Marseille, a city overlooking the sea in the south of France, is waiting to be discovered. You can get lost in the alleys and streets of the oldest neighborhoods, stroll along the Old Port where the fishmongers offer what they have just caught or immerse yourself in culture, visiting both the ancient churches and basilicas and the more modern buildings, designed by archistars like Le Corbusier and Zaha Hadid. Not even lovers of the sea and nature, however, they will be disappointed.
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- How much does a weekend in Marseille cost
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1 - Morning: Breakfast, Vieux Port, fish market and ferry boat
To visit Marseille you can start from Vieux Port, which with its sailing boats, the fish market and the typical restaurants represents the synthesis of this maritime city. After 2013, the year in which Marseille was designated as the European Capital of Culture, the district was redeveloped by the architect Norman Foster, who as the "signature" of his project placed the Ombrièr Miroir in the center of the port, a canopy in mirrored stainless steel. You can take a tour of the lively fish market that takes place every morning between yachts and sailboats, and then take the ferry boat that goes around the port touching forts Saint Nicolas and Saint Jean. The service is free. Before leaving to visit Marseille, however, treat yourself to a good breakfast in the boulangerie Au Four des Navettes (136, Rue Sainte) where you can taste the typical Marseille navettes, orange blossom biscuits in the shape of a boat (a bag of 12 pieces costs € 10,00). Open since 1781, it is the oldest oven in the city.
2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Shopping, MuCEM, Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, Notre Dame de la Guarde
The neighborhood of the Old Port of Marseille is full of restaurants where you can taste bouillabaisse or a dish with a Provençal flavor, but if you want to stop just for a quick lunch you can choose Les Buffets de Vieux Port (158 Quai du Port), where for € 24,00 you can taste Provencal dishes and specialties Mediterranean by serving yourself. Along the harbor you can indulge in some typically Marseilles shopping hunting for soap, olive oil, navettes, lavender and pastis.
From here in a few minutes you can reach the MuCEM, the Museum of the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean, the only museum in the world dedicated to the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin, which houses finds and documents of historical, anthropological and artistic interest. The full ticket costs € 9,50, reduced € 5,00. Just 600 meters from the Porto Vecchio there is also the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, called La Major by the Marseillais: we know that the day's program is already very busy, but you cannot leave Marseille without having admired its monumental facade in white and green marble and its dome over 70 meters high.
You can end your afternoon by visiting Notre Dame de la Guarde, the Bonne Mère of Marseilles, which is 150 meters above sea level and offers an extraordinary view over the city. From Vieux Port it can be reached by bus 60.
3 - Evening: Dinner, Riva Nuova district
Returning to the Old Port area you can dine at La Table du Fort Restaurant Marseille Vieux Port, which offers French cuisine in a chic but welcoming environment (price range from € 20,00 to € 50,00); if you want to end the evening with a walk, you can head towards the Riva Nuova in Marseille, an old quarter (despite its name) where up to 1.600 convicts lived in very bad conditions in 10.000. It is now a lively and lively neighborhood, with numerous bars and restaurants.
- Distance traveled: 7,5 km / 1 h 45 min
- Places visited: Vieux Port, fish market, MuCEM, Notre Dame de la Guarde, Riva Nuova district.
- Marseille: Guided Walking Tour of Old Town Marseille: 1 Day Hop-on Hop off Pass - Red Line
- Breakfast at Au Four des Navettes (Get directions), Lunch at La Table du Fort Restaurant Marseille Vieux Port (Get directions), Dinner at La Table du Fort Restaurant Marseille (Get directions)
1 - Morning: Breakfast, Le Panier district, Vieille Charite
For breakfast we chose Maison Geney, in the heart of Panier district, where you can fill up on exquisite sweets spending from € 4,00 to € 8,00.
We then set out to discover the symbolic district of Marseille, which lies in its narrow alleysit hosts the mix of ethnicities that has distinguished the city since its origins. It also houses several artisan shops where you can browse in search of the typical handmade nativity figurines. To see the symbol of the neighborhood, Vieille Charite, which in 1.600 served as a shelter for the poor and beggars of the city, only to be reborn by Le Corbusier; now it houses the Museum of Mediterranean Archeology and the Museum of African, Oceanic and American Arts.
2 - Afternoon: Lunch, La Corniche, Prado Seaside Park
To eat, you can choose the restaurant Au Coeur du Panier (18, Rue de Panier), a small place that offers French and Provençal cuisine in an intimate and welcoming atmosphere (price range from € 20,00 to € 35,00, ).
After lunch we suggest that you dedicate the rest of the day to visit de The Corniche, or the 5-kilometer long promenade that connects the Catalans beach to the Prado Seaside Park. Walking along it you can admire luxurious palaces and houses, pausing in particular in the small seaside village of Vallon des Auffes. If you have time and desire you can continue until Prado Seaside Park, forty hectares of meadows, beaches, parks and playgrounds, ideal for relaxing in the countryside. For the more sporty there is even a huge skate park. One of the most convenient ways to reach La Corniche is bus 83, but if you want to go directly to the Prado Seaside Park for a whole afternoon of relaxation, you can stay on board this bus, which will basically take you directly to the beach; it can also be reached by underground line 1.
