©Chateau d'If, Frioul, Marseille|Edwige Lamy

Where to travel in September for a sunny break? Marseille, of course!

Would you like to spend your summer vacations in the sun in September? Are you 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, beach, 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 Mediterranean landscape.

Discover Marseille in September in the sun: cultural visits

Must-see sights between history, culture and heritage

Welcoming nearly 2 million visitors every year, the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde is a Roman-Byzantine edifice that watches over fishermen, sailors and the people of Marseille. Christened by Marseillais Bonne Mère, you can get there on foot (for the bravest), by bus (N°60) or by taking the petit train touristique departing from the Vieux-Port.

The first major national museum devoted to the Mediterranean, the Mucem offers permanent and temporary exhibitions on a variety of themes (history, anthropology, archaeology, art history and contemporary art). Imagined by Rudy Ricciotti, this cultural establishment with its original design is a cultural city open to the open sea. An integral part of the museum, the fort Saint-Jean is a perfect place to stroll under the sun in the gardens open to the public, discovering countless little secrets.

A former state prison, the château d’If is a must-see when visiting Marseille. Located on an island accessible via a maritime shuttle, this fortress cradled by the Mediterranean sun seduces thousands of visitors every year. If you’re a connoisseur of the works of Alexandre Dumas, you’ll be aware that the hero of the novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo is imprisoned within this feudal building.

Another unmissable landmark in the Phocaean city, the palais Longchamp represents a water anthem of unparalleled beauty. Originally built to welcome the waters of the Durance into the city, this water tower has several entities: the Fine-Arts Museum of Marseille (in the left wing), the Natural History Museum of Marseille (in the right wing), a public garden with observatory (at the rear of the building). If you’re visiting Marseille in September, this is a must-see to admire the sunlight sublimating the waterfall of this architecturally impressive palace.


Bustling, authentic neighborhoods

Beyond the unmissable Old Port district, there are many authentic neighborhoods to discover during your stay in Marseille. The Panier district, the oldest district of the Phocaean city, seduces many tourists with its colored and planted alleys, its artisanal shops and its warm bistros. A little anecdote: the producers of the series Plus belle la vie were inspired by this part of the city to build the fictional district of Mistral, the place where the main characters cross paths.

Now head for Marseille’s 6th arrondissement, where we find the bohemian Notre-Dame-du-Mont district. Renowned for the colored graffiti on the stairs of the cours Julien and for independent bands performing in small concert halls, this neighborhood brings together street musicians playing in alleys lined with bookshops and vintage chandleries. In the sunshine, stop off at the terrace of a local bistro to sample some of Marseille’s culinary specialties, you won’t be disappointed!

For fans of the round ball, the Orange Vélodrome stadium is sure to delight. Living a soccer match is an experience in itself, especially in the Phocaean city, where the fans of Olympique de Marseille give their all. Outside match days, you can immerse yourself in the world of the club thanks to the tours organized within the stadium. Book your tickets now for the OM Stadium Tour, which is definitely worth the detour.

The phocaean city, between land and sea

The Calanques National Park

The first national park in Europe that is at once terrestrial, marine, island and peri-urban, the Calanques National Park is located between Marseille and La Ciotat. A grandiose site with a fragile balance, it is made up of 5,000 hectares of majestic landscapes and 20 kilometers of coastline at the gateway to France’s second largest city. When you visit in September, plan a hike into the heart of the calanques to discover heritage treasures rich in biodiversity. It’s the ideal place to take a few souvenir photos of your trip to Marseille.

Bouillabaisse, a typical Provencal dish

A staple of Marseille’s gastronomy, bouillabaisse will make your taste buds salivate during your stay in the Phocaean city. This typically Mediterranean preparation is served in two different dishes: the poisson, on one side, the bouillon, on the other. This fish soup is traditionally accompanied by garlic-rubbed croutons on which rouille, (a sauce made from egg, mustard, garlic, olive oil, saffron, chilli and paprika) is spread. A glass of white Bandol or white Côte de Provence goes perfectly with this Marseille specialty.

Why go to Marseille in September?

Events in September

Many events take place in Marseille in September. These include the Foire internationale de Marseille. This is an event held at Marseille’s parc Chanot where artists, artisans and exhibitors from different countries around the world come together to share their international works and products. This large-scale fair attractsover 1,300 exhibitors and nearly 350,000 visitors, positioning it as the 4th largest general public event in France.

In late August or early September, depending on the year, the festival Acontraluz attracts large numbers to celebrate the end of summer in the company of underground electro artists. Held over two days, this event takes place on the esplanade du J4 – or promenade Robert Laffont – located at the foot of Fort Saint-Jean.

Another event scheduled for September: the Festival international de la satire, de la caricature et du dessin de presse. Founded in 2011, it is organized in the Estaque district in northern Marseille. The aim of the association behind the event is to promote encounters between cartoonists from different countries, all in a friendly spirit. The festival thus serves as an interface for fighting against oppression and discrimination by defending freedom of expression and citizen participation.

On the program: sun, swimming and cultural visits

The month of September is the perfect time to take a trip to Marseille. Theever-present sun will accompany you throughout your stay as if it were July or August, but without the influx of tourists! With temperatures soaring to over 30°C, you’ll no doubt want to pick a head in the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea. 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 traveling in September, you’ll also benefit from discounts on your hotel and transportation. In fact, prices generally drop outside school periods. As you can see,there are plenty of advantages for going on vacation in September to discover the city of Marseille. But to ensure that Marseille holds no secrets for you, plan your trip now with the Marseille Tourist Office, Leisure and Convention Bureau!