Things to do in Marseille
Catch a game at Stade Vélodrome
Even if you don't enjoy football, a visit to Marseille's infamous Stade Vélodrome (www.om.net/en) will be an unforgettable experience. Opened in 1937, its famous wave-like roof makes it one of football's most prepossessing structures, while its team Olympique Marseille has long been one of France's most successful - if unpredictable - clubs.
Miramar (tel: +33 4 91 91 41 09; http://lemiramar.fr) on the Vieux Port is one of Marseille's most famous restaurants and widely renown for its bouillabaisse. Those keen to learn the alchemy of Marseille's most famous dish can join a cookery course, in which one of the restaurant's chefs takes participants through the step-by-step process of getting your dish to restaurant quality.
Get on your bike
Marseille's le velo (http://en.levelo-mpm.fr) bike hire scheme has proved popular since launch and visitors can freewheel their way through picturesque urban pockets or head for the postcard-pretty coastal roads. The machines require a debit card or - for those still living in 1976 - a cheque, and costs 1€ per day.
Go diving in the Calanques
Marseille might not be famed for its diving, but those keen to explore the teal blue waters of the Calanques can arrange to be accompanied by an instructor from DUNE World (tel: + 33 4 88 66 48 13; www.dune-world.com). The best time for diving is between June and September.
Take a boat to Château d'If
Château d'If is the setting for much of Alexander Dumas's classic novel The Count Of Monte Cristo, and this work of fiction has solidified the prison island's must-visit reputation. Situated just off the entrance to the city's old port, it's easily accessible by the Frioul If Express (www.frioul-if-express.com/en).