Taste the authentic Marseille with a visit to the Panier district. You will be amazed by the colours and lively squares that will reveal themselves at the bend of a narrow alleyway. Let's start our walk with the Vieille Charité.
The Vieille Charité
This 17th century monument bears witness to the history of Marseille. Indeed, the Vieille Charité had as its first vocation to welcome the needy and the homeless, before becoming a hospice. It was subsequently rehabilitated as social housing after the First World War. Today, the Vieille Charité still houses a chapel but also several museums: the Museum of Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (MAAOA) as well as the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology, which will delight Egyptology fans.
Let's continue our visit of the Old Port by passing in front of the Cathedral de la Major.
The Cathedral de la Major
When you arrive on the esplanade, you will be amazed by the Cathedral de la Major and its spectacular dimensions! It is one of the oldest churches in France! It was built according to the dimensions of the Basilica of St. Peter of Rome and can accommodate up to 3,000 people! Its Byzantine architecture makes it a real architectural jewel. Feel free to walk through its doors and enjoy a few moments of its calm before continuing our discovery of the emblematic places of Marseille. Thus, by descending towards the Old Port, you will reach our next stop: .
A jewel of the Mediterranean, the MUCEM has become THE must-see museum in Marseille. Discover in the permanent collection all the history and cultures of the countries bordering the Mediterranean. Find out more about the temporary exhibitions so you don't miss out on must-see events. We also advise you to buy your tickets in advance at the ticket office in order to avoid long queues ;-)
From the MUCEM, you will then follow the Fort Saint Jean, before following the port and arriving in front of another monument in Marseille: the Hôtel de Ville. If you have time to stroll around Marseille, we advise you to stop for a few moments in the gardens of the Fort, which offer a magnificent view from their terraces.
The Hôtel de Ville
At the request of Louis XIV, the Hôtel de Ville de Marseille was built opposite the port. From the Mayor's balcony, we have a direct view of Notre Dame de la Garde. You can observe one of the particularities of this building by going around it: from the town hall, there are no stairs leading to the 1st floor. To do this, you must pass through a footbridge in the Bargemon Pavilion, go up a floor, and return to the City Hall building.
As you walk around the town hall, you can see the magnificent Hôtel Dieu that stands. That's good, it's our next step!
Hotel Dieu - Intercontinental Hotel
When you arrive in front of the Hôtel Dieu, you will be amazed by its beauty. A former hospital whose origins date back to the Middle Ages, its current appearance dates back to its last renovation in 1866. Today, it has become the Intercontinental Hotel. If you have the chance to stay or stop for a meal or a drink, you can admire the view of the port and Notre Dame de la Garde. At night, it's even more beautiful! Enough about the Hôtel Dieu, and let's continue our tour along the Old Port.
The Cours Julien
Finally, the last stop on our tour: the Cours Julien. To get there, you will have to cross the Port. If you wish to visit Marseille with your family, we recommend the Petit Train de Marseille, which will give you a guided tour of the city while enjoying the most beautiful landscapes of Marseille. Among the activities in Marseille, it is one of the most popular with excursions to the creeks.
And for lunch, you will be spoilt for choice among all the restaurants in Marseille that are located around the Old Port.
To join the Cours Julien, we suggest you go up the Canebière, pass in front of one of the official OM shops to arrive at the Cours Julien.
This district of Marseille is ideal for shopping. It is also a privileged place for street art. Strolling through the alleys will take you from one surprise to another...
Now you know the main monuments and tourist sites that make the Old Port a historic and tourist centre.
- Distance: 5.9 kilometers
- Duration: 49 minutes to 1 hours
Points of Interest
Results ordered alphabetically
The Hôtel de Cabre is one of the oldest buildings in Marseille. Its construction date is estimated at the 16th century. Its mixture of Gothic and Renaissance style and its atypical history will fascinate you.
Les Augustins church in Marseille is located on the Old Port. Easily recognizable by its immaculate white facade, it dates from the 13th century.
It's the Cathedral of Marseille! Its real name is Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure, but we locals call it La Major. Standing proudly from the quays, it's the first thing the sailors see when they arrive in Marseille.
The Marseille City Hall is a symbol of the city. Influenced by the Genoese palaces, it stands majestically in front of the Old Port with its typical silhouette.
Discover the rich history of Marseille through a multimedia system that brings together all the major dates of the Phocaean city. You will thus relive the different periods that marked the city, and the remains of past civilizations.
It is one of the oldest churches in Marseille. All we see now is the bell tower, so recognizable, and so important to the people of Marseille. Destroyed several times, it was rebuilt in the 18th century.
In the heart of Marseille, this lively district will amaze you. For families, know that the Petit Train de Marseille offers a guided tour to discover the Panier district.
The Saint Laurent church dominates the pass of the Old Port. It is traditionally the parish of the professions of the sea. It is closely linked to the history of Marseille: it is one of the oldest churches in Marseille.
Visit the artistic district of Marseille and admire its Street-art. Enjoy a break in one of its bars and restaurants, Cours Julien / La Plaine is the most lively district of Marseille, day and night.
The Daviel Pavilion is the former town hall of Marseille. It was also where heads were cut off during the revolution. Today, it is more peaceful and this place full of history deserves a stop during your visit to the Phocaean city :)
The Fort Saint Jean was built to defend the port of Marseille. It was also used as a commandery by the Knights Templar during the Crusades. It is an essential monument of the Phocaean city!
Hôtel Dieu is an old hospital for beggars that has now become a luxury hotel. A stone's throw from the port, massive and elegant, it imposes itself and offers a magnificent view of the old port and Notre Dame de La Garde.
Located on the old Roman port, the jardin des vestiges allows you to see Marseille in the ancient period with its ramparts. It is an archaeological treasure.
The Maison Diamantée is with the Hôtel de Cabre one of the oldest buildings in Marseille. It is the last vestige of the patrician houses of Marseille.
It is in the heart of Marseille that the Marseillaise was first sung in 1792. Now the French national anthem, the headquarters of the Club des Jacobins has become a memorial.
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations: it is more than 40,000 m² dedicated to exhibitions around the Mediterranean world in all its diversity. Divided into 3 sites, you can access it from Fort Saint-Jean and discover a view of all of Marseille.
The Vieille Charité has a place in the hearts of all Marseilles residents. An emblematic place in the heart of Le Panier, it has become a place for meetings and exchanges.
A symbol of Marseille's economic development in the 19th century, the Palais de la Bourse celebrates the history of Marseille and its trade. A real little architectural masterpiece.