Marseille's Museums Walking Tour, Marseille

Marseille, as the oldest city of France, has a rich history. It is home of diverse museums and galleries. Many of them are beautiful and interesting buildings which have become important landmarks. This walking tour will take you to them to know better understand French history and culture.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Marseille's Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Marseille's Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Marseille (See other walking tours in Marseille)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Author: kane
1
Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne

1) Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne (must see)

One of France's first rank museums owing to the variety of its collections and its acquisition policy, the Museum of Mediterranean Archeology offers a vast overview of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. It has a notable Egyptian department and pottery, bronzes and glass dating from Etruscan, Greek and Roman times, as well as a collection of regional archeology. Established in 1863, the museum is one of the oldest in Marseille and the second oldest in France. The objects originate from various Celto-Ligurian sites spanning a radius of 30 kilometers around the city; they are exhibited in chronological and geographical order as well as according to specific themes. Today, this invaluable collection can be seen in the Vieille Charité building.

Tip:
Nice toilets and a charming courtyard café!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Closed: Mondays, 1/1, 1/5, 1/11, 25/12
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
La Vieille Charité

2) La Vieille Charité (must see)

A former almshouse, now functioning as a museum and cultural center, La Vieille Charité is situated in the heart of the old Panier quarter of Marseille. Constructed between 1671 and 1749 in the Baroque style to the designs of the architect Pierre Puget, it comprises four ranges of arcaded galleries in three storeys surrounding a space with a central chapel surmounted by an ovoid dome. The main body of the structure is a rectangle, 112m by 96m, composed of four walls in pink and yellow-tinted molasse stone from the ancient quarries at Cap Couronne, with no outward facing windows. On the inside are three arcaded galleries superposed on each other, opening onto an interior courtyard measuring 82m by 45m.

Spared during the French Revolution, the building was used as an asylum for vagrants and the dispossessed in the 19th century. It was transformed into a barracks for the French Foreign Legion until 1922 when it was used to lodge those displaced by the demolition of the district behind the Bourse and later those made homeless by the dynamiting of the Old Port during the Second World War. In 1962 all the residents were rehoused and the building shut down. It was only in 1968, thanks to the intervention of the Minister of Culture André Malraux, that funds became available to rescue the buildings. La Vieille Charité was restored between 1970 and 1986, restoration of the chapel being completed in 1981.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful and interesting exhibitions and rich, varied collections of great quality, all in a splendid setting.
The stone used, the general layout and tall ceilings of the corridors and rooms make this a unique attraction.

Tip:
Don't miss the chapel/church nearby, and there's also a popular café and pleasant courtyard for lunch.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Closed: 1/1, 1/5, 1/11, 11/11, 25/12, 26/12
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Musée d'Arts Africains, Océaniens et Amérindiens

3) Musée d'Arts Africains, Océaniens et Amérindiens

African, Oceanic and American Indians Art Museum has an exceptional collection of objects from three continents. The exhibition is displayed in three areas. The first room is devoted to African art, the second room focuses on the Oceanic and American Indian collections and the third is reserved for the collection of Mexican popular art.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Musée des Docks Romains

4) Musée des Docks Romains (must see)

Located just behind the Old Port, this museum houses exhibits and artifacts from the Roman docks and warehouses that were discovered on the site in 1947. The structure was actually built around the remains of a rare commercial warehouse, with many amphoras and other objects from underwater archaeological finds in the waters around Marseilles. The highlight of the museum is the set of 32 ceramic jugs called 'dolia'. They also have some fascinating photos of the area pre-WWII, which alone are worth a trip.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Free admission
5
Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie

5) Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie

This museum is dedicated to the city's seafaring commercial past. The paintings, engravings and models recapture the economic history of the Port of Marseille since the 16th century. Models of ships depict Marseille's strong ties with the sea, including trade, life in port, its maritime history and the history of Marseilles, especially from the 17th century to the present. The model boats are outstanding.

