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15 Best Marseille Tours

The old port city of Marseille is the third-largest city in France. While the city once had a reputation for being rough around the edges, today, it embraces that old-world roughness that’s softened by its modern charm.

Marseille’s location on the Mediterranean Sea gives it a quaint feel. The population of almost a million people combined with street art, chic cafes and eateries, world-class museums, and a vibrant culture give it an electrifying, urban feel.

Below are 15 of the best tours in and around Marseilles.

1. Take a Sightseeing Tour of Marseille

Marseille, France

Start your adventure in Marseille with a sightseeing excursion around the city. During this four-hour comprehensive tour, you’ll see various areas of the city, including the oldest neighborhood and the Old Port.

Meet your guide and hop into a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan before heading out to explore Marseille and a section of the French Mediterranean Coast.

Your first stop is at the Notre Dame de la Garde, where you can admire panoramic views of the city, coast, and nearby mountains.

Next, you’ll make your way to the center city, which is home to Noailles Market, Fort St. Jean, and Le Panier neighborhood. Following the walking tour of the center city, enjoy a five-kilometer scenic drive along The Corniche to Goudes.

2. Set Sail for Calanques National Park

Calanques National Park

Depart Marseille on a large catamaran and cruise along the rocky coastline of the Mediterranean Sea to Calanques National Park, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sites in the whole country.

During this five-hour adventure, you’ll see the stunning natural land and seascapes of the national park, and you’ll swim and snorkel in the clear waters near breathtaking coves. A delicious lunch is provided, and snorkeling equipment is available onboard the catamaran.

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3. Explore the French Riviera


The French Riviera – otherwise known as the Cote d’Azur – is a top vacation area for both residents of France and travelers from all over the world. This 11-hour guided tour will take you through some of the highlights of this much-loved paradise.

Leave Marseille in a comfortable minivan and set out along the coast to explore Monaco, Eze, and Nice.

Monaco is your first stop. This is where you’ll watch the changing of the guards ceremony at the Princes’ Palace and drive on the famous street that becomes a racetrack during the Formula One Grand Prix.

Next, you’ll make your way to Eze, where you’ll explore this medieval town and visit a perfume factory.

Last but not least, you’ll explore the beautiful city of Nice and see iconic sites such as the Cours Saleya market and Promenade des Anglais.

4. Visit the Capital of Lavender and the Luberon Valley

Lavender Field near Sault, France

Hop on an air-conditioned minibus and enjoy a ten-hour tour of Sault and the Luberon Valley. In Sault, which is said to be the lavender capital of the world, you’ll visit the sprawling lavender fields and pay a visit to a lavender producer.

You’ll also have some free time to explore this pretty little town and grab some lunch before heading to your next stop.

The villages of Roussillon and Gordes in the Luberon Valley are among the most stunning in all of France, and you’ll spend the rest of the afternoon exploring both.

5. Visit the Roman Towns of Provence

Arles, France

Depart Marseille in the comfort of a minivan and spend the next 7.5-hours exploring Roman towns and monuments. Arles is the first stop on this tour; this is where you’ll see excellent examples of Roman architecture, including the Roman Arena and Old Town.

In Nimes, which is the next stop on the tour, you’ll get some free time to explore and grab some lunch before visiting an old Roman settlement.

The town of Uzes is the last stop on the tour, and you’ll see more Roman attractions, including Le Pont du Gard.

6. Bike Along the Seashore

Seaside Tour by Electric Bike - Marseille

Spend 90 minutes exploring a beautiful section of Marseille by electric bike. Much of the tour takes place near the seaside and adjacent neighborhoods.

As you soar along city streets taking in the sights, you will have the chance to stop and photograph various attractions, including Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, The Vallon des Auffes, and Pharo Palace.

Stop for breaks along your route and hear stories and historical information from your knowledgeable guide.

7. Take a Wine Tour of the Luberon Wine Region

Luberon Wine Region

France is known the world over for its wine, and you have the chance to explore one of its popular wine regions with a 7.5-hour tour of the Luberon Wine Region.

Meet your guide at a convenient location in Marseille and hit the road in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan. During the tour, visit several wineries and wine cellars and hear about the unique techniques that winemakers use in this region.

In the stunning village of Loumarin, spend some free time exploring the area.

8. Go Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Calanques National Park

Calanques National Park Snorkel and Scuba Dive

Go on a four-hour marine adventure with this exciting tour that offers the best of both worlds: an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Calanques National Park above the sea and beneath it.

Meet a diving instructor at the Port de la Pointe Rouge in Marseille. After you get fitted with diving and snorkeling gear, travel by water in an inflatable boat to the national park.

On the way, take in the natural sights of the French Riviera. Upon arrival to a secure area near one of the park’s islands, spend a half-hour snorkeling and discovering the marine life beneath the surface.

Next, your instructor will provide you with diving instruction so you can slip 18 feet beneath the surface to discover even more marine life, including striped mullet, sea stars, and zebra bream. Before departing the docks in Marseille, you’ll be presented with a scuba diving certificate.

9. Go Truffle Hunting

Truffle Hunting in Provence

Learn all about truffles and hunt for your own on this three-hour guided tour at a truffle plantation in Provencal.

Learn everything you need to know about this guarded industry, including how the truffles are grown and cultivated, how to find truffles, and how dogs are trained to help with the process.

Team up with genuine truffle hunters and set out to find some of your own. Enjoy your truffles with some champagne, followed by a lesson in how to clean, store, and cook these delectable treats.

Before ending the tour, explore the vineyards and an olive tree plantation in the beautiful region of Luberon.

10. Track Van Gogh on a Unique Tour from Marseille

Follow the Steps of Van Gogh

Get picked up at your hotel in an air-conditioned minivan and head out on a 7.5-hour excursion following in the steps of the famous painter, Van Gogh.

Stop first in the city of Arles, where you’ll explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman arena and take a walk along the Cours de la Republique.

Next up is the village of Les Baux de Provence, where you will visit Saint Remy de Provence and Saint-Paul-de-Mausole – one of Van Gogh’s former residences. Spend some free time exploring the area before heading back to Marseille.

11. Take a Segway Tour of Notre Dame de la Garde

Notre Dame de la Garde: 2-Hour Segway Tour

Don’t worry if you’ve never driven a segway before; your instructor will provide you with a lesson before you head out on a two-hour tour through some of the most notable areas of Marseille.

As you soar through the city streets on this fun and unique method of transportation, you’ll pass iconic landmarks, including Cathedrale de la Major, the Mucem, and the Old Port.

Once you reach Notre Dame de La Garde, you will have some time to explore the attraction, admire the spectacular views of the city, and visit the cathedral and the Abbey of St. Victor.

12. Indulge with a Foodie Walking Tour

Foodie Walking Tour

During this three-hour walking tour, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself into the various cultures that make up the multicultural ambiance of Marseille.

As you make your way through the old city streets of the Noailles district, you’ll see many attractions, including le Panier, which is the oldest neighborhood in the city. You’ll also get to taste the unique food and drink of many cultures, including France, Greece, and Italy.

Stop at six different eateries and sample local favorites such as panisse and pastis. Smell the delicious food coming from the restaurants and cafes and hear the different languages being spoken while you get a history lesson from your informative guide.

13. Explore the Region of Aix-en-Provence


Depart Marseille in a comfortable, air-conditioned minibus and spend four hours exploring the beautiful area of Aix-en-Provence.

Drive along the Cours Mirabeau and its famous fountains and old mansions before entering the center of Aix-en-Provence.

Admire the picturesque streets and visit Cathedrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix. Sit in on a workshop about the artist Paul Cezanne and enjoy some free time to explore on your own.

14. Take an E-Bike Tour of Calanques National Park

Calanques National Park E-Mountain Bike Tour

Depart Marseille on your provided E-Bike and leave the city behind for this three-hour adventure to Calanques National Park.

Along the way, soar along off-road trails and see many natural areas, including Chateau Pastre, Montagne de l’Aigle, Parc de la Fontaine d’Ivoire, Crete des Escampons, and Col de Cortiou Mountain Pass.

Head back to the city via the Roy d’Espagne neighborhood and finish the tour at Pointe Rouge Harbor.

15. Take a Tour of Marseille in a Vintage Sidecar

2 Hour Side-Car City Tour

Join your guide in a vintage sidecar and explore the old neighborhoods of Marseille.

During this two-hour tour, you will visit various districts – including the historic neighborhoods of Le Panier and Noailles – and see attractions such as Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica. You’ll also take a scenic drive along the Corniche JFK and visit the port of Goudes.

15 Best Marseille Tours:

  • Take a Sightseeing Tour of Marseille
  • Set Sail for Calanques National Park
  • Explore the French Riviera
  • Visit the Capital of Lavender and the Luberon Valley
  • Visit the Roman Towns of Provence
  • Bike Along the Seashore
  • Take a Wine Tour of the Luberon Wine Region
  • Go Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Calanques National Park
  • Go Truffle Hunting
  • Track Van Gogh on a Unique Tour from Marseille
  • Take a Segway Tour of Notre Dame de la Garde
  • Indulge with a Foodie Walking Tour
  • Explore the Region of Aix-en-Provence
  • Take an E-Bike Tour of Calanques National Park
  • Take a Tour of Marseille in a Vintage Sidecar

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Marseille Tours & Trips

10 marseille tour packages with 15 reviews.

Discovery of the Hinterland of Provence Tour

Discovery of the Hinterland of Provence

"We had a very pleasant experience with the tour. All the people we encountered are very nice." Lei, traveled in December 2021

The Med sea shore from Marseille - Exclusive Trip Tour

The Med sea shore from Marseille - Exclusive Trip

Cote d Azur and Burgundy Tour

Cote d Azur and Burgundy

Cote d Azur, Burgundy and Alsace Tour

Cote d Azur, Burgundy and Alsace

Lyon to the Tip of Provence on the Rhône and Saône Rivers (port-to-port cruise) Tour

Lyon to the Tip of Provence on the Rhône and Saône Rivers (port-to-port cruise)

"The crew worked very to make the trip as pleasant as possible. Idealy I would like to see more free time to explore a site." Katharine, traveled in June 2024

The tip of Provence to Lyon on the Rhône and Saône Rivers (port-to-port cruise) Tour

The tip of Provence to Lyon on the Rhône and Saône Rivers (port-to-port cruise)

"Michelin star food plated at your table everyday. A good introduction for first time cruisers." Helen, traveled in June 2024

Cote d Azur, Burgundy, Alsace and Black Forest Tour

Cote d Azur, Burgundy, Alsace and Black Forest

Catalonia, south of France and Provence Tour

Catalonia, south of France and Provence

Catalonia, south of France, Burgundy and Alsace Tour

Catalonia, south of France, Burgundy and Alsace

French Art and History Along the Rhône River (port-to-port cruise) Tour

French Art and History Along the Rhône River (port-to-port cruise)

"I enjoyed having the small number on board. The bus trips included too large of a group for some of the locations." Sherrill, traveled in June 2022

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Emotional Vingegaard beats Pogacar in sprint to win Tour de France Stage 11 in Massif Central

Tour de France leader Tadej Pogacar kept the yellow jersey Wednesday but two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard earned a psychological victory after a tough battle that ended in a stalemate in the mountains of the Massif Central

LE LIORAN, France — Just three months ago, Jonas Vingegaard was lying in a hospital bed with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. On Wednesday, he beat his rival Tadej Pogacar in a two-man sprint after a brutal day in the mountains.

Pogacar, the Tour leader, kept the yellow jersey but it was the two-time defending champion who earned a psychological victory at the end of an epic battle in the Massif Central.

The pair left all their rivals in their wake and Vingegaard, after closing a big gap to Pogacar in a brutal climb, outsprinted his rival to finish half a wheel ahead for the stage win.

“It is of course very emotional for me. Coming back from the crash,” Vingegaard said, trying to hold back tears. “It means a lot. All the things I went through in the last three months, it makes you think of that.”

Vingegaard was hospitalized for nearly two weeks in April following a high-speed crash in the Tour of the Basque Country.

He only resumed competitive racing at the Tour and there were many question marks about his form. His tremendous ride Wednesday showed he is more than ready to defend his title.

“I’m just happy to be here and it means so much to win a stage, especially to win it for my family. They were there supporting me the whole time,” Vingegaard said.

True to his habit of attacking every time he gets the chance, Pogacar tried to move away alone about 32 kilometers from the finish with a strong attack. After getting dropped, Vingegaard kept his head cool and proved to be the fastest in the next ascent to catch his rival.

Vingegaard said he thought he would not be able to bridge the gap opened by Pogacar, and was also surprised he could beat him in the sprint.

“I would never have thought this three months ago. I was only thinking about doing my own pace and then the sprint.”

The pair then stayed together to gain time on Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic, who crashed near the finish. Evenepoel reached the finish 25 seconds behind, with Roglic 55 seconds off the pace.

Evenepoel trails 1:06 behind Pogacar overall, with Vingegaard in third place, 1:14 back. Roglic is fourth, 2:45 behind the race leader.

The rollercoaster 211-kilometer (131-mile) Stage 11 featured four brutal ascents in its second half and included more than 4,000 meters of climbing.

The race started at a high pace and the peloton stayed together for some 40 kilometers before riders could break away in humid conditions. A group of 10 men rode at the front but split at the foot of the first major climb, the steep Col de Neronne.

Pogacar’s Team Emirates set a fast tempo but they were caught one by one one as they rode up to the Puy Mary, the hardest climb of the day.

Pogacar, a two-time Tour champion, attacked 600 meters from that summit to drop everyone else then went all in on the downhill, showcasing his great skills in the technical descent to increase his lead and start the next climb with a lead of 35 seconds. But Vingegaard still had the final word.

“He is in top shape,” Pogacar said about his rival. “He beat me really good on the line, and I did a pretty good sprint after that kind of stage. He was really strong.”

Thursday’s Stage 12 from Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot is mainly flat. The battle between Pogacar and Vingegaard is expected to resume this weekend when the peloton will reach bigger mountains in the Pyrenees.

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tour de marseille

Marseille itinerary in 1 day

You only have one day or just time for a stopover to visit Marseille, so here are my tips.

I share with you a walking route to follow on Google Map.

It is a tourist circuit which allows you to discover the must-see attractions of Marseille on foot.

And in addition to visiting tips, I also give you my good little gourmet addresses.

How to visit Marseille in 1 day?

To discover the city of Marseille in just 1 day, you have 4 options depending on your desires:

  • Tour of Marseille by tourist bus
  • Panoramic tour of Marseille and Cassis
  • Discover Marseille by bike
  • Visit Marseille on foot following my self-guided tour which allows you to see the city's must-see sites. See itinerary details below.

Visit Marseille for a stopover

If you are on a cruise, you will visit Marseille during your stopover. Then my itinerary is perfect for you.

In fact, you will dock at J4 in La Joliette, the district from where my walking tour leaves. A few minutes walk to reach the starting point of the route (Terrasses du Port).

Program and itinerary for your day in Marseille

Marseille is a large city very rich in heritage and landscapes. So, we're not going to lie: visiting Marseille in one day requires you to make choices.

For the tourist circuit proposed below, the visits only concern the most emblematic sites of Marseille.

I organized them to do a nice walking tour to optimize the time.

Here is the program for your day's visit to Marseille following this walking route:

  • Departure from the Terrasses du Port

La Major Cathedral

  • MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations)

Saint Laurent Church

Fort saint-jean, old port of marseille.

  • Lunch break at noon at the restaurant Le 29 Place aux Huiles

The garden of the Puget hill

Basilica of notre dame de la garde.

  • Evening at the Restaurant L’épinette

Self-guided tour to visit Marseille on foot

Here is the route to follow on Google Maps to visit Marseille on foot in one day:

This circuit represents 5,2 km of walking over the whole day which is very easily achievable given that you will take breaks for the visits and the restaurant at midday.

