Why should I choose Marseille for my year abroad?
With its balmy, Mediterranean feel, visitors and locals alike admire the many sights that it offers. Take for example the 19th century basilica, Notre Dame de la Garde, where you can enjoy the most breathtaking views of the portal city. At the fascinating Musée d'Histoire de Marseille, you can admire a 3rd century ship, which was washed up the shores, just outside the beautiful Jardin des Vestiges.
At the core of the city is the breezy and quaint harbour, Le Vieux Port. By day, a peaceful place to watch the ships go by whilst tucking to the famous local dish – bouillabaisse, on the Place Thiars. By night, it's time to get on your dancing shoes and party the night away with locals and students alike. If trendy French living is more your thing, then head over to Cours Julien and la Plaine, hangout areas with scores of bookshops and cafés. A market is held every Sunday, so make sure you don't miss out on the true marseillais way of life.
Marseille is also a top location for films, and if you're lucky you might just find some work as an extra—Love Actually, The Count of Monte Cristo and the famous Transporter films have all featured the French port town. Marseille has taken in artists across the ages (Dumas, Van Gogh, Cézanne...) and you can easily see why— this town offers sunshine, lavish buildings and some beautiful views from the nearby lighthouse. It is also known to be a veritable melting po(r)t, where Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian and Congolese, Chinese and many other nationalities all give the city a very hip vibe. Check out the Quartier Noailles. There are also some pretty sweet beaches nearby, should the mood take you to chill out on some rochers and take in l'air du Sud.
All in all, Marseille ticks quite a few boxes, and if that wasn't enough, it's also up for the hefty title of European Capital of Culture in 2013! So you can bet there's going to be loads of stuff to do, explore and try out in this gem of a town!