A Provençal city with a rich culture
Must-see historic monuments
Notre-Dame de la Garde, also known as Bonne Mère, is a basilica rising to 154 meters, offering panoramic views over Marseille. An emblematic figure of the Phocaean city, she watches over fishermen, sailors and the entire population of Marseille. With its architectural beauty, it is the most visited monument in Marseille. You can reach it by tourist train, by bus (N°60) or on foot, for the more adventurous.
A Marseille landmark since the 19th century, the Palais Longchamp houses the Fine-Arts museum, one of Marseille’s oldest museums, and the Natural History Museum. Originally built to bring water from the Durance into the city, this monument remains a true architectural feat.
A religious, cultural and symbolic monument in equal measure, the Saint-Victor abbey is a vestige of Marseille’s history located just a stone’s throw from the Old Port. A visit to this edifice and its crypts immerses you in the city’s religious past. You can also enjoy an unobstructed view of the Vieux-Portof Marseille. No doubt the abbey will satisfy culture lovers!
For François Ier, the Château d’If had to fulfill a triple function: protect the coasts from invasion, cover the exits and anchorage of the royal galley fleet, and keep an eye on Marseille. A former state prison for three centuries, this fortress built on an island is accessible via a maritime shuttle and attracts many visitors every year.
A diversity of museums
Inaugurated in 2013 by President François Hollande, the Mucem – Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée – is located facing the sea in an original building designed by Rudy Ricciotti. The first major national museum dedicated to the Mediterranean, it is a place of exchange where history, archaeology, anthropology, art history and contemporary art mingle. Since its opening, the museum has attracted many curious visitors thanks to its permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Created in 1819, the Natural History Museum of Marseille presents an impressive showcase of naturalistand heritage curiosities. At the crossroads of the natural spaces of Europe and the Mediterranean, this museum relies on the most advanced technologies to offer you a museographic journey that plunges you thousands of years back in time.
The Cantini museum invites you to discover the works of contemporary artists such as André Derain, Charles Camoin, Dufy, Fernand Léger and Le Corbusier.
Bustling, authentic neighborhoods
Assuredly the neighborhood you think of when you think of Marseille, the Vieux-Port district allows tourists to admire the etals of freshly caught fish merchants every morning. You can even rest for a few minutes under the shade designed by Norman Foster. Opposite the Vieux-Port is the Canebière, Marseille’s most emblematic pedestrian avenue. It has been returned to pedestrians since the return of the tramway to the heart of the city.
Composed of narrow, colorful streets, the Panier district is the oldest neighborhood in the Phocaean city. To discover it, you’ll need to be ready to climb its staircases! It’s the perfect place to wander, shop in artisan boutiques or simply drink a coffee. This colorful neighborhood was made famous by the TV series Plus belle la vie, which drew inspiration from it to build the fictional quartier du Mistral.
If you want to discover Marseille’s liveliest and trendiest neighborhood, head to cours Julien! It’s an atypical place where street art culture is widely disseminated. Bars, restaurants, boutiques and musicians enliven this Marseille neighborhood easily visited on foot. Why not sample one of the Marseillaise culinary specialties?