The departure for this walking tour is at the Terrasses du Port (The shopping center offers a terrace which opens onto an exceptional view) or directly from your NH Collection hotel (next door) for a short 12-minute walk.

Morning tour schedule

From the Terrasses du Port, it will take a 15-minute walk to reach the 1st stage of my tour to visit Marseille on foot: The beautiful Cathedral of the Major.

The Cathedral of La Major is made up of two churches which have been superimposed: the old and the new Major. It is located on an esplanade between the districts of Vieux Port, Panier, Joliette and 2 steps from MuCEM and Fort Saint Jean.

stop at La Major Cathedral

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is a brand new museum in Marseille. It opened its doors on June 7, 2013. It is more than 40 m² dedicated to exhibitions around the Mediterranean world in all its diversity.

Marseille walking tour MuCEM visit

Its location is very well thought out for tourists to visit it. Indeed, it is located between Fort Saint Jean and the Cathedral of the Major. A footbridge connects it to Fort Saint Jean, a fortress inseparable from the history of Marseille. While a second 70-meter footbridge connects with the Saint Laurent church.

Access is via the MuCEM footbridge. This fort is the former commandery of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem in the 12th century. During the Crusades, Fort Saint Jean was the departure point for troops towards the Holy Land. It consists of a chapel, a church, a hospital, as well as the commander's palace.

Fort Saint Jean for my Marseille tour in 1 day

The Saint Laurent church dominates the Vieux Port pass. Dating from 12 rd century, it is one of the oldest churches in Marseille which deserves a little visit.

The old port of Marseille is certainly, along with the Bonne Mère, the best-known site in Marseille. You have to feel its atmosphere by strolling along the quays and discovering its fish market. If you go there on the weekend, don't miss its small traditional Provençal market. Lavender, figurines, Marseille soaps and other regional products are offered to tourists looking for souvenirs.

Old port of Marseille, a must-see stop

Which restaurant for this walking tour?

For noon or 13 p.m., my walking tour takes you to Place aux Huiles. This is where I suggest you take a lunch break or if you have already done so, have a little coffee or a good ice cream on the terrace before continuing your day of visiting Marseille.

If you want to avoid "tourist restaurants", I advise you to discover The 29 Place aux Oils . You can taste Provençal specialties made with fresh market produce. The setting is rather trendy but retains character with its stone walls and exposed beams.

Afternoon tour program

After your lunch break, my walking tour will take you to Notre Dame de la Garde. But, you will take a very nice route which allows you to pass through the Puget hill garden.  

This pretty garden is located, as its name suggests, at the top of a hill overlooking the Old Port. After some effort to climb this hill, the reward awaits you: A splendid view of the city of Marseille which is worth the photo…

The garden of the Puget hill

Once at the top, you will have to continue your efforts to reach the Basilica of Notre Dame de La Garde which is not very far away. Courage !

From the top of its 160 meters, the Bonne Mère, as the Marseillais affectionately call it, offers a panoramic view of all of Marseille, the Old Port, the fort Saint-Jean and even as far as the archipelago of  Frioul .

Marseille walking tour - Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica

Program for your evening

If you want to have an exceptional evening, I advise you to book the gourmet restaurant well in advance The Net . Its chef Guillaume SOURRIEU knows how to prepare delicious dishes around fish and the site is simply magical on the Corniche facing the sea.

Where to stay to visit Marseille on foot?

Far from dangerous neighborhoods of Marseille , I recommend that you stay at NH Collection Marseille .

Right in the city center, a 15-minute walk from Gare Saint Charles and next to La Joliette metro station, its location is also interesting for shopping lovers. In fact, it is exactly 8 minutes from the large and beautiful Les terrasses du Port shopping center. Now this is where my self-guided walking tour starts to visit Marseille.

If you are staying more than 1 day in Marseille, you may prefer to stay in an apartment. So I advise you to choose a hotel residence. In the heart of the Old Port, right next to the Muceum and the Major, I recommend a very good plan for its value for money and its location:

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4 thoughts on “Marseille itinerary in 1 day”

tour de marseille

All we need to do is to follow the full route of 1 day in Marselha and go ahead!! Said from Aix-en Provence this time and it was flying no time before 17:11 p.m. Almoçamos no Le Bouchon Provençal, na Place Aux Huilles: delicious! Obrigada!!

tour de marseille

Obrigado pelo vosso positive feedback. Também publiquei um artigo com um passeio a pé por Aix en Provence. Desfrute da sua estadia em Français!

tour de marseille

Oh. Parabens! seus posts são muito bons! Estou tentando montar um roteiro para 3 dias, saindo de Lyon no dia 3/3 e chegando a Valmorel dia 6/3. .O que você me aconselha?O clima nessa época prejudica uma viagem rápida a Marselha?Vale a pena? Or seria melhor passear pelos castelos e cidades da região ao norte de Lyon, nesta época? Por favor me ajude.Aguardo seu retorno e agradeço.

Mesmo que o tempo esteja bastante bom em Marselha no Inverno, think that é melhor visitar esta cidade na Primavera ou no Verão para desfrutar de nadar our creeks and para que todas as atracções estejam abertas. Perto de Lyon, you can discover a beautiful city of Annecy com o seu belo lago Or fazer a Beaujolais wine rota . In all cases, desejo-vos uma boa estadia em França!


Visit Marseille: Top 33 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

Things to do in marseille: the 33 best places to visit and highlights.

You’re planning to visit Marseille , in the south of France?

Great idea!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have written this guide of the 33 best things to do in Marseille , with all must-see attractions and points of interest.

In addition to the best places to visit, you will also find itineraries to visit Marseille in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days (or more!) as well as my selection of the best hotels depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do in Marseille? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

1. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard

2. le panier, 3. the old port, 4. the mucem, 5. la major cathedral, 6. the cours julian, 7. the vallon des auffes, 8. corniche jf kennedy, 9. the palais longchamp, 10. the frioul islands, 11. château d’if (if castle), 12. the calanques of marseille, 13. marseille’s beaches, 14. stade velodrome, 15. abbey of saint-victor, 16. the goudes district, 17. borély park, 18. la canebière, 19. other museums to visit in marseille, 20. other monuments to see in marseille, 21. other activities to do in marseille, 22. marseille’s markets, 23. shopping in marseille, 24. l’estaque, 25. aix-en-provence, 28. baux-de-provence, 29. the luberon, 30. camargue, 31. verdon gorges, 32. take a boat trip from marseille, 33. visit a vineyard in provence, how many days to visit marseille, one day in marseille, 2 days in marseille, 3 days in marseille, 4, 5 days in marseille or more, where to stay in marseille, where to eat in marseille, how to get to marseille, rent a boat in marseille, tourist map of marseille, what to do in marseille with your family, which districts of marseille to visit, how to visit the calanques de marseille, how to visit marseille on foot, you’re traveling in france these articles will help you, visit marseille: 33 must-see attractions.

Start with one of the best known landmarks in Marseille: the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the Guard).

Known as the Good Mother , this iconic monument of Marseille, built on a hill 150 metres above sea level, dominates the entire city. From the Esplanade de Notre-Dame , you can admire a 360° panorama of the city and the sea.

A place of pilgrimage for 800 years , the basilica is dedicated to Mary , whose statue located at the top of the bell tower is the protector of the city and of sailors . Covered with gold, it weighs more than 9700 kg!

The interior of the basilica, all in white and red marble , can be visited free of charge. You can admire the beautiful Byzantine mosaics .

To reach Notre-Dame de la Garde , you have several options:

  • On foot: many paths lead to the top of the hill but it will take some effort on your calves!
  • By car: paid parking next to the basilica
  • By bus: line 60 will take you to the entrance
  • By small tourist train.

Notre-Dame de la Garde à Marseille

And there’s one last, much more original way to climb up there. Segway!

The Segway tour that I propose allows you to discover the best places in Marseille like the Old Port and the MuCEM and then go up to Notre-Dame de la Garde to enjoy the view.

It’s a fabulous experience and the guide is really lovely and interesting.

Book your Marseille Segway tour now below:

To visit Marseille , I recommend you take the city pass . Valid for 24h, 48h or 72h , it includes:

  • Free entry to all museums including the MuCEM
  • Free and unlimited use of public transport : bus, metro and tram
  • A small tourist train ride between Notre-Dame de la Garde and the old town of Marseille
  • The boat to Frioul or Château d’If
  • Discounts for boat trips in the Calanques
  • Discounts in some shops.

The City Pass Marseille needs to be purchased by clicking on the following green button:

Le Panier is the highlight district of Marseille.

Visiting Le Panier means discovering the oldest part of the city . It has long suffered from a poor reputation, but the trend has now reversed and it has become an unmissable stop on any tour of Marseille.

And the famous French series “Plus belle la vie” might look familiar since the Mistral district that features in the show was very largely inspired by Le Panier, and many of the outdoor scenes were filmed there.

Strolling through the narrow and steep streets of Le Panier is also a great way to discover the craft shops and many small bistros.

What to see in the district of Le Panier , in Marseille:

  • The Place de Lenche and its view of the Good Mother
  • The Place des Moulins where several mills were once located
  • The Vieille Charité, a former hospice that now houses four museums
  • The Place des Pistoles, the perfect spot for lunch on a terrace
  • The rue du Panier

If you want to take a guided tour of the Le Panier , I recommend three options:

  • A Segway tour 
  • An small party electric scooter tour
  • A private tour with a local

Simply click on the orange links for more information and to book.

Panier Marseille

It is impossible to miss the Old Port (“Vieux Port” in French) during your stay in Marseille.

Symbol of the city (along with the Good Mother!), this is where the Phoceans landed in antiquity and founded Massalia . Since then, the port has continued to develop, becoming France’s second port in the 19th century.

Today, industrial activity has been transferred to the new port of La Joliette, while the Old Port hosts pleasure boats.

The Old Port docks, recently redeveloped, have become a highlight part of a walk in Marseille. They are bordered by a row of cafés and restaurants and the locals of Marseille like to gather there during sports or cultural events.

This is also where the Marseille fish market takes place every morning.

Finally, the Old Port is the starting point for boat trips to visit the Calanques, the Château d’If and Frioul. I’ll tell you more about that later.

You’ve probably already heard about the sardine that choked the Old Port ! But do you know where this story came from?

In 1779, “La Sartine”, a frigate carrying French prisoners who had just been released, ran aground at the entrance to the Old Port . The mighty ship would block all the activity at the port for a good while!

The people of Marseille couldn’t help but turn the “La SarTine” into Sardine, and make it one of the best known anecdotes of the city!

Vieux-Port Marseille

The MuCEM is the one museum you must visit in Marseille . It is located at the end of the Old Port.

Opened only in 2013, the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean quickly became an icon as unmissable as Notre-Dame de la Garde, with more than 2 million visitors per year.

The MuCEM is actually divided into two parts:

  • The J4, the futuristic building built to mark Marseille becoming the European Capital of Culture, which hosts exhibitions dedicated to the Mediterranean world. There is also a bookshop and a panoramic restaurant.
  • The Fort Saint Jean is connected to the J4 by a footbridge offering an exceptional view of the whole city on one side and the Frioul islands on the other.

Entry to the MuCEM’s outdoor areas and walkways is free.

If you want to discover the exhibitions , however, you will have to pay an entrance fee . The MuCEM visit is included in the City Pass Marseille.

Alternatively, because this is a very popular attraction, you can buy your tickets for the MuCEM in advance by clicking here!

Opening hours and information about current exhibitions can be found on the official website.

Mucem Marseille

Other tourist attractions in Marseille: the Cathedral of La Major , also known as the “Sainte-Marie-Majeure Cathedral”.

It is located on the edge of the Le Panier district and is not far from the MuCEM.

Built in the 19th century , this imposing Byzantine-style church is one of the largest in France . It’s very similar in size to the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome .

From the outside, with its white and green marble façade, it is very reminiscent of the magnificent cathedrals of Florence and Siena . And the interior, with its archways, statues and mosaics , is well worth a look.

Entry is free.

You will have a beautiful view of La Major from the MuCEM footbridge and Fort Saint-Jean.

cathédrale de la Major

I continue this guide to Marseille through another iconic district: the Cours Julien.

The artists ‘ district is famous for its street art with many graffiti covering the façades between Cours Julien and Place Jean Jaurès.

If you don’t want to miss any of the most famous graffiti, I suggest you book a special 2-h guided tour of the street art by clicking here!

With its very lively and bohemian atmosphere , the Cours Julien is also home to many shops run by local artists and designers , second-hand shops, bookshops and junk shops.

Depending on the day of the week, there are also several markets, such as the farmers’ market or the organic market.

You’re going to Marseille?

You probably know it: the hardest part of planning your trip is to find an hotel offering a good value for money!

The closer you get to your travel dates, the harder it will be to get a good deal. Lots of people will be visiting Marseille on the same dates as you , so you can be sure that the best deals are booked extremely quickly!

Hopefully, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem: do like me and book your hotel as early as possible!

So, my best advice is to take 5 minutes (now) to have a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Marseille.

And if you see a good offer, book it!

Most hotels offer free cancellation, so it’s quick, easy, and you will avoid the the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the current best deals for your hotel in Marseille, simply click on the green button below 😎:

Once you’ve booked your hotel, it will be time to continue reading this guide and find out more about the best things to do in Marseille!

Cours Julien Marseille

During your trip to Marseille, do not miss the Vallon des Auffes.

This small port is very picturesque with its fishing huts and the fishing boats typical of Marseille: the pointus. An authentic and typical atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

You can also treat yourself to excellent traditional cuisine in one of the renowned restaurants there. For pizza, there’s “Chez Jeannot” and for fresh fish caught the same day or bouillabaisse , head for “Chez Fonfon” , an institution in the Vallon des Auffes!

Or if you have a slightly bigger budget and want to indulge yourself with gourmet cuisine and an exceptional setting, I advise you to try the restaurant “L’Epuisette”.

Reservation recommended because eating at the Vallon des Auffes is a real highlight in Marseille!

Vallon des Auffes Marseille

The Corniche Kennedy is a long promenade along the seafront.

It starts at Les Catalans beach and in particular passes the Prophet’s beach , the Vallon des Auffes and ends at the Prado beaches . The place is very popular with Marseille locals who come here to cycle, ride their scooters or go for a run.

On foot, you can enjoy beautiful views of the islands and château d’If . I also advise you to go up to Valmer park to contemplate the panorama.

If you don’t want to walk, bus 83 leaves from the Old Port and runs along the entire corniche to Prado.

Corniche JF Kennedy-Marseille

If there is one place that I recommend you to see in Marseille, it is the Palais Longchamp.

Its architecture is really impressive and it is for me one of the city’s most beautiful monuments . It was built in 1862 to celebrate the arrival of the waters of the Durance in Marseille and there is therefore a commemorative fountain representing abundance and fertility.

The Palais Longchamp is made up of two wings that house the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Take the stairs up to the top of the fountain to reach the gardens of the Palais Longchamp , one of the most beautiful parks in the city . It is one of the best places for a walk in Marseille.

Here you will find the observatory garden that houses the Museum of Astronomy, and the Zoological Garden. The latter used to house animals such as giraffes, lions, and even an elephant (the star of the zoo), which have now been replaced by life-size colourful statues.

The museums are free of charge with the City Pass Marseille, and entrance to the Longchamp park is also free.

palais Longchamp Marseille

If you’ve run out of things to do in Marseille, I advise you to escape to the Frioul islands.

Waterfront shuttles leave daily from the Old Port. The crossing takes about 25 minutes and costs about €10 for a round-trip. Prices and times can be found here.

