Best Things To Do in Marseille, France

Are you looking for what to do in Marseille?

THINGS TO SEE & DO

HISTORY

  • 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 .

MUSEUMS

  • 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.

BEACHES

  • 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.

LANDMARKS

  • 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.

SHOPPING

  • 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.

Tourist Attractions in Marseille

Here is the list of things to do in Marseille and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Notre Dame De La Garde

    4.7 (2159 Votes)
    Notre Dame De La Garde

    Church, Religious Site

    Seen from above, Marseilles is a sea of terracotta roofs and that’s exactly the view you get from here, where a medieval fort once stood. It’s made up of a Romanesque style lower church and a Neo- Byzantine upper church. It’s set on the most prominent site in the city, on a hill south of Old Port. So, that is why this place so sacred to the people of Marseilles. The gold-leaf...Read more
  2. Parc National Des Calanques

    4.7 (619 Votes)
    Parc National Des Calanques

    National Park

    This National Park is basically a treasure chest of some of the best features of the Mediterranean Coast. It is spread over a huge area covering the mountain range stretching from Marseille to Cassis. But the majority of the park stretches out into the Mediterranean. Here's a quick break down of what to expect: Soubeyranes cliffs: These are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and the view...Read more
  3. Fort Saint-jean

    4.6 (794 Votes)
    Fort Saint-jean

    Landmark, Historical Site, Fort

    Located at the entrance to the Old Port this massive museum, dedicated entirely to the history and culture and impact of the Mediterranean, has three major sections. Only two of them are at this location. These are the J4 building and the For Saint Jean. The third building, Centre de Conservation et de Ressources in the Belle de Mai neighbourhood, merely stores the museum’s collections i...Read more
  4. Abbey Of Saint Victor

    4.5 (1408 Votes)
    Abbey Of Saint Victor

    Church, Religious Site, Architecture

    After the Notre Dame, this will not feel comfortable – the church has obviously seen great damage. And yet, there is beauty in its wounds – the still standing church is made greater by its resilience to destruction. At first there was a quarry here, followed by a Hellenistic and then Christian burial site. When the Romans murdered Saint Victor on this spot in the 4th century AD, it...Read more
  5. Calanque De Sormiou

    4.7 (648 Votes)
    Calanque De Sormiou

    Beach, View Point, Leisure

    The Calanque De Sormiou is one of the largest and most beautiful calanques in the region, made all the more attractive by its sandy and cabana lined beach. A calanque is basically a small, restricted inlet on the coast, especially found in the Mediterranean area. Bring your snorkeling gear, for the brilliant and jewel-like waters have a lot of marine wildlife to enjoy. The beach can be decepti...Read more
  6. Vallon Des Auffes

    4.4 (1072 Votes)
    Vallon Des Auffes

    Waterfront, Landmark, View Point

    The selling point of this place is pure seaside fisherman atmosphere – an age-old charm that just doesn’t quit! Lots of colourful little houses framing the sight of colourful little boats. There’s literally nothing to do here but walk leisurely and take in the sights that seem to be stuck in time. Keep your cameras ready and you just might be able to take some really nice can...Read more
  7. Stade Velodrome

    4.6 (497 Votes)
    Stade Velodrome

    Stadium

    This huge stadium was built in the 1930s, particularly for hosting the 1938 World Cup. It has a seating capacity for almost 70,000 people. Though indoor cycling and running events used to be held here once upon a time, now it is used almost exclusively for football. The Office of Tourism and Congress of Marseille organises guided tours of the stadium that will take you to usually off-limits are...Read more
  8. La Panier

    Art And Culture, Food And Drinks, Street Market, Shopping Center

    Panier means basket, and there could not be a better name for this place. This is where Marseille was truly born in 600 BC with the coming of the Greeks. The millennia saw many more cultures come in, at first from Italy, and more recently from Africa, South America, Vietnam and Madagascar–an influx of traders in the Modern Period that made the city rich beyond all wildest dreams. It was ...Read more
  9. Cathedrale De La Major

    4.6 (1228 Votes)
    Cathedrale De La Major

    Religious Site, Cathedral

    It’s just a really big, really impressive looking cathedral. The building you see today was built on the remains of a smaller 12th century Romanesque cathedral of which only the choir and a bay of nave remain. Even before that there was a 5th century church on the spot. The current cathedral is Byzantine-Roman in style and it’s the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Upto 3000 peo...Read more
  10. La Corniche

    View Point, Walking Area, Road

    Simple natural pleasures are the best possible pleasures in life. The Corniche is a 5 km long stretch of road (3km of which is named in honour of JFK) that ambles alongside the pristine Mediterranean. As you drink in the beautiful sights of the Iles du Frioul, 19th century villas and the Prado Beaches, the world will melt away, leaving you with your thoughts, the beautiful sky, regal water and ...Read more
  11. Musee D'histoire De Marseille

    Museum, History Museum

    In 1967, while digging to build a shopping centre in Marseille, the city uncovered a major archaeological heritage. The museum was built at first to house these and then to tell the story of Marseille exclusively. Apart from the archaeological findings (which include the hull of a 2nd century ship), there are 12 major exhibitions that cover: Prehistory and Antiquity Early Christianity Pottery ...Read more
  12. Palais Du Pharo

    4.6 (788 Votes)
    Palais Du Pharo

    Palace

    When Prince-President Louis-Napoleon visited Marseille in 1852, he said liked the city a lot and wouldn’t mind staying. Eager to please its illustrious guest, the city gave the prince the Pharo headland where he went ahead and built this beautiful palace. And that was that, because he never even stayed there. The Empress later gave the place back to the city. Today it’s used as a co...Read more
  13. Palaisand Parc Longchamp

    4.4 (295 Votes)
    Palaisand Parc Longchamp

    Park

    This grand Marseille monument houses two institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Natural History Museum. It also hosts a botanical garden. The garden used to be a zoo in the 19th century, and buildings from that time still survive. There are many places to picnic and a number of playgrounds. The people of the city frequently escape to this park for some respite from the summer heat. ...Read more
  14. Chateau D'if

    4.5 (486 Votes)
    Chateau D'if

    Fort

    It’s not the only prison of its kind in the world (Cannes has it’s Lerin Islands), but it’s the only one that Edmond Dantes of Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned in. The island is a heavily fortified prison with steep cliffs adorned by gun platform – an escape proof prison that no invading navy ever took. You know what? Looks are deceptive &ndash...Read more
  15. Housing Unit

    4.4 (226 Votes)
    Housing Unit

    Architecture

    This apartment building was built after the second world war in response to the housing shortage in France. A large building was needed and quickly. Architect Jean-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris said Le Corbusie designed for the city a building the proportions of which were based on Modulor principles - associations to human morphology, the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence. The result was...Read more

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  • TEL CONTACT AVEC Le restaurant de ND de la Garde au 3ème étage pour fair rservation. merci de me revenir à fr.herve.richard.2018@gmail.com ou par tl au 0778 00 0510; Merci d'avance. Bien à vous Hervé

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    • I suppose you are asking for the contact number of L'Eau Vive restaurant, located on the 3rd floor of Notre-Dame de la Garde. For reserving a table here, you may call on 04 91 37 86 62. 

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