The 7 Best Things to See in Marseille
Wondering what to do in Marseille? This port-side city is the second largest in France, and offers maritime sightseeing, history, and nightlife on the sunny south coast. Let our guide of the best tourism and attractions give you a flavor.
1. The Old Port
The thriving heart of Marseille, this is the prettiest part of town and a great place to catch boat tours or soak up the atmosphere. Use the free ferry to cross the harbor.
2. Notre Dame de la Guarde
Looming over the city is this popular attraction - a Catholic Basilica with an unmissable gold statue of the Madonna and Child, known locally as la bonne mère, at its crest.
3. Palais Longchamp
This grand monument houses the French Natural History Museum and the Musee de Beaux-arts, so a visit kills three birds with one stone. Museum admissions are charged individually.
4. Marseille Cathedrale
Catch the train up the hill in summer to see this beautiful cathedral and enjoy wonderful views of the harbor and sea below. One of the best sightseeing spots in the city.
Lace up some sensible footwear to explore these amazing Mediterranean coves. Best enjoyed as part of a walk, hire a car or book an organized trip to get there.
6. Abbaye Saint Victor
Ready for Roman architecture? Enjoy the views, explore the crypts and be sure to grab yourself a 'navette' - a local pastry made with Pastis - from the bakery out front.
7. Nouveau Stade Vélodrome
The French love their sport, as this 67,000 seat stadium attests. Home to rugby and football, you can visit and tour the stadium by booking through the website. It costs 13€.
Planning Your Visit
What is Marseille famous for?
France is probably most famous for its amazing and indulgent food, and this harbor town is no exception. Seafood is the dish of the day, most notably bouillabaisse - a delicious fish and seafood soup.
How to get there
Marseille is best accessed by plane – check the local airport site to see who flies there from your city – or by train from mainland Europe or the UK. It's also a popular stop-off for cruise ships.
Taxis are not cheap in this cosmopolitan city, but public transport is plentiful. A great way to see the city is by bike, using the cycle hire system. You will need to register and have a credit card handy. See the Le Velo website for more information.
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- The temperature is pleasant year-round and Marseille enjoys a nice breeze, being coastal. July is packed with crowds celebrating Bastille Day, so if you want to avoid the rush, consider going earlier or later in the season.
Other Sightseeing Options in Marseille
Want to discover all there is to do in Marseille? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Marseille
Tutto ha funzionato come un orologio svizzero: la nostra guida, la simpatica Florence, è stata estremamente professionale. Parla ottimi francese ed inglese, ed è stata anche una perfetta guidatrice. L'auto, una cross over Mercedes nuova, era estremamente comoda e pulita. Abbiamo imparato un sacco di cose nuove nel corso della nostra gita. Grazie, Florence!
The Segway tour is a must-do in Marseille! It was a cool way to explore the old Marseille on a hot day! Our guide, Abdul was incredibly sweet and friendly, and gave a useful training on how to mount the Segway. Given that we were all first time users and no casualties, I'd consider it a win :)
Abdoulaï est un guide d’exception passionné par l’histoire de sa ville et déterminé à montrer un nouvel aspect de Marseille... bref un tour captivant et amusant par dessus tout avec la manipulation de gyropodes.
Really nice day, a great Captain and a good crew + covid measure respected. We recommand Just dont breakfast before coming because they are serving a 'breakfast', à lunch and a sweet break on the way back.
A stunning experience All was perfect (skipper, cree and food) The landscape is beautiful Don’t forget to take off your shoes before you get on board.