The Frioul archipelago consists of four islands:

  • The largest of these is Pomègues . It is known for having one of the most beautiful beaches in Frioul: Tahiti beach.
  • Ratonneau, popular for its coves and beaches
  • Tiboulen which is not served by shuttles
  • If island where the castle of the same name is located: I’ll tell you about that later.

The boat will drop you off on the island of Ratonneau where there are a few restaurants. You can then go right around the island on foot (no vehicles are allowed) and swim in the small creeks with turquoise water .

There are also great views of If and Marseille from the Fort de Ratonneau and the former hospital.

From Ratonneau , walk along the seawall to the left of the port to reach the island of Pomègues .

To discover the Frioul islands, you can also spend a day sailing around Marseille. Yur skipper will show you the most beautiful places to swim!

Book via the button below:

For a romantic evening, I also recommend a sunset boat ride on a traditional wooden schooner.

You will sail towards the Frioul archipelago before stopping for a swim in a small cove with crystal clear water.

You can then enjoy a dinner served on board while admiring the sunset over the islands.

Book your sunset boat tour in Marseille by clicking on the button below:

And if you just want to go on a boat trip around Frioul islands for sunset but without dinner, click here to book this trip!

If you want to visit Ratonneau and Pomègues , allow for a full day to walk around and bathe. I advise you to take a picnic with you as the only restaurants are at the harbour.

For Ratonneau, 1/2 day is enough. Take the shuttle boat at least 3 hours before sunset , otherwise you won’t have time to discover the island. If you are in a hurry, the right side towards the Fort is preferable.

Ile de Ratonneau Frioul

The same shuttles that go to Ratonneau also stop at If island where château d’If is located .

Its construction was decided in the 16th century by King François I to defend the shores against invasion but also to supervise the town that had just been annexed to the Kingdom of France. With its dungeon, towers, ramparts and moat, it is designed as a true fortress.

It was converted into a state prison in 1580. Famous prisoners include Mirabeau and the Marquis de Sade , but Château d’If is also where the Count of Monte-Cristo is held in the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

Guests can visit the Château d’If on their own or take a guided tour . There is an entrance fee to pay, and the waterfront shuttle costs extra. You can pick up your tickets on arrival or in advance online by clicking here.

To visit Château d’If, you can choose between:

  • A return trip for If only
  • A combined ticket for If + the Frioul islands: the boat drops you off on If, you visit the castle and take the shuttle back to Ratonneau.

Read the timetables carefully , as the last boat for If is at 3.00 pm or 4.00 pm depending on the season. More information can be found here.

As the Château d’If is one of Marseille ‘s top tourist attractions, it is best to book your tickets online in advance for the shuttle (especially in summer).

Chateau d'If

This is the highlight activity to do in Marseille: a boat trip to discover the Calanques.

These mini boat tours allow you to discover the most beautiful places in the Calanques National Park . On the programme: magnificent natural landscapes and beautiful creeks with translucent water.

From the Old Port, there are two tours to visit the Calanques of Marseille:

  • The “L’integral des calanques” (Complete Calanques) route where you will enter all the Calanques from Marseille to Cassis. It lasts about 3 hours and a quarter hours, with a departure in the morning and in the afternoon.
  • The small “L’essential des calanques” (Best of the Calanques) route which lasts 2 and a quarter hours, and allows you to pass through the three best known Calanques: Sormiou, Morgiou and Sugiton.

You will find more information on the shipping company’s website.

The big disadvantage is that the boats can carry hundreds of people so they are not necessarily ideal if you want peace and quiet or to take beautiful photos. And these tours don’t give you any opportunity to swim either.

But, good news, there are also some boat tours that are a little more luxurious and with fewer people , plus they include lunch and a swim in the Calanques. This is the type of day trip I recommend to make the most of the beautiful scenery!

For this type of high-end boat tour, you will have several options:

  • A hybrid electric boat tour (max. 6 people – duration 7 hours – lunch included)
  • A 5-hour catamaran trip.

This catamaran boat tour in the Calanques can be booked directly here:

  • A full-day VIP boat tour on a magnificent boat (my favorite option!)

From the Old Port, you will discover the Calanque National Park on a beautiful boat: a traditional wooden schooner.

2 swimming stops in the Calanques are included (snorkelling equipment provided!), plus an aperitif and lunch highlighting local and organic products.

To enjoy a great day by boat in the Calanques of Marseille, you must book in advance by clicking on the button below:

Boat trips are the best way to discover several Calanques in one day , but you can also choose to walk to these magnificent coves. 

Several hiking trails run through the national park and allow you to go down in the coves. Bring sturdy shoes and plenty of water.

You can also go hiking in the Calanques with a guide . This activity must be booked in advance right here!

If hiking isn’t your thing, I recommend going to the Sugiton viewpoint. From the car park in Luminy, the starting point of the trail, it only takes 35 minutes to get there.

The viewpoint offers a splendid 360° view of the park and, below you, of the Calanque of Morgiou and that of Sugiton.

Finally, if you want to try scuba diving, I recommend that you opt for a an immersive scuba diving course in the Calanques . You can find more info and book by clicking here!

After the boat trip or hike, I end with another very nice way to visit the Calanques of Marseille: electric mountain bike.

This 3-hour itinerary with a tour leader leaves from the beach of Pointe Rouge beach and leads to the Calanque of Sormiou . The route is really well thought out and the landscapes are breathtaking.

You can book this activity via the green button below:

And remember, the Calanques park is the ideal playground for climbing and Via Cordata.  If you would like more information, click the links:

  • Beginners’ introduction to climbing courses
  • Climbing in the Calanques National Park – Beginner to intermediate level
  • Multi-pitch climbing – Intermediate level
  • Calanque d’En-Vau via cordata.

Calanques Marseille

During your holiday in Marseille , you will most probably want to enjoy the beach!

So I have compiled a list for you of beaches to visit in and around Marseille:

  • Catalans beach is not necessarily the prettiest, but it is the most centrally located and therefore the most practical if you don’t have a car
  • Prophet’s beach located below the Corniche, is the most popular beach in Marseille. Ideal with children as the water is shallow to quite far out. Can be reached by bus number 83.
  • The beaches of the Prado, a succession of beaches over several miles. Can be reached by bus 19 or 83. By car, payed parking is available along the whole stretch.
  • Pointe Rouge, a long sandy beach well protected from the wind where you can have a go on a flyboard
  • The very small beach of the Baie des Singes in the Les Goudes district
  • The beach of L’Anse de la Maronais, not far from the Baie des Singes
  • The three beaches of L’Estaque, north of Marseille
  • The beaches and coves of the Frioul islands
  • The Calanques, of course! Some of the most popular are the Calanque de Sormiou, Sugiton, the Calanque de l’En-Vau and Port-Pin.
  • Sainte-Croix beach, located towards Martigues. This small sandy beach located at the foot of the rocks and on the edge of the pine forest is very pretty. There is also a path along the entire coastline.
  • The beautiful beaches of La Couronne, which are very well equipped, are ideal for families
  • The beaches of Cassis
  • The numerous beaches of Sausset-les-Pins, a seaside resort located on the Côte Bleue.

plage de Sainte-Croix

A visit to Marseille without seeing the Stade Velodrome is inconceivable for OM supporters! The Olympique de Marseille is the legendary football club par excellence and is the pride of the whole city.

If you don’t have the chance to watch a match during your stay in Marseille, you can make up for it by visiting the inside of the stadium . The tour includes the players’ dressing rooms, the private boxes and behind the scenes, as well as a walk on the pitch to feel the turf!

And you can buy a souvenir of your visit from the official shop. A scarf, a shirt, a mug in OM colours: you will be spoilt for choice.

To organise your visit to the Stade Velodrome de Marseille, see the official website .

You will have a beautiful view of the stadium and Notre-Dame de la Garde.

Stade Velodrome Marseille

Founded in the 5th century , the Abbey of Saint-Victor is a very beautiful building listed as a historical monument. 

Inside, you can visit the crypt (€2) which is made up of several chapels and contains numerous Paleochristian sarcophagi. 

From the terrace opposite the entrance to the Abbey, you can enjoy the unobstructed view of the Old Port and the MuCEM.

Just next to the Abbey, on Rue Sainte is the oldest bakery in Marseille “Le Four des Navettes” . Founded in the 18th century, this is where the iconic biscuit of Marseille was created: the navette.

You now know where to go to taste them!

Abbaye Saint-Victor Marseille

Located at the gateway to the Calanques, the Goudes district is built around a small fishing port and its huts.

The picturesque setting attracts visitors every year, especially in the summer, to swim on the beach of the Baie des Singes or go hiking in the Calanques.

There are also several bars and restaurants. 

quartier des Goudes

Borély Park is a huge 18-hectare park located near the Prado beaches.

There is a lake, playgrounds for the children, a rose garden and a botanical garden.

 At weekends, it is the busiest park in Marseille: picnics, strolls, rollerblades, bikes or football games, there’s plenty to keep busy! It is very nice, well equipped and is the perfect place for a walk outside the city.

Borély Park has long been famous because Marcel Pagnol mentions it in his book “La Gloire de Mon Père (The Glory of My Father). More recently, the series “Plus belle la vie” (Most Beautiful Life) regularly descends on the place to shoot scenes.

The park offers a pedalo, bicycle and boat rental service . There is also a café and the château which houses the Museum of Decorative Arts. 

Free entry to the Borély park/€3 for the botanical garden.

Parc Borely Marseille

Let’s continue this tourist trail through Marseille with La Canebière.

The city ‘s iconic avenue connects the Reformed Church to the Old Port for nearly 1 km. This long retail street is lined with shops, restaurants and cafés.  You can also admire several historical monuments like the Opera or the Hotel de Noailles Hotel, a highly luxurious hotel now converted into a police station.

The Marseille information centre is also located on La Canebière.

But there is one slight drawback: La Canebière is often mentioned as a must-see spot in Marseille, but frankly it’s far from being very clean and doesn’t always smell great… 😅

Chambre de commerce Canebière Marseille

The MuCEM is not the only museum to visit in Marseille.

If you have decided to spend a few days in Marseille , I recommend that you explore some of the other museums:

  • The Marseille History Museum to learn all about the oldest city in France
  • The Vieille Charité centre centre that houses the Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of African, Oceanic and Native American Art
  • The Museum of Decorative Arts, Fashion and Ceramics in Borély Park
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art 
  • Longchamp Palace Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Natural History Museum
  • The Marseille Soap Museum where you can make your own soap.

Most of these museums are free to visit with the City Pass Marseille. 

musée d’histoire de Marseille

In addition to the main attractions of Marseille, there are a few other beautiful landmarks not to be missed:

  • The town hall, built in the 17th century
  • The Alcazar library , a very famous former concert hall named after the Alhambra in Granada
  • The Daviel Pavilion, the former courthouse of Marseille
  • The Palais de la Bourse
  • The Statue of David, an exact replica of the one displayed at the Accademia Gallery in Florence
  • The triumphal arch, listed as a historical monument
  • The prefecture, a very beautiful building located on rue Saint-Ferréol
  • The Docks of Marseille for its unusual architecture
  • The Marseille Opera House
  • The Palais des Arts
  • The Diamantée House and its pointed stone façade
  • The Hôtel-Dieu, the city’s main hospital dating back to the Middle Ages. Today converted into a 5* luxury hotel: Hotel Intercontinental.
  • The Pharo Palace for its view of the MuCEM and the Fort Saint-Jean

Opéra de Marseille

In addition to everything I’ve told you about, here is my selection of other unusual activities to try during your stay in Marseille (you can book by clicking on the links in orange):

  • A four-and-a-half hour Food Tour where you will be stuffed with the amount of food to taste: Provençal burgers, local ‘panisse’ fritters, ice creams, macaroons, navettes and oriental pastries are all on the menu.
  • A cocktail workshop to learn how to create two different cocktails
  • An introduction to oenology with tasting of five wines from the South-East of France
  • A brewing and beer tasting workshop
  • Visit Marseille’s old town in a méhari 
  • Side-car tour of the main districts of Marseille
  • A private VIP tour of Marseille by van or limousine
  • A Quiz Room: as a team, you will be required to answer questions on the subjects of sports, music and daily life, in a setting inspired by the most famous television games. A great activity to do in Marseille with friends or family.
  • An escape game: there are lots of themes to choose from, and you’ll have an idea what to do in Marseille when it’s raining
  • A virtual reality laser game
  • A helicopter flight over the city and the waterfront

Do not hesitate to discover the best activities to do in and around Marseille by clicking on the button below:

I suggest you now take a tour of one of the city’s markets to soak up the scents and flavours of Provence .

For smell, you will visit the fish market that is held every morning at the Old Port. It’s the best place to buy the morning’s freshly caught fish!

Each district of Marseille has its own dedicated market:

  • La Castellane: food and clothing market, with a bit of everything is one of the most popular
  • Capuchins for fruits and vegetables
  • La Friche de la Belle de Mai farmers’ market
  • The flower market on Boulevard Chave
  • The organic market at Cours Julien
  • The Sunday flea market at Les Arnavaux.

To discover Marseille’s specialities, there’ nothing better than a gastronomic visit!

This three-hour tour includes many tastings, and will allow you to discover all the gastronomy of the South of France: pastries, seafood , tapenade, navettes , panisses and of course pastis !

I recommend that you book this gastronomic walking tour of Marseille on foot by clicking on the following button:

marché Marseille

If you want to blow the budget during your visit to Marseille, here are the best places to go:

  • Les Terrasses du Port, one of the city’s newest shopping centres, whose rooftop with a sea view quickly became a trendy place to go out in Marseille in the evening
  • The Cours Julien for its more bohemian boutiques
  • Saint-Férreol pedestrian street and its well-known brands such as Zara and H&M
  • The Bourse centre, home to Galeries Lafayette, FNAC, Go Sport
  • The street dedicated to fashion with its trendy boutiques of designers, jewellery and accessories
  • La rue Paradis for more luxurious shopping with high-end boutiques such as Lacoste and Kenzo
  • The brand new shopping centre “Le Prado” , next to the Velodrome
  • Les Docks Village , an atypical indoor shopping centre.

If you don’t know what to do in Marseille on a Sunday , remember that most of the shopping centres and museums are open.

les docks Marseille

L’Estaque is the district located to the north of Marseille.

The name L’Estaque is often associated with painting because it has inspired many famous artists such as Cézanne, Renoir and Braque . A walking tour called “le petit chemin des peintres de l’Estaque” (a short trail following the artists of L’Estaque) allows you to discover the places depicted in their paintings as well as the history of the neighbourhood.

L’Estaque also has a beautiful beach with with a water sports centre, showers and toilets.

When exploring the area, do what Marseille’s locals do and taste chichis (sweet doughnuts) and panisses (made with chickpea flour) in one of the kiosks on the seafront.

From the L’Estaque, you can also enjoy a superb kayak ride along the Côte Bleue and its creeks with turquoise water. Book in advance by clicking here!

This trip is also available at sunset (reservation here).

To go to L’Estaque , I advise you to take the waterfront shuttle from the Old Port. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery.

Estaque Marseille

What to do around Marseille?

Now you know what to do in Marseille!

But my recommendations don’t stop there since I have compiled a list of the most beautiful places to visit in the surroundings of Marseille . They are all easily accessible by car or through organised excursions from Marseille.

The first city I suggest you explore in the surroundings of Marseille: Aix-en-Provence.

There aren’t necessarily any great monuments to see apart from the Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur , but the walk through the centre is very pleasant, with its shops, restaurants and brasseries .

Art lovers can also visit the Cézanne studio and the Granet Museum.

From Marseille , you can also take an organised day trip to visit Aix-en-Provence. 

There are three types of trip :

  • A 4-hour guided tour of Aix-en Provence.
  • A visit of Aix-en-Provence + Cassis.

The tour, in a small party, offers a guided walking tour of Aix-en-Provence and a walk on your own in Cassis . Alternatively, you can take a boat ride in the Calanques.

