Are you looking for what to do in Marseille?
THINGS TO SEE & DO
- Notre Dame de la Garde: Notre Dame le Garde or The Lady of guard is a basilica made of limestone. Considered to be the symbol of Marseille, this basilica-cum-fortress-cum-lighthouse is situated on the highest point of the city. There is no admission charge for visitors but disabled visitors must bear in mind that the long flight of steps that leads up to Notre Dame is not wheelchair friendly.
- Abbaye Saint Victor: Abbay Saint Victor is must-see because of its many exquisite sculptures, artefacts and crypts. Open from 9 am to 7 pm every day. Entrance fees to the crypts : 2 euros (1 euro for groups of 10 people and more).
- Castle of If : Once an uninhibited island, The Chateau D’If was originally built as a fortress by Francois (1) and once served as a prison. It is immaculately preserved and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean. Open 9.30 am to about 6.30 pm. Entry fee of 5.50 euros for Adults and 4 euros for people between ages 18 to 25.
- Fort Saint Jean: A unique fort that is also houses a museum (MuCem), Fort Saint Jean is the proof of Marseille’s reputation as a bustling art and cultural centre. It is a five to ten minute walk from the famous Old Port.
- The Palais Longchamp: The monument of Water as it is was originally meant, this grand structure was made in celebration of the construction of a canal that would help solve Marseille’s water shortage. A magnificent fountain befittingly adorns the front of the Palais. Also worth visiting are the Palais Gardens that have a fascinating landscape and design .
- Musee des Civilisations de l’Europe : This museum deals with comparisons of Mediterranean civilizations with those of the rest of Europe and other continents. It is set in a pretty location in the Fort Saint Jean and offers an interesting peek in the culture and traditions of the Mediterranean region. For those of you looking to take a breather from the overwhelming art and culture, the Museum also has a bookshop, café and souvenir store. Opening hours are 1pm to 7pm on Wed, Thu and Sat.
- Museum of Mediterranean archeology – Splendidly restored and situated in the incredible Vielle Charite, the Museum offers avid history enthusiasts a treat for their eye. It houses important artifacts from the Mediterranean civilizations, Egypt, Mesopotamia,Greece and Rome. Open June to Sept -10 am to 6pm and Oct to May-10 am to 5pm. Entry fee is about 2 Euros. The Museum is closed on Mondays.
- Plage des Catalans: If turquoise blue waters and white sandy beaches beckon you, head straight to the Plage des Catalans. You can enjoy a game of volleyball or sip on your favorite cocktails whilst enjoying the warmth of the sun. This beach admits only 1000 people at a time so as to not over-crowd the place so head early if you want to guarantee a spot.
- Parc Balneaire du Prado: The Prado beach with its monumental Michaelangelo sculpture is host to many cultural and sports activities.If you happen to be there in September, you will be able to witness thousands of kites that decorate the clear Marseille skies in celebration of the Festival of Wind. Prado beach is separated into many small areas that have an array of activities like sailing, kayaking etc.
- Old Port: The Vieux port is a natural harbor to Marseille and a favorite of both locals and tourists. The heart and social center of Marseille, Old Port will charm you with its knick-knack shops, eateries and the jubilant vibe. The Old port has had a makeover in 2013 when Marseille was named the Cultural Capital of Europe. Don’t miss this one if you truly want to acquaint yourself with this endearing town.
- The Panier : The Old town hides the many mysteries and layers of evolution of Marseille. This is where Marseille drops her façade, feels comfortable and is at home. The cobbled steps and criss-cross streets add plenty of character to this cozy nook in Marseille. Best time to visit is during the Fete du Panier in June where you can be a part of a rocking street party that enthralls with music, shows and theatre.
- Calanques du Sugiton : Marseille is known for its unique promontory formations known as calanques. The Calanques du Sugiton offer stunning views of the infinitely blue waters and give dare-devils a chance to dive into the pristine but cold waters. Although you have to hike a little to reach the calanques, the beauty at top will be the only thing that takes your breath away.
- Prado Market : Marseille is not exactly known for its high fashion shops. Ideal shopping in Marseille will be of the fresh catch or local produce. Prado market will spoil you for choice with its range of fruits, vegetables and specialty items.
- Rue Paradis : If you still want to look for high street shops and luxury fashion, head to rue Paradis that houses the likes of Louis Vuitton.
Below we have a list of things to do in Marseille and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.
This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Marseille getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.
Make the most of your trip to Marseille with confidence.