Maritime and Commercial Museum of Marseille (Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie de Marseille)
Housed in the Palais de la Bourse, the former Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the enchanting Maritime and Commercial Museum of Marseille focuses on the city’s modern maritime history, which spans the last 500 years or so, and provides a fascinating look into what has made Marseille a major player in the worldwide maritime economy.
Highlights of this delightful museum include the to-scale models of yachts and boats from centuries past, beautiful old nautical maps, andxa0 items from the early days of scuba diving, which show modern divers just how much the equipment has changed. Paintings and documents tell the story of the city as it would become the first port of France, some 150 years ago, as the gateway between East, West, and Africa and a bustling center of the coffee, olive oil, and spice trades.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A small admission fee is required; children enter for free.xa0
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Maritime and Commercial Museum of Marseille is located at Palais de la Bourse in the Canebière neighborhood in the 1st arrondissement of Marseille. The closest Metro station is Vieux-Port - Hôtel de Ville. From here, walk around the port to its southside flank. Several bus and tram routes run nearby as well. If you are coming from Paris, take the high-speed TGV train; expect about a 3.5-hour ride.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily from morning to evening.xa0 Marseille’s peak season lasts from May through August, when the weather is very sunny with little rains. To avoid the crowds in both the city and the beaches, come on the shoulder seasons of spring and the autumn.
The Old Port
Complement your trip to the museum with a walk around the Old Port (Vieux Port), one of the most atmospheric districts in the city, a vital hub since Antiquity. While at the marina, have a fresh seafood meal at one of the many restaurants and waterfront cafes. The walk over to Fort Saint-Jean andxa0 the Romanesque-style Saint-Laurent Church or see a performance at the art deco Opéra de Marseille.
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- Chateau d'If
- Marseille History Museum (Musee d'Histoire)
- Old Port of Marseille (Vieux Port)
- Place aux Huiles
- La Canebiere
- Cantini Museum (Musée Cantini)
- Roman Docks Museum (Musée des Docks Romains)
- Museum of African, Oceanic and American-Indian Art (MAAOA)
- Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology (Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne)
- Centre de la Vieille Charite
- Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)
- Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)
- Fort Saint-Jean
- Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Le Mucem)
- Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)