  • A tour on your own of Aix-en-Provence + exploration of the lavender fields of Valensole


Arles is about a one-hour drive from Marseille.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can discover many Roman monuments such as the amphitheatre, the ancient theatre and the Constantin thermal baths.

If you want to visit Arles with an organised tour, I recommend you choose this one. You will not only visit the historic centre of Arles but also the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence and that of Saint Rémy de Provence.

You can book by clicking the green button below:

To organize your visit to Arles, I have prepared a complete guide in this article: What to do in Arles?

arènes Arles

Around Marseille, I advise you to visit Cassis . You can drive there in just 40 minutes.

With its small fishing port and the picturesque alleys, the setting is really lovely. Boat trips from Cassis allow you to discover the Calanques of En-Vau, Port-Miou and Port-Pin. 

If you have time, I also advise you to take the route des Crêtes that goes from Cassis to Ciotat. The landscape is beautiful!

If you don’t have a car, no problem, you can visit Cassis with an organised tour:

As with the Calanques of Marseille, three-hour electric mountain bike tours with an experienced instructor are offered to discover three Calanques of Cassis.

You can book directly by clicking here. 

You can also opt for (click the orange links for details):

  • A hike with a tour leader that goes through three Calanques
  • A sea kayaking day trip in the national park
  • A stand up paddle board trip with an instructor.

Cassis Calanques

Known as one of the most beautiful villages in France , it would be a shame not to go to Baux-de-Provence during your trip to Marseille.

The mediaeval village has a castle overlooking all the Alpilles . A beautiful panorama in perspective!

Just a five-minute walk from the village , do not miss visiting the Carrières de Lumière .

These former quarries have been completely reimagined and offer truly original multimedia exhibitions with works of art projected on the walls at more than 15 metres high.


Near Marseille, why not plan a day to visit the Luberon?

Not to be missed in the region:

  • The perched village of Gordes , one of the most beautiful villages in France
  • Senanque Abbey, a 12th century Cistercian monastery
  • The village of Roussillon , where you absolutely have to go for a walk along the Ochre Trail, in the heart of an ancient ochre quarry. The colours are simply splendid!

And good news if you don’t have a car, just opt for an organised day trip to discover the Luberon and the villages I just mentioned.


Another beautiful region to visit around Marseille: Camargue.

You can discover the manades (bull and horse farms), go horse riding , watch the pink flamingos or take a boat ride on the Rhone!

parc ornithologique du Pont-de-Gau

A little further away but still feasible, I suggest you visit Verdon.

It takes about an hour and 40 minutes to get Moustiers-Sainte-Marie , the best known village in the area. From here, you can also visit the Lake of Sainte-Croix , the gateway the Verdon Gorge.

And if you prefer to take an organised tour, the best one from Marseille is this one. It also includes a visit through the Valensole plateau to discover the lavender fields (in high season).

Gorges du Verdon rive gauche

In addition to the sea excursions I mentioned above, I recommend two other options that will allow you to discover the surroundings of Marseille by boat away from other tourists.

To enjoy a VIP experience, I therefore suggest you:

1) Book a private boat trip from Marseille

I think this is the best way to make the most of your day at sea in Marseille!

You rent a boat with a skipper , and he will take you to the most beautiful places close to Marseille: the rocky inlets, the Frioul islands and other spots. You will be spoilt for choice!

Motor boat, sailing boat, catamaran or even yacht : just choose the right boat for your dream day!

I always recommend that you rent a boat with skipper as early as possible , as this type of VIP day trip is very much in demand, and it would be a shame to miss out!

You will find all the skippered boats in Marseille by clicking on the button below:

2) Rent a boat to discover the surroundings of Marseille

If you have a boat licence, the 2nd solution for a great day at sea is simply to opt for to rent a boat in Marseille !

It’s very simple to do: click on the button below and book your boat immediately:

louer un bateau

You will find a list of all the vineyards open to visitors near Marseille by clicking on the green button below:

And even better, some of the tours are free! Here are my three favourites (click on the orange links to book):

  • The Domaine de la Bégude is 27 km from Marseille, and offers a free 30-minute guided tasting
  • The Domaine Terre de Mistral offers five wines to suit your tastes
  • Château Paradis offers six wines from a selection of white, rosé or red.

I advise you to allow at least three or four days to visit Marseille. This gives you time to discover the city as well as the Frioul islands and the truly magnificent rocky inlets .

And if you want to visit the surroundings, a week won’t be too long . No risk of getting bored!

Do not forget that to visit Marseille in 24h, 48h or 72h , the City Pass Marseille that I told you about at the very beginning is a great way to save money.

Do you have one day to visit Marseille ?

Here is the itinerary I suggest you follow to see the main districts and landmarks:

  • Explore the Le Panier district
  • Taking in the Cathedral of La Major
  • The MuCEM: visit or just take the footbridge for the view
  • A stroll in the Old Port
  • The Cours Julian
  • Go up to Notre-Dame de la Garde
  • See the Abbey of Saint-Victor or the Palais du Pharo to admire the view

If you don’t want to or can’t walk, you have several other options (click the links to book):

  • The hop-on hop-off bus
  • The small tourist train , included in the City Pass Marseille
  • The Segway tour. 

Marseille Mucem nuit

If you plan to spend a weekend in Marseille , I suggest you start by following the itinerary for day one.

For the second day , I recommend you visit the Calanques of Marseille:

  • You can take the boat trip in the morning : return around 1.00 pm or 2.00 pm depending on the route
  • Lunch break (or choose a luxury boat ride of the Calanques on a catamaran including lunch, or a luxury boat ride aboard a wooden schooner! )
  • In the afternoon you can choose between shopping or a visit to the Palais Longchamp and park
  • And in the evening, you can opt for a dinner boat tour on a catamaran , for example!

You can also spend an entire day hiking and swimming in the Calanques .

To make the most of your 2-day stay in Marseille, you should read my detailed itinerary: How to visit Marseille in 2 days?

What to do in Marseille in three days? Repeat my suggestions for days one and two.

On the third day, you can choose to:

1) Visit to the Château d’If and the Frioul islands: walking and bathing

Or take a boat ride around the Frioul archipelago:

Book a day’s sailing here

Sunset boat ride + dinner

2) Stay in Marseille:

  • Take the Corniche to reach the Vallon des Auffes
  • Follow the road to the Prado beaches
  • Enjoy the beach or a walk in Borély park
  • Then you can continue to the nearby Stade Velodrome or follow the seaside road to reach Les Goudes. 

Iles du Frioul

On the fourth day in Marseille, I advise you to choose the option that you didn’t have time to do on day three.

If you spend five days or even a week in Marseille , get out of the city and visit the surrounding areas:

  • A day for Cassis and Aix-en-Provence
  • A day in Arles and Les Baux-de-Provence
  • A day for the Luberon
  • Visit to Camargue
  • Explore the Verdon Gorge and also plan to spend a night there to really enjoy it.

Wine lovers can also plan a visit to a winery , Marseille being close to the vineyards of Bandol appellation.

You will find all the vineyards to visit around Marseille by clicking on the button below:

And even better, some of the tours are free!

Some of the most popular include (click on the links to book):

  • The Domaine de la Bégude specializes in organic red and rosé wines
  • The Château de la Galinière , where all the wines come from organic viticulture.
  • The Terre de Mistral estate which offers wine tasting and olive oil.
  • The Font des Pères estate, whose wines are produced under the Bandol, Côtes de Provence and IGP Mont-Caume appellations.
  • Toyoko INN Marseille Saint Charles: located 1 km from the Old Port and 5 minutes from the train station. Very clean and comfortable double rooms from €70 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the breakfast choices, the warm welcome, the location close to the train station and the town centre.
  • Citadines Castellane Marseille: situated 400 metres and 1.3 km from Notre Dame de la Garde. Modern studio and apartment with fully equipped kitchen (dishwasher, microwave, hob…) from €78, breakfast €10. Strong points: the very convenient location, the comfortable bedding, the quiet. It’s my favourite hotel for its excellent value for money in Marseille!
  • Staycity Aparthotels Centre Vieux Port: located 550 metres from the port. Fully equipped designer studio and apartment from €92, breakfast €9. Strong points: spacious, the perfect location to visit Marseille, the very friendly staff.
  • NH Collection Marseille: located in the Joliette district, 900 metres from the MuCEM. Double room with simple and elegant décor from €160. Strong points: the excellent breakfast and the very varied choice, the comfortable beds, the location. One of the best hotels to stay at in Marseille!
  • The Residence du Vieux Port: located on the docks of the Old Port. Modern double rooms with sea view from €200. Strong points: the view of the port and Notre-Dame de la Garde, the charming staff, the location. A great choice for a high-end stay in Marseille.
  • InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu: in the historic district of Marseille, located 300 metres from the port. This 5* hotel offers comfortable and warm rooms from €290, breakfast €29. Strong points: the spa, the swimming pool, the gourmet restaurants, the terrace with view. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Marseille.

cathédrale de la Major interieur

  • Bistro o’Prado : located at 1 Boulevard Perier, just next to the Perier metro station. This brasserie offers a menu with few choices but a guarantee of quality. The dishes are delicious, with a touch of originality, and really plentiful. Very reasonable price.
  • Le Bistro du Panier: located at 58 rue Caisserie. If you fancy a good burger in Marseille, head for the district of Le Panier. This small restaurant offers excellent burgers made entirely from fresh, high-quality ingredients (bread, meat, cheese), plus there’s the home-made fries that go with them! And don’t forget to save some room for the desserts, which are also home-made.
  • Lacaille restaurant: located at 42 rue des Trois Mages. On the menu: atypical and gastronomic cuisine, a very good wine list, top-notch staff, a pleasant setting and affordable prices with a €30 fixed menu (starter/main/dessert).

Marseille has an international airport.

The prices of flights to Marseille vary greatly, so it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparison tools in partnership with Skyscanner. This will guarantee you the best price.

 You can also reach Marseille by bus or train.

I advise you to check the train times and fares and book your tickets directly here:

Finally, if you need to rent a car for your stay in Marseille, I recommend you go through Cars .

You can compare the rates of all the rental companies with one click! And the you can change or cancel your booking at no cost.

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your stay in Marseille, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental!

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Marseille? 😊

To help you visualise the city a bit better, I have created this tourist map of Marseille , with all the best places to visit and things to do in Marseille and its surroundings.

You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a small arrow on it.

FAQ – I answer your questions about Marseille

  • Take the little train and visit Notre-Dame de la Garde
  • Take the boat to the Frioul Islands and/or the Château d’If.
  • Visit Borély Park
  • Enjoy the Prado beach just opposite the park
  • Take a trip to the Calanques , on foot (easy stroll) or by boat!
  • A tree-top adventure trail at Ecopark Adventures – There is even a mini park for 2-to-4-year-olds.
  • Le Panier district, the oldest part of the city
  • The Old Port district
  • La Canebière , the most famous street in Marseille
  • The Vallon des Auffes, for its picturesque port and excellent restaurants
  • The Les Goudes district, far from the centre, close to the calanques.
  • Visit the Calanques on foot
  • Visit the Calanques by electric bike
  • Visit the Calanques by boat
  • Visit the Calanques with a luxury boat tour on a catamaran . If you have the budget, that is clearly the best option!

If you want to visit Marseille on foot, I recommend following the itinerary which I have described in the section: Visit Marseille in one day . This tour will allow you to discover the highlight sites of the city such as the district of Le Panier, the MuCEM, the Old Port and Notre-Dame de la Garde.

If you need help planning your stay in Marseille, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.

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Best places to visit in Marseille

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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Free tours in Marseille

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Discover Marseille: Old Town and City Highlights Free Tour Provided by Marseille Free Walking Tour

Marseille, a city in transformation with huge appeal!

The old port city of Marseille, in the south of France, is the country’s second largest and although it exudes centuries-worth of history and maritime culture, it is as much its recent resurgence from being a much maligned and somewhat negated city to a modern, confident metropolis that makes Marseille a fascinating place to discover.

Named European Capital of Culture only a few short years ago (in 2013), Marseille is fast growing out of its old reputation as a rough spot. Although it still retains its element of urban grittiness, this adds an edge to a city in transition – something which, when explored beside ancient history & stories, vast heritage & rich culture, makes for a thoroughly intriguing free walking tour.

With your local guide, you’ll mingle with fishmongers among medieval monuments in Vieux-Port at the foot of the oldest neighbourhood of Marseille, Le Panier, before setting out to take in remarkable sights like the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, Place des Moulins, Pierre Puget’s park, St. Victor’s Abbey and so much more. There’s a plethora of museums, shops, restaurants, cafes & coffee house to spend time in, and if you fancy something a little stronger than coffee, you can also take a tour of local microbreweries, and enjoy unique local beers, before diving into the buzzing Marseille nightlife– for a unique & enjoyable city break, you could do a lot worse than this dynamic, exciting city.


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Highlights: tour de france, stage 11 finish.

Tour de France standings, results: Jonas Vingegaard posts emotional Stage 11 win

tour de marseille

On the longest stage of this year's Tour de France , defending champion Jonas Vingegaard held off race leader Tadej Pogacar on Wednesday to win the 11th stage.

Recovering from a collapsed lung and fractured rib earlier this year, which kept him from riding for three months leading up to the Tour, Vingegaard caught and passed Pogacar with 30 kilometers to go to claim the stage.

"It's of course very emotional for me," Vingegaard said. "Coming back from the crash, it means a lot and all the things I went through in the last three months it makes you think of that and I would never have been able to do this without my family."

Two-time champion Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) extended his overall lead to one minute six seconds over Remco Evenepoel, who finished third, with Vingegaard eight seconds further back in the general classification.

Here's a full look at the  2024 Tour de France  standings after 11 days of competition:

Tour de France Stage 11 results

TOUR DE FRANCE:   Recap, results and standings after Stage 10

Tour de France general classification standings after Stage 11

Tour de france jersey standings after stage 11.

  • Yellow ( general classification ) : Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • Green ( points classification ):  Biniam Girmay (Intermarché - Wanty)
  • Polka dot ( mountains classification ):  Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • White  (young rider classification ):  Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep)
  • Yellow numbers ( teams classification) :  UAE Team Emirates
  • Golden numbers ( combativity award ):  Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

Tour de France Stage 12: How to watch, schedule, distance

Date : Thursday, July 11, 2024

Location : Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot (France)

Distance : 126.5 miles (203.6 km)

Type : Flat

Streaming : Peacock,  FuboTV

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58 Fun Things to Do in Marseille, France

things to do in Marseille, France

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Marseille is France’s second-largest city – and one that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Filled with great Mediterranean beach destinations, street art, and an ancient port that has become a cultural institution, Marseille offers plenty of unforgettable places to discover.

One of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Marseille is a great example of urban renewal, a place where the old and the new coexist everywhere. Unique architecture, beautiful parks, and a perfect location to explore much of Provence make this city a must-visit when you’re in France.

Take a look at the many things to do in Marseille to help you plan your trip.

Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!

  • Marseille tours

1 – Walk your way up to the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

At the top of things to do in Marseille is a visit to this 19th-century cathedral.

Perched high up on a hill, it overlooks the city and has become its most recognized landmark. The basilica is actually made up of two structures: a crypt carved directly into the rock dating back several centuries and a newer Neo-Byzantine church with a 41-meter tall bell tower. In its early years, the church served as a prison for royalty.

The inside of the church features a stunning red and gold ceiling decorated with mosaics and a 12-meter-high statue of the Madonna and Child.

A traditional or electric bike tour or segway tour includes the basilica as one of their stops, not only because of its beauty but also because it offers great views over Marseille. You can also join a walking tour that takes you up the hill to see the famous Notre Dame de la Garde up close before heading back to explore more of the city.

