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Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille

Key Info

Details

  • Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Built in 1660 by Louis XIV, Fort Saint-Jean is a well-preserved fortress guarding Marseille at the entrance to the Old Port. Interestingly, it was built not to keep invaders at bay but to tamp down a local rebellion. Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was used by the French military until German military forces occupied it during WWII. Today, the storied fort is a tourist attraction, where travelers stretch their legs and relax rather than prepare for battle. 

Travelers of all ages rave about the peaceful atmosphere of Fort Saint-Jean and the wonderful views from the top. They also note that it's surprisingly accessible, with ramps and elevators. 

Visitors will need to enter through the attached MuCEM (and pay the 9.50 euro – about $11.60 – admission price to the museum) to reach Fort Saint-Jean. From May 2 to July 7 and Sept. 4 to Nov. 5, it's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Nov. 6 to April 30, it's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from July 8 to Sept. 3, it's open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. You'll find both attractions in Le Panier. For more information, visit Marseille Tourism's website

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Hotels Nearby

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New Hotel of Marseille

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  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port

Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port ...

  • 0.3 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port

Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port ...

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  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
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Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde picture in Marseille
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#1 Le Panier Le Panier – or the Basket – gives a glimpse of Old Marseille and real Marseille culture. From its narrow winding streets that spill into squares to its restaurants, ateliers (worskshops) and ... Read more » Sami Sarkis / Getty Images

#2 Vieux Port Vieux Port started docking ships and boats back in 600 B.C., and it was a vibrant hub of the city until steamboats became the preferred mode of transport and ... Read more » ThomasSaupe / Getty Images

#3 Abbaye Saint Victor Abbaye Saint Victor is a working Catholic church, which was founded back in the 11th century as an abbey and named for the Roman soldier and Christian martyr Victor of ... Read more » RnDmS / Getty Images

#4 Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde – translated as Our Lady of the Guard – was built in the 1850s on the foundation of Marseille's ancient fortress. Today, this working Catholic ... Read more » Daniiielc / Getty Images

#5 Fort Saint-Jean Built in 1660 by Louis XIV, Fort Saint-Jean is a well-preserved fortress guarding Marseille at the entrance to the Old Port. Interestingly, it was built not to keep invaders at ... Read more » Evgeniya Ivanova / Getty Images

#6 Parc National des Calanques Visualize jagged limestone cliffs dropping into secret pebble beaches, which are lapped by the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and you'll start to get a picture of the ... Read more » Raffi Maghdessian / Getty Images

#7 MuCEM The Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Mediterranée, which goes by its acronym MuCEM, is Marseille's history and cultural museum that leads visitors on an anthropological ... Read more » Cultura/Tim E White / Getty Images

#8 Cathedrale de la Major Where the Abbaye Saint Victor is unembellished in its design, the Cathedrale de la Major is ornate. But it's also younger: The Cathedrale de la Major was built in ... Read more » Fred Bahurlet / EyeEm / Getty Images

#9 Chateau d'If Château d'If is a 16th-century fortress, commissioned by King Francois I, set atop the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago less than a mile from Marseille. It was later ... Read more » Photograph by Paul Atkinson / Getty Images

Le Panier picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Abbaye Saint Victor picture in Marseille
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Parc National des Calanques picture in Marseille
MuCEM picture in Marseille
Cathedral picture in Marseille
Château d'If picture in Marseille
Le Panier picture in Marseille
Vieux Port picture in Marseille
Abbaye Saint Victor picture in Marseille
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde picture in Marseille
Fort Saint-Jean picture in Marseille
Parc National des Calanques picture in Marseille
MuCEM picture in Marseille
Cathedral picture in Marseille
Château d'If picture in Marseille

Visitors say Le Panier offers an authentic look at Marseille life.  Sami Sarkis / Getty Images

Vieux Port – the Old Port – is the heart of Marseille, with its congregation of docked sailboats and yachts and lineup of restaurants, bars and shops.  ThomasSaupe / Getty Images

Compared to other churches in the city, Abbaye Saint Victor offers a stark façade. RnDmS / Getty Images

You can't miss the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde as it's the focal point of the Marseille skyline.  Daniiielc / Getty Images

Fort Saint-Jean offers some wonderful views of the Mediterranean.  Evgeniya Ivanova / Getty Images

You'll experience colors galore at Parc National des Calanques – from the green pine trees that top its white cliffs to its blue Mediterranean waters.  Raffi Maghdessian / Getty Images

The gorgeous contemporary design of MuCEM contains the anthropological history of the region.  Cultura/Tim E White / Getty Images

The Marseille Cathedral was designed by architect Léon Vaudoyer in the Romanesque Byzantine design.  Fred Bahurlet / EyeEm / Getty Images

The fortress-turned-prison, Château d'If, inspired the nearly inescapable setting of Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo."  Photograph by Paul Atkinson / Getty Images

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