As you arrive by Ouibus in France’s second biggest city, you will find yourself in a vibrant, musical and vital metropolis. Marseille embraces modern day life, and yet this is a city with a history that can be traced back some 2,600 years. You can get around the city on foot, by bike or you can take the metro. Start your exploration in the old port: this is still very much a focal point for the city which looks out to the vast ocean. The sea is an important part of the city’s history and of its daily life. Go for a wander through the fish market before having a coffee at a table outside one of the cafes that line the harbour. Look up and salute “la Bonne Mère”, the church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, perched on a hill with its gigantic golden statue of the Virgin Mary, watching over the city and shimmering in the sunshine. If you’re feeling energetic, climb up to the church for a breathtaking view over Marseille. Set off by boat to visit the Château d’If, the setting for Alexandre Dumas’s famous book, The Count of Monte Cristo. Once you’re back in the city, go for a stroll in the Panier district, the oldest part of Marseille. Among its winding lanes, you will come across the Vieille Charité and the recently opened Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations). When hunger strikes, you will find many authentic little restaurants up in the heights of Endoume, where you can savour some of the best of Mediterranean cooking. Marseille is well known for its pretty, scented soap, its aniseed-flavoured pastis, as well as bouillabaisse (a rich fish stew). But it’s also known for its sport and culture, and was nominated European capital of culture for 2013. Marseille has a modern outlook combined with a cosmopolitan and open way of life, and that’s what’s so lovable about this sun-soaked Mediterranean city!