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10 Things to Do in Marseille in April

The port city of Marseille welcomes you in April with pleasant spring weather to discover its main destinations and traditions. Are you ready?

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Marseille in April

Marseille | ©Fred Bigio

Marseille is a city that will captivate you from the very first moment, especially during the month of April, which coincides with the beginning of spring. You will discover beautiful natural and urban landscapes, you can participate in interesting traditional celebrations and, of course, you will have the opportunity to visit the main historical sites.

Among the things to see and do in Marseille are the gastronomic tours, exploring the city by bicycle or the panoramic tour by tourist bus. You can also take advantage of the spring weather to visit towns like Cassis and Avignon from Marseille, surf the city's beaches, attend a number of festivals and much more.

1. Feel like a local tasting the sweet seasonal preparations in Marseille

Eating Easter Nest Cake| ©Sarah
Eating Easter Nest Cake| ©Sarah

April corresponds to the Easter season, so in Marseille and throughout France, you will find a wide selection of sweet dishes, characteristic of this celebration. Therefore, a good option is to take one of the best gastronomic tours through the streets of Marseille.

To start the tour, you can go to the Old Port of the city. There, you will find dozens of restaurants, food stalls, cafes and even bars, where you can explore various seasonal dessert options.

Some of the options to try include:

  • Fouace de Paques: this is a must-have sweet on the table during French Easter. It is a baked briche cake, flavored with orange blossom or orange and candied fruits.
  • Easter nest cake: this is another cake in the shape of a spongy doughnut, whose aesthetics simulates a bird's nest. In the middle is a speckled Easter egg.
  • Easter eggs: perhaps this is the most emblematic traditional sweet of the celebration.
  • Omelettes with chocolate: a preparation that dates back to Napoleon's time.

This is an activity that you can do on your own or, if you wish, connect with a specialized guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Book one of the best gastronomic tours in Marseilles

2. Take advantage of the spring weather in Marseille in April and explore the city on foot, by bike or tourist bus

Marseille sightseeing bus| ©Mike Brocklebank
Marseille sightseeing bus| ©Mike Brocklebank

Among the best tours of Marseille that you can enjoy during your visit in the month of April, the walking, cycling or tourist bus tour stand out. You will take a quick stroll through the main tourist destinations, discover the history of each place and enjoy the spring weather.

Walking tour

The walking tour of Marseille can be done on your own, but if it is your first time in the city, it is recommended that you connect with a guided tour of the historic center. This way, the assigned local guide will take you directly to each destination, while telling you the history of the monuments and streets visited.

  • Price: if you select the guided tour, the price of the activity starts at 50€ per person.
  • Duration: from two to six hours, depending on the route you wish to explore.

Bicycle tour

Another good alternative is to get to know the city by bicycle. To do so, you can make use of the bike sharing service and move freely through the streets, creating your own adventures.

You also have the option of taking part in one of thebike tours in Marseille, which includes a local guide and a pre-established route, according to your tastes and needs.

  • Price: if you choose the guided tour, the price of the activity starts at 58€ per person. On the other hand, if you rent the bike, you will pay from 24€.
  • Duration: from two to six hours, depending on the route you want to explore.

Tourist bus

With the tourist bus of Marseille you will enjoy a panoramic tour of about two hours. You will be able to observe the streets, monuments and the Mediterranean Sea, from the second floor of the bus, while listening to an audio guide and enjoying the warm April weather.

In addition, this bus offers several circuits with a series of stops. Therefore, you can hop on and off as many times as you wish in the course of 24 or 48 hours and, thus, visit the places of your interest.

  • Price: from 19€ per person.
  • Duration: approximately 2 hours (the panoramic route without stops).

Book a ticket for the tourist bus of Marseille

3. Take advantage of the wave season in April on the beaches of Marseille and slide on your surfboard

Marseille beach| ©Janene
Marseille beach| ©Janene

The beaches of Marseille in April prove to be the perfect place for surfing enthusiasts. The Mediterranean coast during this month is constantly buffeted by strong winds which, in turn, create small waves of regular appearance.

You can visit L'Huveaune Beach, which is about 45 minutes away by bus and 14 minutes by private car. There, the sand is thin, the water is blue and a bit cold. For its part, the waves are suitable for beginners, because they reach a maximum height of two meters.

