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best places to visit in marseille

10 Places to Visit in Marseille in 2024

Visualize yourself soaking up the refreshing sea breeze while exploring Marseille’s old streets; that will be enough to make you want to head out for this euphoric experience! Marseille is France's oldest and second-largest city on the Mediterranean coast in the country's southeastern part. Known for its vibrant, multicultural atmosphere and delectable food, among other things, today, it's a popular destination for tourists who come to enjoy its beautiful coastline, historic landmarks, and cultural attractions.

If you plan to visit this luxe, classical French city, check out this list of top ten places to visit in Marseille to ensure a pleasant and memorable trip!

List Of Top 10 Places To Visit In Marseille That Will Captivate Your Senses

France is a charming country with various exotic cities, and Marseilles is no exception. With its quaint character that exudes a vintage aura, Marseille tourist attractions will surely leave you enamoured of the city. Marseille has a busy port, and its Mediterranean location offers visitors a beautiful view of the blue sea waters. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Marseille that must find a way into your itinerary.

  • Notre-Dame de la Garde | A Mesmerizing Hilltop Church
  • Old Port (Vieux Port) of Marseille | The Picturesque Harbour
  • Le Panier | A Delight For The Wayfarers
  • MuCEM (Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée) | The Illustrious Mediterranean Museum
  • Calanques National Park | Nature’s Paradise
  • The Château d'If | A Delight For Literature Fanatics
  • The Marseille Cathedral | A Spectacular Work Of Art And Architecture
  • The Palais Longchamp | A Testament To Marseille’s Cultural Heritage
  • Parc Borély | For A Peaceful Day Amidst Nature
  • Noailles | For The Shopper Inside You

1. Notre-Dame de la Garde | A Mesmerizing Hilltop Church

This hilltop basilica is a unique emblem of Marseille, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea. Regular masses are held in this church as it is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics. This church's intricate architecture and exquisite interior design make it a vision to behold! If you are an architecture or design enthusiast, this monument is definitely a must-visit! Religious or spiritually inclined tourists will also find themselves enthralled by the pious energy of this church. To top it off, you can indulge in clicking some selfies whilst you enjoy the glorious hilltop view.

  • Timings: 7 am – 8 pm
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Address: Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13281 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in Notre-Dame de la Garde: Explore the cathedral’s architectural styles, arches, mosaics, religious artefacts, stained glass windows, picturesque hilltop view, religious site

2. Old Port (Vieux Port) of Marseille | The Picturesque Harbour

One could consider the Old Port the cornerstone of Marseille - its historical and cultural heart. Today, the Vieux Port is a destination that would find one of the top positions in the list of Marseille tourist attractions. Lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, this tourist spot provides sightseers a stimulating and bustling ambience. Visitors can relish a stroll along the harbour, enjoy a meal overlooking the water, or take a boat tour of the surrounding area. The restaurants' specialities are seafood delicacies like bouillabaisse (fish stew).

  • Timings: 24 hrs
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Address: Vieux-Port de Marseille, 13001 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in Vieux Port: Enjoy the scenic sea view, seafood delicacies (like bouillabaisse), Marseille History Museum, Marseille Opera House

3. Le Panier | A Delight For The Wayfarers

A historic neighbourhood located on a hill just north of the Vieux Port, Le Panier is one of the city's oldest and most picturesque areas. It is well known for its narrow streets, colourful buildings, vibrant murals, and refreshing atmosphere. It is a popular destination where you can explore its winding streets, quaint squares, and charming cafes and shops. The neighborhood's allure engages visitors with its striking artistic, old-fashioned character. The walkways host a bunch of artisan boutiques, art galleries, and outdoor cafes that will transport you straight into a romantic novel.

  • Timings: 24 hrs
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Address: Le Panier, 13002 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in Le Panier: artwork, graffitis, artistic streets, cafes, markets, bakeries, confectioneries

4. MuCEM (Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée) | The Illustrious Mediterranean Museum

Located on the waterfront near the Vieux Port, this modern museum is distinguished for its fascinating exhibits and beautiful architecture. One of the city's most popular cultural attractions, the museum showcases collections and artefacts covering a wide range of topics, including art, archaeology, anthropology, and the history of the Mediterranean world. Like most other Marseille tourist attractions, the museum also provides a scenic view of the sea and the city. Tourists with a penchant for history, art, and culture will especially find this tourist spot a delight!

  • Timings: 10 am – 6 pm
  • Entry Fee: €11
  • Address: 7 Promenade Robert Laffont (Esplanade du J4), Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in MuCEM: Discover the European and Mediterranean culture, modern architecture, panoramic waterfront view, shows, concerts, documentaries, exhibitions

5. Calanques National Park | Nature’s Paradise

This natural park, located just 10 miles from Marseille, offers rocky cliffs, turquoise waters, and hidden beaches. It is the perfect place for fun activities like hiking, swimming, sunbathing, rock climbing, and boating. Known for its astounding natural beauty, the park features a series of narrow coves, or calanques, carved into the rocky limestone cliffs along the coast. These calanques are inhabited by a variety of endemic plant and animal species. Nature lovers are bound to be engrossed in the unique natural heritage of this park's rugged landscape.

  • Timings: 24 hrs
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Address: Bât A4, Parc Valad, Impasse Paradou, 13009 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in Calanques National Park: leisure and sports activities, a perfect destination for wildlife photography, family outing, picnic spots, refreshing natural landscapes

6. The Château d'If | A Delight For Literature Fanatics

The Château d'If is a fortress on a small island in the Bay of Marseille. Built in the 16th century as a defensive stronghold to protect Marseille from invaders, this tourist spot was later memorialized in the novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. This fortress holds its enigma and is sure to entice literature lovers. Visitors can take a boat from Marseille to the island and explore the fortress, which also features exhibits on the history of the fortress and the famous novel set there.

  • Timings: 10 am – 6 pm
  • Entry Fee: €6
  • Address: Embarcadère Frioul If, 1 Quai de la Fraternité, 13001 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in The Château d'If: literature reference (novel), breathtaking terrace view, history of prisons, museum

7. The Marseille Cathedral | A Spectacular Work Of Art And Architecture

The Marseille Cathedral, also known as the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure, is one of the largest cathedrals in France. Regarded as a masterpiece of 19th-century architecture, this cathedral will leave visitors spellbound with its exquisite design elements. The cathedral also features several important works of art, including a 17th-century painting of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and a statue of Saint Martha, the patron saint of Marseille. Art enthusiasts will have a gala time in this extraordinary artistic space.

  • Timings: 8.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Address: Place de la Major, 13002 Marseille
  • Major Attracting Features in The Marseille Cathedral: beautiful interiors, Byzantine and Romanesque architectural styles, domes, mosaics, statues, side chapels, religious relics

8. The Palais Longchamp | A Testament To Marseille’s Cultural Heritage