  • walking tours in Marseille

2 – Learn about local history at MuCEM

MuCEM, Marseille

A very unique space dedicated to regional history and culture, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is home to a number of fascinating collections.

Learn about the shaping power of protests and social movements in France, the practice of magic and sorcery in ancient Europe, how coffee took over Europe, and the work of famous artists like illustrator Gustave Soury.

Temporary exhibits have covered everything from the 16th-century history of port cities to Mediterranean cuisine to the history of the Saint-Jean fort, which is connected to the museum by a 130-meter-long footbridge.

  • MuCEM tickets

3 – Enjoy the beauty of the Cathedrale de la Major

Cathédrale La Major, Marseille

Marseille’s oldest church took 40 years to build. When it finally opened its doors in 1893, it was the size of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – large enough to hold 3,000 visitors at once.

La Major is an impressive Byzantine-style structure built using pinkish stone from a nearby quarry. It sits right at the entrance of the port and it was once the first thing people saw as they arrived via ships.

Inside, La Major is even more beautiful, decorated with Venetian mosaics and white marble imported from Carrara. There are also seven large statues of the apostles under the arches, cupolas, and balustrades spread throughout the church.

4 – Visit the historical Château d’If

Château d’If, Marseille

Just 1.5 km off Marseille’s shore, the d’If island and the fortress located on it are more famous than you might think. It’s here that big parts of the novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, are set.

The small island is completely covered by the 16th-century fortress, which features high ramparts and numerous gun platforms that make it impossible to approach safely from any direction. The fortress itself is a three-story structure that once also served as a prison, gaining comparisons to the infamous Alcatraz prison in the US.

Famous real-life prisoners that served time here include Jean-Baptiste Chataud (for bringing the bubonic plague to France) and 1800s revolutionary leader Gaston Crémieux.

A visit to the fortress also offers postcard-worthy views of Marseille.

  • Château d’If tickets

5 – Explore art, history and nature at the Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp, Marseille

Despite its name, the Longchamp Palace was actually built in 1869 as a monument to celebrate the construction of the Canal de Marseille.

In addition to a water tower, the Longchamp Palace is also home to the Musée des Beaux-Arts (which houses a large collection of French, Italian, and Spanish paintings) and the Natural History Museum of Marseille , with a special exhibition focusing on Provence wildlife.

The Zoological Gardens, which were once also housed here, closed in 1987 and all animals were relocated. Visitors can still see the Victorian-era cages in the gardens, which are now filled with flowers and life-size fiberglass animals.

The parks surrounding the palace are home to an observatory, a French garden, a small waterfall, and a number of rides and playgrounds. During the summer, live music festivals, an open-air movie theater, and a number of exhibitions are hosted there as well.

  • city tours in Marseille

6 – Breathe in some nature at the Parc Borély

Parc Borély, Marseille

At 42 acres, this is not only one of Marseille’s most beautiful urban parks but also one of the largest. The park is divided into three main gardens, including a formal English garden featuring a miniature replica of the Notre-Dame de la Garde and stunning sculptures.

The park’s promenade over along the beach connects to the Escale Borély, a lively seafront filled with bars and cafes, and there are plenty of shaded trails to explore and even a boat rental facility. The park also houses the Jardin Botanique , a 3-acre space that showcases everything from traditional Japanese gardens to a garden dedicated to medicinal plants.

The 18th-century Borely Château is worth a visit as well. It houses the Marseille Museum of Decorative Arts , with thematic rooms focusing on everything from panoramic wallpapers to exquisite porcelain tableware to a 10,000 fashion collection covering several centuries.

Not far from the park is a four-meter-high replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David, often used as a meeting point for tourists and travelers.

7 – Walk under the Porte d’Aix

Arc de Triomphe, Marseille

There are several Arc de Triomphe around France – and while the one in Paris might be the most famous, Marseille also has a beautiful one worth visiting. Originally meant to be built in 1784 to commemorate the signing of the Peace of Paris treaties, the arc wasn’t actually finished until 1839.

Decorated with bas-reliefs, elegant stonework, and giant allegorical statues and ornamental sculptures, the 18-meter tall arch marks what used to be the old entrance to the city. Today, the arch is located in a large square close to the city center and the Gare de Marseille train station.

8 – Escape to the Calanques National Park on a day trip

Calanques National Park in France

The Calanques National Park was created in part to protect the Massif des Calanques, a 20km stretch of rugged terrain with altitudes that can reach up to 1,000 meters tall.

Hiking is the park’s most popular activity, with lots of trails crisscrossing around cliffs, down to the calanque, and around sheltered bays with beautiful beaches. You can also bike from the heart of Marseille all the way to Calanque de Sormiou, where you’ll find a soft white beach, traditional wooden cabins, and a ramp from where boat tours depart.

This is also a popular destination for kayaking , snorkeling , and scuba diving – you can even learn to scuba dive with a personal instructor and earn your certificate here. For those eager to glide on water, stand up paddleboarding combines a great workout with scenic views. Guided tours and beginner lessons are available to help you get started.

For a unique experience, join a “yoga and hike” tour, which gives you four hours to enjoy a Tibetan yoga session followed by a short hike and picnic on the beach at the Calanque of Sormiou.

  • Calanques National Park day trips from Marseille

9 – Spend a day exploring Le Vieux Port of Marseille

Old Port Marseille, France

For things to do in Marseille that won’t break the bank, head out to explore the Le Vieux Port, which has been Marseille’s heart and soul for centuries. A working port since the 6th century BC, it was an active trading center for the Greeks and later served as a shipyard for galleons.

Today, Le Vieux Port has become a starting point for city tours and a popular stop for segway and bike tours. You can also catch the Petit train de Marseille here, and most walking tours also include it in their route, as its vibrant atmosphere represents the spirit of Marseille well.

A great place to enjoy open views over the water, Le Vieux Port is also a good place to catch a bite or book a local boat trip. Among the fun attractions here is the Ombrière du Vieux-Port de Marseille, a giant 1,000-square-meter mirror shade that reflects passersby as they walk under, mixing them with images of the water, sky, and the ground around.

10 – Spend a couple of hours at the Palais du Pharo

Palais du Pharo, Marseille

Built by Emperor Napoleon III in 1858, the Palais du Pharo became the Pharo School after the emperor’s death and then eventually the Institute of Tropical Medicine. The institute closed its doors in 2013, and the palace underwent some renovation to be converted into a conference center.

A number of bike tours visiting the top Marseille attractions include the palace as one of their stops. The lush gardens surrounding the palace, known as Jardin du Pharo, include a path that runs alongside the cliffs overlooking the coast.

Set in one corner of the palace is the Monument to the Heroes and Victims of the Sea. Depicting three sailors facing the sea, it’s a reminder of the many lives lost at sea over the centuries.

11 – Bask in the gentle glow and music of candlelight concerts

candlelight concerts in Marseille

Candlelight concerts are a visual and auditory delight, combining musical elegance with the city’s historical charm. Held at iconic venues such as the Théâtre des Bernardines and the majestic Palais du Pharo, these concerts immerse audiences in a sea of gentle candlelight, casting a soft, warm glow that harmonizes perfectly with the live tunes.

From the iconic melodies of the Warner Bros. repertoire and the hauntingly beautiful music of Ennio Morricone to high-energy tributes to legendary bands like Queen, each 60-minute show offers a unique journey. Sit back, relax, and let the music take over. It’s an evening where history, music, and candlelit ambiance blend, creating memories to produce pure magic. A must-experience event in the heart of the city.

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12 – Treat yourself to a street art tour exploring Le Cours Julien

street art in Marseille

The Cours Julien area of Marseille was once a popular market area, but in recent years has become known for its street art. This attracted artists, musicians and art galleries to the area, transforming the street into a lively bohemian destination that’s certainly worth a visit.

To better understand this off-the-beaten-track side of the city, consider joining a walking art tour. For two hours, an experienced guide will take you through the many alleyways, to boutiques and markets filled with great treasures and souvenirs, fresh pastries, and some of the best coffee you’ll find in the city.

Discover the work of local artists, meet artists, and pose in front of giant frescoes as you learn about the artistic movements that have shaped the city. Don’t forget to snap a photo on the colorful stairs of the Cours Julien, which connect the area to the city center.

  • street art tours in Marseille

13 – Spend a sunny afternoon at the Jardin de la Colline du Puget

Jardin de la Colline du Puget

Marseille’s oldest garden overlooks the old port and offers great views over the city and it’s a unique addition to the list of things to do in Marseille. Built in 1801 and expanded and retouched for many years, the gardens are characterized by their winding paths among trees, which both runners and cyclists love.

If you’re up for a strenuous hike, the best views are from the top of the hill. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the shady trails or take the kids to the playground.

Make sure you don’t miss the entrance to the park – it’s hard to find but well worth the effort.

14 – Uncover Notre Dame de la Garde and the city’s mysteries on an e-bike tour

bike tours in Marseille

An electric bike tour offers a unique way to explore both the heart of Marseille and its enchanting surroundings — and luckily for visitors, there are plenty of options to choose from. Choose a guided e-bike tour that takes you all the way to the scenic Calanque de Sormiou, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the towering limestone mountains and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea.

You can also choose a full-day electric bike tour of the Mediterranean coastline. Pedal through picturesque ports like Madrague Montredon and Vallon des Auffes and past coves dotted with calanques. Stop for a refreshing swim and some lunch before riding back to the city to discover iconic sites, including the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica.

  • bike tours in Marseille

15 – Check out the Basilique du Sacré Cœur Marseille

Basilique du Sacré Cœur Marseille, France

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Marseille might not be as big as other churches in the city, but it certainly makes up for it in beauty. Built in the early 20th century, the basilica was meant to serve as a WW I memorial as well as a memorial to the victims of the 1720s plague that swept through Europe.

The stunning Romano-Byzantine church is built in white freestone and features beautiful stained glass windows created at the famous Parisian Champigneulle workshops. Visitors can tour the church to see the lavish decoration or attend mass several times a week.

16 – Travel back in time at the Marseille History Museum

Marseille History Museum, France

Originally created to house archeological finds in the Marseille area, the museum has since expanded to cover urban history and the creation and growth of the city. There’s even a library housing historical books and town planning documents.

As a city that goes back to 600 BC when it was founded by the Greeks, it’s no surprise that there have been plenty of archaeological remains unearthed during the construction of local buildings. This includes a 23-meter-long 3rd-century ship hull, artifacts connected to the plague of 1720, and medieval potters’ equipment and pieces.

The museum also runs the Jardin des Vestiges, which can be accessed right from the museum’s building. The garden features the remains of an ancient 2nd or 3rd-century BC port and city walls, a defense tower, and other ruins that once belonged to Greek fortifications.

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Step inside a masterpiece by Van Gogh

tour de marseille

At Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, you can become a part of the master’s artwork thanks to incredible 360-degree projections. Get up close to every brush stroke, or enjoy a VR experience that takes you on a journey through 8 artworks and their inspiration. This is art like you’ve never seen it before.

17 – Walk the charming streets of Le Panier, the oldest district of Marseille

Le Panier, Marseille

Marseille’s oldest neighborhood was originally a Greek settlement. First established near the Old Port in 600 BC, this is the area from where Marseille grew and expanded.

By the 19th century, the district was considered the city’s poorest, dirtiest area with the worst reputation (prostitution and crime were common here), and it wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that a massive renovation project gave the area a complete makeover.

Today, le Panier is a destination for artists and designers, filled with street art and narrow stone alleyways perfect for exploring on foot. Be on the lookout for cultural sites and protected buildings, including the ‘Maison Diamantée’ (Diamond House), once home to prominent European traders, The Cabre Hotel (housed in a 16th-century mansion), and the 11th-century church of Accoules.

You can also taste what Marseille has to offer on a french chocolate tour .

18 – Step inside the stunning Abbaye Saint-Victor

Abbaye Saint-Victor, Marseille

Built in the 5th century (and rebuilt over the next few centuries), this stunning abbey has become a well-known landmark and a popular thing to do in Marseille.

By the 18th century, all the religious items, silver and gold objects, and eventually everything inside was taken or destroyed and the abbey was completely abandoned. After undergoing reconstruction in the 19th century, the abbey has become a symbol of early Christian art. The crypts, chapels, towers, and multi-layered sarcophagi inside remain a popular attraction too.

While in the area, make sure you stop by the Saint-Nicolas Fort too. Built in 1660 not only to protect against foreign attacks but also against local political unrest, the fort offers great views over the port and the sea (just climb up the ramparts).

19 – Head out to Cassis on a day trip

Cassis, France

Located just east of Marseille, Cassis is part of the French Riviera and is famous for its wines and the stunning falaises (cliffs) that surround the coastline. Nearby is also the calanque (narrow inlet) of Port-Miou, a picturesque little port surrounded by pine forests, towering limestone mountains, and the deep blue sea.

Day trips to Cassis leave from Marseille regularly and often include additional stops in places like Aix-en-Provence , where you can shop at the local market and join cheese tastings . Don’t have much time? Try a two-hour walking tour that takes you to try cheese and wines along the way.

Can spare a few more hours? Join a full-day tour that takes you to vineyards, cellars, and wineries and allows you to taste local cheeses along the way. With a knowledgeable guide along, you’ll travel the Mediterranean coast, taste the local Pastis (anis-flavored liquor), and enjoy spectacular views of the Bay on a boat tour of the area.

For a more unique tour, drive your own Jimny 4×4 jeep or convertible Beetle between Marseille and Cassis on a road 350 meters above the sea.

  • Cassis day trips from Marseille

20 – Stop by the Palais de la Bourse

Palais de la Bourse, Marseille

Currently home to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this beautiful 1860s palace is a massive 47 meters long and 30 meters high.

Famous painters and sculptors worked alongside the architect who designed the palace, and as a result, the structure features beautiful art as well as reliefs representing famous explorers like Cook, Magellan, and Columbus.

Visitors can tour the palace for free, walk its monumental marble staircase, and admire the monumental doors flanked by Corinthian columns.

While in the area, stop by Les Augustins Church. Consecrated in 1542 after construction that took almost a century, the church now features a neo-baroque façade added in the 19th century during reconstruction. Marseille artist Dominique Fossati designed the marble altar inside.

21 – Dive down to the Musée Subaquatique de Marseille

Musée Subaquatique de Marseille, France

Less than a hundred meters from Catalans’ Beach, the Underwater Museum is an extraordinary and one-of-a-kind experience.

Just as the name suggests, this unique museum is located 5 meters underwater. Here, 10 sculptures created using recycled Ph-neutral cement (which has no environmental impact) sit on the ocean floor and are meant to become not only an exhibition but also an artificial reef for the fish living in the area.

Although you can book a guided visit to the museum, it’s also possible to visit on your own, for free. Just bring swimming goggles, snorkel, and flippers and swim 100 meters out into the sea from the beach.

On your way back, spend some time on Catalans’ Beach, popular for its beach volleyball courts, plenty of corners to sunbathe, and lively atmosphere.

22 – Discover the city’s charm on two wheels with segway tours

segway tours in Marseille

Roll into Marseille’s historic heart with a Segway tour! Your guided tour starts off with a brief training session, so even Segway novices can quickly learn to maneuver their personal two-wheeled transport.

With tours lasting one to two hours, you’ll have enough time to explore Marseille’s most iconic monuments. Routes take you soaring up to the Notre Dame de La Garde for panoramic views that stretch out over Marseille, then through the quaint streets of the authentic Panier district.

Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating tales of the city’s past, highlight architectural marvels, and even suggest local delicacies to try. Segway tours offer the perfect blend of adventure and discovery, plus a chance to see more of Marseille while giving your tired feet a break!

