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What to see in Marseille on a cruise: do-it-yourself itineraries, tips and tours


It's possible visit Marseille in half a day? Obviously it will not be possible to discover it fully, but if the famous French city is one of the stops on our cruise it deserves to be visited to the fullest even in the reduced time we have available.

Marseille, in fact, is the first French port (the sixth in the Mediterranean), the largest city in the South of France and the second transalpine city after the capital Paris. In addition to being a very important port, the town also hosts the Marseille Provence Airport.



Index

  1. Itinerary for do-it-yourself cruise passengers: 10 things to see
  2. Recommended itinerary: what to see in half a day
  3. Tours and excursions for cruise passengers:
  4. Tourist bus Marseille: cost, itinerary and stops
  5. Useful Tips
  6. User questions and comments

Itinerary for do-it-yourself cruise passengers: 10 things to see

Obviously in half a day it is not possible to see all the most interesting sites in Marseille; however, we do try to advise you 10 things to see in the city. It will then be up to you to make a selection and choose which places to visit, also depending on the time available and the opinion of the companions with whom you will carry out the excursion.

  1. Porto Vecchio: the ancient port of Marseille.
    Distance from the port: 7 km, 20 minutes by shuttle provided by the cruise partner - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  2. Notre-Dame de la Garde: neo-Byzantine basilica.
    Distance from port: 10 km, 30 minutes by shuttle provided by the cruise company - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  3. Canebiere: the shopping street.
    Distance from the port: 8 km, 10 minutes from the Old Port with the Métro Vieux Port - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  4. Le Panier: the old quarter of the city.
    Distance from the port: 7 km, 10 minutes walk from Porto Vecchio - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  5. Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations: one of the main city museums.
    Distance from the port: 7 km, take Littoral Gourret bus 35 and get off at Joliette (€ 1,60). From here continue on foot for about 1km through Promenade Robert Laffont - Get directions. Cost: full € 9,50, reduced € 5,00
  6. Longchamp Palace: seat of the Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History.
    Distance from the port: 8,5 km, take the metro near the Prefecture Square, within walking distance of the Canebiére - Get directions. Cost: the visit to the park is free, the museums have paid admission (€ 5,00 Museum of Fine Arts, € 8,00 Museum of Natural History)
  7. Palais du Pharo: historical architecture and one of the main viewpoints of the city.
    Distance from the port: 8,5 km, reachable in about 20 minutes via the Capitainerie service - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  8. Cathedrale de la Major: another important religious building in the city.
    Distance from the port: 5 km, once out of the port take Littoral Gourret bus 35 and get off at Joliette (€ 1,60). From here, continue on foot for approximately 650 meters through Rue Mazenod, Rue Marchetti and Espl. Jean Paul II - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  9. The Corniche: characteristic stretch of the town's waterfront.
    Distance from the port: 10 km, the best way to discover this site is by boarding the tourist train (€ 8,00 for adults and € 4,00 for children) - Get directions. Cost: free, free visit
  10. Center de La Vieille Charité: multifunctional center deriving from an ancient hospice.
    Distance from the port: 6,5 km, from the Porto Vecchio walk for about 750 meters - Get directions. Cost: € 6,00 full, € 3,00 reduced

Recommended itinerary: what to see in half a day

First stop: Vieux Port, Cathèdrale La Major and Center de La Vieille Charité

Leave the port on foot, take bus 35 of the Littoral Gourret until you reach the Joliette area and from here the Old Port. From here reach the Cathédrale La Major on foot (750 meters) and then from the Cathedral always walk to La Vielle Charité (600 meters).



Second stop: Palais du Pharo, Canebière, Notre-Dame de la Garde

Reach the Porto Vecchio in the same ways recommended for the first stage. From here you can reach the Palais du Pharo in 20 minutes with the Capitaneirie service and after admiring a splendid panoramic view proceed in the direction of the shopping street. To get to Canebière, take buses 82, 82S and 83 at the Le Pharo stop, get off at Metro Vieux Port and walk for 500 meters. From Canebière arrive at Notre-Dame de la Garde returning to Metro Vieux Port and take bus 60.

Third stage: The Corniche and Le Panier

From near the Byzantine cathedral reach La Corniche via bus 80 which runs every 15 minutes. From the famous promenade then get to the old Marseille district with bus 83 to Metro Vieux Port and then with 49 to Place Bargemon. From here continue on foot for about 500 meters to the Le Panier district.

