Free Walking Tours Marseilles

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If you’re planning to visit Marseilles, you might want to consider taking one of the tours listed in this post to learn more about both the history of the city and perhaps even some tips for getting around0!

On a tour of Marseille, you can expect to see the vibrant Vieux-Port, the iconic Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica with panoramic views, the stunning Calanques National Park, and the charming neighbourhood of Le Panier.

Additionally, you can relax on Marseille's beautiful beaches, and indulge in the city's diverse culinary scene.


FREE WALKING TOURS

Marseille Free Walking Tour - Le Panier

The tour will start at the beautiful old port, a natural cove and the birthplace of the city, where it all began!

Then you will enter the oldest neighbourhood in France, Le Panier, visiting its monuments, going through the new Hotel Dieu.

Then, you will be taken on the ascent of Accoules in order to get to the Place des Moulins and its wonderful history.

  • Starting time: 11am (English & Spanish)
  • Availability: Daily
  • Duration: 120 min
  • Languages: English, Spanish

TOP ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MARSEILLES

1. Vieux-Port (Old Port)

Vieux-Port (Old Port) in Marseille is a historic and lively harbour, serving as the heart of the city.

It offers a picturesque setting with fishing boats, luxury yachts, and vibrant waterfront cafes along Quai des Belges.

Vieux-Port (Old Port)
By No machine-readable author provided. Pumbaa80 assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=690571

The port is steeped in history and showcases iconic landmarks like Fort Saint-Nicholas, providing panoramic views of the bustling harbour.

Ferry rides from the port allow visitors to explore the nearby Frioul Islands or the renowned Château d'If.


2. Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde is an iconic basilica located in Marseille, France.

Situated atop a hill, it stands as a symbol of the city and offers breath-taking panoramic views of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.

Construction of the basilica began in the mid-19th century, and it showcases a stunning blend of Romanesque and Byzantine architectural styles.

Notre-Dame de la Garde
By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France - La basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (Marseille), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37213728

Notre-Dame de la Garde is known for its ornate interior adorned with exquisite mosaics, marble columns, and beautiful stained-glass windows.

The highlight of the basilica is the golden statue of the Virgin Mary perched on top of the bell tower, which acts as a protective figure watching over the city.


3. Calanques National Park

Calanques National Park is a stunning natural reserve located in southern France, stretching along the Mediterranean coast.

Its breath-taking landscape comprises a series of narrow, rocky inlets called calanques, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

The park covers over 520 Square Km and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and boating.

Calanques National Park
Rocky outcrops in the Parc national des Calanques by travelmag.com, CC BY 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/VE7c9q

Its rich biodiversity includes diverse flora and fauna, with rare and endemic species thriving in this unique coastal ecosystem.

Calanques National Park also holds historical and cultural significance, with evidence of human presence dating back thousands of years.


4. Le Panier

Le Panier is a vibrant neighbourhood located in the heart of Marseille, France.

It is characterized by its narrow, winding streets and colourful facades. The area is rich in history and culture, with its roots dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times.

Le Panier is a hub for artists and artisans, showcasing numerous galleries, boutiques, and workshops.

Visitors can explore the iconic Vieille Charité, a historical monument turned cultural centre, and enjoy picturesque views from the towering La Major Cathedral.

The neighbourhood also offers a variety of charming cafés, restaurants, and local markets, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the authentic Provençal atmosphere.


5. The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM)

The MuCEM is a prestigious cultural institution located in Marseille, France.

It is dedicated to showcasing the rich history, art, and culture of Europe and the Mediterranean region.

The museum's striking architecture is a blend of contemporary design and historical structures, with a stunning glass façade overlooking the sea.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations
By Houss 2020 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=122251688

MuCEM offers a diverse range of exhibitions, featuring artifacts, artworks, and multimedia displays that explore the interconnectedness of different civilizations.

Visitors can delve into topics such as migration, cultural exchange, and the Mediterranean way of life.

The museum also hosts various cultural events, film screenings, and lectures, making it a dynamic and engaging cultural hub.


6. Château d'If

Château d'If is a famous fortress located on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the coast of Marseille.

Built in the 16th century, it served primarily as a prison and gained worldwide recognition through Alexandre Dumas' novel "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Château d'If
By Padrecardu - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16558485

The castle's formidable architecture and strategic location provide breath-taking views of the surrounding sea.

Visitors can explore its gloomy cells, courtyards, and ramparts, gaining insight into the historical significance of the fortress.

Today, Château d'If is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors eager to immerse themselves in its intriguing history and literary connections.


7. Corniche Kennedy

Corniche Kennedy is a picturesque coastal road located in Marseille.

It stretches along the Mediterranean Sea, offering stunning views of the azure waters and rocky cliffs.

Corniche Kennedy
By Arnaud 25 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81347356

The road is named after the American President John F. Kennedy and has become an emblematic spot in the city.

It is a popular destination for leisurely walks, jogging, or cycling, as well as a gathering place for locals and tourists to enjoy the sea breeze.

Corniche Kennedy is also known for its elegant mansions and luxurious villas that line the route, adding to its charm and allure.


8. The Frioul Islands

The Frioul Islands are a stunning archipelago located off the coast of Marseille.

Consisting of four main islands - Pomègues, Ratonneau, If, and Tiboulen - they offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

The Frioul Islands
By Jeanne Menjoulet from Paris, France - Frioul Island, Marseille, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=121307541

The islands are known for their rugged beauty, with rocky shores, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Visitors can explore the islands' rich history, including the famous Château d'If.  

Nature lovers appreciate the diverse marine and bird life found in the surrounding waters.


9. Marseille's beaches

Marseille's beaches offer a diverse range of experiences and are generally considered quite good.

Marseille offers a variety of beaches with their own unique characteristics, ranging from urban beaches with a lively atmosphere to more secluded and picturesque options.

Marseille's beaches
By Chabe01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60023871

The beaches are well-maintained, and many offer amenities such as showers, restaurants, and beach clubs.

Some of the notable Marseille’s beaches are Plage des Catalans, Prado Beach, Calanque de Sormiou, Pointe Rouge Beach and Les Goudes Beach.

Marseille's beaches provide a pleasant seaside experience, combining natural beauty with a vibrant coastal atmosphere.


10. Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)

Marseille Cathedral, also known as Cathédrale La Major, is a magnificent Roman Catholic cathedral located in Marseille.

It stands proudly at the entrance of the Old Port and is an iconic landmark in the city.

The cathedral's architecture is a blend of Byzantine and Romanesque styles, with its grandeur and intricate details leaving visitors in awe.

Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)
By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France - La cathédrale de la Major (Marseille), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37213846

The interior features stunning mosaics, intricate sculptures, and beautiful stained-glass windows.

The cathedral offers a peaceful sanctuary for worshipers and visitors alike, providing a glimpse into Marseille's rich religious heritage.

Its strategic location also provides stunning panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, adding to its allure as a must-visit attraction.

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