10 Things to Do in Marseille
Heading to Marseille and looking for things to do? Check out our guide for our best recommendations in this gorgeous destination!
Marseille is one of our favourite destinations in south France. And it’s perfect for a myriad of holidays with its amazing beaches, great food, and lively culture. No matter what you’re after, Marseille has something for you. Want to know more about this amazing destination? Then check out our guide to our top recommendations for 10 things to do in Marseille!
First up on our list for 10 things to do in Marseille is Vieux Port, where the city all began! Easily the most Instagrammable and popular spot in Marseille, you’ll love the vibe here. It’s a great place for photos, a romantic walk at sunset, and is perfect for boat watching. There’s also a ferris wheel here you have to check out! And if you’re looking for something to eat or drink, there are tons of great bars, brasseries, and cafes for you to recharge and relax at.
2. Notre Dame de la Garde
This landmark is hard to miss given its immense presence over the city. Perched atop a hill giving you a full view of Marseille, Notre Dame de la Garde is a must visit. Aside from its architectural splendour, the views from the church’s staggering 42 meter tower are impressive. But don’t be scared away by its location: you can grab a bus from the city centre, and it leaves every 20 mins. But if you’re brave enough, we promise it’s worth the trek up the hill!
3. Cours Julien
Next up on our list of 10 things to do in Marseille is Cours Julien. Considered to be the trendiest area in Marseille, it’s full of life, culture, and activity. The main square here hosts various morning markets throughout the week, and include everything from food and fresh flowers to antique books. Cours Julien is also known to be home to some incredible food and drink spots, amazing street art, and shops, so missing it isn’t really an option!
4. Cathédrale de la Major
After food, drink, and fashion, France is famous for its churches. Cathédrale de la Major overlooks the water and is another great thing to do while in Marseille. Like most churches, entrance is free.
5. Le Panier
Translated to, ‘the basket’, this is the oldest neighbourhood in Marseille and easily the most charming. La Panier dates back to 600 BC, and is a former Greek settlement. No matter the time of day, wandering around this picturesque area will keep you busy. Full of colourful shops, small galleries, and great food options, you’ll love spending time here. No wonder it makes our list for 10 things to do in Marseille.
Curious to explore the outskirts of Marseille? Then head to the small fishing village of Cassis. And if you consider yourself a wine lover, then you absolutely have to check it out. The area is famous for its fine variations of rosé and white wine, and enjoying it in a beautiful fishing village is an experience you won’t soon forget! There’s nothing better at the end of the day than grabbing a bottle, sitting on the dock, and watching the fishing boats pass by while the sun sets. Sounds like a dream, right?!
If you’re after some nice outdoor adventures while in Marseille, then head to Calanques! Stretching across the shoreline between Marseille and Cassis, Calanques is characterised by steep valleys and clear, turquoise water. So if you come in summer, you know this spot is a must visit. Calanques is also a great area for hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, and snorkelling. But if you just want to lay on the beach, or explore for beautiful scenery, you can do that, too!
8. Palais Longchamp
Built in 1869 to celebrate the construction of the Canal de Marseille, Palais Longchamp is one Marseille’s most majestic historical sites. The architecture incorporates lots of water, including several grand ponds and a manmade waterfall. But this spot isn’t just about the palace’s grandeur: Palais Longchamp is also where you’ll find the city’s Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History Museum. And once you’re done, you can wander around Parc Longchamp, a lush parkland listed as one of the Notable Gardens of France.
9. Château d’If
Located on a tiny island in the harbour, Château d’If is one of the most interesting spots to visit in Marseille. The 16th century fortress formerly homed political prisoners, so taking a tour of the historical landmark is recommended. And if you’re a literature fan, you probably recognise this landmark from, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. And getting here is easy! Boats depart every 10 times a day, and costs roughly 11€ roundtrip.
10. Take to the seas
And last but certainly not least on our list of 10 things to do in Marseille is a trip to the beach! Whether you want to relax, or head out on the water, you’ll be spoiled with choice here. Being a coastal city, you’ll find flotillas of boats that can take you out for tours, fishing trips, or even some deep-sea diving.
And as for the beaches, you’ll have plenty to choose from. And the best part of Marseille’s beaches? They all differ in landscape and vibe! Some have rocky beaches, while others have sand. So if you want to chill out, catch some surf, or just enjoy some drinks at a beachside bar, you’ll find something! Our favourites include Plage du Roucas Blanc, Plage Borély, and Plage Bonneveine. Your best bet is to always ask reception and tell them what you’re after so they can refer you to the best beach for you!
Where to Stay in Marseille
Vertigo Vieux-Port Hostel is our top recommendation in Marseille. Located in the Old Port area, it’s walking distance from beaches, bars, clubs, and other notable landmarks. Offering both dorms and private rooms, you’ll love their charming decor and comfy atmosphere. They also offer a range of activities and excursions, and have cosy common areas for you to chill in after a long day in the sun. The staff at Vertigo will make you feel at home!
10 Things to Do in Marseille
Ready to plan your holidays in this amazing destination? Marseille is ready to host you! And if you’re looking for more inspiration or helpful information to plan your vacation, check out more blog posts here. And for all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.