Similarly, the Prado Beaches, right next to L'Huveaune Beach, are ideal for surfing. In fact, you can kitesurf (kite boarding), windsurf (sailboarding), swim and take a boat ride at sunset to admire the panorama.

Book a boat tour in Marseille

4. Attend the Comic Strip Festival in Marseille

Comic Strip Festival| ©Richard Schwalk
Comic Strip Festival| ©Richard Schwalk

If you are visiting the city during the first week of April and you are a comic book enthusiast, then you can't miss the Marseille Comic Strip Festival. This is an event held annually.

To enjoy this activity you should head to the Luminy Campus at the Euromed Management Business School, located approximately 35 minutes by car or one hour by bus, from the city center.

During the event you will enjoy several activities. For example:

  • Exhibit halls, with hundreds of comic books and collectible figures.

  • Reading areas, where you can sit comfortably to read comics, fanzines (magazines made and edited by fans) and manga.

  • Demonstrations by colorists, which will allow you to learn how these artists give warmth and emotions to each comic vignette.

  • Autograph session, with guest comic artists and mangakas.

Meanwhile, the children's entertainment section is ideal if you have decided to visit Marseille with children, as the little ones will enjoy the colorful atmosphere. And, if they are lucky, they might even meet one of their favorite characters in some of the lounges.

  • Price: free of charge.
  • Hours: from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

5. Join the Easter egg hunt and discover some of Marseille's main parks

Palais du Pharo| ©decar66
Palais du Pharo| ©decar66

Your itinerary of at least 3 days in Marseille during the month of April, will not be complete if you let the Easter egg hunt go unnoticed. This is a fun activity, held annually in major parks throughout France.

The egg hunt is completely free, as it is an initiative of the city council, local entrepreneurs and locals, who keep this ancient tradition alive. You only have to go to the Pharo Palace, the Botanical Garden of the city, Mline Park, Puget Hill Garden, among others.

In these destinations, you should start the search for this delicious dessert, considered a symbol of the French Easter. You can also take the opportunity to have a picnic with your family or friends, while enjoying the tranquility and scenic beauty of these natural spaces.

6. Celebrate gypsy culture at Latcho Divano in Marseille

Open-air cinema| ©Jerry Miller
Open-air cinema| ©Jerry Miller

During your 1 or 2-day stay in Marseille in April, you might have the opportunity to attend the Latcho Divano festival. This way, you will get to know the Gypsy culture and celebrate it.

The annual program of this festival incorporates several activities, which you can enjoy throughout the first week of the month. For example:

  • Art and poetry exhibitions, which will allow you to learn about the influence of Gypsy culture both in art and in European and African literature.
  • Conferences in which experts will tell you why the importance of the Roma community and introduce you to the theme of cultural diversity.

In addition, you can visit the Cinéma Les Variétés, where films and documentaries are shown. Also, if you go to the La Mesón Flamenco School, you can participate in group classes of gypsy dancing and singing. Meanwhile, on Canebière Street you will enjoy traditional gypsy music and gastronomy kiosks.

7. Discover the best of LGBT cinema at the Reflets Festival in Marseille

Cinema de Marseille| ©2kooky
Cinema de Marseille| ©2kooky

During the end of April you will enjoy the French festival Reflets, at the cinema Les Variétés in the city of Marseille. You will be able to see a series of LGTB film productions, which promote respect for gender and identity.

You will see national and international films, with very human themes about the LGTB community. You will be able to participate in discussions after each screening. Basically, you will be very gently introduced to a topic that is still considered taboo and, in turn, will make you reflect.

In addition, you will discover the cinematographic work that hides each of the titles presented in this edition of the festival. For example, the graphic art, photography, music, lighting, among other aspects of interest.

This activity usually lasts for a week, so you can dedicate at least a few hours of your 1-day itinerary in Marseille, to attend the movie theaters.

8. Experience Marseille's cultural initiatives at the International Festival of cities

Palais Longchamp| ©Vicuna R
Palais Longchamp| ©Vicuna R

April in Marseille is a month that celebrates culture, as evidenced by the International Festival of Cities (Festictés). This annual initiative brings together the cities of Provence to share their local initiatives in the field of theater, literature, dance, among other expressions.

