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Things to do in Marseille

Things to do in  Marseille

Welcome to Marseille

France’s second-largest city and most important port, bustling Marseille offers visitors vibrant old neighborhoods and historic sights. Roughly 482 miles (775 km) south of Paris on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille, a major transportation hub, serves as an ideal base for exploring the French Riviera and Provence. Half-day and full-day guided tours show off Marseille’s shore, wine, and neighboring regions. Take a walking tour of Marseille’s historic center around the Old Port (Vieux Port) to learn about the city’s Greek and Roman roots. Travel through time with a visit to the Abbey of Saint Victor to see its fifth- century crypts; and stop in the 19th-century Neo-Byzantine Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, one of Marseille's most recognized monuments. Climb on an electric bike to glide along the pretty road known as Corniche Kennedy, plus stop for panoramic coastal views. Tour the opera house, and score tickets to a performance. Day trips take you beyond the city on a tour of the Calanques National Park, a stretch of rugged coastline near Marseille; or to the gorgeous natural landscapes around the Luberon Massif. Take a day tour of Provence to see Avignon, charming Aix-en-Provence, and Arles. Or head to soak up the sun along the French Riviera, with stops in Cannes and Nice. For coastal charm closer to the Marseille’s city center, join a tour to the UNESCO-listed inlet of Cassis, which features magnificent views from its dramatic sea cliff, Cape Canaille.

Top 10 attractions in Marseille

#1
Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

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Marseille is France’s largest and busiest port, welcoming over 1.5 million cruise passengers to its shores each year. As the gateway to Provence and the south of France, Marseille is a popular stop on Europe cruise itineraries, and offers ferry connections to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria, and Tunisia.More
#2
Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

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Perched atop the city’s highest hill, the magnificent Notre-Dame de la Garde, which is visible from all over the Marseille, is one of the city’s most striking landmarks. The Romano-Byzantine basilica dates back to the 19th century and is best known for its grand bell tower, which is capped with a gleaming gold statue of the Virgin Mary.More
#3
Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

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The grand baroque colonnade and gardens of the Palais Longchamp are home to Marseille’s Natural History Museum and Fine Arts Museum. The imposing buildings and spacious park are popular with tourists and locals alike.More
#4
Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

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As Europe's only protected park to contain land, water, and semi-urban areas, Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques) is a mecca for outdoor adventurers. Whether you want to snorkel and sail, kayak and climb, or hike and watch out for wildlife, France's answer to the Garden of Eden has it all.More
#5
Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)

Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)

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This Roman abbey in Marseille has a long and interesting history dating back 1,500 years. Visitors come to tour the basilica and learn more about the building and the community of monks that once lived here.More
#6
Camargue

Camargue

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Located in southwest Provence, the Camargue is one of France’s wildest and most scenic landscapes. Protected as a regional natural park, the expanse of wetlands, beaches, salt pans, and rice paddies is known for its herds of white Camargue horses and Camargue bulls, all tended to by localgardians (cowboys).More
#7
Palais du Pharo

Palais du Pharo

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The Palais du Pharo in Marseille was built for Napoleon III and was once home to the city’s medical school. The palace is now used for municipal events and conferences and is famous for great views over the Mediterranean Sea from the palace gardens.More
#8
Vallon des Auffes

Vallon des Auffes

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With its charming jumble of fishing boats and fishermen’s cabins clustered around the small harbor, and framed by the arches of a stone-brick bridge; visiting Vallon des Auffes feels like stepping back in time. Located along the Marseille Corniche, the historic port village is a world away from the bustling city and makes a tranquil detour for those traveling along the coastal road.Despite its diminutive size, Vallon des Auffes punches well above its weight when it comes to gastronomy and its handful of waterfront restaurants are well known for serving delicious fresh fish and seafood. Top restaurants include Chez Fonfon, L’Epuisette and Chez Jeannot, while the most celebrated dish is Provencal specialty bouillabaisse.More
#9
La Corniche

La Corniche

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Winding along the Mediterranean coast along the South of France, La Corniche is a waterfront roadway that stretches five kilometers through Marseille. As both a walkway and a road for cars, it offers wonderful views of the sea and coastline. It was a particularly popular promenade for residents of Marseille in the 1920s. From there you can also see the Iles du Frioul, elegant villas of the late 19th century, and the Prado beaches. The Chateau d’If (of the Count of Monte Cristo fame) is also visible.Along the way sits the Maregraph Building, which took measurements over thirteen years to determine France’s sea level elevation. The bench of La Corniche runs three kilometers between the Pont de la Fausse-Monnaie and Hotel Sofitel Palm Beach, making it the longest bench in the world. Part of the roadway is named after President Kennedy, who was assassinated during its construction.More
#10
Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)

Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)

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One of Marseille’s key religious landmarks, the city’s cathedral (known locally as the Cathédrale La Major stands just steps from the water’s edge. Built in the 19th century, the neo-Byzantine church is distinctive for its striped facade and vibrant interior; it’s not to be confused with the hilltop Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde.More

