Marseille is an old French city that takes you back in time to glance its glorious past. History buffs will be entertained with the best attractions of France’s oldest city. Marseilles appeals to travelers seeking a unique blend of cultural experience.
Whether you’re here for its old breeze or fascinating landscapes, here are the things to do Marseille tourist attractions.
Walk up the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde
This church of Notre Dame is the city’s famed landmark, sitting on the top of a hill overlooking the sea. You can hardly miss the gilded Madonna and the Child resting on the belfry. It’s free to visit the church and see its highly-mosaic interiors. You can find votive offerings and tablets amidst the model aircrafts in the crypt. Afterward, you can take respite in its terrace that has an extensive view of the Mediterranean Sea and Frioul Islands.
Other churches and cathedrals to visit:
- Cathédrale de la Major
- Abbaye Saint-Victor
- Église Saint-Michel Archange
A stroll near the picturesque sea in La Corniche
One way to get that stunning view of the sea is to stroll along the roadside of La Corniche. It’s a long balcony and roadway next to the Mediterranean Sea, passing by Marseille’s Prado beaches and 19-century villas. You can rent a car and drive, but it’s more fun to walk on history lane when you see the towers of the Château d’If in the bay.
Other seaside stroll:
- Marseille’s 2,600-year old Vieux Port
Discover Marseille’s old town, Le Panier
Marseille’s Old Town, Le Panier, is one of the most colorful neighborhoods travelers love to visit. The Greeks settled here in 600 BC, and mixed cultures soon made their home here. You can open your ‘Gram and take a photo of the most picturesque site of Marseille. This town is known for its colored walls, quaint corridors, street art, cafes, and boutiques.
Other neighborhoods to visit:
- La Plaine
- La Canebière
Visit Marseille’s oldest museum, Palais Longchamp
The Palais Longchamp is home to Marseille’s Natural Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest museum in the city. The gallery is has an impressive collection of art dating from the 17th century.
People also flock to the museum’s crescent-shaped fountain, park, and nearby attractions.
Other museums to visit:
- Musée d’Histoire
- La Vieille Charité
Go on a scenic tour at Calanques National Park
If you want to bask in Marseille’s great outdoors, you must visit the Calanques National Park, and take in its exceptional natural beauty. The park is famous for its white limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. You can also take a hike, cruise adventure, or kayaking in the national park. There are beautiful coves nearby that can be reached by a boat ride.
Other coves to visit:
There’s so much Marseille has to offer. From museums and churches, to ancient gorgeous seaside scenery and harbors, the city is an old world charm while attracting an urban, multiethnic crowd.
Drive by: Back to the Future
If you’re planning to visit Marseille and wanted to go off the beaten path, renting a car is the most convenient way to navigate the city. You can also rent a car at the Marseille Airport. Foreign travelers who are on a short-term vacation may rent a car using a valid foreign driver’s license for max of 6 months usage. However, if your driver’s license is printed in non-English, or non-use of the roman letters, one should acquire an International Driving Permit. To rent a car in Marseille, you must be 18 years or older. Car rental companies have different requirements, so you might want to check out those. Starting rates for renting a car costs around $14 to $50 a day depending on the size, model, and seating capacity of the vehicle.