The city of Marseille, located in the South of France and bordering the warm Mediterranean Sea, is the 2nd largest city in France in terms of population with 858,000 inhabitants. This magnificent Mediterranean city steeped in history and rich in culture invites you to relax and discover. The beaches, creeks and monuments of this city of art and culture will not fail to seduce you, but you are not yet at the end of your surprises. Don’t forget either that Marseille is a Provençal city that remains faithful to its traditions, an aspect that you can discover through its gastronomy and local products, legacies of the past. This destination promises you exceptional holidays under the sun of the South of France.
Wondering what to do in Marseille? It’s over here :
For a visit of Marseille, opt for the City Pass, which gives you access to the city’s transport, numerous museums and other advantages!
1- Visit the MuCEM
Opened in 2013, the MuCEM, or Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean, is a must-see site if you come to visit Marseille. Located at the entrance to the port, you will be seduced at first sight by the unique architecture of the building: an impressive concrete lace cube. Built on the site of the Fort Saint-Jean, the museum hosts fabulous exhibitions that invite the most curious travellers to discover the different civilizations that have made up the identity of the Mediterranean, from prehistory to the present day.
2- Stroll around the Old Port
Visiting Marseille also means enjoying the atmosphere that hovers over the Old Port, famous for its fish auction, its boats, its period buildings in the background and its many restaurants and cafés along the quays. Take a seat at a table on one of the terraces and enjoy the sunshine in front of a unique and typical show.
3- Contemplating the Cathedral of the Major
Of the many monuments of Marseille’s heritage, the Cathedral of the Major is one of the must-see. Its particular architecture alone, with Romanesque and Byzantine influences, is worth the detour. While the exterior will charm you with its striped façades and splendid domes, the interior will surprise you with its impressive dimensions. You will also appreciate the arcades, statues, mosaics and an infinity of small details that make the particularity of the place.
4- Tour the historical monuments
The ancient port will take you far into the history of Marseille while most of the great religious buildings, such as the famous Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, trace the history of the 19th century. Climb to the top of the “Bonne Mère”, as it is called there, and discover a panoramic view over the rooftops of Marseille. Your historical walk continues to the 19th century with a visit to the castle of La Buzine before arriving at the contemporary era with the radiant and modern City of Le Corbusier.
5- Get lost in the heart of the Basket
A place not to be missed is certainly the Panier district, the oldest district of Marseille is also one of the most visited. It is located in the heart of the historic center of the city, a stone’s throw from the Old Port. You will immediately fall under the spell of its steep streets that climb the hill, its picturesque high buildings and its unique atmosphere. Here you will discover a true compendium of the Marseilles postcard that inspired the successful series “Plus belle la vie”.
6- Discover the coast
Marseille offers exceptional diversity, but its coast alone is worth the detour. Let yourself be seduced by its creeks that invite you to relax and escape. For family walks and bathing, head for the Prado seaside park, known for its numerous equipped beaches, green spaces and skate park. Alternatively, let yourself be tempted by a short sea walk towards the Jarre island or enjoy scuba diving on the island of Riou.
7- Relaxation and well-being in the creeks
In the creeks, Marseille reveals its natural and wild side in all its splendour. The steep relief of the calanques hides in places magnificent small beaches accessible after a beautiful walk. The creeks of Cassis are among the most beautiful of the Bouches-du-Rhône. They are located about twenty kilometres from the city centre of Marseille. On the beach of Morgiou or those of the calanque d’En Vau, allow yourself sweet hours of relaxation or swim in this little corner of paradise with the airs of the end of the world.
8- Succumb to the flavours of Marseilles
What to do in Marseille? Discover its gastronomy! Whether you are a gourmet or a gourmet, treat yourself to a short break to discover the local specialities. Fish freshly caught in the Mediterranean, southern vegetables, herbs of Provence and other spices will delight your taste buds. The famous bouillabaisse and the soup with pistou are to be tasted absolutely!
9- Take in the view at the Château d’If
Visiting Marseille without passing by the Château d’If is a bit like taking away the city’s singing accent. Classified as a historical monument with its 100,000 visitors per year, the former prison-fortress is accessible by sea shuttle and promises a breathtaking view of Marseille. The same that once inspired Alexandre Dumas for his famous novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. If you wish to enjoy the experience, don’t hesitate to opt for a visit inside the castle: it promises you a timeless interlude.