Open your eyes, you are in Marseille

The best views of Marseille

There are many magnificent views in Marseille: whether by the sea or on the heights of the city, we reveal to you the most beautiful views of the Phocaean city!

Published on 26 September 2022

Square of the Gare Saint-Charles

No sooner had we arrived in the heart of the city of Marseille than we were perched on top of the Saint Charles hill. From the esplanade of the station, we have a bird’s eye view of the whole city, with the bonus of the monumental sculpted staircase of 104 steps and a little cuckoo clock to Notre-Dame de la Garde just opposite.

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde

If you have to remember only one point of view, it’s this one. It is the best spot when you arrive in Marseille to get a 360° view of the city, the interweaving of its districts, the omnipresence of the sea, and to guess the Calanques National Park further south. People come here to recharge their batteries, whatever their religion, to take a breath of oxygen, especially when the Mistral wind blows, to dream while looking at the horizon, to gain height, both literally and figuratively. The Basilica, renamed “la Bonne Mère”, built in the middle of the 19th century, is also worth a visit!

The Tourette esplanade

For a perfect view that encompasses both the Old Port and Notre-Dame de la Garde, head for the Tourette esplanade and the square in front of the Saint-Laurent church, also known as the “fishermen’s parish”, perched on the Saint-Laurent hill. This is one of the most famous views in Marseille, but one that never leaves you indifferent.

Fort Saint Jean

Now part of the Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisation), this defensive site built on the orders of Louis XIV to watch out for the enemy or to keep an eye on the historically rebellious inhabitants of Marseille, offers a very useful walkway to enjoy the view of the Old Port and the harbour of Marseille. You can settle down in the stone deckchairs provided for this purpose and open your eyes wide.

The Butte de Saint-Victor

On the southern side of the Old Port, the square in front of the Abbaye de Saint-Victor is the place to be if you want to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in Marseille over an aperitif with pastis, a local afterwork tradition, for example on the terrace of the Café de l’Abbaye, which is a Marseilles institution! All this lulled by the sound of the boat masts just below and the scent of orange blossom from the “Four des Navettes” biscuit factory, also an institution of its kind.

The Pharo garden

This public garden, well known to the inhabitants of Marseille, is home to the Palais du Pharo, built under Napoleon III for the Empress Eugénie. Between two walks in pushchairs or outdoor sports sessions, you can enjoy the soothing view of the jewels of Marseille’s heritage: Mucem, Notre Dame de la Garde, Cathédrale de la Major, église des Réformés, etc…

The Cours Julien stairs

From the top of the Cours Julien, the colourful and arty district of Marseille, you can have an amazing urban view by leaning towards the stairs of the rue Estelle. They tumble down in colours along a series of streets, up to rue Paradis if you have good eyes…! Here the sea is not in the spotlight, but you don’t lose out, especially during the last glimmers of sunshine.

The Foresta Park

From the Parc Foresta, a pretty public park perched on top of the hills in the northern districts of Marseille, the view of the harbour is incomparable. Just stand above the Hollywood letters “MARSEILLE” installed for the release of the Netflix series of the same name, to discover the city in a completely different way. Wow effect guaranteed!