  • segway tours in Marseille

23 – Explore the charming Le Vallon des Auffes

Le Vallon des Auffes, Marseille

Just 2.5 km from the Old Port is the Valley of the Auffes, a very unique fishing village surrounding a small port. Though technically part of Marseille’s suburbs, the village seems a world away, frozen in time, with traditional wooden fishing huts and fishing boats surrounding the harbor.

Anything caught here is served at the local restaurants, so don’t miss out on trying fresh seafood when visiting. Michelin-starred L’Epuisette restaurant is located here, just steps from the famous local arched concrete bridge.

While there are buses available to the village from the center of Marseille, you can also join an electric bike tour to the fishing villages of Madrague Montredon and Vallon des Auffes for a more charming day out.

24 – Treat your nose at the Marseille Soap Museum

The Marseille Soap Museum, France

When it comes to unique and unexpected things to do in Marseille, learning about the history of soap takes one of the top spots. Learn how soap was made thousands of years ago and see examples of old machinery, vintage adverts, and art showcasing the art (and hard work) involved in making soap.

Your guide will demonstrate the many steps needed to manufacture traditional Marseille soap and you’ll have a chance to customize your own bar of soap to take home. All of this inside a stunning former arsenal built by Louis XIV.

Head to the soap shop next door after to pick up some great souvenirs.

  • Marseille Soap Museum tickets

25 – Enjoy a day out at the Parc du 26ème Centenaire

Parc du 26ème Centenaire

Built in 2001 to celebrate 2600 years of history in Marseille, this massive 45 acres park features four distinct gardens. Explore the African garden with its sand dunes, picnic next to a lake in the English garden, or surround yourself with the soft smell of flowers in the Provencal harden.

The Arab-Andalusian Garden features a canal that ends in a large fountain, and the entire park features a massive terrace and a cafe with beautiful views of the surroundings.

Stop by the “Tree of Hope,” learn how to play petanque in one of the pre-set pitches, or take in one of the many benches around the park. You can even rent a bike to explore around.

Picasso’s Epistolary Odyssey: Rendez-vous with Genius

Pablo Picasso, Rendez-vous

Step into a unique realm at “Pablo Picasso, Rendez-vous” where the genius of painting is reimagined through 100 fictional letters penned by David Lawrence. Delve into the depths of Picasso’s influence as you explore these missives from iconic figures like David Bowie and Yves Saint-Laurent. This one-of-a-kind exhibition, nestled in the charming village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, features over 150 photographs and reproductions of Picasso’s masterpieces. Join us at Hôtel Lagoy for an unforgettable journey into the heart of 20th-century artistry.

26 – Take a day trip out to the Lavender Fields

Lavender Fields day trips

Provence is famous for its stunning lavender fields. Head into the countryside during the summer months and you’ll soon spot the purple hue of lavender spreading over the soft hills as far as the eye can see.

The best way to enjoy the lavender fields is with a tour, so you don’t have to worry about renting a car and finding your way through country roads. Many tours last all day (up to 10 hours), as they often combine visits to lavender fields with stops at charming little towns, markets, and postcard-perfect roads for plenty of photos.

The Pays de Sault region (made up of six charming villages and surrounded by a sea of lavender crops) is known as “the lavender capital of the world” and it’s a popular option for tours. It’s relatively close to Marseille and home to a lavender oil producer and plenty of cafes you can explore for lunch.

The Valensole’s lavender fields are also popular and a great option if you’d like to buy essential oils, bouquets, or handcrafted lavender products.

  • Lavender Fields day trips from Marseille

27 – Walk the historic La Canebière

La Canebière, Marseille

Marseille’s most famous avenue is, without a doubt, the 1km long La Canebière. Built in 1666 as part of the expansion of the city, the avenue was later extended all the way down to the Old Port.

As cafes opened up next to music halls and boutique hotels, the avenue has become a great place to explore and discover.

If you want to learn more about the evolution of this exciting street, you can join a two-hour guided tour to learn about the urban development triggered by the avenue and how it brought business and leisure to Marseille.

28 – Spend a classic evening at the Opéra de Marseille

Opéra de Marseille, France

The Opera House is a well-known landmark in Marseille and a popular stop on city tours.

Inaugurated in 1787, the original opera house enjoyed over a century of popularity, offering performances of major operas like Aida and Verdi’s Rigoletto. A fire started during a rehearsal in November 1919 and destroyed most of the original building, leaving only a painted panel near the stage and the colonnade still standing.

The current Opera House dates back to 1924 and is famous for its urn-shaped auditorium and the large Antoine Bourdelle sculpture standing next to the stage. Since then, many major stars (like Placido Domingo and Alfredo Kraus) have performed here, and many prestigious operas and ballets are presented here every year.

29 – Discover the city with a hop-on hop-off bus tour

bus tours in Marseille

If you’d rather go through your list of things to do in Marseille at your own pace, a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour could be the perfect solution.

Just grab your 24-hour pass and explore the 14 stops on the open-top bus route as quickly or slowly as you’d like. Get off at Fort Saint Nicolas for great views, stop at the Old Port for lunch, or visit the famous Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. When ready, get back on the bus till your next stop.

Some tours include a second line that takes you to less-visited destinations such as the Orange Velodrome. Others include a self-guided one-hour audio tour with your purchase, so you walk the narrow alleyways of the city as you listen to information about the history and culture of Marseille.

  • bus tours in Marseille

30 – Step back in time at La Vieille Charité

La Vieille Charité, Marseille

Completed in 1749, La Vieille Charité  was originally built to house the poor and give beggars a place to sleep and seek refuge. By the 19th century, the place had been transformed into a hospice for the elderly and later on into a shelter for the poor.

Abandoned during WWII and eventually restored, it is now a popular stop in city tours and a multidisciplinary center that holds the Museum of African, Oceanian and Amerindian Arts (featuring a large collection of skulls and dance masks) and the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology, with a focus on Egyptian, Greek and Middle-East antiquities.

Visitors can also stop by the International Poetry Centre of Marseille to attend readings and exhibitions, or enjoy the in-house cinema showing art house films. It’s also possible to just walk around the large wings of buildings and the courtyard housing the Baroque chapel.

31 – Take a day trip to the charming Luberon Villages

Luberon Villages, France

The Luberon region of Provence is home to a number of historical hill towns. Overlooking lush green valleys, vineyards, and lavender fields, the towns have become a charming attraction on their own.

From Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and its many markets to photogenic Roussillon and its many cafes to Gardes and its picture-perfect houses and cafes, Luberon has a world of Provençal magic to offer to visitors.

The best way to explore the beauty of the Luberon Villages is with a guided tour. Just sit back, relax, and let an experienced guide take you to the best hilltop views on a full-day trip. Walk along canals, visit castle ruins, discover antique shops, and stop at the Senanque Abbey to experience the lavender fields in bloom as you travel the picturesque Combe of Lourmarin route through Luberon.

  • Luberon Villages day trips from Marseille

32 – Say a prayer at the St. Vincent de Paul Church

St. Vincent de Paul Church, Marseille

Built in the late 1800s over the ruins of a former convent, this beautiful neo-Gothic church features two 70-meter tall spires and bronze gates. Inside, you’ll be captivated by over 1200 square meters of intricately designed stained glass windows, shining brightly in the sunlight. The interiors are peaceful and full of history.

If you’re in Marseille in mid-November, attend the Santonniers’ Mass, held before the opening of the Santons’ Fair. Santons are small sculpted figurines used in Nativity sets and are a unique part of Provençal traditions.

The Monument Des Mobiles nearby is another great photo stop. This memorial is dedicated to over a thousand soldiers who tragically lost their lives in the 1870s war. It’s not only a testament to bravery but also a spot offering a visual narrative of Marseille’s past.

33 – Try local delicacies during a food tour

food tours in Marseille

Marseille might be best known as the home of the bouillabaisse dish, but the old port city has plenty of colorful vegetables, fresh olives and plenty of Mediterranean fish to offer. Add to that great Provençal herbs and you’ll have a long list of culinary delights to explore.

Luckily, there are plenty of food tours available to help you. Let the experts guide you through the historic Le Panier neighborhood or take a tour out to the city of Aix-en-Provence, where you’ll discover local markets, taste traditional snacks and regional cheeses, and stop by gourmet eateries to sample Marseille’s delicacies.

You’ll be able to taste roasted Camembert with croutons or panisse (chickpea fries), have a picnic with local rosé or pastis (anise-flavored alcoholic drink), and discover some of Marseille’s best food stalls serving local chocolates, wines and lemonade. Most tours include 4-6 food stops for a variety of flavors.

  • food tours in Marseille

34 – Catch a game at the Stade Vélodrome

Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

This multi-purpose stadium is home to the local Olympique de Marseille soccer club but has also been used for FIFA World Cup games and rugby cup matches.

In the early days after its opening in 1937, everything from boxing to gymnastics events were held here – and while this is not as common now, you might still be able to catch some from time to time. With a capacity to sit over 67,000, this is one of the largest soccer stadiums in France.

While tickets for the big games sell months in advance, you should be able to see a local game with little notice. There are also self-guided backstage tours available that give you access to the pitch’s sides, changing rooms, and more.

35 – Step into the grandeur of Château de la Buzine

Château de la Buzine, Marseille

Built in the 19th century, the Château de la Buzine has undergone several transformations through the decades. Once a grand private residence, it now showcases elements reminiscent of neo-gothic and neo-renaissance styles — and you can see many examples of these architectural influences in its pointed arches and the intricate stonework that adorns its façade.

Today, Château de la Buzine functions as the Maison des Cinématographies de la Méditerranée — a homage to Mediterranean cinema. Here, film enthusiasts can explore a range of exhibitions, screenings, and workshops. Surrounded by lush gardens, the venue also houses a dedicated cinema hall showing both cinematic classics and contemporary productions. Throughout the year, visitors can also attend literary events, workshops, and exhibitions.

36 – Escape to the Gorges du Verdon for a day of adventure

Gorges du Verdon, Marseille

France’s favorite river located canyon is located near Marseille in the Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Over 15.5 miles long and about half a mile deep, the canyon has become a popular attraction.

The turquoise-green river running at its bottom attracts kayakers, while those driving usually stay at the top of the canyon and drive around the rim before stopping for spectacular views down into the ravine.

But the canyon is particularly famous as a canyoning and multi-pitch climbing destination, with some routes reaching heights of up to 1,300 feet.

  • canyoning in Marseille

37 – Catch the stunning sea views from Fort Saint-Jean

Fort Saint-Jean, Marseille

Built at the Old Port in 1600, Fort Saint-Jean is now part of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) and connected to it via a footbridge.

Over the centuries, the fort served many purposes. It was used as a prison during the French Revolution, then converted into barracks for the French Army to serve as the last stop for French Foreign Legion recruits before leaving for Africa.

After being occupied by the Nazis during WWII, it was eventually damaged and neglected for the next two decades. It eventually underwent extensive reconstruction starting in 1967.

Today, the fort has become a popular stop on city tours and visitors can explore exhibition galleries inside the vaulted rooms of the fort and learn about the fascinating history of the old structure.

38 – Escape the city with a boat tour

boat tours in Marseille

Marseille and the beauty of the French Riviera is best appreciated from the water. Here, boat tours are a great way to explore the coastline, get up close to the towering limestone cliffs, and reach the best spots for swimming and snorkeling in the amazingly blue waters.

There are plenty of boat trips to choose from. Enjoy a 5-hour cruise of the Calanques National Park, explore coves and enjoy swimming on a tour onboard a traditional sailing boat, or explore the Frioul Islands and the famous Château d’If on a boating adventure.

Want to end your day on the water? Head out on a sunset dinner cruise to end the day on the right note, taking in panoramic sea views of the Marseille coastline as you enjoy a delicious buffet dinner complete with two glasses of wine and free access to snorkeling equipment if you feel like jumping into the water. Choose between a traditional schooner, a luxurious yacht, or a catamaran for different experiences and prices.

  • boat tours in Marseille

39 – Join a day trip to the picturesque Arles, Les Baux and Saint Remy towns

Arles, Les Baux and Saint Remy day trips from Marseille

Want to discover some of the beautiful towns near Marseille but don’t have much time? Consider taking a day trip that combines a visit to Arles, Les Baux de Provence, and Saint Remy into one single day.

Arles is famous for its ancient amphitheater and the famous Van Gogh’s café, while Les Baux offers plenty of beautiful 16th-century architecture and is the perfect place to grab lunch.

Saint Remy , usually the last stop on tours, is where the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, where Van Gogh spent time institutionalized and a great town to shop at open-air markets.

  • Arles day trips from Marseille

40 – Shop till you drop at Marseille’s best markets

best markets in Marseille

In the mood for some shopping? Whether you’re looking for some fresh food or a place to pick up unique souvenirs, Marseille is home to some great markets. Prado Market and Cours Julien Farmers’ Market both sell fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as toys and fashion accessories, but Cours Julien is also a great place to grab some artisanal products.

For a bit of everything, there’s Le Marché aux Puces, the largest flea market in southern France. It runs Tuesdays to Sundays and offers an eclectic mix of second-hand books and home decorations to antiques and collectibles.

There’s also a second-hand book market on Square Leon Blum (don’t let its small size fool you, the selection is amazing) and a crafts market in the Old Port of Marseille (only between May and October), where you can find handcrafted Provençal products.

41 – Experience Marseille’s wonders one hike at a time

hiking in Marseille

You don’t have to leave Marseille to enjoy the thrills of hiking — guided exploration hikes are also available. For example, you can join a six-mile hike through the city’s maritime charm. This trek takes you along Marseille’s scenic waterfront, offering glimpses of the quaint fishing ports and secluded coves that dot the coastline before walking you up cobblestone alleys leading up to the iconic Notre Dame de la Garde.

Looking for more natural surroundings? Calanques National Park is just minutes away. With its rugged landscapes, turquoise waters, and dense pine forests, the park has plenty to offer hikers looking to explore the region’s natural splendor. Whether you’re hiking through Marseille or escaping to trek the wild trails of the Calanques, the area offers plenty to explore and keep you busy for days!

  • hiking in Marseille

42 – Discover Marseille’s many great art museums

Museum of Contemporary Art Marseille

Marseille has an impressive number of museums covering the city’s history and culture. It also offers plenty of great art museums, no matter if you’re looking for classical beauty or modern artists.

For modern art lovers, Musée Cantini is a must-see. With a focus on the first half of the 20th century, the museum’s collection features big names like expressionist landscape painter Charles Camoin, artist and poet Oskar Kokoschka, and painter and sculptor André Derain. They also have a significant collection of drawings (including some by Picasso) and some great art by avant-garde artist Antonin Artaud.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) showcases works created after the 1960s. The permanent collection (which consists of over 800 works, including some massive outdoor sculptures) is complemented by changing temporary exhibits. The Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain (Regional Contemporary Art Fund) also hosts a contemporary exhibition space where not only paintings and sculptures are welcome, but also film, meetings with artists, and a number of activities.

For a closer look at the beauty of Provence, the Musée Regards de Provence hosts a significant collection of art, photographs, and drawings related to Marseille.

43 – Discover Marseille’s wine tradition with a wine tour and tasting

wine tours in Marseille

The hills and countryside around Marseille are home to world-class vineyards, cellars, and wineries producing some of the best wine in France. If you want to taste a glass of rose or a full-bodied red, there are plenty of tours that will take you to the best wine destinations around Marseille.

Full-day tours usually include some sightseeing as well, taking you through medieval villages, Roman ruins, and famous places like the Pont d’Avignon, the Luberon Region or the historic city of Aix-en-Provence on your way to a great day of wine tasting in Provence.

Some tours take you to several wineries, where you’ll learn more about the history of winemaking in the area, visit the aging rooms, and have a chance to taste some of the best wines in offer.

