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How to Spend 1 Day in Marseille

How to Spend 1 Day in Marseille

As France’s oldest and second-largest city, seaside Marseille juxtaposes historic structures with innovative new builds. One day in the city gives you chance to tick off several top attractions and spend some time at sea. Here’s how.

Morning: MuCEM and Fort Saint-Jean

Start your day with a walking tour of Marseille's Vieux Port, the sea-facing home of many top Marseille attractions Don't miss a trip to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM); you certainly won't be able to miss the building, with its latticed cube facade. Inside, admire hundreds of artefacts from across the Mediterranean region, which showcase past and present. From here, it's just a short stroll across a bridge to Fort Saint-Jean, a series of old buildings that now serve as an extension of the museum.

Afternoon: Château d’If

Stick around the Vieux Port area for lunch as there are plenty of sea-facing spots that serve up fresh seafood—for the ultimate local specialty, try the bouillabaisse. Then, take a tour out to Château d'If, a 16th-century fortress on a tiny offshore islet. It was made famous by its appearance in Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, but it’s worth visiting even if classic French literature isn’t your thing, as it served as a prison for centuries. The best way to visit is either by hopping aboard the Frioul If Express from the Vieux Port or, if you want a more in-depth experience, join a tour from the mainland.

Evening: Sunset at Sea

There are plenty of ways to wrap up your day. You could go out for dinner and drinks back in town, or catch a show at the Marseille Opera or—if you can understand French—at La Criée Theatre. However, as Marseille is a city of seafarers, it's worth considering spending your final night at sea, on a catamaran cruise out into the Mediterranean. Cruises depart from the Vieux Port and typically combine drinks and dinner with unobstructed sunset views; some often include onboard DJs.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Marseille Smalll Group Electric Bike Tour

Marseille Smalll Group Electric Bike Tour

star-4.5
155
Discover the beauty and culture of historic Marseille on this family-friendly electric bike tour. Accompany your guide and a small group on a ride through Marseille’s ancient streets. Explore off-the-beaten-path corners of the city, picturesque ports and main attractions like Palais du Pharo and Notre-Dame de la Garde, and cruise along the waterfront for gorgeous Mediterranean views. See more of France’s oldest city with ease.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.92
Price varies by group size
From
$37.92
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

5-Hour Private Sightseeing Tour of the Provence from Marseille in Luxury Car

5-Hour Private Sightseeing Tour of the Provence from Marseille in Luxury Car

star-5
10
Experience the delights of storybook Provence with a half-day tour from Marseille in a luxury car. Your private tour is fully customisable, so you can create the perfect itinerary and enjoy the undivided attention of your guide. Perhaps drive along the Corniche coastal road from Marseille, visit the home of Paul Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence or hop off in beautiful Cassis for a boat cruise around the famous calanques (inlets). Alternatively, stay in Marseille and hit the shops of the Old Port or admire the views from Notre-Dame de la Garde.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$689.49
per group
From
$689.49
per group
Taking safety measures

Marseille Chateau d'If Skip the Line Entrance Ticket

Marseille Chateau d'If Skip the Line Entrance Ticket

star-3.5
22
Enjoy skip-the-line access to the Castle of If in Marseille by pre-booking your tickets in advance. Explore inside the magnificent 16th-century castle on a self-guided tour, learn more about the historic landmark, which featured in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, and take in spectacular views along the Mediterranean coast.
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  • 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$7.11
From
$7.11
Taking safety measures

Marseille Private Tour

Marseille Private Tour

star-4
1
Your professional guide will pick you up from anywhere in Marseille or Aix-en-Provence to start your private excursion. This 4-hour tour is a scenic minivan tour. It includes several stops: Palais Longchamp, Corniche Kennedy and Notre Dame de la Garde. You will start your private tour of Marseille passing through the forts of Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Jean, before walking along La Canebière, the main street of Marseille, in the Old Port. Your guide is at your entire disposal during the 4 hour tour. End the tour at the old port and enjoy some free time to do some shopping and taste the local specialties.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$354.31
Price varies by group size
From
$354.31
Price varies by group size