Illuminations Noel 2023 Hkotlcm 26

Ideas for Christmas vacations in Marseille

December 22, 2023 >January 7, 2024

Discover the joys of Christmas in Marseille! From illuminated streets to festive markets, Marseille is transformed into a winter wonderland for families! Looking for ideas for outings? Sporty, unusual or classic, here’s a small selection. Let us be your guide and discover Marseille with your family this festive season!

Published on 22 December 2023

The must-see Christmas outings

The Old Port

The first thing that springs to mind when you’re in Marseille during the Christmas season is, of course, the Foire aux santons! Held on the Vieux-Port opposite the Samaritaine, it’s open every day from 10am to 7pm, and until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and is an essential part of Provencal traditions during the festive season. Not far from there, down the Canebière and Place Général de Gaulle, you’ll find the Christmas market. This year, a host of events in the city center and in all the city’s districts will offer magical moments for the whole family.

At Docks Village

The Docks Village is all decked out for Christmas! Breathtaking decorations and, of course, an unmissable meeting with Santa Claus! (Santa Claus and his elves will be in town on December 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16 and 17 from 12pm to 6pm). Workshops, entertainment, ice rinks and even snowball throwing await you for an unforgettable time!
Find out more about events at Docks Village.

Discover the city

Guided tours

During all vacation periods, the Tourist Office offers guided tours for the whole family. Street art in the Cours Julien district, an enigma game to discover Ancient Marseille around the Old Port, a playful tour of the Cité Radieuse, a storytelling tour to discover the history of Marseille, or a treasure hunt at Borely. There’s so much to see, so much to do!

> Discover all family-friendly tours

Invader was here

Take your kids on a hunt for Space Invaders! These colorful little mosaics are hidden all over the city! During the summer of 2020, street artist Invader installed his works all over the Phocéenne city, and there are almost 97 of them! It’s up to you to find them!

Discover the city in a different way

Why not discover the city on a Tuk Tuk, an electric bike or a scooter? These original activities will leave you with extraordinary memories of Marseille. Or would you rather be on foot? Then opt for an outdoor escape game!
Marseille is bursting with activities, unusual and otherwise, so you’re bound to find one that suits you!

Take to the high seas

On a cool but sunny day, hop on a boat and discover the Count of Monte Cristo on the island of Château d’If! Just 30 minutes by boat from the Old Port, the Château d’If offers a breathtaking view over the bay of Marseille. During the vacations, discover the mysteries of the island with the whole family!
Find out more about the “if en famille” tour

The must-see Notre-Dame de la Garde

If there’s one thing you must see in Marseille, it’s the famous Notre-Dame de la Garde! You can get there by foot (allow a good 20 minutes from the Vieux-Port), by bike or by bus (N°60), but the best way to get there with children is on the little tourist train, which takes you directly to the Good Mother!
Book your ticket for the little train

looking for nature

Discover the educational farms

Open every day during the vacations. Children will learn about the environment, farm animals and the natural world around them. There are several educational farms in Marseille.

Take a breath of fresh air in Marseille’s flowerbeds

Fancy a nice winter walk with the family? Thanks to its topography, Marseilles abounds in beautiful nature trails for everyone to enjoy, from breathtaking views to forest immersion. Here are our ideas for walks in and around Marseilles for a complete change of scenery.

And don’t forget our parks and gardens!

Marseille is also home to over 700 hectares of parks and gardens throughout the city. Take advantage of the autumn vacations to come and spend a lovely day out with the whole family. Some even offer children’s and parents’ workshops, such as the botanical garden at Parc Borely.

Eager to learn

Everything you need to know about the planets

Visit the Planetarium in the garden of the Palais Longchamp.
A different program every day during the school vacations, with tours for the very young and the very young at heart, so they’ll know all about the stars!

Activities in the city’s museums

For curious little ones, visits and activities are planned throughout the Christmas vacations at most of the city’s museums. From nocturnal safaris at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle to nature-based art workshops at the Préau des Accoules, storytelling tours at the Musée d’Arts Africains, Océaniens, Amérindiens, Christmas creative workshops at Château Borely and themed courses and workshops at Château de la Buzine, there’s something for all tastes and ages!

For OM fans

Visits to the Orange Vélodrome stadium take place every day during the Christmas vacations, so your kids will know everything there is to know about their favorite team!

Learn all the secrets of Marseille Soap

Marseille soap is famous the world over. But did you really know how this famous soap is made? During the All Saints’ Day vacations, Marseille’s soap factories are offering free tours, but please note that reservations are required! You’ll find these tours at the Savonnerie du Midi and the Savonnerie du Fer à Cheval . Or, if you prefer, you can visit the Soap Museum on the Old Port.

The Museum of Illusion

Opened just a few months ago, the Musée de l’illusion is a real stunner! Spanning almost 700 m2 of floor space, you and your family can enjoy a range of disturbing and astonishing visual experiences that will turn your senses and your perception of reality upside down! An incredible experience for the whole family.

Feel like moving

Take your kids to the Bowl du Prado or the skate park at Friche Belle de Mai, and they’ll have a ball! Are your kids more of a Tarzan? Take them on a tree climbing adventure and why not join them in their acrobatics!

W is here … so why not try a winter sport like ice skating? Head to the Palais omnisports Marseille Grand-Est for a skating rink worthy of the Olympic Games!

Weather not cooperating?

Don’t panic! Even if it’s raining, cold or Mistral windy, there’s never a dull moment in Marseille!

Play parks

For younger children, Royal Kid or Magic City are real fun! Children can play in giant games to their heart’s content. Urban Jump and KIP are multi-purpose indoor playgrounds for teenagers, offering indoor go-karting, lasergaming, bowling and giant trampolining.

Escape games

There are plenty of escape games in Marseille, for Harry Potter fans, mystery buffs, movie buffs and older people who want to scare the crap out of themselves! From the most mysterious to the most frightening, your kids and teens will find what they’re looking for! (illucity, time out, panic room, Dark dreams)

For the more adventurous

The climbing walls are not to be outdone! Suitable for all levels (even the youngest), you and your family can enjoy the climbing gyms in the Phocaean city.(Altissimo, la boite à grimpe, Climb Up…)