Marseille guide France

Sights and attractions - What should you not miss in Marseille? Cathedrals, the Mucem museum, the old port...

Accommodation - Tips for pleasant and popular accommodation from a hostel to a luxury hotel on the coast with a restaurant with Michelin stars.

Typical food and drink - What you should try in Marseille - bouillabaisse, tapenade, pastis or sweet navettes.

Practical tips - Here you can learn about local transport, customs and the like.

Weather - When is the best time to visit this seaside resort? When it rains the most and when, on the contrary, the sun often shines.

Celebrities - What famous personalities lived and worked in Marseille?

Poem AI - And what did artificial intelligence come up with about Marseille?


Marseille, the second largest city in France, is located in the south of the country, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is known for its rich cultural heritage, cosmopolitan atmosphere and lively port environment.

One of the oldest and largest ports in the Mediterranean operates in Marseille. As an important business and tourist center, it plays a key role in the city's economy.

There are many historical monuments and landmarks to explore here, including the Notre-Dame de la Garde Cathedral, the Old Port (Vieux Port), the Fort Saint-Jean and the Mucem Museum, which specializes in Mediterranean art and culture.

Marseille cuisine is known for its variety and richness of flavors. Traditional dishes include bouillabaisse (fish soup), aioli (garlic sauce), and navettes (Marseille sweets). Many restaurants offer fresh seafood and other specialties.

Thanks to its long history as a major port, Marseille is home to a diverse population. The city is home to various ethnic communities and offers a rich variety of culinary, cultural and social experiences.

Marseille is located in a beautiful natural landscape, surrounded by the sea, mountains and forests. Not far from the city is the Calanques National Park, which offers breathtaking cliffs, coves and hiking trails.

Calanques National Park near Marseille
Calanques National Park near Marseille

Marseille is home to the Olympique de Marseille football club, one of the most successful in the country. The city also offers various options for sports activities such as swimming, diving and hiking.

The French national anthem Marseillaise is named after the city of Marseille.

Sights and attractions

Notre-Dame de la Garde Cathedral - an impressive Catholic cathedral. Perched on a hill above the city, it offers breathtaking views of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea. This most visited monument of Marseille was built in the 19th century in the Byzantine style. The cathedral is dominated by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary at the top.

Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde
Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde

Old Port (Vieux Port) - the historical heart of Marseille and the center of city life. Here you will find picturesque streets, restaurants, cafes and markets. This great place invites you to walk, sit by the sea and observe the life of the city.

Mucem Museum - Musée des Civilizations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Museum of Mediterranean Civilizations) - a modern museum focused on the culture and history of the Mediterranean. You can find it right on the coast. It offers extensive collections of art, archeology and ethnography.

Mucem museum
Mucem museum

Le Panier - the historic district and the oldest part of Marseille. It is famous for its narrow streets, colorful houses and art workshops. The original fishing village became a residence of artists. You can discover the authentic Marseille atmosphere on your walks here.

La Major Cathedral – another impressive Catholic cathedral serving as an important religious and architectural center of the city. The monumental facade decorated with sculptures and the richly decorated interior with mosaics and stained glass windows attract thousands of visitors every year. They built in the second half of the 19th century in the neo-Byzantine style.

Cathedral La Major
Cathedral La Major

Longchamp Palace - a monumental palace built in the 19th century. It serves as an important cultural center of the city. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains. The local Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History is located here.

Palace Longchamp
Longchamp palace

If Castle - fortress located on the island of If near Marseille. This historical fortress was made famous mainly by the novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. The fortress offers an impressive view of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding countryside and attracts many tourists with its rich history and impressive atmosphere.


In Marseille, you can choose from almost 3,000 different accommodation options, from hostels, apartments, guest houses, to 3* and 4* hotels and even the most luxurious ones. The most luxurious hotels can be found in the Vieux Port area. Most have rooftop pools and spas and offer breathtaking views of the bay.

Vieux Port
Vieux Port

Lovers of luxury might be interested in the hotel Le Petit Nice - Passedat, boasting not only very luxurious facilities, but also a restaurant with three Michelin stars. From the terrace with the seawater pool you can enjoy beautiful views of the sea and the coast.

If you like history, then check out the 3* hotel Hôtel 96 in a building from the 19th century. It is located on the outskirts of Marseille, a 5-minute drive from the beach. You can park here for free in the private parking lot. At the hotel, you can relax in the garden or by the pool, in the sauna or during a massage. The Calanques National Park is located near the hotel.

The Calanques national park
The Calanques national park

A pleasant 3* hotel near the center of Maison Dormoy offers accommodation with breakfast. Some rooms also offer a kitchenette.

