What to do in Marseille in December 2024

Why you should visit Marseille in December

December in Marseille offers a unique experience, with fewer crowds, charming festive decorations, and a cozy atmosphere. It’s a great time to explore the city’s cultural heritage, enjoy seasonal treats, and immerse yourself in the local holiday traditions.

Marseille Weather in December

In December, Marseille experiences mild winter weather with average temperatures ranging from 4°C (39°F) to 13°C (55°F). While occasional rainfall is common, the city’s coastal location and Mediterranean climate make it a relatively comfortable destination for winter travel.

Marseille Events in December

Marseille Christmas Market

The Marseille Christmas Market, located in the Vieux Port, offers a festive ambiance with traditional wooden chalets showcasing local crafts, seasonal delicacies, and artisanal gifts. Visitors can enjoy mulled wine, festive music, and the enchanting holiday spirit.

La Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights)

This vibrant festival illuminates Marseille‘s landmarks and streets with stunning light installations, creating an enchanting spectacle that celebrates the holiday season. Visitors can embark on illuminated walking tours and enjoy the city’s transformed nighttime landscape.

New Year’s Eve at the Old Port

Marseille‘s Old Port becomes a focal point for lively New Year’s Eve celebrations, featuring fireworks, live music, and a jubilant atmosphere. Locals and visitors alike gather to welcome the new year with revelry and excitement against the picturesque backdrop of the harbor.

Marseille’s top places to visit in December

Old Port (Vieux Port)

The Old Port exudes a special charm during December, adorned with festive decorations and hosting seasonal events. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront, admire the holiday lights, and savor local specialties at the surrounding cafes and restaurants.

Notre-Dame de la Garde

Perched atop a hill, the iconic basilica offers panoramic views of Marseille and the Mediterranean. In December, the basilica’s interior is adorned with holiday décor, and the scenic surroundings make it a picturesque spot for holiday photos.

Le Panier District

The historic Le Panier district boasts narrow cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and artisan workshops. During December, the area exudes a festive vibe with quaint holiday displays, making it an ideal place to explore and find unique gifts and souvenirs.

Château d’If

A boat trip to Château d’If, the infamous island fortress, offers a captivating adventure. In December, the island’s rugged beauty and intriguing history are complemented by the serene winter ambiance, providing a unique and atmospheric experience.


For a cozy winter experience, consider visiting Marseille’s charming cafés and patisseries to savor seasonal treats like hot chocolate and traditional Provencal desserts.

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