There, you will enjoy various performances and activities:

  • Live music, with original compositions and fusions, which give way to new genres. Such is the case of Pop Sebene (rock, reggae, Congolese rumba and pop).
  • Collective poetry projects, which express their reflective words accompanied by guitar riffs.

In addition, you will be able to join some workshops (scenography with strings, creative writing), watch art exhibitions and projections. You will find a picnic area and food stalls. All this, held at the Centre municipal d'animation Chartreux and at the Palais Longchamp.

This event takes place from the end of March and usually concludes in the first week of April. It is therefore an ideal choice for your itinerary of at least 4 days in Marseille.

9. Escape for a day to Avignon from Marseille to enjoy this beautiful region

Streets of Avignon| ©Karoly Lorentey
Streets of Avignon| ©Karoly Lorentey

A good alternative during your trip is to go to Avignon from Marseille in the month of April, since during this time of the year you will be able to attend the famous African Festival celebrated in this region. In addition, you will enjoy a pleasant summer climate accompanied by beautiful landscapes.

This is a getaway that you can do on your own or connect with a guided tour for small groups. Whichever option you choose, the route will take you from the center of Marseille to Avignon, passing through Arles, Saint Rémy de Provence and Les Baux de Provence.

Avignon

Once in Avignon, you can explore its streets and learn about the historical context of the place through its monuments. Such is the case of the famous Palace of the Popes, among others.

Similarly, if your visit coincides with the last week of April, you will find the African Festival, with its craft market, food stalls and live music. A true atmosphere of celebration with free access.

Arles

On your way through Arles you will be amazed by the imposing amphitheater of the city. And, if you are there in the last days of the first half of April, you can take advantage of the Easter Fair.

This is an annual event, which kicks off the French bullfighting season. While you may not have time in your itinerary to witness a bullfight, you will always have the chance to see some equestrian shows performed throughout the day in the streets.

Saint Rémy de Provence and Les Baux de Provence

On your way back to Marseille you will pass through Saint Rémy de Provence and Les Baux de Proven ce. In both villages you can make a short stop of at least 15 minutes each, to contemplate the panorama and take amazing pictures.

10. Explore the town of Cassis from Marseille and enjoy its beautiful natural spaces in springtime

Vineyards of Cassis| ©Cilou101
Vineyards of Cassis| ©Cilou101

April could be considered a suitable month to visit Cassis from Marseille, because it is the beginning of spring. Therefore, the weather is warm and very pleasant to explore this fishing village on foot and enjoy all its splendor under the sun rays.

You can reach Cassis by rental car or by train. You can also connect with a day trip to the Provence region from Marseille, which usually incorporates this and other destinations in its itinerary. It all depends on your tastes and time available.

When you arrive in Cassis, you will enjoy a privileged natural environment: vineyards, lavender fields, pine-covered landscapes and, of course, an incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Among the places you can discover in Cassis are the following:

  • Cassis harbor, with traditional architecture, terraces, boats and a picturesque atmosphere.
  • Cassis market, open as long as your visit is on Wednesday or Friday.
  • Cassis Castle, which you will access through a special route to see it up close.
  • Calanques National Park, with a hiking trail that has become a real tourist attraction.

Book a day trip to the Provence region from Marseille

Alternative plans to protect yourself from the rains in Marseille in April

Marseille Cathedral| ©Chris Bancrof
Marseille Cathedral| ©Chris Bancrof

Marseille in April is a city with a fairly mild climate, compared to the high temperatures of the summer season or the characteristic cold of winter. However, during this month you can expect an average of 12 days of rain, so you should be on the lookout.

In this regard, you should ideally bring an umbrella and a light coat. And, of course, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast by installing a weather app on your cell phone.

Temperatures in Marseille in April

Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov
Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov

In Marseille, the fourth month of the year coincides with the spring season. Therefore, during your stay in the city you will enjoy a warm atmosphere, whose average temperature usually varies between a maximum of 17°C and a minimum of 11°C.

In addition, throughout the month it usually rains an average of 37 millimeters, The average number of dry days increases to 18. Likewise, the sea temperature recorded in April is 16ºC, while the daily hours of sunshine increase to 10, giving you longer days.