I don’t know about you, but my favorite memories from vacations aren’t from the inside of a museum; they’re from walking around and discovering things. Look, I’m gonna level with you – museums are everywhere, and a lot of them are pretty great. You’ll never be at a loss for places to plonk down some cash in exchange for learning about art, architecture, history and a whole host of other fascinating topics. And Marseille has its share of them. But ask anyone who’s been to Marseille, and they’ll tell you that hands-down, the best times they had were just walking around and figuring out this intriguing city down south. It’s a budget traveler’s (and an outdoor lover’s) dream.
With that in mind, here’s a list of free things to do in Marseille. But first, here are some links to help you plan your trip to Marseille:
- Marseille Overview
- Things You Should Know About Marseille
- Hotels Near Vieux Port in Marseille
- Day Trips From Marseille
Take a free walking tour
Marseille Provence Greeters give personal free walking tours of the city, organized by theme and hosted by about 40 locals. Check out their website for more information and to book.
Whether you’re watching the fisherman in the morning or the sunset at night, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to the Vieux Port more than once during your trip there. It’s like free theater.
Basilique Notre Dame de La Garde
If you arrive in Marseille by train, chances are you’ve seen this church at the highest point overlooking the city. It’s free, totally worth a visit, and gives you a great view of all you survey.
Stroll the shops, lounge around in the public areas, and soak up the vibe of this uber-hip area of Marseille.
This is another fantastic neighborhood that will have you whipping out the camera about every two seconds. There are colorful buildings, the laundry blowing in the Mediterranean breeze, and more cuteness than a panier (basket) full of kittens.
Walking’s always free, and this hike that starts from the Plage des Catalans and goes along Avenue JFK and follows cliffside so it’s pretty much a million-dollar view.
This is a public pétanque court in the Quartier Mazarin that is some prime people-watching real estate and if you get in good with them, you may even get a free lesson!