3 - Dinner, La Canebière
In the evening you can set out to discover the main artery of Marseille, La Canebière, a mile-long boulevard full of cafes, restaurants, palaces and buildings of cultural interest which experienced its moment of maximum splendor with the Third French Republic, from 1870 to the Second World War. Here you can dine in one of the nicest places in town. La Boite à Sardine (2 Boulevard de la Libération) is a marine-style venue that displays the fish of the day in a glass counter and displays colorful sardine cans hanging on the walls. The menu features fresh fish and four different types of oysters. All at affordable prices: the average cost is around € 30,00.
- Distance traveled: 12,6 km / 2 h 43 min
- Places visited: Le Panier district, Vieille Charite, La Canebière, La Corniche, Prado Seaside Park
- Segway tour for 1 hour to Panier neighborhood
- Breakfast at Maison Geney (Get directions), Lunch at Au Coeur du Panier (Get directions), Dinner at La Boite à Sardine (Get directions)
1 - Morning and Afternoon: Breakfast, Frioul Islands, Castello d'If, lunch
After a good breakfast at Le Buffet Des Docks By Adams (35, boulevard de Dunkerque, price range € 11,00-22,00) it's time to visit the Frioul Islands, about 20 minutes by boat from Marseille, an excursion that will keep you pleasantly busy for the whole day. Before leaving, therefore, remember to get a packed lunch: you can buy something where you had breakfast or at Boulangerie Aixoise, in the Porto Vecchio district (45 rue Francis Davso). The ferry can be taken from Porto Vecchio and costs € 5,50. The small archipelago includes the islands of If, Ratonneau and Pomègues; the most touristic is the first, also thanks to Castle of If, a fortress used as a prison for delinquents and dissidents, as well as the setting for Dumas' novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. The castle can be visited and the ticket costs € 5,50.
2 - Evening: Dinner, Evening in a Jazz Club
To conclude the series of things to do and see in Marseille in three days there is nothing better than having a dinner at the Epuisette (18, Rue de Vallon des Auffes), one of the most renowned restaurants in the city, which offers traditional Provencal and Mediterranean dishes paired with wines of the highest level. The average price is around € 70,00.
Finally, for an evening away from glaring lights and too loud music, you can stay late at Le Venture (21, Rue Venture), a famous Marseille jazz club from the 50s atmosphere that every evening welcomes a varied and refined clientele (the average price is € 20,00).
- Distance traveled: 16,8 km / 2 h 7 min
- Places visited: Frioul Islands, Castle of If
- Frioul Islands & Monte Cristo Private scuba diving tour
- Breakfast at Le Buffet Des Docks By Adams (Get directions), Packed lunch, Dinner at Epuisette (Get directions)
How much does a weekend in Marseille cost
Prices for the main services in Marseille are slightly more expensive than the Italian counterparts, especially if you choose good quality accommodation and restaurants in tourist areas; in this case there are several factors that can cause the bill to rise, such as dishes based on fresh fish or fine wines.
- Costs to eat: about € 55,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Costs for museums and attractions: about € 30,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
- Transportation: approximately € 5,20 per person per day for public transport, € 5,10 each way for transfers from / to the airport
- Hotels, accommodation and b & b: starting from € 35,00 per room -
- Fun: from € 50,00 per person
- Total cost of a weekend in Marseille: from € 260,00 per person
Before leaving: useful tips
- When to visit: it enjoys a Mediterranean climate that allows you to visit it all year round without major problems. The best time, however, is the summer. In fact, between June and September, rainfall is low and the climate is ideal - find out more
- Marseille-Provence airport is located in Marignane, approximately 25 km from Marseille. From the Hall1 area of the airport terminal it is possible to reach Vitrolles station in 5 minutes with a free shuttle; from here you can take one of the many trains that take you to the city center in about 15 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from automatic machines and cost € 5,10. It is also possible to reach Marseille, as well as by car or motorbike, also by train, arriving at the central station of Marseille Saint Charles. Another option to get to Marseille is by ship, every day 15 crossings connect the city with Italy, Tunisia, Corsica and Algeria.
Flights starting from € 36,00 -
- the best neighborhood to sleep in Marseille is Vieux-Port, where you can find hotels, restaurants and clubs. The city's most upscale hotels can be found in the quiet residential neighborhood of La Corniche, while those on a budget may want to consider the hostels and hotels near Saint-Charles station. Finally, those who want to stay in the heart of Marseille can choose the La Canebìere district.
Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
- Getting around: to visit the historic center of Marseille, the ideal is to move on foot due to the very short distances and the fact that it is almost entirely pedestrian. For longer journeys, Marseille has an efficient public transport network consisting of a metro with two different lines and 144 bus lines. Tickets and passes are valid for all public transport and can be purchased in the points of sale displaying the RTM logo at a cost of € 1,70 for a single journey and € 5,20 for the Pass XL24 pass valid for the whole day. It is possible to buy the Marseille City Pass online with the possibility of using public transport and visiting some attractions for free for 24, 48 or 72 hours, with prices starting from € 27,00 per person (buy online)