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10 Most Remarkable Tourist Sites And Places To Visit In Marseille

10 Most Remarkable Tourist Sites And Places To Visit In Marseille

Marseille is yet another beautiful city in France which is also known as Europe's generous capital for its distinctive culture and folk tradition. It is the second-largest city in the country and is situated on the seashore of the Mediterranean. There is no shortage of tourist sites and places to visit in Marseille that will make you fall in love with their charm. 

From its famous old port to the lovely district of Le Panier, there is an endless list of attractions in this wonderful French city. Let's take a look at the top 10 best places to visit in Marseille to make the most of your trip. 

Top 10 Places To Visit In Marseille 

1. Le Panier

Le Panier is the oldest district in the city of Marseille which once served as the Greek colony of Massalia during 600 BC. The district later evolved and was later populated by immigrants from the Maghreb and Corsican regions. Visiting here is a good option if you dreamt of getting lost on European streets. 

While in the Le Panier district, you will find stone stairways, colorful walls, and streets with corridors. Le Panier was one of the poorest districts of Marseille but now it has emerged as a trendy district having plenty of boutiques, street arts, cafes, and restaurants.

Major Highlights:

  • Place de Lenche 
  • Place des Pistoles
  • The Rue du Panier
  • La Vieille Charité
  • Place des Moulins 
  • Street Art

Also Read: 10 Notable Tourist Sites and Things To Do In Lyon City of France 

2. Old Port

Also known as the Le Vieux Port, the Old Port of Marseille has been in use since the ancient Greek era and was established around 2,400 years ago. The Old Port is one of the most recommended places to visit Marseille and something which you must not miss. The port encompasses several historical buildings including the old fort and a cathedral. 

Things To Do:

  • Visit the Old Fort
  • Visit the Cathedral 
  • Grab a spot at the Outdoor patio
  • Take a city pass to explore the major tourist sites

3, Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

You must have heard of the Notre Dame of Paris, but Marseille city also has its own Notre Dame named the Notre Dame de la Garde. It is situated at the top of the hill and is one of the best places to visit in Marseille if you want to experience the breathtaking panoramic views of Marseille. Also, there is a huge statue of the virgin mary at the top of Bell Tower and it looks as if she is watching the sailors. 

You must not miss visiting the Notre-Dame de la Garde. Reach here either by walking 150 meters above or grabbing a tourist train to enjoy the views. It is best advised to come earlier in the morning as the afternoon is usually crowded. 

Things To Do: 

  • Explore the Notre-Dame 
  • Panoramic city view 
  • Explore other attractions like MuCEM museum, Mediterranean Villa, and Abbey of Saint-Victor

Also Read: 10 Most Thrilling Outdoor Activities And Things To Do In France

4. La Plaine and Noailles

The lovely neighborhood represents the modern-day lifestyle of Marseille. The La Plaine and Noailles are situated just east of Old Port and it is yet another region having African settlements. The major center of attraction here is the public market which operates from Monday to Saturday. 

The public market of Le Plaine sells various products and cuisines that originated from North Africa and Arab countries including scents, kebabs, and many more. Just like the old district of Le Panier, Le Plaine also has several cafes, boutiques, and bars. 

Things To Do:

  • Visit Public Market 
  • Try Arabian Cuisine 
  • Visit African market
  • Explore cafes, boutiques, and bars

5. MuCEM

Mucem is a uniquely built next-generation museum that sits on Marseille's waterfront near the Fort de Saint-Jean. The architecture is so beautiful, that will leave you awestruck the moment you reach here. It houses a collection of historical artifacts including an exhibition of photography. 

Most of the tourists who come here have noticed that the exhibition keeps changing its collections from time to time and houses some of the most diverse collections you would ever see. Around 2 million tourists visit this museum every year making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in France.

  • Explore the photography exhibition 
  • Visit Fort Saint-Jean 
  • Enjoy beautiful sea views 
  • Boat tour 

6. Fort Saint-Jean 

Situated just near the MuCEM museum at the entrance of Old Port, the Fort Saint-Jean is a 17th-century castle built by King Louis XIV. The fortress was used to imprison political prisoners at the time of the French revolution. The fort was destroyed during World War II due to an explosion and reconstructed after 30 years of destruction.

Now Fort Saint-Jean is linked with MuCEM via a footbridge. If you are planning to visit MuCEM then don't forget to include this beautiful castle on your bucket list.

Things To Do: 

  • Explore the photography exhibition at the MuCEM museum 
  • Visit MuCEM museum 
  • Enjoy beautiful sea views 
  • Boat tour

Also Read: Discover The 12 Best Historical And Beautiful Places In France

7. The Longchamp Palace

The Longchamp Palace was built in 1862 in order to celebrate the arrival of Durance waters, thus a fountain is built just in front of this palace. It is a must-see attraction in the city and you surely admire its architecture. Also, the Longchamp Palace has a museum of fine arts that dates back to 1801. 

Try to visit after the evening, to witness the spectacular night scene as it lit up. Other than the museum, it also has one of the notable gardens of France "Parc Longchamp", a zoo, statuary, and classical French garden.

Major Highlights:

  • Visit the museum 
  • Visit the Parc Longchamp Garden
  • Do take photographs 
  • Take a walk and discover the castle from outside

8. Calanques National Park

Visiting this exceptional beauty is considered one of the must-do activities while you are traveling to the generous capital of Europe. The Calanques National Park is surrounded by limestone cliffs and creeks which can be experienced either on land or through the water. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush then do visit here and spend the entire day witnessing its breathtaking natural beauty.

Calanques is the only national park in Europe that is situated near an urban area and covers both land and sea. If you're planning to reach the creek on foot then do carry good hiking shoes. 

Things To Do: 

  • Boat tour
  • Hiking
  • Hit the beach area
  • Explore Limestone cliffs
  • Kayaking near the national park 

9. The Beaches of Marseille

As you are in Marseille, you will definitely wish to spend some time near the sea. If so, then why not hit one of the beaches as there are several stunning beaches that surround the city. The most popular among all the beaches is Catalans beach which is just a few km away from the city center. If you are accompanied by children then consider going to Prophet's beach, the most popular beach in the city.

Other Beaches To Visit: 

  • La Pointe Rouge
  • La Couronne
  • Baie des Singes
  • Anse de la Maronaise
  • The Prado

Also Read: “France” an ultimate destination for beaches and resorts

10. Vieille Charite

Vieille Charite was once used as the old almshouse from which several poor people were aided. Now it serves as the museum and cultural center of the city. The building went through several restorations over the centuries and currently houses two of the major museums i.e Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Art of Africa. 

The courtyard of Vieille Charite has a Baroque chapel which is believed to be the authentic design of a famous architect named Pierre Puget. If you want to experience the local culture of Marseille then head towards the art market and do some shopping.

Things To Do: 

  • Visit Museum 
  • Shop at Art Market
  • Hit the Bar
  • Spend some time at Cafe

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