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Musée Cantini

6) Musée Cantini (must see)

The Musée Cantini in Marseilles has been open to the public since 1936. Specializing in modern art, especially paintings from the first half of the 20th century, it has one of the largest public collections of the 1900-1960 period in France. This 17th-century mansion – with spacious interiors but also a wealth of decor – is home to a particularly renowned collection of Fauvist, surrealist, and cubist art. There is also a tremendous collection of sculptures, collages, faïence and paintings of many French artists including Bacon, Matisse, and Picasso.

Tip:
Check the Cantini website to see which temporary expos they have on display.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am–6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle

7) Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle (must see)

The Natural History Museum of Marseille was founded in 1819 by Jean-Baptiste, marquis de Montgrand. he museum houses 83,000 zoological specimens, 200, 000 botanical specimens, 81,000 fossils, and 8,000 mineral specimens. The museum is inside the beautiful Palais Longchamp, which is worth a visit just to see.

The four exhibitions areas are: "Salle safari" (world fauna): section concentrating on accidental imports through the port; "Salle de Provence" (regional fauna and flora): section concerning Provence wildlife; "Salle d'ostéologie": comparative anatomy; and "Salle de préhistoire, sur l'évolution": prehistory and evolution.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Fine Arts Museum

8) Fine Arts Museum

The Musée des beaux-arts de Marseille is one of the main museums in the city of Marseille, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It occupies a wing of the Palais Longchamp, and displays a collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 16th to 19th centuries, by artists such as David, Daumier, Courbet, Rubens, Perugino and others. The museum is one of five created by the Consulate in 1801 in the main cities of France. The basis for the collection was the seizure by revolutionaries of state property after the consular decree of 1 September 1800. Successive deposits of state property were made in 1814, 1817 and 1819, and throughout the rest of the 19th century. In 1856 the Borély collection was acquired by the museum. In 1869 the museum moved into the left wing of the Palais Longchamp. As of 2012 the museum was closed for renovations. The museum possesses a remarkable collection of sculpture by Pierre Paul Puget (1620–1694), as well as La Méditation, a masterpiece by Auguste Rodin, offered to the museum by the artist himself.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Marseille, France

Create Your Own Walk in Marseille

Create Your Own Walk in Marseille

Creating your own self-guided walk in Marseille is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Located on the Mediterranean coast of France, Marseille is the largest commercial port and the second most populous city in France. Being also the country's oldest, the city is known for its ancient heritage, distinctive culture, ethnic diversity and strong identity, all of which secures for Marseille the status of a major tourist destination. Follow this orientation walk to explore some of the top attractions of Marseille.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Historical Walking Tour in Marseille

Historical Walking Tour in Marseille

As Marseilles is the oldest city in France, it has a lot to offer visitors interested in history. It has many ancient buildings and churches of historical interest. All of these ancient buildings are very popular among tourists and have a rich history. Don't miss the chance to visit some of its most interesting constructions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 km
Art Gallery Walk in Marseille

Art Gallery Walk in Marseille

As the oldest city in France, Marseille has rich history and traditions that led to the development of the city as the main cultural center of the region. Here visitors can enjoy galleries of science and technology, photography, general and local history and culture, architecture and design. This tour will take you through the best of them.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Leisure and Relaxation Tour in Marseille

Leisure and Relaxation Tour in Marseille

Marseille has vast green spaces, many interesting parks and gardens and some small historic parks. Most of the gardens and parks of Marseille are fairly new. These locations are a good place for visitors to relax, tucked away from the bustle of city life.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 11.0 km
Sweet Tooth Tour in Marseille

Sweet Tooth Tour in Marseille

Marseille boasts a number of wonderful little shops catering to the sweet tooth, offering chocolates, truffles, cookies and other pastries. Take this tour to sample a few select shops within a pleasant walk of the city center.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Daily Life in Marseille

Daily Life in Marseille

When you take this route, you'll have the opportunity to visit spots of locals' everyday life and get a glimpse of what it is like to live in Marseille. Come early at the harbor to see fishermen departing into the sea, do some shopping at a local market, enjoy a cup of coffee in the café around the corner. You will have a lot of fun on this tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Marseille for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Marseille has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Marseille, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.