A tourist destination combining culture and authenticity
Are you looking for an urban tourist destination in France that combines authenticity and culture? Marseille, a cosmopolitan city open to the Mediterranean, invites you on a journey to the confluence of the European and African worlds. Museums, festivals, art galleries, designer neighborhoods, each discovery introduces you to a new facet of Marseille’s plural, whimsical, warm and often exuberant identity.
Museums for everyone
The first museum dedicated to the different cultures of the Mediterranean, the Mucem has been attracting visitors from France, Europe and around the world since its inauguration in 2013. Taking its place facing the sea, in a bold building designed by Rudy Ricciotti, the Mucem has also taken possession of Fort Saint-Jean, a historic citadel whose walls date back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. A place of culture, the museum captivates visitors with its permanent and temporary exhibitions. A place to live, with its promenades, terraces offering spectacular views and restaurants, Mucem offers a unique view of the city. Opposite the Mucem, step back in time and discover a treasure of our heritage, the replica of the Cosquer Cave.
The Museum of the History of Marseille and the Ancient Port, completely renovated, invites you to discover all the riches of France’s oldest city. Relying on the latest technologies, the museographic tour takes you on a journey through time spanning more than 2,600 years. From Massalia the Greek to Massilia the Latin, to the contemporary city of Marseille, you’ll experience an epic that spans several millennia. You can also complete your journey through the centuries with a visit to the Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne (MAM), housed in the historic buildings of the Vieille Charité.
Musée Cantini, meanwhile, invites you to admire works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. André Derain, Charles Camoin, Dufy, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Léger and Le Corbusier are all represented.
Wondering where to go in France for a cultural getaway? Modern Arts, Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Natural History, discover all Marseille museums!
Must-see tourist monuments
Are you looking for a destination to go to in France that’s home to many remarkable buildings? Constantly inhabited, Marseille hasn’t preserved many vestiges of its ancient past. But many monuments bear witness to its particularly long history.
Notre-Dame de la Garde built atop a hill south of the Vieux-Port, dominates the entire city. Built on the foundations of an ancient fort, some of whose ramparts remain, the neo-Byzantine basilica features remarkable mosaics and numerous ex-votos. Above all, it embodies the spirit of the city, and Marseillais continue to place their joys and sorrows in the hands of the “Good Mother”.
The If castle, built on an island during the reign of François I in the 16th century, and remodeled by Vauban in the early 18th century, was transformed into a prison for several centuries. Accessible by sea shuttle, this monument attracts many visitors every year.
The Palais Longchamp, erected in the 19th century, is actually a water tower designed to accommodate the waters of the Durance, brought to Marseille via a network of canals and aqueducts. The monumental architectural complex houses two museums in its wings: the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle.
The Saint-Victor Abbey, with its castle-like appearance, boasts unique Palaeochristian crypts, where numerous sculpted sarcophagi lie. A must-see destination for lovers of culture and history!
Colorful, authentic neighborhoods
Are you looking for an urban destination and don’t know where to go in France? With its 111 official districts, Marseille has many faces and guarantees plenty of surprises.
The Panier district, the historic center of the Phocaean city, invites you to stroll through its narrow streets and squares, where cafés and artisan boutiques await you. Popular and colorful, the Panier inspired the fictional Mistral district, the setting for the TV series Plus Belle la Vie.
Le cours Julien is now one of the city’s liveliest and trendiest neighborhoods. Its bars and cafés, its boutiques, its musicians and craftsmen, its façades that serve as canvases for street-art artists make the “Cours Ju” an atypical place, which is also easily visited on foot.
The Canebière, returned to pedestrians since the return of the tramway to the heart of the city, is certainly Marseille’s most emblematic avenue. From the Eglise des Réformés, you can walk down the Canebière to the Vieux-Port, and rest for a few minutes under the shade designed by Norman Foster.
Modern urban areas or preserved village hearts in the heart of France’s second-largest city, discover Marseille’s 111 neighborhoods, meeting the city’s many facets!
Festivals, exhibitions and events
Marseille’s intense cultural life can also be discovered all year round, through the festivals, exhibitions and events organized throughout the year.
Marsatac gives fans of hip-hop, electro, rock and more recently African music a rendezvous every year in late spring.
Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents takes over the Phocaean city every summer, bringing it to life for several days to the rhythm of jazz.
La Fiesta des Suds gets world music fans fired up every autumn, taking them on a journey to the countries of Latin America, Africa and Southern Europe.
Summer Festival, Freestyle Cup, Delta, Festival de Marseille, Acontraluz, Festival des Mots des Étoiles … Discover Marseille’s music festivals and cultural gatherings!