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 friends, family members or neighbours. On this day, anyone in France can sell lily-of-the valley sprigs on the street without needing a licence, provided the flowers have been picked wild or homegrown. Unsurprisingly, sellers can be found on almost every corner!Third weekend in June : Fête du Panier (local event)
A three-day festival in Le Panier, Marseille's oldest neighbourhood, located on the north side of the Vieux Port, including many concerts and other performances, photographic exhibitions and fashion shows.June 21 : Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)
Notre Dame de la Garde, the Romanesque-Byzantine basilica overlooking the entire city, 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.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, which would culminate in the collapse of the absolute monarchy, 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)
Notre Dame de la Garde, the Romanesque-Byzantine basilica overlooking the entire city, 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. Each year, many places of cultural interest in Marseille take part in this event: public and private buildings, monuments, sites of historic interest, museums, etc.Late September–early October : Marseille International Fair (local event)
A leading event of its kind in France, this fair held at the Parc Chanot convention centre brings together artists, craftspeople and exhibitors from around the world.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.).
|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||Good 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|
Marseille Provence Airport (previously known as Marseille Marignane) 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 24 for adults and EUR 16 for children, the 2-day version is EUR 31 for adults and EUR 19 for children and the 3-day pass is EUR 39 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 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Taxis are plentiful in Marseille. There are about 1,560 cabs divided among 80 taxi stands. Thirty-two of these stands are equipped with telephones and may be reached via a single number: 0 811 46 90 90 (local call charges apply).
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 set you back 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.
If you need additional help in planning your stay upon arrival in Marseille, stop by the tourist office on the Vieux Port.Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Marseille
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
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.
As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:
For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required.
Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure.
For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Marseille, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Marseille a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour
Good evening: Bonsoir
Good-bye: Au revoir
No, thank you: Non, merci
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Could you repeat that: Pouvez-vous répéter ?
Please: S'il vous plaît
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 (…)
And what about tipping ?
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.