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Nice or Marseille

Chicago, Illinois
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Nice or Marseille

We are starting our trip in Munich, then heading to Provence. Flight options appear to be either Nice or Marseille. Our destination for most of our stay in Provence will be Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Because the flight from Munich (to either Nice or Marseille) would arrive after 5:00, we thought it would make sense to spend a night or two before the drive.

I understand the drive from Marseille will be less than from Nice. But wondering which will be better place to stay for a night or two. Which city will be more interesting to walk around in and enjoy the sites. We are travelling as an active 40-something couple. We like exploring, hiking, running, sitting in cafes and enjoying the sites. We enjoy history, but do not want to spend any significant amount of time in museums. We like nice restaurants on occasion, but equally prefer dinner at the bar in a local tavern. We hate group tours :).

I know very little about each of these cities - have done some reading and know the basics "facts" - but hard for me to get a feel for what a day would be like in either of these cities. Thank you in advance.

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Guildford, United...
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1. Re: Nice or Marseille

As someone who also enjoys 'exploring, hiking, running, sitting in cafes and enjoying the sites', Nice is one of my favourite three or four cities on the planet. One of the many things I like about Nice is that I feel safe wandering almost anywhere at any time. Marseilles is not really a resort and has its problems. Have a look at virtualtourist.com to get an idea of what those may be.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Nice or Marseille

Very helpful!.Thank you!

Vence, France
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3. Re: Nice or Marseille

I would also go for Nice. Obviously Marseille is much closer to St. Remy. We have Google Maps here, to check something like that out. Its on the internet, you know ;)

Nice is more "vacation" than Marseile and to St. Remy its not more than a relaxed drive on the autoroute (with fantastic scenery missed alongside).

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Nice or Marseille

I've never been to Marseilles so can't compare them.

Nice however should not be missed if tire in the area. Not only is it a great city but so close to areas of interest for short day trips.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Nice or Marseille

Marseille is a port city of a 1.5 million people....NIce has about 350,000 residents. Marseille is wildly multicultural and has all of the challenges that come with a large port city. NIce is a holiday destination.

I like Marseille but I love Nice.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Nice or Marseille

I've never been to Marseilles so can't compare them.

Nice however should not be missed if tire in the area. Not only is it a great city but so close to areas of interest for short day trips.

Maine
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7. Re: Nice or Marseille

Hi there, it would depend on what time of year you are going to visit as you could arrive in Marseille and leave directly with a car. Marseille airport is north of the city making it very easy to get on the autoroute and head toward St Remy. We have been to Marseille but only day tripping and never wanted to stay the night.

If you are staying in Munich the first part of your trip, and have a chance to recover from your jet lag, then picking up a car at the Marseille Marignan airport could be a nice option. Days are longer in spring. In April when we travel mostly, light is good until 7:30-8. Aix en Provence is very near (we have stayed here), if you wanted a really nice night before you headed over to St Remy. I use Michelin directions to plan out our trip and recommend it as it helps you to "walk" through your trip. You'll realize just how close these towns are. We have used both Nice and Marseille airports. We really love Nice and mostly stay a night or two there, then get the car at the airport and drive to the St Remy area, mainly because we are flying from the states and want to rest before driving. Hope this helps!

Louisville, Kentucky
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8. Re: Nice or Marseille

I've visited Nice at least ten times and Marseille, once. I would hate to represent my one time experience as being an absolute, but Marseille did not make it onto our "go back" list. It felt "unsettled," but others may have a different view. I'm respectful of those opinions, but Nice and the Côte d'Azur are on my "go back" list every time I visit.

provence
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9. Re: Nice or Marseille

I think Maine makes a good point about picking the car up at Marseille airport - it is a very easy drive to St Remy from there.

I would have gone for the Nice option as it is a city we like very much but as you will have got over the jet lag I would be tempted just to fly into Marseille - you can then always go into Marseille for a visit when you are settled. It is worth a visit.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Nice or Marseille

You can also pick up the car in Nice airport which is west of nice and drive west. But I think OP wants to spend a few nights in one of the cities.