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The port city of Marseille is a lively, multicultural destination with more than its share of history and art. Just a quick look at the places to visit in Marseille will have you wondering how to fit them all in your itinerary. The Old Port exudes character and charm and is packed with attractions.

If you have only a day to spend in the city, it should be here. As you venture out, you’ll find parks and museums and cultural centers, all of which help you experience the best of Marseille tourism.

With so many must-visits, we’re putting together a list of what to see in Marseille. See if you can cover them all!

10 Best Places To Visit In Marseille

This list of the must visit places in Marseille will help you plan the perfect itinerary for an authentic French holiday experience.

1. Old Port

offers many different things to experience

Vieux Port or Old Port is one of the top Marseille points of interest. It’s now the center of restaurants, cafes and hotels that sit alongside historical buildings like the Sainte Marie lighthouse and Maison Diamantée. The lively marina offers many different things to experience like browsing the fish market and riding the ferry.

Ideal for: Leisure

Suggested Read: 10 Elegant Resorts In France For A Lavish Yet Comfortable Holiday

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2. Notre-Dame de la Garde

offers some of the most stunning views

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Every Marseille tour should include a visit to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, an important symbol of the city that also offers some of the most stunning views. The basilica features a Roman-Byzantine style of architecture with multicolored stones and mosaics. On the outside, a huge statue of the Virgin Mary stands atop the bell tower.

Ideal for: Leisure, history

3. Château d’If

place you should not miss

The island prison of Château d’If was the setting for Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Even if you haven’t read the book, it’s a place you shouldn’t miss. The 16th century fortress didn’t see much action during its time but its popularity in fictional works including the 1971 film, The French Connection, has made it one of the biggest Marseille tourist attractions.

Ideal for: History, leisure

4. Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations

dedicated to Mediterranean culture

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is neither old nor historical. In fact, if you’ve been touring the city’s historical sites, it comes as a surprise. The cube-shaped building exudes an ultra-modern style and houses a collection of exhibits dedicated to Mediterranean culture. You’ll want to make it part of your Marseille sightseeing tour especially if you crave a contemporary flavor.

Ideal for: History, leisure

Suggested Read: Top 6 Things To Do In France That May Sound Cliché But Are Totally Inevitable

5. Fort Saint-Jean

offers the best views of the Notre-Dame

At the entrance of the Port of Marseille is Fort Saint-Jean, a fortification built on a hill that offers the best views of the Notre-Dame de la Garde and the city. It stands adjacent to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations and is connected to it via a bridge. The 17th century structure incorporates two earlier buildings, the commandery of the Order of the Knights of Saint John and the 15th century tower of Rene I, the king of Provence.

Ideal for: History

6. Marseille Cathedral

provides splendid views of the sea

This national monument of France is a magnificent example of the Romanesque-Byzantine style and is a must-see when you visit Marseille. The cathedral has a seating capacity of 3,000 and provides splendid views of the sea. It stands on the site of a former 5th century church. Inside, you’ll find mosaics and marble inlaid floors as well as ornate light fixtures and statues.

Ideal for: History

Suggested Read: 5 Exquisite Beaches Near Marseille That Are Perfect For A Fun Day Out In 2022!

7. La Vieille Charité

Egyptian and classical antiquities

This erstwhile almshouse is now a museum and cultural center. It’s one of the best places to see in Marseille especially if you love art and history. Explore museum collections revolving around Egyptian and classical antiquities and when you’re done, pop into Charity Café for daily specials and drinks.

Ideal for: History

Suggested Read: 12 Museums In France Where You Get To Be A Part Of Its Glorious History

8. Parc Borély

a picturesque park to unwind

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There’s nothing like a picturesque park to unwind at and Parc Borély invites you to do just that. It’s classified as one of the Notable Gardens of France. It features several small gardens in different styles, sculptures, monuments and museums like the Borely Castle. Entry is free and you can visit anytime from 6am to 9pm.

Ideal for: Leisure

9. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille

collection of Italian paintings and sculptures

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Explore art from the 16th century through to the 19th at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, an unmissable place to visit in Marseille. It’s located in the Palais Longchamp and contains an invaluable collection of Italian and Provencal paintings and sculptures. Be sure to check out the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Marseille, which is also housed here.

Ideal for: History, leisure

Suggested Read: 10 National Parks In France For The Perfect Escapade Into The Wilderness In 2022

10. Noailles

where you can experience all the liveliness of market

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There’s something special about markets. Maybe it’s the energy or seeing life flow at a throbbing pace. Noailles is one such place to visit in Marseille where you can experience all the liveliness of a market. The neighborhood has a daily market where you can shop for fabrics and food, spices and homeware. You don’t have to shop for anything; just feeling the buzz is thrill enough!

Place for: Leisure

Looking at the above fantastic places to visit in Marseille, we know you would surely want to include them in your French Holiday. So choose the places that you loved the most and start planning!

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