Things to do in

Marseille

France’s second-largest city combines Provencal cuisine, Mediterranean cruises, and diverse culture.

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The 7 Best Things to See in Marseille

Wondering what to do in Marseille? This port-side city is the second largest in France, and offers maritime sightseeing, history, and nightlife on the sunny south coast. Let our guide of the best tourism and attractions give you a flavor.

  • The Old Port

    1. The Old Port

    The thriving heart of Marseille, this is the prettiest part of town and a great place to catch boat tours or soak up the atmosphere. Use the free ferry to cross the harbor.

  • Notre Dame de la Guarde

    2. Notre Dame de la Guarde

    Looming over the city is this popular attraction - a Catholic Basilica with an unmissable gold statue of the Madonna and Child, known locally as la bonne mère, at its crest.

  • Palais Longchamp

    3. Palais Longchamp

    This grand monument houses the French Natural History Museum and the Musee de Beaux-arts, so a visit kills three birds with one stone. Museum admissions are charged individually.

  • Marseille Cathedrale

    4. Marseille Cathedrale

    Catch the train up the hill in summer to see this beautiful cathedral and enjoy wonderful views of the harbor and sea below. One of the best sightseeing spots in the city.

  • Catalanques

    5. Catalanques

    Lace up some sensible footwear to explore these amazing Mediterranean coves. Best enjoyed as part of a walk, hire a car or book an organized trip to get there.

  • Abbaye Saint Victor

    6. Abbaye Saint Victor

    Ready for Roman architecture? Enjoy the views, explore the crypts and be sure to grab yourself a 'navette' - a local pastry made with Pastis - from the bakery out front.

  • Nouveau Stade Vélodrome

    7. Nouveau Stade Vélodrome

    The French love their sport, as this 67,000 seat stadium attests. Home to rugby and football, you can visit and tour the stadium by booking through the website. It costs 13€.

Frequently asked questions about Marseille

Planning Your Visit

  • What is Marseille famous for?

    France is probably most famous for its amazing and indulgent food, and this harbor town is no exception. Seafood is the dish of the day, most notably bouillabaisse - a delicious fish and seafood soup.

  • How to get there

    Marseille is best accessed by plane – check the local airport site to see who flies there from your city – or by train from mainland Europe or the UK. It's also a popular stop-off for cruise ships.

  • Getting around

    Taxis are not cheap in this cosmopolitan city, but public transport is plentiful. A great way to see the city is by bike, using the cycle hire system. You will need to register and have a credit card handy. See the Le Velo website for more information.

Good to know

  • Language
    French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +33
  • Best time to visit
    The temperature is pleasant year-round and Marseille enjoys a nice breeze, being coastal. July is packed with crowds celebrating Bastille Day, so if you want to avoid the rush, consider going earlier or later in the season.

Other Sightseeing Options in Marseille

Want to discover all there is to do in Marseille? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Marseille

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 2,612 reviews

Upon arrival we were welcomed aboard and offered coffee and croissants while we were given a review of the boat. We then cruised over to a beautiful bay where we set anchor and could swim or enjoy a delicious lunch of salmon and several fresh salads and a tart au pomme for dessert. After relaxing, jumping in or putting our feet in the water we set sail for another beautiful bay from where we saw the island from which The Count of Monte Cristo escaped. Alexader Dumas loved and was inspired by Marseille as am I.

The tour was in two parts, and we had enough time to go around and taste some local food in both cases! In Cassis, there was enough time for either a boat ride or train ride for 45mins. Our guide was also super interesting!

Had a wonderful time in Marseille on the catamaran on October 1. The water was warm for a Canadian :) the crew was kind and interesting to talk to. The food was great and the atmosphere was relaxing. Would recommend!

The captain was great. The boat nice and clean. The food of good quality. Unfortunately the temperature didn’t cooperate so we couldn’t swim in the creek where we stopped. We loved it and would do it again.

It was a great day, we don't speak French but that didn't stop us from having a great day out. Hosts were amazing and everyone was very kind. It was exactly what they described. Loved it!