There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Marseille each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)
On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)
Popular celebration during which many free concerts are held in the streets and at various venues around Marseille, late into the night.July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)
This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Marseille, this anniversary is commemorated each year with a fireworks display and dance parties open to everyone at various venues throughout the city.August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)
Overlooking the entire city, Notre Dame de la Garde is the site of a popular pilgrimage for the Feast of the Assumption, preceded by a torchlight procession and mass on the evening of August 14.Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)
The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)
On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
In Marseille and the entire region of Provence, a centuries-old holiday tradition demands that Christmas Eve guests be offered 13 desserts after dinner (grapes, nougat, dates, etc.).December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)
On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Marseille, with families and friends celebrating the new year.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||3/37||11/52||48/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|February||4/39||12/54||31/1.2||Not the best period to go|
|March||6/43||16/61||30/1.2||Not the best period to go|
|April||9/48||18/64||54/2.1||Not the best period to go|
|May||13/55||22/72||41/1.6||Good period to go|
|June||17/63||16/61||25/1.0||Good period to go|
|July||19/66||29/84||9/0.4||Not the best period to go|
|August||19/66||29/84||31/1.2||Not the best period to go|
|September||16/61||26/79||77/3.0||Good period to go|
|October||12/54||21/70||67/2.6||Not the best period to go|
|November||7/45||15/59||56/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|December||4/39||11/52||46/1.8||Not the best period to go|
The Marseille-Provence International Airport is located in the suburb of Marignane, about 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of the city centre.
Public transport, taxis and bicycles are the best ways to get around Marseille.
Marseille's all-inclusive City Pass is a cost-saving and comprehensive sightseeing package. The pass offers free admission to 14 museums, a boat trip to the Château d'If with a guided tour, a trip on the Petit Train (a special mini tourist train) all the way up to Notre-Dame de la Garde, and unlimited rides on all bus, metro and tram routes (ferries are not included). The 1-day City Pass costs EUR 26 for adults and EUR 17 for children, the 2-day version is EUR 33 for adults and EUR 20 for children and the 3-day pass is EUR 41 for adults and EUR 23 for children.
Nearly 80 bus lines cover Marseille's entire metropolitan area. Tickets are EUR 2 for adults and EUR 1 for children aged 4 to 10.
Marseille's tram network consists of three lines (T1, T2 and T3) with a total of 32 stations. This is a very pleasant way to visit the city, as Marseille's trams are the least crowded in France. Tickets are EUR 2 for adults and EUR 1 for children aged 4 to 10.
Marseille's metro is quick and efficient, but consists of only two lines. Tickets are EUR 2 for adults and EUR 1 for children aged 4 to 10.
Bicycling is without a doubt the most pleasant way to explore Marseille. Distributed throughout the city, 130 bike-sharing stations (about one every quarter mile) offer 1,000 bikes, free of charge, at any time of day. The concept is simple: pick up a bicycle at one station and return it at another one, at your leisure, 24/7. For short-term passes (7 days), the first half-hour is free, then EUR 1 per hour.
Taxis are plentiful in Marseille. There are about 1,560 cabs divided among 80 taxi stands. 32 of these stands are equipped with telephones and may be reached via a single number: +33 (0) 811 46 90 90 (local call charges apply). Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., count EUR 1.72 per kilometre.
The Ferry Boat, immortalized by Marcel Pagnol in his film Marius with the impetuous Félix Escartefigue at the helm, takes you across the Vieux Port all day long. The “shortest ferry crossing in the world” will cost you EUR 3.
There also are scheduled ferry crossings between the Vieux Port and the islands (Château d'If and the beaches of Frioul). The price is EUR 5 each way. Be sure to check the times for the last departures in the direction of the Vieux Port.
Once you arrive in Marseille, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Marseille
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Marseille counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Marseille.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Marseille a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)
Good evening: Bonsoir
Goodbye: Au revoir
No, thank you: Non, merci
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup
Please: S'il vous plaît
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?
What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?
Excuse me: Excusez-moi
Train station: Gare
I'm (…): Je suis (…)
I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)
How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?
Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?
Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?
Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?
I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)
In Marseille like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.