If you’re traveling to a certain port city in the south of France, your itinerary should include exploring its numerous facets. There are many things to do in Marseille including experiencing the charm of the Old Port, visiting the cathedrals and trying out delicious seafood. You can also find exciting and free things to do in Marseille such as spending the day at gorgeous parks and strolling along picturesque seaside roadways. No matter what your idea of fun is, you’ll certainly find it. Here’s a look at what to do in Marseille.
10 exciting things to do in Marseille
1. Explore the Old Port
Marseille’s biggest tourist draw is the Old Port and it’s easy to see why. It offers many things to do in Marseille in 1 day as there are several attractions here. You can head to the Sainte Marie lighthouse, take the ferry from one side of the port to the other, check out the restaurants and bars that pepper the area, and visit the Museum of Old Marseille that showcases marine artifacts.
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2. Take a walk along La Corniche
The picturesque seaside roadway of La Corniche lets you appreciate the Mediterranean Sea in all its glory and a fun thing to do in Marseille is to take a walk along the stretch. It goes on for 5 kilometers and although there aren’t a lot of activities to engage in, you’ll be glad you checked it out. Photo ops are numerous as are opportunities for sketching and painting.
3. Enjoy a wide variety of seafood
One of the best things to do in Marseille is to enjoy the varied seafood. You can dine at small family-run eateries or head to large fancy restaurants. Be sure to try the bouillabaisse, a fish stew that has its origins in Marseille. It’s some of the best you’ll ever have!
4. Visit the Rove Tunnel
In Marseille, things to do usually include exploring its history and coastal allure. But, if you want to check out something that’s a little offbeat, try the Rove Tunnel. It’s a 7-kilometer abandoned tunnel that dates back to the early 1900s. It was built to link Marseille Harbor to the Rhone River.
It eventually collapsed and was closed. While there are aren’t really any other attractions, exploring the tunnel is a fun and unique thing to do in Marseille especially if you love marveling at bygone buildings and structures.
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5. Hike the Parc National des Calanques
Take time to explore the natural landscape of this port city. One of the top 10 things to do in Marseille is to hike the Parc National des Calanques, a gorgeous display of Marseille’s outdoor beauty. Limestone cliffs create a lovely contrast with the blue of the water while the highest peak, Mont Puget, invites you to climb its craggy façade.
6. Spend the day at Longchamp Park
A must-do on our Marseille what to do list is to spend the day at Longchamp Park. It’s home to the stunning Palais Longchamp, a monument that houses two museums. Statues and fountains grace the grounds while shady trees and lawns provide an inviting place to relax and take it all in.
7. Go Museum-hopping
The city has its fair share of museums and one of the top things to do in Marseille is to check them out. While at the Palais Longchamp, be sure to visit the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. You should also make your way to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations that’s known for its contemporary design featuring a porous concrete cube surrounding the center.
8. Visit medieval cathedrals in Marseille
You can’t visit the port city without taking in the cathedrals. In fact, some of the best activities to do in Marseille include checking out such notable buildings as the Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, Cathédrale de la Major, and Église des Réformés.
9. Savor the colorful Marseille nightlife
There are a lot of things to do in Marseille at night and we don’t just mean the bar scene. You can catch orchestral concerts, ballets, and plays at venues like La Criee Theater and the Théâtre de l’Odéon. If you’re in the mood for something light, head to La Quai du Rire that hosts comedians and performances that will leave you in hysterics.
10. Explore the Marseille Christmas Market
If you’re visiting during the festive season, a can’t-miss thing to do in Marseille in December is to shop at the Christmas Market. There’s plenty to buy including paintings, ceramics, decorations, and food. Try to pick up a few bars of the famous Savon de Marseille, which is the handmade soap that’s been produced for hundreds of years.
These experiences give you an insight into the mesmerizing city that Marseille truly is! With plenty of attractions accompanied by super exciting French vibes, this is the place where you must be headed on your next trip to France!
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