as your ‘likes’ increase by the second on this one.
A harbor of photo opportunities — Instagram spots in Marseille
Walking around the harbor also presents plenty of Instagram photo opportunities. Rue de la République and La Canebière are some of the main streets that meet the harbor area.
Food ‘grammers’ may want to stop at one of the restaurants surrounding the harbor. Many places serve up the traditional Marseillaise dish, Bouillabaisse, which looks delicious under the lens.
Take a note from my book, however, and be sure to research where to eat this hearty fish stew. There’s nothing more disappointing than eating a bland bouillabaisse.
Instagram spots in Marseille – Rue de la République
Marseille is a city of 2 sides: classic and gritty. The latter doesn’t mean it’s dirty by any means, more that there are edgier parts of the city.
North of La Canebière is one such example in the quarter of Noailles. Here, blindingly bright graffitied shop fronts, and even sometimes front doors, are the norm.
Discover and drink — Instagram spots in Marseille
Around this neighborhood are also several great wine bars. We took a first glass at Le Tire Bouchon, and the second just around the corner at La Passerelle.
This low-key local hangout has a wide variety of wine, and they also serve traditional food too. English is minimal here, so basic French really goes a long way. As long as you know how to say ‘wine’ (vins), you’ll be off to a good start!
Le Tire Bouchon: 11 Cours Julien
La Passerelle: 26 Rue des trois Mages
Marseille Instagram spots – Noailles quarter
5. Quai de la Tourette
Quai de la Tourette is a stretch of road rather than one photo-worthy spot. It’s an area with several landmarks, such as the jaw-dropping Marseille Cathedral, also known as Cathedrale La Major.
Wide open spaces with views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, there’s plenty of different angles to satisfy your inner ‘grammer’.
Take in the sights — Instagram spots in Marseille
A short walk to the water’s edge will bring you towards the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. The museum’s stone and glass structure houses exhibitions on Mediterranean history civilisations, and is also one of Marseille’s main attractions.
The gleaming glass façade adds an interesting backdrop to photos, as does the Tour du fanal in the distance.
Above all, my favorite Instagram spot here are the rows of benches by the water. Sit on the bench or on the ground, and simply take in the surrounding scenery.
I’m a fan of the abstract shot, even when there’s an imposing trashcan in view!
Quai de la Tourette is one of the best Instagram places in Marseille
Where to stay in Marseille
With a base in the central, yet quiet, 2nd arrondissement, NH Collection Marseille is a top choice. It’s a very short walk from the Le Panier quarter, and around 12 minutes on foot to the old port.
Faultless service and friendly smiles all around, I wouldn’t recommend another place to stay in Marseille.
Instagram spots in Marseille – NH Collection Marseille
What are your thoughts on these Instagram spots in Marseille? Do they inspire you to create your own photo essay? Let me know in the comments below.
Till next time, happy boutique travels x
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