Marseille Culture & history

Our most recommended Marseille Culture & history

Marseille: Mucem Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

1. Marseille: Mucem Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

Learn about the history and culture of the Mediterranean with a skip-the-line entry ticket to the fascinating Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (Mucem). Opened in Marseille in June 2013, the Mucem has now joined the ranks of the most visited museums in the world thanks to its program of exhibitions and cultural programs. Admire the stunning architecture of the building by Rudy Ricciotti, and stroll along the corridors of the museum to get stunning views of the old port and Mediterranean Sea. Explore exhibitions that combine anthropology, history, archaeology, art history and contemporary art to explain the Mediterranean world and its dialogue with Europe in amazing detail. Exhibitions: Jeff Koons Mucem, works from the Pinault collection. Showing from Wednesday 19 May, 2021 to Monday 18 October, 2021. Déflagrations — Children’s drawings and mass violence Mucem. Showing from Wednesday 19 May, 2021 to Sunday 29 August, 2021. Connectivities Mediterranean Gallery 2 Mucem. Showing from Monday 29 June, 2020 to Monday 13 March, 2023.

From Marseille: Provence Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting

2. From Marseille: Provence Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting

Explore some of the historic sites of Provence on a full-day minibus tour from Marseille, starting with the medieval city of Avignon. Drive along the docks between the Rhône River and historic city walls, looking at the Saint-Benezet Bridge made famous by the children's song, “Sur le Pont d'Avignon.” See the impressive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace), the site of the Papacy in the 14th century before their return to Rome. Sample the wines of the Rhône River valley in the legendary village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, boasting a castle ruin that overlooks the vineyards of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Visit the cellar of a winery for a complimentary wine-tasting session. Next, drive to the Pont du Gard to see the remains of the Roman aqueduct that supplied water to the city of Nîmes. Continue to the Alpilles Mountains to visit the lofty village of Les Baux de Provence, located on a rocky spur overlooking the valley. Take an unforgettable journey back to the Middle Ages at Les Baux, before your return journey to Marseille.

Marseille to Calanques: Full-Day Electric Bike Trip

3. Marseille to Calanques: Full-Day Electric Bike Trip

Ride from Marseille to Calanques National Park on a full-day electric bike tour. Cycle with little effort for 35 kilometers, enjoying the wild beauty that lies on the outskirts of Marseille. Stop for breaks that include a meal in a local restaurant (at your own expense) and some time to swim. During the tour you’ll visit the following places : The Pharo Palace The Vallon of Auffes Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica The Corniche du Président John Fitzgérald Kennedy Prado Beach The fishing village of Goudes Maronaise Beach Callelongue Cove The Pastré or Borely Park Stop for breaks en route: Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica visit Swimming break at Maronnaise wild beach (unsupervised) Restaurant or sandwich break

Marseille: Half-Day E-Bike Tour from Cruise Port

4. Marseille: Half-Day E-Bike Tour from Cruise Port

You'll be met in front of your cruise ship, and after a shuttle ride to the starting point and a security briefing, your guide will lead you out on a 4-hour sightseeing tour by e-bike. Hear stories about the various landmarks and monuments you see along the route. Highlights of the tour include MuCEM, Marseille’s old port, Pharo Palace, Vallon des Auffes, and Notre Dame de la Garde. You’ll also explore alleys only Marseille locals know about. With your e-bike, although you’ll need to pedal, there’s not much effort involved! Groups are small, with a maximum of 8 people and your smiling local guide. For groups of more than 8 people, you can contact the local operator for arrangements. At the end you will have choice to be dropped in city center before coming back to ship on your own with a free shuttle provided by port authority.

From Marseille: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence & Cassis Tour

5. From Marseille: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence & Cassis Tour

Start this comprehensive full-day tour of Provence with a visit to Aix-en-Provence, known as the city of water and art Located approximately 19 miles (30 kilometers) from Marseille, Aix dates back to Roman times and has a beautiful wide promenade called the “Cours Mirabeau” lined with plane trees. See the amazing fountain of the Rotonde, as well as many cafés that were once frequented by Cezanne, Camus, Zola, and others. The weekly market will give you the opportunity to savor the regional produce, including fresh cheese and olive oil, as well as scented Marseille soap. Then, head to the village of Cassis, driving the Crest road and up to the highest maritime cliff in Europe, Cape Canaillto, for spectacular views of the Bay. Stroll the charming fishing port, where you can try thier famous Pastis (anis flavored liquor), before an optional 45-minute boat cruise through the breathtaking calanques (rocky, limestone inlets).  End your day with a panoramic tour of Marseille, including a stop at the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, with its panoramic view of the city, Frioul Islands, and Château d'If. End at the 11th-century Abbey of Saint-Victor, guarding the entrance to the Vieux Port.

