For 2,600 years, Marseille’s historic port has been the beating heart of the city. The Vieux-Port is still located where the ancient Greek market once stood. Nowadays, it is one of Marseille’s most popular neighbourhoods. Since extensive renovations were carried out, virtually the entire area is a pedestrian zone. The atmosphere is inviting and pleasant, thanks in part to the dozens of cafés and restaurants.
In the mid-19th century, the Vieux-Port could accommodate 1,000 boats at the same time. But port activities began to decline steadily due to the advent of the steamboat, for which the port was too shallow. The final blow was struck during World War II when the port was almost completely destroyed. The city of Marseille, however, quickly restored it to its former glory. Although the port is no longer used for commercial shipping, pleasure yachts take pride of place in the dock here.