  • wine tasting tours in Marseille

44 – Visit the unique Island of Endoume

Island of Endoume, Marseille

Just off the coast of Marseille, the Endoume archipelago is made up of Daume Island and Degaby Island, home to the Tourville Fort. Originally built in 1703 to protect the coastline of France, it was eventually abandoned until the early 2000s. After restoration and much-needed care, the fort has become a popular place for seminars and receptions and can be rented for private events.

The idyllic islands of Endoume are a great destination for snorkeling because of their clear waters and rich marine life. Rather than on a boat, tours take you to the island as part of a swim and snorkel adventure.

Since the islands are just a 10-minute swim from the coast of Marseille, your guide (an experienced swim coach) will guide you through the Mediterranean towards the islands, where you’ll have a chance to have a picnic after.

45 – Discover Marseille’s cultural scene at the Friche Belle de Mai

Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille

Housed in a former tobacco factory, Friche la Belle de Mai is a massive 45,000 square meters space that houses over 70 cultural attractions. From theaters to outdoor film venues to dance and music spaces, there’s something for everybody here. Catch an exhibition, attend a festival or concert, or browse for books before you grab lunch or sit down for a coffee.

This great urban cultural space will keep you busy for hours and the offerings are always changing, so check their calendar to see what’s on. Visit on weekends for live DJs spinning tunes and great views from the roof.

46 – Take a day trip out to the famous Avignon bridge

Avignon, France

Avignon is renowned for its historical architecture, which earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage site designation. The seat of the papacy during the 14th century and home to the Gothic Palais des Papes, Avignon is also well known for its 14th-century bridge. Better known around the world as the Bridge of Avignon, the Saint-Bénézet bridge is a major tourist attraction.

About an hour away from Marseille, Avignon makes for a perfect day trip, especially if you’re joining a tour that combines all the main attractions into one big excursion. Your professional guide will take you to see the medieval Palace of the Popes and nearby Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms, walk across the famous bridge, and marvel at a Roman aqueduct built over 2,000 years ago.

Some of the tours also include a visit to the wine country of Châteauneuf du Pape , where you’ll walk around the ruins of an old chateau and stop by local vineyards with a tradition that goes back centuries.

  • Avignon day trips from Marseille

Hot tip; Check out our list of fun things to do in Avignon

47 – Marvel at the subterranean Cosquer Méditerranée

Cosquer Méditerranée, Marseille

The underwater Cosquer Cave was discovered in 1985 by a diver. It wasn’t until a few years later that explorers realized the entrance led to a non-submerged, deeper section (37 meters under the sea) filled with prehistoric paintings.

Back in the Ice Age, the entrance to the cave wasn’t underwater and was likely easy to access by those who created the paintings. Today, only divers can reach the area to see the amazing hand stencils, animals, and other images painted on the cave walls as far back as 27,000 years BP.

Visitors can, however, head to a recently built replica of the cave, which includes an “underwater” chamber (actually a basement level that creates the illusion of being underwater), exploratory vehicles, and an audio-guide tour. A separate exhibition area gives you insight on the Homo sapiens that once lived in the area.

48 – Make the rocks your playground on a via ferrata

via ferrata in Marseille

Nestled in the breathtaking seaside locale of Calanque de Sormiou, this intriguing climbing route will help you channel your inner mountain goat. Here, you can test your agility and bravery on an exhilarating hiking pathway equipped with bridges, ropes, steel anchors in strategic places, and carefully crafted paths. The via Ferrata ensures thrill-seekers of all levels can experience the beauty of verticality safely!

As you navigate the course, you can enjoy panoramic views of the shimmering Mediterranean waters and the raw, rugged cliffs all around you. Embrace the adrenaline, soak in the natural beauty, and immerse yourself in the adventure. It’ll leave you with memories for a lifetime!

It’s quite an exciting journey promising endless thrills!

  • via ferrata in Marseille

49 – Ignite your need for speed in thrilling karting races

K.I.P. Indoor Karting

Rev up your engines and gear up for an adrenaline-pumping experience at K.I.P. Indoor Karting . Whether you’re a novice or an experienced karting driver, you’ll love the track experience at K.I.P. — the racing karts come equipped with competition bucket seats and powerful engines designed to make you feel like a real racing champion.

Traveling with kids? But it’s not just for the grown-ups. K.I.P. ensures the little speedsters aren’t left behind, boasting a special track tailored just for children. The excitement doesn’t end at the racetrack though. Beyond karting, K.I.P. is a hub of entertainment. Fancy trading the race helmet for bowling shoes? Roll a strike or two in their bowling lanes. If that’s not enough, challenge your pals in the laser game arena, or take a nostalgic trip to the game room and relive some classic arcade moments. K.I.P. is more than just karting; it’s where speed meets fun for everyone!

50 – Venture into the Wild West at Magic Park Land

Magic Park Land

This Wild West-themed amusement park is home to 42 attractions — so no matter if you’re after thrills or chilled rides, you’ll find something here! Dive into the immersive Gold Rush ride, where you can experience the rush of a mining adventure, or challenge your courage on the Desert Twister and the exciting roller coasters.

Younger adventurers will love the Tiny Tot Train for a gentle, scenic journey throughout the park. Feeling the need for speed? The park’s Canyon Race will whisk you away on a high-speed chase through the Wild West.

When you’re ready for a break, you can refuel at Le Grill restaurant, where you’ll find a good variety of skewers and BBQ dishes, or pick a snack from the food outlets around the park and find a shaded picnic table.

51 – Take a self-guided e-scooter tour

e-scooter tour

Want to cover more of Marseille in one day? Forget walking and grab an e-scooter instead. These easy-to-rent electric scooters are perfect for self-guided tours around some of Marseille’s most famous landmarks.

Scooters come with a smartphone and pre-loaded tour. Just click GO and follow the map to discover lots of fun destinations in this two-hour independent tour.

If you’d rather have a professional with you, guided tours are also available. These electric scooter tours focus on the city center and will help you explore the Panier district, bring you to the MuCem, and make your way to the Saint Jean fort and the Old Port.

For a unique experience, head out to the Calanques National Park in an all-terrain electric scooter. Spend two hours enjoying stunning panoramic views from the trails that run along the Mediterranean Sea.

  • e-scooter tours in Marseille

52 – Toast atop the world in exclusive rooftop bars

Ciel, Marseille

Marseille’s location right on the Mediterranean offers the perfect backdrop for rooftop bars with great panoramic views.

Ciel Rooftop is a must-visit, especially for its 360-degree vista of the city but also for its chic ambiance and great drink list. Just minutes away is Dantés Skylounge on the roof of the Sofitel Vieux-Port. This bar is packed with luxurious details, high-end cocktails, and views of the Old Port. Les Réformés Rooftop , set in the heart of the city, offers a more intimate atmosphere, perfect for catching the sunset.

If you’re a night owl, try R2 Le Rooftop des Terrasses , well known for its pulsating energy that goes on for hours under the stars. For a more chill environment, head to Rooftop Massilia Beach . It’s filled with urban sophistication, an extensive drink list, and mesmerizing views of Marseille’s coastline.

53 – Experience history coming alive at the Musée des Docks Romains

Musée des Docks Romains, Marseille

Although small, this museum houses one of the very few Roman commercial warehouse ruins ever discovered. The ancient maritime ruins were found during reconstruction conducted after WWII, and include remains of buildings and walls depicting the history of Roman maritime trade.

The collection also includes artifacts recovered from shipwrecks found off the coast of Marseille, and 30 amphoras and dolia, two types of large ceramic jars normally used to store wine or oil.

Additional exhibits offer lots of information on ancient trade, as well as showcasing mosaics from a nearby Roman bath and scales and coins from an ancient merchant ship.

54 – Test your smarts in one of Marseille’s many escape games

outdoor escape game

Escape games have been the rage around the world for the past few years. When visiting Marseille, you can take this a step further by experiencing an escape game that takes over the entire city. It’s a great way to explore Marseille as you solve puzzles and try to escape a zombie invasion or figure out a murder mystery.

All you need is your phone and a team of up to 6 people to get your urban escape game going. Follow the clues and carry out the required missions over a period of about two hours as you travel to famous landmarks to find secret clues. Think of it as your own private walking tour with an ultimate goal!

  • escape rooms in Marseille

55 – Tour the city onboard the unique Les Petits Trains de Marseille

Les Petits Trains de Marseille, France

The little train is a great way to discover Marseille. Just hop in, sit back and let this cute train take you for a ride.

The train runs on two main different routes, both departing from the Old Port. The Petit train du Panier one-hour-long route takes you to the Cathedral, the Docks, and the Halles de la Major, with a 30-minute stop in the Panier district so you can explore on foot. The second route, known as the Notre Dame de la Garde circuit, takes riders to La Bonne Mere, Vallon des Auffes and the Chateau d’If.

During the summer, there’s a third route to the Friuli Islands. This short 30-minute circuit takes you on a fun ride to the islands, where you’ll go past Fort Ratonneau and the Sainte Esteve beach.

56 – Experience heights and speed at Ecopark Adventures Marseille Saint-Jérôme

Ecopark Adventures Marseille Saint-Jérôme

Up for some adventures high up among the trees? At Ecoparc Marseille Saint Jerome adventure park you can find 8 different high-rope courses so you can jump, balance, and slide over a number of obstacles.

Balance over 30-meter-long moving bridges, climb rope ladders and nets, and speed down on a zipline 22 meters up in the air. You’ll even be able to catch some views of the ocean in the distance.

If you’re traveling with kids, there’s an additional rope course for kids 2-4 years old, so they can start training for bigger adventures in the future.

57 – Grab a table at one of the city’s best restaurants

Le Petit Nice Passedat

Marseille is famous for its seafood (especially Bouillabaisse, a thick, rustic fish stew) and restaurants like Le Petit Nice Passedat have helped solidify that by transforming fresh fish caught the same day into fine dishes. Add open views over the sea and you get a great destination for a date or a great night in town.

Another restaurant with great water views is Les Bords De Mer , which also uses local seasonal produce and specializes in southern French dishes. Chez Michel restaurant is a locals’ favorite for Bouillabaisse, and Saisons offers seasonal Mediterranean produce on a menu.

La Mercerie is the place to visit if you want to see the chefs in action as they prepare their ever-evolving menu. Or stop by bar-restaurant La Caravelle , where you can try their famous red tuna tataki with avocado or their pan-fried redfish Gazpacho. Bonus points for their jazz concerts and the stunning views over Notre Dame de la Garde.

58 – Enjoy a night out with a pub crawl

pub crawls in Marseille

For a great night out in town, join a Marseille pub crawl. You’ll visit several typical bars in the center of the city, where you’ll get a chance to mingle with the locals, do some shots, or grab a cocktail or two.

Your fun guide will make sure you have fun all night with drinking games and fun info about the nightlife in Marseille as you keep the party going and dance the night away. Some alcoholic beverages (usually drinking shots at each stop) are included in the price of the tour plus you’ll get special discounts on other drinks at the bars you visit.

If you’d rather explore the nightlife of Marseille on your own, there are plenty of great bars and nightclubs around to keep you occupied.

O’Malley is a cozy Irish pub offering traditional Irish vibes and pints. Les BerThoM Marseille is a great bar with a vast selection of craft beers and ales. If you’re after a secretive speakeasy bar, Carry Nation offers an impressive prohibition-era ambiance and inventive cocktails. BACK to BAC , a vibrant nightclub, keeps the dance floor moving until the early hours. Meanwhile, Le Baou Marseille is an open-air nightclub and bar with panoramic views of the city and a curated selection of trendy music.

  • pub crawls in Marseille

How to get to Marseille?

As the third largest airport in France, the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) handles lots of international flights. While there are no direct flights between the US and MRS, flights leaving from Boston and NYC connect through London or Paris to bring you to Marseille. You can also fly to Paris and catch a train to Marseille from there. At just under four hours, the train ride is a fun, comfortable way to see the views and relax.

If you’re flying into Marseille, airport transfers are a great way to save money and avoid the hassle of public transportation into town. You can choose between a private car or a minivan, but either way, you’ll enjoy a door-to-door luxury transfer directly to your hotel. Transfers are available 24 hours a day. If you’re arriving via cruise, look into joining shore excursions in Marseille , which help you explore the coastline on an electric bike tour or by boat.

Where to stay in Marseille?

From five-star dashing hotels to beach club accommodations to urban designer spaces, Marseille has sleeping options to fit every budget and taste.

If you want luxury, the Le Petit Nice – Passedat (with its own three-star Michelin restaurant and villas that overlook the ocean) and the stunning Les Bords de Mer (which offers panoramic sea views from the rooms and a world-class spa) are hard to beat.

For classic comfort and one of the best views of the city, head to the Sofitel Marseille Vieux-Port , perched on a hill and offering a bar overlooking the Old Port and an award-winning breakfast spread. If you can stretch the budget a bit more, there’s also the InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu , with views over the Old Port, a fine marine-themed décor, and grandiose spaces that will make you feel like royalty.

Despite being one of the oldest and most shabby-chic hotels in Marseille, the Grand Hotel Beauvau is quite affordable. So is Hôtel Le Ryad , which features Moroccan décor and a hidden garden to escape the noise of the city.

  • best hotels in Marseille

Visiting Marseille on a budget?

The Marseille City Pass is a great way to not only save time (no need to wait in line to get your ticket at the busiest attractions!) but also plenty of money. It gives you unlimited rides in public transportation, free entry to selected attractions and great discounts on others, plus discounts at certain shops and theaters.

Some of the top attractions covered in the pass include the African, Oceanic and Native American Art Museum, the Roman Docks Museum, the Marseille Cathedral tourist train, and the Death Camps Memorial. Passes are available for 24, 48 or 72 hours.

You should also check out the many free walking tours in Marseille . They usually last around 2 hours and take you to see some of the most important sights in Marseille, including the old port, the Jardin des Vestiges (Garden of Ruins), Marseille’s oldest neighborhood of Marseille at Le Panier (Napoleon Bonaparte had an apartment here), the Marseille Cathedral, and Fort Saint-Jean.

You’ll have a chance to hear fascinating stories from your guide and learn about the events and cultures that helped shape the city.

Where to go next?

With so many amazing things to see and do in Marseille, one day might not be enough! Booking multi-day trips from Marseille is the best way to make the most of your time in the historical city, covering more ground and exploring beyond the well-known tourist destinations.

Spend three days walking the ancient streets of Marseille, tasting local beers, and learning about the cultural importance of its many landmarks. You’ll even have a chance to participate in a photography workshop as part of the tour. Or try a three-day heritage, wines, and gastronomy tour to explore Avignon, travel the Great Southern Wine route, and visit the mansions of Aix-en-Provence and the famous Cassidain market.

For a trip away from the world, discover the Mediterranean Sea as you sail and snorkel in the blue waters on a three-day tour of the French Riviera.

There are many wonders to explore in nearby cities as well. Just two hours away, you’ll find lots of things to do in Nice , a very walkable city filled with historical architecture, a stunning promenade along the beach, and plenty of museums to discover. On the way there, you should also check out some of the many things to do in Cannes , including a stroll along the glamorous La Croisette promenade, attending the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, and exploring the historic Le Suquet district.

For a change of pace, consider checking out the long list of things to do in Montpellier . This vibrant city is known for its diverse blend of traditional and contemporary architecture, lively squares, and vibrant cultural scene.

There are many things to do in Bordeaux on the West Coast, but a visit requires an overnight trip unless you’re taking a short flight there. It’s well worth the effort, though, to discover this UNESCO world heritage city with a long history of winemaking.

For those searching for things to do in Lyon , this city is not only France’s gastronomic capital but also boasts Roman ruins, magnificent cathedrals, and great museums, making it a must-visit destination.

If you’re up for a flight, Paris is worth a stop, even if it’s just for one night. Spend a couple of days visiting the main attractions (hello Eiffel Tower and Louvre!) but don’t miss out on other exciting things to do in Paris , including the many parks and gardens and the cafe culture.