The popular guest house La Bastide des Culs-Rousset is located in a quiet area, about 7 km from the center inland. Here you can enjoy the pleasant background of a large garden, outdoor pool and terrace, olive trees and a relaxing atmosphere.

An attractive option for accommodation in the center is the guesthouse Vieux Port Panier Jardin, which you will find in the building of a former monastery in the oldest district of Marseille. There is also a terrace and a garden.

Casual travelers might like The People Hostel - Marseille. It offers affordable accommodation in the city center in both shared and private double rooms.

For a complete offer of accommodation in Marseille, we recommend using or

Typical local food and drinks

Tapenade – A spicy spread made from olives, capers, garlic, olive oil and herbs. This favorite appetizer or appetizer is served with crusty bread or toast.

Bouillabaisse – A traditional fish soup, is prepared from different types of seafood, fish and mussels. It is a rich and aromatic soup, often flavored with herbs and spices.


Aioli – A strong garlic sauce, is made from olive oil, garlic, salt and egg yolks. It is a popular accompaniment to fish, seafood and vegetables. It is practically garlic mayonnaise.

Pastis – A traditional Marseille and Provençal alcoholic drink, is made from anise and herbs. This popular and refreshing aperitif is often served with water and ice.

Popular pastis with ice and olives
Popular pastis with ice and olives

Navettes – Boat-shaped Marseille sweets, can be found in just about any local bakery. This popular local dessert is usually flavored or perfumed with orange water or orange peel.

Practical tips for visiting Marseille

Marseille has a well-functioning public transport system, including the metro, buses and trams. It is recommended to use public transport, especially for exploring the city, as parking spaces are limited and traffic jams are frequent.

As in any big city, be careful in places with a large concentration of people. Avoid deserted parts of the city in the evening.

Even if you mostly get by in English in touristy areas, knowing basic French phrases will definitely help you when communicating with the locals.

Marseille has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. Therefore, prepare suitable clothing and sun protection, especially in the summer months.

Port of Marseille
Port of Marseille

In some restaurants in Marseille, guests order a multi-course menu, the so-called "menu du jour". If you have special dietary preferences or allergies, please inform the staff before ordering your meal.


Marseille has a typical Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.

The summer months (June to September) are hot and dry in Marseille. Average daily temperatures range between 25-30°C, with temperatures above 30°C not uncommon. The sun usually shines all day and it hardly rains.

Winters (November to February) are mild and wet in Marseille. Average daily temperatures usually range between 8-14°C. In the winter months, it is mostly cloudy and it often rains.

Spring (March and April) and autumn (October and November) are transitional periods in Marseille between hot summer and cold winter. Temperatures gradually increase or decrease, with pleasant temperatures around 15-20°C.

The Mediterranean Sea significantly influences the climate in Marseille. Ocean currents help keep temperatures moderate and prevent extreme temperature swings.

This climate contributes to the attractiveness of the city as a tourist destination and invites you to explore the city and its surroundings all year round.


Marcel Pagnol (1895 - 1974) - Famous French playwright, director and writer. He became famous for his Provençal films and plays. Born near Marseille, his works often reflect life in Marseille and the surrounding Provençal villages.

Zinédine Zidane (1972) - Former French footballer and one of the greatest football legends in history. Born in Marseille, he rose to fame as a player for Olympique de Marseille and later as captain of the French national football team that won the 1998 World Cup.

Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870) - French writer, known for his adventure novels and historical dramas such as "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Three Musketeers". His life was full of dramatic events and his literary works still appeal to readers all over the world. Part of his novel The Count of Monte Cristo takes place in the fortress of If near Marseille.

Fortress If
Fortress If

Alphonse Daudet (1840 – 1897) - French writer and playwright. He was born in Nimes near Marseille. His works, such as the novel "Lettres de mon moulin" (Letters from my mill), were inspired by the life and culture of Provence.

Éric Cantona (1966) - Former French footballer and actor. He was born in Marseilles. He became famous as a player for Manchester United and the French national football team. Later, he also started to pursue an acting career.

A poem about Marseille invented by artificial intelligence

In the harbor of the sun, there lies Marseilles,

With its rich history, its colorful life.

Shades of Provençal trees, touching the shore,

The smell of the sea and olives is hard to forget here.

A street full of life, where light and shadow dance,

There they sing about love, about victory, about guilt.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Maggiore, on a distant hill,

With his powerful presence hovering over the city.

And bouillabaisse, that fish soup full of flavors,

Which leaves a trace of sweetness and strength on the tongue.

Marseille, city of contrasts, history, sounds and smells,

Your beauty and strength are indelible, forever alive in the soul.