3.5 star rating: Worth doing 187 Reviews

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  • Address: Montée de la Bonne Mère
  • Hours: Open daily.
  • Admission: Free

Marseille ATTRACTIONS See all

Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde

Everywhere you go in Marseille, you'll see the golden statue of the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, the Romano-Byzantine basilica rising up from the city's highest hill, La Garde (530ft/162m). Built between 1853 and 1864, the domed basilica is ornamented with colored marble, murals, and intricate mosaics, which were superbly restored in 2006 after suffering damage from the atmosphere, candle smoke and war. Bullet marks and vivid shrapnel scars on the cathedral's northern façade mark the fierce fighting that took place during Marseille's Battle of Liberation in August 1944.

Its bell tower is crowned by a 30 ft (9.7m) tall gilded statue of the Virgin Mary on a 40 ft (12m) high pedestal. Locals see her as the guardian of their city and call her 'la bonne mere' or the good mother.  Each year on August 15th, there is a popular Assumption Day pilgrimage to the church. From the dome you get a 360-degree panorama of the city's sea of terracotta rooves below.

Practical Info

Bus 60 links the Vieux Port (from cours Jean Ballard) with the basilica. Otherwise, there's a little train, which departs from the Vieux Port for the 20-minute trip up the steep hill. This gives you around 20 minutes to look around before catching the next one back down. By foot, it's 0.6 miles (1km) south of the Vieux Port.

Tours & Tickets

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Marseille Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 48 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: Varies

From USD $21.61

Marseille Shore Excursion: Marseille Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 76 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: Varies

From USD $21.61

Provence Small-Group Sightseeing Tour: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Cassis

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes

From USD $147.89

Private Tour: Marseille and Aix-en-Provence Day Trip from Avignon

Location: Avignon, France
Duration: 10 hours

From USD $79.63

Marseille City Pass

4 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: 24, 48 or 72 hours

From USD $27.30

Private Tour: Marseille and Cassis Day Trip

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: 7 hours

From USD $69.68

Marseille Electric Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 29 Reviews

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: 3 or 4 hours

From USD $47.78

Small-Group Marseille City Sightseeing Tour

Location: Marseille, France
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $73.95

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