Short on time?

A half-day tour of Marseille

You’ve got 4 hours to spare to visit Marseille and want to see the must-sees in one afternoon or morning? Here’s our suggested itinerary to get the most out of Marseille in the shortest possible time!

Published on 22 June 2023

A stroll through the Panier to the Mucem

Start your visit from the Tourist Office, located on the Canebière. Walk past the Palais de la Bourse and turn right towards the Jardin des Vestiges. You can see the ancient ramparts, “Crinas Wall” dating from the 3rd century BC, as well as a city gate protected by two towers. Continue along the Grand Rue towards Le Panier. In this street, the oldest house in Marseille: the Hôtel de Cabre; which has the peculiarity of having been moved on a chassis over nearly 15 meters, and having undergone a rotation of 90° during a redevelopment of the district after the 2nd World War. You can see the former inscription “Rue Bonneterie” on its facade. Go to Place Bargemon below the majestic Hôtel Dieu, and you’ll see the Pavillon Daviel but also a building curiously adorned with pointed-cut stones: the Maison Diamantée, one of the oldest houses in Marseille.

You then enter the famous district of Le Panier. Once past the Eglise des Accoules, take the climb of the same name (it’s uphill, don’t forget that this district was built on 3 hills!). Stroll through the flowery, colorful alleyways, discover the many designer boutiques and take a tour of the Vieille Charité, an emblematic monument built of pink and white stone.

Once out of this maze of charming streets, you’ll arrive at the Esplanade de la Tourette, from which you’ll catch a glimpse of the grandiose Cathédrale de la Major, but also the unique architecture of the Mucem (depending on how much time you have, don’t hesitate to take a tour of the Mucem gardens, from which you have a splendid view of the harbor entrance and the sea). Right next to the Mucem is also the Villa Méditerranée, home to the replica of the Grotte Cosquer!

Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica

Then we invite you to head back down to the Quai du Port and take bus no. 60 (Capitainerie stop), which will take you directly to Notre-Dame de la Garde, the symbol par excellence of the Phocaean city. After a twenty-minute ride, you’ll discover the exceptional panorama before you: a 360° view of Marseille. On one side, the city and its many recognizable monuments: the Orange Vélodrome stadium, the Palais Longchamp, the Cathédrale de la Major, the Eglise des Réformés, the Vieux-Port which now seem so small…

On the other side the calanques massif, a vast expanse of nature stretching as far as La Ciotat and facing the Grande Bleue. Also visible are the islands of the Frioul archipelago and the Château d’If, as well as the Archipel de Riou a little further on. Next time you’re in Marseille, don’t hesitate to take a boat trip to the Calanques National Park to see them up close!

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