There’s nothing worse than having to put up with your kids whining that they’re bored when you’re on vacation. Thankfully that won’t happen when you’re in Marseille. This French port city is full of family-friendly things to do that will keep the kids mentally and physically occupied and save you from getting an earache or a headache.
In Marseille, there are ways you can make sightseeing kid-friendly and interesting, super sporting activities the kids can participate in, and lots of places where they can run wild as well as just have some good old fashioned holiday fun.
If you’re carting the kids around the city, don’t drag your bags with you as well. Visit a Marseille luggage storage first so you can worry about making memories rather than your suitcases.
Fun Things To Do With Kids In Marseille
No matter how big they are, kids can soon spoil a morning’s sightseeing. After 20 minutes of trailing along the streets of Vieux Port behind you, they’ll be complaining of aching legs or demanding an ice cream, even if it’s only 10 am. Prevent either of those scenarios by going sightseeing on either of the following:
Marseille Mini Train
All kids will love riding on Le Petit Train de Marseille. The white and blue mini locomotive is about as cute a form of transport you’ll find anywhere, and the best thing is, it runs three different routes around the city so that you won’t miss out on anything. The trips will keep the kids amused, too, as there are lots of hills and dips that, while it’s not a roller coaster ride, are super fun to go up and down.
All of the mini train routes set out from Vieux Port and depart several times a day, so you won’t need to drag the kids out of bed to go sightseeing. Some of the main sights you’ll see as you go around are the Notre Dame de la Garde, Le Panier, the basket quarter, Frioul Island, and If Castle, plus many more. It’s guaranteed that the kids will love the trip to Frioul Island best as it involves a boat ride.
Youngsters love to clamber up the stairs to the top deck of the ColorBus Marseille. Being high up means they can actually get to see everything without anything getting in the way of their low-level vision too.
The hop-on hop-off bus operates on two routes through the city. The red route covers all the main attractions, and the blue route the outer lying areas of the city and the coast. When the kids see something that makes them go wow, you can jump off at the nearest stop and then get back on a later bus to continue the journey.
The main departure point is in Vieux Port, but once you have tickets, you can get on the bus at any of the designated stops.
Spark Their Curiosity
Keeping kids mentally occupied when you’re on vacation isn’t always easy. Here are two kid-friendly activities in Marseille that will spark their curiosity and keep them entertained for hours.
Marseille History Museum
Most kids have a fascination for the morbid and the gruesome. Take them to the Marseille History Museum, and they’ll freak out over the centuries-old human skeletons on display here. There are a lot of local archeological findings exhibited both indoors and out, including shipwrecked boats dating back to the Roman era.
It’s not a huge museum, so it takes only about an hour to go around, even if the kids get caught up checking out the interactive exhibits. The museum is located inside the Centre Commercial Bourse, a huge indoor mall, so once you’ve seen what there is to see at the museum, you can take the kids on a shopping spree.
Kids and castles go together like peanut butter and jelly, so they’ll love every minute of a visit to the Château d’If in Marseille. This incredible 16th-century fortress occupies the islet of If off the coast of Marseille, and getting here involves a short ferry ride. That’s a great start to any kid-friendly outing.
Over the years, the fortress has been used for military purposes and has served as a prison. It’ll certainly spark the kids’ curiosity as they explore the stone-walled rooms and peer through the arched viewpoints high up on the battlements.
Time To Let Off Steam
If your kids are suffering from too much pent-up energy from riding the tourist bus or mini train for too long, it’ll be time to give them an opportunity to let off steam. Take them to either of the following two places, and they’ll have more than enough room to run wild until they calm down.
Prado Beach and Parque Borely
Prado Beach occupies a three-and-a-half-mile-long stretch of the French coastline next to Vieux Port. It’s not all sand; in parts, it’s quite pebbly, but there’s plenty to do for kids here.
The lengthy promenade is great for cycling; there are endless grassy areas with kid’s playground equipment, and even a skatepark. It’s a popular spot for windsurfing and paragliding, too, so there’s always plenty of on-the-water action for kids to watch while you’re having a ten-minute chill-out session and soaking up the sun.
Adjacent to Prado Beach is one of the biggest public parks in Marseille, Parque Borely. There are acres of space to run around, but better still, take the kids out in a pedalo on the lake or treat them to a ride on the park’s carousel.
Ferris Wheel Fun
Give the kids a big thrill by taking them on the Grand Roue de Marseille. They may well feel inclined to cling on for dear life as the 55-meter-high wheel spins round, but that’s all part of the fun.
The time you visit Marseille depends on where the wheel will be as it moves locations with the seasons. It’ll be either in Vieux Port or on the seafront near the steps of Parque Borely. You’ll spot it easily enough as it’s too big to miss. It’s more exciting to ride the wheel at night so wait until it’s dark before you go. It’ll be a ride the kids will never forget.