Where to go in September in France? Marseille, of course!

Would you like to go on vacation in September? Still hesitating about where to go? Whether you’re away for a few days or more than a week, Marseille welcomes you for an unforgettable stay that rhymes with sun, sea and city. As a family, a couple or with friends, there’s no doubt that the Phocéenne city is one of the emblematic destinations of the Provencal landscape.

Cultural diversity at the heart of the Phocaean city

Discovering iconic historical monuments

Commonly nicknamed Bonne Mère by locals, the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica towers up to 154 meters above the city of Marseille. A true symbol of the Phocaean city, she cares for fishermen, sailors and the people of Marseille. Today, this monument with its splendid architectural style is the most visited by tourists in Marseille. If you’d like to get there, you can take the small tourist train that stops at the foot of the basilica, the n°60 bus or simply get there on foot.

Another must-see place in Marseille, the Palais Longchamp is an ode to water and nature. Initially, this palace was built to bring the waters of the Durance River to the city, a true architectural feat for its time. Today, it houses two museums: the Fine-Arts Museum of Marseille and the Natural History Museum of Marseille.

For lovers of history and culture, the Saint-Victor abbey is undoubtedly one of the places not to be missed in Marseille on your September trip. Close to the Vieux-Port, this historic vestige immerses you in the city’s religious past.

Classified as a historic monument since 1926, the Château d’If receives an average of 100,000 visitors a year. An integral part of the Frioul archipelago, Ile d’If is a havre of peace for tourists who venture there. Royal fortification, the Château d’If is immortalized by the legendary Comte de Monte Cristo, hero of Alexandre Dumas’ novel. On your September trip, enjoy an impressive viewover Marseille by accessing the island via a sea shuttle.

Museums for young and old

The Mucem – Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée – has been one of Marseille’s most visited cultural venues since its inauguration in 2013 by President François Hollande. Distinguishing itself from afar, its modern architecture imagined by Rudy Ricciotti combines technical prowess with aesthetic power. A place of exchange where different fields intersect, the Mucem offers permanent and temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Located in the right wing of the Palais Longchamp, the Natural History Museum of Marseille houses various thematic rooms. The Safari Muséum room exhibits over 300 species of naturalized animals, some of which are threatened or have disappeared. The Terre des Hommes room recounts the history of man up to the metal age. The museum offers tours using the most recent technologies to plunge you millennia back in time.

Visible at 19 rue Grignan in Marseille, the Cantini museum houses collections of modern and contemporary art, including one of the most important in France covering the period 1900-1980. Among the artists represented are André Derain, Charles Camoin, Dufy, Fernand Léger and even Le Corbusier.

At the heart of colorful, lively neighborhoods

Probably the first district you think of when referring to Marseille, the Vieux-Port district represents the throbbing heart of the city. Here, you can buy freshly caught fish, stroll along the quay or the iconic Canebière or celebrate the victories of the Olympique de Marseille. Now, the ombrière designed by Norman Foster has become the center of attraction for many tourists. They come here to take photos, enjoying the mirror effect of this installation.

Want to wander during your September stay in Marseille? Then the Panier district will become your favorite spot. Between its colorful alleys, its craft shops and its lively terraces, the oldest and most typical district of the city will seduce you whether you’re a couple, with your children or with friends. It was popularized by the TV series Plus belle la vie, which drew inspiration from it to set up the imaginary Mistral district.

Dedicated mainly to street art, the cours Julien allows you to combine shopping and relaxation while admiring the many graffiti located in the surrounding streets. If you want to get away from the crowds and the big shopping streets, head for this colorful “boheme” neighborhood, which hosts different markets every month (la Plaine market, organic market, farmers’ market, designers’ market…).

A journey between land and sea

At the heart of the Calanques National Parks

Between Marseille and Cassis, the Calanques National Park offers a experience both on land and at sea. For example, you can venture out onto the authorized paths for a hike to discover the heritage treasures and no fewer than 140 animal and plant species on land. If you’re more seaside, you’ll enjoy an indescribable view of the Mediterranean Sea in which you can swim and cool off. The Calanques have nothing to envy the landscapes of Greece, Italy or Spain!”

The Côte bleue north of the city

North of Marseille, not far from the Estaque, lies the Côte bleue made up of small ports, beaches and criques. Far from the city center, this idyllic spot offers children, parents, couples and friends unforgettable moments of relaxation. The activities are numerous: swimming, scuba diving, water sports and walking on the marked trails.

The Garlaban massif, in the footsteps of Pagnol

In his writings, Marcel Pagnol describes his childhood memories of the hills of the Garlaban massif, between Marseille and Aubagne. Hiking enthusiasts? The many valleys will undoubtedly delight you. If you want to discover all the must-see places from Marcel Pagnol’s childhood story, allow 15 minutes from the Col d’Aubignane to see it all.

Why go to Marseille in September?

September is the perfect time to take a trip to Marseille. With the sun still shining, you’ll be able to enjoy your stay as if it were July or August, but without the influx of tourists! With temperatures soaring to over 30°C, there’s no doubt you’ll want to pick a head in the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea. Rain may, from time to time invite itself in September ,but is not disturbing to carry out various tourist activities.

Beyond the sunny climate, Marseille is an attractive city thanks to its historic monuments, its cultural richness, its culinary specialties and its breathtaking landscapes.

When you travel in September, you’ll also benefit from discounts on your accommodation and transport. In fact, it’s well known that prices drop outside the school season. Many establishments and transport companies offer lower prices in the off-season, no matter which country you’re visiting.

As you’ve clearly understood, the advantages are numerous for going on vacation in September to discover the Phocaean city. But to ensure that Marseille holds no secrets for you, plan your trip now with the Office Métropolitain de Tourisme et des Congrès de Marseille!