Trip ideas

Food and Wine in Marseille

Food and Wine in Marseille

Provence Tours from Marseille

Provence Tours from Marseille

Top activities in Marseille

Provence Lavender Fields and Aix-en-Provence Tour from Marseille
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Provence in a Day Tour from Marseille
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Perched Villages of the Luberon Day Trip from Marseille
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Calanques Trilogy Electric Bike Tour from Marseille
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Full Meal Five Stops in Marseille
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Seaside Tour in Jeep Beetle Cabriolet Marseille La Ciotat Cassis
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Lavender

Lavender

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Recent reviews from experiences in Marseille

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Amazing Day
Peggy_M, Jun 2022
5-Hour Private Sightseeing Tour of the Provence from Marseille in Luxury Car
We got to see many areas of Marseille and Cassis with a knowledgeable guide.
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Terrific way to see...
Jennifer_C, May 2022
Marseille Smalll Group Electric Bike Tour
Terrific way to see Marseilles - went to the top to see Notre Dame and a beautiful view as well as many neighborhoods & key sites!
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Up, up and away!
bmgraves30, May 2022
Marseille Small Group Segway Tour
What a great way to see Marseille!
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The Luxurious and Quick Way to Explore Marseilles
Anna_V, Mar 2022
Marseille Private Tour
Our tour guide, Paul, was extremely accommodative (even picked us up from the airport due to flight delays), very knowledgeable and took us to all the main attractions during our 4 hour tour.
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Must see places in Marseille
Mark_B, Jun 2022
Marseille Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour of Marseille
We visited a lot of places that we couldn't have been able to see if we just took a taxi.
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Great tour, some more professonalism needed
saksiannamaaria, Apr 2022
Electric Bike Tour to the Calanques from Marseille
Some feedback to our guide: -she never told her name -her English was not that good -safety should have been taking better care of: she drove too fast and several times she needed to turn back in order to find the rest of the group.
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Blown Away in Marseille!!
Joseph_B, Apr 2022
Guided Tour in Marseille: Port, Old City & Notre Dame de la Garde
It was an inclement and windy day, likely the coldest day of spring!
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Fantastic tour and amazing tour guide
amylkennedy2020, Jan 2020
Marseille Shore Excursion: Half Day Tour of Marseille by Electric Bike
You get to see the whole city and learn about the history of this spectacular port.
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Romain was the best tour guide ever!
Laura W, May 2019
Aix en Provence, Marseille & Cassis Private Tour in Minivan
We never felt rushed and were sad to see our time with him come to a close.
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So fun!
courtney_g, May 2019
Marseille Shore Excursion: Half Day Tour of Marseille by Electric Bike
We got to see so many sights and view this gorgeous provence with time to spare to explore on our own.
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Best way ever to see Marseille. Our...
Robert B, Mar 2018
Marseille Smalll Group Electric Bike Tour
Best way ever to see Marseille.
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Great way to see Marseille and...
Geoff A, Oct 2016
Provence, Marseille and Cassis Sightseeing Tour
Great way to see Marseille and Cassis if you have limited time.
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Best way to see the main city sights...
Lucia_C, Oct 2016
Electric Bike Tour to the Calanques from Marseille
Best way to see the main city sights of Marseille.
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This was a fun and healthy way to...
Robert P, Aug 2015
Marseille Shore Excursion Private Electric Bike Tour
This was a fun and healthy way to see Marseille.
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Our tour guide was amazing. She is...
Cindy, Jun 2015
Provence in a Day Tour from Marseille
Highly recommend this trip to people who wanna spend a day to see neighboring cities of Marseille.
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Very nice tour... glad we did it...
John G, Oct 2015
Provence, Marseille and Cassis Sightseeing Tour
Enjoyed the boat cruise to visit the Calanques and the quantness of the village of Cassis.
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Clean vehicle and good driver - polite...
John M, Oct 2007
Marseille Airport to Avignon Private Arrival Transfer
Clean vehicle and good driver - polite and friendly with sound English.
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A taste of little and big cities, a blend of quiet and bustling places
Cristina_N, Mar 2020
Aix en Provence, Marseille & Cassis Private Tour in Minivan
This tour is perfect if you'd like to see key sights without a lot of walking and want to hit 3 great spots in the south of France on a comfortable luxury car drive.
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Aix-en-Provence from Marseille
waibing89, Dec 2019
Private Tour of Aix-en-Provence from Marseille
We were lucky to have her because there were a lot of sights we wanted to see; she delivered abundant information covering the background on Aix - its history, art, attractions, food.
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Day shore excursion for Aix-en-Provence
saltenazas, Jul 2019
Marseille Shore Excursion: Marseille and Aix-en-Provence
You have to visit Aix-En Provence!
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All about Marseille

When to visit

Marseille’s Mediterranean climate, along with music festivals such as Rock Island and Marsatac, draws vacationers south in the balmy summer months. For the best deals, visit in late September, when the summer hordes have left, but it’s still warm enough to hit the beach or take a day trip to the French Riviera.

Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)
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