Marseille: Jewish Heritage Tour

6. Marseille: Jewish Heritage Tour

Be picked up from your hotel or cruise ship. First stop is the impressive synagogue Breteuil of Marseilles with its Wall of Names. The journey continues onto the Jewish district to discover religious shops and kosher restaurants. The next stop will be at the highest point in Marseilles, the Notre Dame de la Garde. You will then drive along the coastal road to see the great views of the cliffs and beaches. Finishing the tour, you will discover famous places in the center of Marseilles like the Palais Longchamp, the Old Port and the oldest neighborhood, the Panier.

From Marseille Cruise Terminal : Aix-en-Provence & Cassis

7. From Marseille Cruise Terminal : Aix-en-Provence & Cassis

In Aix-en Provence, walk along the Cours Mirabeau lined with 17th and 18th century private mansions, where large plane trees provide shade on hot summer days. The old town is packed with shops, architectural and religious sites, bustling squares and refreshing fountains. Take a stroll through one of the numerous markets taking place everyday in the center of the city. Free time for lunch (not included) on your own. The Crests roads will lead you to the outstanding site of Cape Canaille from where you will enjoy the exceptional view on the bay. Cassis is a very ancient fishing port and the harbour is probably the most beautiful part of the village. You will have the possibility to board on a 45-minute boat trip (ticket not included) to discover 3 Calanques, steep-walled coves sheltering tiny harbours or beaches.

Marseille: 2 Hour Side-Car City Tour

8. Marseille: 2 Hour Side-Car City Tour

See Marseille from a different perspective as you travel around the city in a vintage sidecar. You will head to the district of Le Panier to see its artistic sights and old streets. You will also get to explore other areas of the city, such as Noailles. Continue on to the Corniche JFK, travelling along the longest bench in the world. Head back to the Basilique Notre Dame De La Garde - the perfect place to stop for panoramic views of the old city. See the atypical port of Goudes before finishing the tour by returning to the old port.

Marseille City Tour Half-Day

9. Marseille City Tour Half-Day

Step back into the history and culture of the beautiful city of Marseille, which is in the midst of enjoying a cultural renaissance, which you will see during this 4-hour tour. This city was the European Capital of Culture in 2013. Your guide will pick you up in the morning at Marseille cruise terminal. Your adventure begins with a visit to the city’s historical center. Walk along the Vieux Port dotted with shops and restaurants, while your tour guide reveals the port’s journey from a 6th century trade post to the area’s hub of maritime activity in the 19th century. From there, you will head to the colonnade-lined Palais Longchamp at the terminus of the Durance River. Inaugurated in 1869 as a monument to commemorate the connection of Marseille to a new waterway network, the combination large fountain-waterfall-water tower has two wings housing the city’s natural history museum and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Continue with the stunning Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. Situated on the foundation of an ancient fort, this building rests on the highest elevation in the city overlooking Marseille. Consecrated in 1864 to replace an 11th century church by the same name, the Basilica has a lower crypt built in the Romanesque style and an upper church built in the Neo-Byzantine style using green limestone from Florence. Take some pictures before ending your tour.  When your tour is finished, your guide will drive you back to Marseille port cruise terminal. 

From Marseille: Saint Rémy de Provence, Les Baux et Arles

10. From Marseille: Saint Rémy de Provence, Les Baux et Arles

Visit Saint Rémy de Provence, picturesque and relaxing Provencal town. Photo stop at the Roman monuments «LesAntiques». Possibility to visit the recreation of Van Gogh's bedroom in Saint-Paul de Mausole. Enjoy the weekly market on Wednesdays. Free time in Les Baux de Provence, medieval fortress located on a rocky spur in the Alpilles region. Possibility to attend the light and sound show in Carrières de Lumières (tickets on your own). Stroll in the foot steps of Van Gogh in Arles : discover the places which inspired him in his work. The city is also famous for its architectural heritage. The weekly market is on Saturday morning : Arles is definitely a must-see ! NB : On certain days, a quick drive through Aix en Provence to pick up and drop off passengers may be included.

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Frequently asked questions about Marseille

What are the best day trips and excursions from Marseille?

The best day trips and excursions from Marseille are:

Cassis

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Other Sightseeing Options in Marseille

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What people are saying about Marseille

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 305 reviews

The group size is small so it feels almost like a private tour and more intimate. Our guide, Greg, was very knowledgeable and helpful. Because of the small group size, we were able to customise our itinerary and focus on where we want to spend more time on.

Silvin was AMAZING!!! We had so much fun going all over Marseille on the half-day tour! There is nothing boring about an E-Bike tour! We experienced so much in a half- day! Highly Recommend!!

Súper amigable son muy buenos y cuidadosos guiando las motos y te llevan a lugares impresionantes 100% recomendable

Experience of a lifetime. If you want to try something new and fun in your life do this

Great way to explore Marseille, our guide Lucie was amazing.