Final thoughts

From its gorgeous Mediterranean beaches to its fascinating history that includes the Romans, the Greeks, and a touch of Africa, Marseille is as unique as it is charming. You won’t run out of things to do in Marseille, a city that boasts some great museums, cutting-edge cultural spaces, and great food.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of exciting Marseille attractions and that it inspires you to visit a few places that were not on your must-see list yet! If you have anything you’d like to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment below.

As always, happy travels!

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Marseille and cycling

The city of Marcel Pagnol and Zinedine Zidane has always been part of the Tour de France history. Already on the map of the first Tour de France in 1903 as the finish of a 374-kilometer stage from Lyon, it was also included on the map of the 50th anniversary (1953), of the centenary in 2003 and, more recently, on the route of the 100th edition in 2013. 2017 is also meaningful as Marseille has been named the European capital of sport for the year. A football town, with local club Olympique Marseille the only French team to have won the most prestigious of the European Cups, Marseille can also boast a true cycling tradition. Every season, the European calendar takes off from Marseille with the Grand Prix d'Ouverture and the city has hosted the Tour de la Provence for the past two years. France's second largest city also has a professional team, Delko-Marseille-Provence. Countless riders hailed from Marseille, the most famous being Gustave Ganay, Roger Chaussabel, Louis Aimar, Raoul Rémy, Louis Rostollan, Georges Chappe, Guy Sibille, Marcel Tinazzi, Rémy di Grégorio or Maxime Bouet. But its is a rather unheralded fact that the one and only Marseille-Paris race organised in 1902 was the event that gave Geo Lefevre the idea of ​​organising a Tour de France the following year.

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Virgin Voyages' guide to Marseille, France

From France's second-largest city to its countryside, discover medieval villages frozen in time (or Van Gogh's paintings).

The Mediterranean melting pot

With the glamorous French Riviera to its east and quaint Provençal towns to its north, Marseille is the crossroads of Southern France. Its bustling port welcomes in a wave of diverse cultures giving it a distinct character that has contributed to the soul of Marseille.

Shore Excursions

The musts of Marseille

Tour two cities: marseille and aix-en-provence.

Begin with a drive to Aix-en-Provence and take to the streets on a walking tour to the cathedral. Stroll down the stunning Cours Mirabeau and enjoy some free time in the city before rejoining the coach. You'll then return to Marseille for a city tour, stopping off at sites like the famous Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral for a 360-degree panoramic view over the city. Finally, you'll head to Marseille's Vieux Port explore at your leisure before going back to the ship.

Hike the Calanques from Cassis

Enjoy a coach ride from Marseille to the tiny port town of Cassis to discover the stunning National Park of Calanques. The word “Calanques” refers to the dramatic geographic coastline of the region, with turquoise inlets and beautiful bays. Follow your hiking guide along a trail to Port Pin, and discover a small sandy beach with shallow crystalline waters. Jump in for a swim, take in the views, and enjoy some light snacks before hiking back and returning to the ship.

Mousset Estate Wine Tasting & Avignon on Your Own

Take a coach through the countryside to reach the small town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines produced here have been prized since Pope Clement V had the first vineyards harvested in the early 1300s. You’ll taste these famous Rhone blends before heading into Avignon. On a guided tour, you'll visit the spectacular Palace of the Popes before exploring on your own. Enjoy lunch on the river, walk across the bridge, and wander the historic streets that have been maintained since the Middle Ages.

More Shore Things for your wishlist...

We have even more in our curated catalog.

Sing-along from the French Revolution

Citizens marched in Paris singing “La Marseillaise” — the national anthem.

Flavors of Marseille’s Neighborhood

Stroll to two shops in Marseille’s historic quarters to try the best products from local vendors, after climbing the historic La Montée des Accoules.

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Marseille mayor tells club not to sign Man United's Greenwood

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The mayor of Marseille has told Marseille not to sign Manchester United 's Mason Greenwood , calling the forward's alleged past behaviour "unspeakable," after sources told ESPN the clubs have reached an agreement over a permanent transfer for the 22-year-old.

Greenwood spent last season on loan at Getafe . He has not played for United since being suspended by the club in January 2022 after being arrested on suspicion of rape and assault, with Greater Manchester Police confirming the existence of "social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence."

The one-time England international was subsequently charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, although the charges were later dropped due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and the announcement that "new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."

"Greenwood's behaviour is unspeakable, unacceptable," Marseille Mayor Benoît Payan told French radio station RMC on Tuesday. "Hitting his wife ... I saw images that deeply shocked me. Massacring his wife in this way is unbecoming of a man, and he cannot have his place on this team.

"The values ​​of OM and Marseille are anything but that in fact. It's a shame. I will ask [Marseille president] Pablo Longoria not to recruit Greenwood. I don't want my club to be covered with the shame of someone who hits his wife."

Sources have told ESPN that Marseille have agreed to a deal worth £26.7m ($35m), including add-ons plus a substantial sell-on clause, to sign Greenwood.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Marseille manager Roberto De Zerbi said he would hold no prejudice against Greenwood because of his past:

"Mason is a world-class player, but we have not recruited him yet. I don't know what happened, but I am not used to get involved in my players' private life. But if he comes here, you have to know that I treat all my players like my sons. I can tell them off in private, but I would never attack them in public."

Greenwood scored eight goals while on loan at Getafe last season, as well as recording six assists.

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Marseille: Ed Sheeran annonce une date supplémentaire au Vélodrome en juin 2025

Le compositeur interprète Ed  Sheeran à l'Alexandra Palace à Londres le 17 octobre 2021.

Le compositeur interprète Ed Sheeran à l'Alexandra Palace à Londres le 17 octobre 2021. - Yui Mok © 2019 AFP

La voix d' Ed Sheeran va résonner dans les travées de l'Orange Vélodrome deux soirs de suite l'année prochaine. Ce mercredi 10 juillet, les réseaux sociaux du mythique stade marseillais annoncent qu'en plus du premier concert prévu le 6 juin 2025, un second aura lieu dès le lendemain.

La billetterie, qui affiche complet pour la première date, est déjà ouverte pour le deuxième concert. Les billets sont disponibles dès 29€ sur le site de l'Orange Vélodrome .

Le Mathematics Tour multiplie les dates en France

Le chanteur britannique ajoute donc une nouvelle date à son Mathematics Tour , une tournée des stades dans le monde entier qui a débuté à Dublin le 23 avril 2022.

L'interprète de Shape Of You augmente ainsi encore un peu plus son nombre de représentations en France, puisque le concert prévu au stade Pierre-Mauroy de Villeneuve d'Ascq le 20 juin 2025 sera également suivi d'une nouvelle représentation dans le même lieu le jour suivant.

Ed Sheeran avait déjà rempli deux soirs d'affilée le Stade de France à Paris à la fin du mois de juillet 2022.

Les plus lus

Une affiche électorale du parti d'extrême droite français Rassemblement national (RN) pour les élections européennes avec des portraits dégradés du président du parti Jordan Bardella (à droite) et de la présidente du groupe parlementaire RN Marine Le Pen (à gauche), à ​​Paris le 10 juin 2024.

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France-espagne: "je n’ai pas été bon", le discours très cash de mbappé sur son euro raté, rafales, importantes précipitations... de "forts" orages attendus à partir de ce mardi soir, législatives: salaire, indemnités… combien gagne un député français, ukraine: ce que l'on sait des frappes russes qui ont fait plus de 30 morts et visé un hôpital pour enfants.

"Il faut que ça s'arrête": ces ministres pressés d'en finir avec le gouvernement actuel


  • Discover Marseille
  • Calanques, beaches and nature

The Calanques of Marseille

The cliffs of the Calanques are a natural wonder nestled between Marseille and Cassis. This unique and breathtaking scenery is an absolute must-see in Marseille! With pebble and fine sandy beaches, and miniature fjords with turquoise waters, this biodiverse jewel looks just like a postcard! It is the perfect location to sunbathe, explore the seabed, or try yourself at some water sports such as kayaking.

Whether you are planning a hike or merely enjoying the water and nature around you, this magnificent place will fulfill your every desire. Some Calanques are more accessible than others and are better suited for families. Other Calanques which are harder to reach will be perfect for hiking-lovers, and their efforts will be well worth it. This one-of-a-kind location must not be missed when visiting Marseille!


What are the Calanques?

A Calanque is a unique kind of geological formation made of limestone.  They are big rocky coves forming a steep and narrow valley inland and are mostly found around the Mediterranean sea. Here, the Calanques National Park is a protected and highly regulated area, stretching over 20 km from Marseille to Cassis, with 26 Calanques of various sizes (25 in Marseille and 1 in Cassis). Some are easily accessible and others are a lot less, but regardless, the Calanques are an absolute must-see when you visit Marseille!

Extraordinary underwater flora

Fauna and flora are everywhere in the Calanques National Park . We often forget to mention underwater vegetation. However, it is so diverse that it can be compared to an underwater garden with octopuses, anemones, urchins, seabreams, mullets but also pointed-snout wrasses, saddled seabreams, and groupers. The turquoise waters reveal a sandy seabed that stands out against the indigo of the Posidonia, an aquatic flowering plant sheltering many species. The National Park regulations allow limited access for boats and forbid any type of fishing.

Did you know?

Near Cap Morgiou, roughly 37 meters underwater, a unique submarine cave ‘La Grotte Cosquer’ has more than 200 rupestrian paintings (with penguins, seals, buffaloes, horses, men, and hands) as well as carvings. The paintings are more than 25,000 years old. This cave was discovered in 1992 by Henri Cosquer. A replica is open since June 2022 in the ‘Villa Méditerranée’ front of The Mucem.

Which Calanques shall I explore?

Even if they are all different, each Calanque of Marseille is more beautiful than the last. Some of them are harder to access and require more effort but they are well worth it! With crystal-clear waters, sheer cliffs, and fine sandy beaches, there is something for everyone. Whether you decide to hike in the National Park or to stay near the coastline of the ‘Côte Bleue’, you will be amazed by the magnificent landscapes.

  • Discover the Calanques of Marseille


How to access the Calanques? 

You need to plan your visit to the Calanques. Whether you decide to put on your hiking shoes to enjoy a trek or you would rather explore them by the water, you need to organise your visit to enjoy it to the fullest.

  • Discover how to access the Calanques

The App : Mes Calanques

Published in 2019, the app is the answer to three customers’ needs:

App for visits : practical information to prepare your visit (access, transportation, accommodation, services)

App to discover : with many hikes and geolocalised points, as well as informative pages on nature, culture, and landscapes

App for citizen contribution : visitors can comment on their experience, share their own ideas, and even partake in ‘citizen’s agenda’

The strength of the app is being able to communicate a wealth of information (data on opening and closing of the massif or of the trails) in real-time and in an automated way, as well as to pass on geolocalised information: visitors enjoy an improved experience and cannot get lost on the tracks anymore!


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La photo à la une nous vient du Parc national des Calanques département des Bouches-du-Rhône. Félicitations à stef_adventure pour cette superbe photo. #marseille #calanques #mer #trekking #paysage #provence #regionsud #igersfrance #igersmarseille #randonnée #hiking #hikingphotography #trailrunning #photoshop #calanquesdemarseille #aventure #exploration #voyage #travel #sea #nature #photography #photooftheday #sunset #sun #art #mountains #explore #horizon #adventure


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More information on the National Park


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Bardet wins hot and hilly opening Tour de France stage in Italy while Cavendish struggles


France’s Romain Bardet, right, crosses the finish line with teammate Netherlands’ Frank van den Broek, left, to win the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

New overall leader France’s Romain Bardet, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium after the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

France’s Romain Bardet crosses the finish line to win the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Four Astana Qazaqstan Team riders set the pace for Britain’s Mark Cavendish, rear, who got distanced from the pack during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

France’s Romain Bardet, front, and teammate Netherlands’ Frank van den Broek ride breakaway during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The pack rides during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Monaco’s Prince Albert, center, Sara Funaro, mayor of Florence, center left, and Tour director Christian Prudhomme, right, pose during the official opening ceremony during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The pack speeds down Col de Valico Tre Faggi during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

New overall leader France’s Romain Bardet, right, thanked teammate Netherlands’ Frank van den Broek as he crosses the finish line to win the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 206 kilometers (128 miles) with start in Florence and finish in Rimini, Italy, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

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RIMINI, Italy (AP) — Two-time podium finisher Romain Bardet won the opening stage of the Tour de France and claimed the yellow jersey for the first time on Saturday.

Combined with severe heat, one of the most challenging opening legs in recent memory created problems for Mark Cavendish and many other riders as cycling’s biggest race began in Italy for the first time.

Tadej Pogacar, who is aiming to follow up his Giro d’Italia title with a third Tour trophy, and two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard both finished safely in the main pack, though.

Vingegaard’s performance was especially encouraging, considering he was hospitalized for nearly two weeks in April following a high-speed crash in the Tour of the Basque Country. He sustained a broken collarbone and ribs and a collapsed lung and had not raced since.

Bardet, the Frenchman who finished second in 2016 and third in 2017 and is racing his last Tour, attacked with slightly more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) to go. He caught up with his DSM-Firmenich PostNL teammate Frank van den Broek, who was in an early breakaway, and the pair just barely held off the onrushing peloton in the flat finish.

Bardet surged ahead of his teammate at the line and pointed to him to say, “Thank you.”


“It’s crazy. I didn’t know the course particularly well but Frank was really, really strong out in front and then I felt that I had nothing to lose,” Bardet said of his rookie teammate, who was riding his first ever Tour stage. “He really deserves this win just as much as me, because he did all of the work.”

It was Bardet’s fourth career stage win in the Tour, and first since 2017. He had never worn the yellow jersey before.

“The yellow jersey was the last goal of my career. But, to be honest, I had come to terms with it,” said Bardet, who had announced he will retire this year. “I’ve been really close before. I’ve been within touching distance. I’ve just never been able to do it. Today, I wasn’t sure it was going to happen but I had a great teammate with me.”

The 206-kilometer (128-mile) route from Florence to the Adriatic coastal resort of Rimini featured seven categorized climbs and more than 3,600 meters (11,800 feet) of ascending. The temperature soared to 36 degrees (97 F).

Cavendish vomited twice and dropped far behind on the very first climb, putting at risk his pursuit of breaking a tie with Eddy Merckx for the most career stage wins in the Tour. But he just finished within the time limit. Cavendish and Merckx have 34 wins each.

World champion Mathieu Van der Poel was dropped midway through the stage when Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates squad started accelerating at the front of the peloton up the fourth climb of the day.

The opening four stages are in Italy, marking the first time in the 121-year history of the Tour that the race has begun in France’s southern neighbor.

Bardet and Van den Broek finished with the same time of slightly more than five hours.

Wout van Aert won a sprint for third, crossing five seconds behind, and Pogacar crossed fourth with the same time.

“It was incredibly hot, and then we had the wind in our faces, so it was a really extraordinary scenario that we were taking on,” Bardet said.

In the overall standings, Bardet leads Van den Broek by four seconds with Van Aert 11 seconds back in third. Pogacar stands fourth, 15 seconds back — the same gap as Vingegaard.

There was an early mishap for Czech rider Jan Hirt, who broke three teeth when he collided with a spectator’s backpack in the neutral zone before the actual start of the stage. A key support rider for Remco Evenepoel at Soudal-Quick Step, Hirt still managed to complete the stage.

Stage 2 on Sunday is also hilly, following a 199-kilometer (124-mile) route from Cesenatico to Bologna. The stage is dedicated to 1998 Tour champion Marco Pantani, who was from Cesenatico, and will pass by a museum dedicated to the Italian rider, who died in 2004.

Because of a clash with the Olympics, the Tour will finish in Nice on July 21, five days before the Paris Games open.

AP cycling:

tour de marseille


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