Let's face it, there is more to Marseille than just the Olympique de Marseille, the calanques and the petanque. There are also the pastis, the ferry boats and... the historical monuments! The Phocaean City counts many monuments related to the amazing history of the city. Even if some did not survive World War II bombardments or were partially destroyed over time, there are still some that are really worth a visit. Visiting Marseille means discovering buildings from yesterday or today, you have a wide range of choices!
Visiting Marseille's monuments is like taking a trip back in time, through more than 2600 years of history. Discover Marseille and its treasures can take time, but don't panic, here is enough to save you a few precious hours in your discoveries and help you to target the most interesting monuments for you.
There is nothing better to start your visit than to reach the highest point in the city: the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde.
Notre Dame de la Garde
At the feet of the "Bonne Mère", the view of the whole city and the coast is breathtaking and will give you a brief idea of the magnitude of the task to accomplish to visit the most emblematic places in the Phocaean city. This Basilica is the symbol of the Phocaean City and can be seen from very far away. To get there, do not hesitate to take the Petit Train de Marseille, which will also show you the surrounding districts.
Marseille and its 84 historical monuments
Due to its history, Marseille has a large number of historical monuments that must be preserved. It is important to preserve this part of history and to pass it on to future generations. Churches, Chapels, castles, palaces... All these buildings are relics of Marseille's history and will take you back in time, from the Greco-Roman era to the Second World War and the Great Plague of 1720.
The most recent Marseille's monuments
Among the city's most visited monuments, there are also more recent buildings. Thus, buildings such as the Dôme, which offers concerts and shows, the Velodrome Stadium, the playground of the famous Olympique de Marseille soccer team, or the Corbusier, an avant-garde residence from the 1950s, have recently been built, but also reflect the city' s splendour. Don't hesitate to think about renting a bike or renting a segway and getting lost in the streets of the Phocaean city. You may be surprised to see the different atmospheres, specific to each neighbourhood.
Visiting Marseille's Monuments
The city's Mediterranean climate will enchant you with its sunshine and very pleasant weather. Moreover, weather reports have designated Marseille as the sunniest city in France in 2017.
So remember to bring a hat or cap, a bottle of water and sunscreen if you visit the city during the summer months.
In addition, we advise you to use an online ticket office for paid monuments, in order to avoid waiting hours under the sun.
For a more entertaining visit, a small train will take you on two different tours to discover the history of Marseille. The children really appreciate this excursion in general. If you are rather sporty, think about renting a bike or segway, which will allow you to discover Marseille in a different way.