In summary:

  • Places visited: Vieux Port, Cathèdrale La Major, Center de La Vieille Charité, Palais du Pharo, Canebière, Notre-Dame de la Garde, La Corniche, Le Panier.
  • half day Guided tour 2,5 hour walking excursion and food tour
  • quick lunch at La Caravelle, great pub near the Porto Vecchio (Get directions). Average cost for light lunch € 10,00-15,00. Full lunch always in the Porto Vecchio area at Restaurant Le relais 50 (Get directions), recommended by the Michelin Guide, prices between € 22,00-70,00.

Tours and excursions for cruise passengers:

Tourist bus Marseille: cost, itinerary and stops

A tourist train which offers the possibility of following two different itineraries.

The first route winds along the Lungomare delle Corniche and leads to the basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. This itinerary also allows you to admire a breathtaking view of the city.

The second route, on the other hand, winds through the so-called Old Marseille, through the narrow streets of the ancient Le Panier district characterized by small houses and colorful buildings.



  • Circuit stages 1: Vieux Port, Notre Dame de la Garde, La Corniche, Fort Saint Jean, Fort Saint Nicolas, Palais du Pharo, St. Victor, Pont de la Fausse Monnaie, Château Valmer, Vallon des Auffes
  • Circuit stages 2: Le Panier, Hôtel de Cabre, Hôtel Dieu, St. Laurent, Cathèdrale de la Major, Center La Vieille Charité).
  • Notes: in the summer season a third route is organized in the Frioul islands. Departures are every 20 minutes and the routes last approximately 1,5 hours each.
  • Cost: Both itineraries cost € 8,00 for adults and € 4,00 for children (from 3 to 11 years old) - Buy online

Useful Tips

  1. Buy the book of tickets for the transport: if you intend to move by public transport, you can evaluate the purchase of a booklet of 10 tickets valid for bus, tram and metro at € 13,60
  2. Consider purchasing the City Pass: the city card offers you free and discounted admissions to several attractions and free access to public transport - 24-hour City Pass from € 26,00
  3. Consider taking the tour bus: at a great price this vehicle allows you to admire many city beauties and can be an excellent solution for a half-day visit - tourist bus pass
  4. Take the Porto Vecchio as your base: from this site you can easily access on foot, or in a short time, to many interesting sites of the city (Cathèdrale La Major, Vieille Charitè, Canèbiere, Pharo, etc.)
  5. Have a quick meal: you only have half a day available and therefore take this time to visit the city

Where cruises in Marseille dock

The places where the main cruise lines in Marseille attack are 2:



  1. Léon Gourret pier - MPCT (Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal). The Grande Maritime Port of Marseille is located at exit 5 of the A55 motorway (Port 4 - La Calade - L'Estaque). It has Terminals A, B, C, D, E, F - Get directions
  2. J4 - La Joliette. The Port of La Joliette, also called J4, is located at the foot of the Cathedral of the Major, in the heart of the Euroméditerranée area. It can be reached via the A55 motorway at exit 4 (La Joliette / Les Arnavaux / Arenc / Les Ports) - Get directions

How to get from the port of Marseille to the center

To get from the port of Marseille to the center there are various possibilities. All involve arrival around Place de La Joliette - Get directions

  • Distance from the center: 6 km
  • How to get there on foot: follow the green line and walk for about twenty minutes to the bus stop no. 35 Littoral Gourret. Mount and proceed towards Joliette. Journey time: about 40 minutes. The cost for the bus is € 1,60
  • Paid cruise company shuttle: the travel time is about 20 minutes and the cost is around € 12,00-15,00
  • Free shuttle: it is located 800 meters from the pier and is available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. It too covers the route in about 20 minutes and stops around Place de La Joliette
  • Taxi: travel times and distances vary depending on where the ship is moored. In summary, the cost to reach the center by this means is about € 20,00

Getting around

Once you arrive at the Old Port a comfortable and characteristic way to visit Marseille is to board the tourist train.
Alternatively, you can definitely visit the city on foot. In fact, the center is not too large and, above all, it is almost entirely pedestrian. We do not recommend the use of the car. The best combination is definitely on foot - metro - bus. Here more info on how to get around Marseille

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