Things to do in Marseille
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle’s Guide to the best Marseille has to offer
Bathed in glorious Mediterranean sunshine and bustling with visitors from across Europe, Marseille is a colourful and exciting destination for anybody visiting the south of France. Second only in size to Paris, and enjoying much finer weather, this French city has a vibrant culture which rarely sleeps, and there is plenty to see and do at any time of the year.
Let Eurotunnel Le Shuttle guide you on a full tour around France's largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Next stop: Fine cuisines, sandy beaches and exceptional landmarks.
Notre Dame de la Garde
No matter where you go, you will see the landmark church set on the highest point of the city, offering a breath-taking view of Marseille from above. It remains the standout symbol of Marseille, since its inception in 1853, and plays host to an annual pilgrimage on the 15th August.
The Notre Dame de la Garde is deemed the most visited site in the city as it welcomes hundreds of people each day. Look to the top of its bell tower to see a 30ft-high statue of Virgin Mary, coated in gold leaf. The church is free to enter and is open every day from 7am to 7:15pm during Apr-Oct and 7am-5:30pm during Nov-March.
For an evening of fine dining head to this Michelin-starred restaurant located on the water's edge with incredible views of the sea. L'Épuisette has been running for over 50-years now and if you're lucky enough to get a reservation for the late-night dinner, you can enjoy fine food alongside a beautiful sunset. Marseille's traditional dish 'Bouillabaisse' is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and is definitely worth a visit. Being a Michelin-starred restaurant expect the absolute best, but at a price; dishes can cost up to 145€.
A more family-themed alternative is Chez Toinou, which is only a one minute walk from the Saint Louis Hôtel. Serving the freshest batch of seafood and cooking it in front of your very eyes, you can see the process of how the tasty dishes are made. If you enjoy your seafood, this is one of best diners in Marseille and prices range from 8€ and go up to 35€.
Whether you're a football fan, an admirer of sport or just being forced to tag along, Marseille's home stadium doesn't disappoint. The 60,000 capacity stadium is the second-largest in France and is currently undergoing renovations to increase its size.
In a city where football is the hot topic on everyone's lips, it's best to join in the fun and see what the fuss is about. To watch one of Marseille's games, ticket prices vary from match to match but are usually between 32€ to 92€. For a cheaper alternative however, you and your family can enjoy a tour of the stadium for just 10€ each.
Marseille Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)
If you're looking for a little culture, there is no better place to go to see Marseille's take on modern art. The museum opened in 1994 and showcases art from major French and international artists from 1960s onwards. Entry is 3€, and concession tickets are half that at 1.50€. Set within a garden full of artistic statues, there are plenty of sights on offer for the whole family to enjoy.
A more sophisticated museum is a 19-Century mansion located just 20 minutes' drive away from the MAC building. The Musée Grobet-Labadié is a palace which displays rich collections from its former wealthy owner. Tapestries and chinaware help paint a picture of 18th-Century wealth in France. Entry fees are 2€ and concession charges only 1€.
Arguably one of the most beautiful sights in France, the calanques are steep-walled inlets described as rough diamonds, found along the coast between Marseille and Cassis. It's perfect for hikers and walking enthusiasts if you decide to take the trail on foot, as you are required to scale a 17.4 mile-long track that traverses the calanques.
If you want to save your feet then you can always hop on board a boat. For up to 25€, you can pay for a trip to see eight calanques in 90-minutes but prices vary dependent on which boat manufacturer you choose. The combination of nature is plain to see on this activity and the rock formations will leave your yearning for more. A boat ride, majestic cliffs and the deep blue sea – everything you need for a spectacular day out.
Getting there and around
The drive from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's Calais terminal to Marseille takes 10 hours and 30 minutes and offers an exciting cross-country view of France. As the city is located in Southern France, you travel past two other major cities in France, Paris and Lyon. So instead of just a one-off stop in Marseille, why not make this a holiday to really remember?