Marseille is a must-visit city for any football lover. Ligue1.com's David Crossan brings you the insight to make your trip to the Mediterranean a successful one.
Either fly to Marseille Provence airport or take the train into Marseille Saint-Charles station. The airport is under half-an-hour from the city centre and the Orange Vélodrome stadium, while the train station is centrally located and connected to the city's metro network. My tip is to set out on foot from the station to get a feel for the city.
WHERE TO STAY
The Novotel Marseille Vieux Port is spectacularly located and when the weather is good you can make the most of the panoramic views from the terrace. The walk by the coastline as far as the Plage du Prado is not the most direct route to the stadium from there but is one of my favourites.
At the luxury end of the market the InterContinental Marseille understandably has its advocates. Climb the steps to the hotel and you'll feel like you are in a film. If you want accommodation closer to the ground then there are many possibilities catering for all budgets.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Have an aperitif by the Vieux Port and take in the local colour and sounds. The fortunes of OM will never be far away from cropping up in conversation. Restaurant options are plentiful in the city centre and you'll be able to find a terrace or courtyard to suit your taste. La Passerelle is famed for its Mediterranean cuisine (bouillabaisse!) and its garden.
Soak up the pre-match atmosphere by having a drink or a bite to eat near the stadium. There are plenty of places near the Rond Point du Prado metro station and I'm partial to talking Didier Drogba with the locals at Le Saint Giniez, an unprepossessing corner bar/brasserie.
Visiting the magnificently situated and architecturally stunning Orange Vélodrome is a must for any football lover. Once coronavirus restrictions are lifted and the stadium is busy, you'll need to get there early to fully appreciate what football means to the Marseillais. On a big night the atmosphere is like nowhere else. Check the official website www.om.net for ticket availability.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE
Head up to Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, located on a hilltop. A boat trip from the Vieux Port to Château d'If, a fortress turned prison turned tourist attraction, is highly worthwhile. When the weather is good why not head to the beach or, if you have a bit more time, head out of the city to the Parc National des Calanques, on the way to beautiful Cassis.