Marseille is a thrilling destination in Southern France where you'll find endless fun along a Mediterranean trading port that's been a popular spot since ancient times. While there's plenty to draw all kinds of visitors here, it can be rewarding to check out the parts of town that typically aren't on most itineraries. The hidden gems in Marseille are one of a kind, and visiting them can bring you closer to the city and the fascinating culture you'll find here. Check out the top 10 things to do off the beaten track in Marseille.


    Parc Borély

    Visit one of France's remarkable gardens

    • Couples
    • Families

    Parc Borély is a relaxing and gorgeous park where you can take a lovely stroll among vibrant greenery that's just a few steps away from the beach. You'll find several walking paths throughout the park that are open to bikes as well, and bikes are available for hire. One of the more unique aspects of this park is its replica of Notre-Dame de la Garde that you can see in all its green splendour during a visit. This is located on the east side of the park along with a fountain and a playground.

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    Location: Avenue du Parc Borély, 13008 Marseille, France

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +33 (0)4 91 55 25 51


    photo by Charliemoon (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Rooftop Bar at La Friche

    Visit an old tobacco factory

    The Rooftop Bar at La Friche is one of the more interesting spots in this old tobacco factory where you can drink with a stellar view. Because it's located on the rooftop facing west, watching the sunset here is one of the most memorable experiences available in Marseille. The bar itself has a diverse selection of drinks, but that's just the beginning. It also often has a DJ who performs in the evening and into the night, especially during the summer. Visiting this bar near the Saint-Charles station will also put you close to the other attractions in the same building such as a coffee shop and a skatepark.

    Location: Les Terrasses du Port, 9 Quai du Lazaret, 13002 Marseille, France

    Phone: +33 (0)6 70 36 78 35


    photo by Superbenjamin (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Côte Bleue

    Head away from the French Riviera

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Côte Bleue is a popular seaside region slightly west of the city that offers scenic views on coastal cliffs that let you get away from the crowds. While most people are heading east to the French Riviera, travelling west can offer unrivalled tranquillity. In this region, you'll find sunshine, coastal views and welcoming waters you can explore. Additionally, you'll find several small towns in the region that offer unique local shops with one-of-a-kind items you won't be able to find anywhere else.


    Sentier Pédestre de l'Huveaune

    Enjoy an isolated walk

    • Adventure

    Sentier Pédestre de l'Huveaune is a relaxing walkway near Parc Borély that can make you forget you're in a city. This walkway is situated next to a waterway with brilliant greenery on both sides during your journey. Along this path, you'll notice plenty of colour as well, especially if you're visiting during the spring or summer. Many flowers line the path, so you can take in their vibrant colours as you stroll along with the gentle sounds of the water filling the air.

    Location: 13008 Marseille, France


    Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier

    See an architectural masterpiece

    • Couples
    • Families

    Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier is a brutalist architectural achievement designed by Swiss architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret that you can tour. The building emphasises Jeanneret's style with impressive visual effects not found in most apartment buildings. Several designs are implemented in this building that made it unique for its time. You'll find several home extensions and even an internal street with shops. The roof terrace is particularly appealing thanks to its relaxation area and paddling pool. Kids can have fun as well with the playground on the roof.

    Location: 280 Boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille, France

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm


    photo by Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Les Goudes

    Explore a small fishing village

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Les Goudes is an ideal place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city by retreating to a quaint fishing village. It's located east of town just along the shore, so you'll find easy access to the water when you visit whether you're looking for a swim, a spot of fishing or just gazing out to the horizon. The village faces west, so it's an ideal place to be when the sun sets. You'll find several local bars around as well if you're looking for a pint to accompany the unforgettable experience.



    Visit a picture-perfect port town

    Ensuès-la-Redonne is a fun-filled destination west of Marseille that offers beach access, seafood and several fish festivals that are held throughout the year. It's important to know that the beach here is best suited for walks and viewpoints rather than swimming, given that it's quite rocky. Photographers tend to love it, however, which is why so many restaurants are right on the coast. Be sure to check the local calendar to see if any fish festivals are being held during your visit. They tend to draw crowds of people looking to get the first catch of the season.


    Friche Belle de Mai

    Explore an essential cultural complex

    Friche Belle de Mai is a massive cultural complex that houses a wide variety of attractions all built within what was once a factory. Art is on display throughout the complex with paintings, sculptures and more that are mostly by artists in residence. You'll find it just northwest of the Palais Longchamp. Within this complex, you'll find quite a few different things to do aside from the galleries. Several miniature theatres that frequently host performances are inside as well, along with a nursery, a playground, a food market and a library.

    Location: 41 Rue Jobin, 13003 Marseille, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 95 04 95 95


    Vallon des Auffes

    Relax around a small cove

    • Food
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Vallon des Auffes is a hidden cove along the main coastal road in Marseille that boasts a traditional atmosphere with plenty to see and do. The beach is one of the most popular locations here, as it is safe for everyone to swim including children. The cove is relatively small, but it packs quite a lot of things to do within. For example, you'll find a quaint family-run pizza restaurant in the area if you're looking for something delicious yet simple. For fine dining experiences, however, this cove also boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant.

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    Monument Arthur Rimbaud

    See a strange monument

    • Unusual

    Monument Arthur Rimbaud is a unique and peculiar monument in town that at first appears to be a strange rock formation but is actually an intricate sculpture. The monument was crafted by Jean Adamo with the intention of blending seamlessly into the landscape on the northern edge of Parc Balnéaire du Prado. The monument appears as a rock formation from a distance but gets stranger upon closer examination. Judging by its profile, it appears to be a primitive ship that has seemingly run aground only to be somehow turned to stone.

    Location: 33 Prom. Georges Pompidou, 13008 Marseille, France

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +33 (0)4 91 55 15 84


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