A Perfect Weekend in Marseille: The Complete Guide
Would you like to discover the city of Marseille for a weekend? An excellent choice, Marseille is an ideal destination to spend a few days with family or friends on the Mediterranean coast. With the “Famille +” label, Marseille is committed to developing its offering with a family-focus.
So pack your bags with your hat, swimming costume and sandals, and head to the second-largest city in France for a weekend in Marseille.
Useful information about visiting Marseille
With its international airport, Marseille is easy to reach from London, Edinburgh, or even other European capitals. You will find many direct and low-cost flights on Flightgift.
- London – Marseille : 1 h 55
- Edinburgh – Marseille : 2 h 30
- Dublin – Marseille : 2 h 30
- Cardiff – Marseille : 4 h 15
When to visit Marseille?
Marseille can be visited at any time of the year. The south of France is indeed known to be pleasant in every season.
If you want to enjoy the Calanques and swim, we recommend you travel in July or August. For hiking in the hinterland, June or September are ideal months. Winter is also very mild in Marseille.
How to get around Marseille?
With different transport options, it is very easy to get around Marseille.
- On foot: the best way to discover a city is to get lost in the alleys
- By bus: perfect, especially for excursions
- The metro to get from one end of the city to the other
- By shuttle boat
What to do in Marseille
Marseille is the perfect place to have fun and spend time. Between museums, city tours, and boat rides in the Calanques, you won’t have time to get bored.
Private tour of Marseille between land and sea
What better way to start your weekend in Marseille than a private tour of the radiant city. You will leave in the morning on a boat and discover during the afternoon the old town of Marseille. Climb aboard an air-conditioned minibus and drive to the highest point of Marseille, the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, for a breathtaking 360° view of the city
Visit the traditional cuisine of Marseille
Discover the dishes and learn more about the habits of the Marseillais on this 3.5-hour culinary tour. During this tour, you will taste some of the city’s specialities selected by locals. Walk through Marseille’s most beautiful districts (Le Panier, Le Vieux Port, Noailles) and hear some historical anecdotes
Discover a local brewery
Indulge your senses with an authentic local experience: come and taste beers that you will only find in Marseille. Visit the brewery and taste different types of beer and crackers made from brewer’s grains. Discover edible and medicinal wild plants in the open-air café.
Tickets for the Mx Experience
Located in the heart of the Joliette district in the Docks Village, the Mx is a unique place entirely dedicated to the most emblematic spice of the South of France: anise! This is a concept store and museum in one, with a gastronomic bar and restaurant on site. Dive into the well-kept secrets of anise, its different uses, flavours and colours.
Activities around Marseille
Lavender tour in Valensole
Head to the Valensole plateau via picturesque roads lined with fields of golden wheat and blue lavender. The tour includes plenty of photo stops along the way to Valensole, as well as free time to explore this traditional Provencal village.
Take a private shore excursion
Discover the islands off Marseille with this private boat tour. Admire the Château d’If and the Calanques while enjoying wine and tapas on board. In just one day, you will learn a lot about the mythical maritime city of Marseille and the local flora and fauna. Admire the spectacular Calanques, while enjoying the sea breeze and the warmth of the sun.
Which hotels to choose in Marseille?
For a hotel directly on the old port of Marseille: Résidence du Vieux Port is located in the heart of Marseille. Stay in this hotel with its Arti-chic 50s decoration and choose one of the 51 rooms and suites, all overlooking Notre Dame de la Garde.
To be right on the water: Nhow Marseille offers an exceptional view of the Mediterranean Sea. Most rooms have their own balcony overlooking the bay. After a day on the streets, relax in the pool overlooking the sea or enjoy a massage at the hotel’s spa.
For a bit of greenery: Mercure Marseille Bompard La Corniche is a haven of peace and serenity. You will have access to the hotel’s swimming pool, but also to a golf and tennis course for an energetic experience.
To be right in the heart of the city: Edmond Rostand is the privileged starting point of all the popular attractions of Marseille: the Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral and the Old Port are only a few minutes away.
Which restaurants in Marseille
- For traditional cuisine: L’Absinthe offers fresh produce and home-made dishes with passion.
- For a meal with a breathtaking view of the city of Marseille: the Café de L’Abbaye.
- For a drink in a trendy bar: CopperBay Marseille.
- To party while eating tapas and drinking cocktails: The Shamrock.
What to bring back from Marseille
Who says weekend, says bringing back gifts for all the family and friends! Here are the 5 must-haves to bring back from Marseille to please your loved ones:
- Marseille soap: cubic with each side stamped and pale green to brown in colour.
- A bottle of pastis: the apéritif drink par excellence sipped in the Phocaean city.
- Biscuits from the Four des Navettes with orange blossom.
- Les Espérantines de Marseille: light and fruity chocolate olive leaves.
- Pétanque balls to play with your grandfather.
And there you have it, a light mind to go on holiday in Marseille: flights, activities, hotels, restaurants and even souvenirs to bring back, everything is gathered in this guide. Enjoy your trip!