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Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations

In a striking landmark building, find exhibits that aim to give a new understanding of the Mediterranean, and France’s relation to it, now and in the past.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) has exhibits that draw from a broad range of disciplines, from archaeology to political science to art history. Inside the building, which is perched on the edge of the Vieux Port next to the medieval Fort Saint Jean, discover artifacts and art from Greece, North Africa, Spain, Lebanon and more.

Pause before entering to appreciate the building itself, designed by Algerian-born architect Rudy Ricciotti to evoke the lacework screens common throughout North Africa. 

Enter and start in the first permanent exhibit, Connectivities, which looks at the relationships between and history of the Mediterranean’s ports from Marseille to Istanbul. 

In the adjacent Ruralités exhibit, see a traditional sailing vessel and well pump, among other items that present an overview of the industry behind the Mediterannean’s three major crops: wheat, olives and grapes. Listen to the music of North African folk singers, admire intricately designed breads from the Balkans and learn about how Provence’s wines are made.

Leave the main collection and stroll slowly up the ramp that wraps up the sides of the building, peeking occasionally through the intricate screen to catch glimpses of the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean below. 

Relax on the roof as you look out over the Marseille skyline. Wander through the gardens or see if the open-air theater is putting on a show. Head back in to the cool interior to take in the temporary exhibits, on subjects ranging from the sea to glass-blowing.

Walk to the MuCEM from the bottom of Marseille’s Vieux Port in 15 minutes. Take the metro from the Marseille-Saint-Charles station to the museum in 20 minutes, or walk in 30 minutes. Drive from the airport in 25 minutes. Metered parking is available in underground parking garages nearby. 

The museum is open daily except Tuesdays, from mid-morning to mid-evening. Opening hours change seasonally. There is a fee to enter the museum but you can access the gardens, restaurants and theater for free. A reduced family pass is available.

Get the most out of your visit to Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Here's a list of some of the most popular things to do:

You might like to think about purchasing a Full-Day Aix-en-Provence, Cassis & Marseille Tour or a Marseille Half-Day Electric Bike Tour while you're here. These experiences are a few of the best.

For many more things to do, check out our Marseille things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations


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Best Lodging Options Near Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations

See all 2,424 Properties near Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations
Toyoko Inn Marseille Saint Charles $69
Toyoko Inn Marseille Saint Charles

Toyoko Inn Marseille Saint Charles

25 avenue du Général Leclerc, Marseille
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in 3rd Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Aix-Marseille I and Old Port of Marseille. La Vieille Charite and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 1 mi (2 km). Marseille Saint Charles Station is only a 5-minute walk and St. Charles Station is 6 minutes.

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port $130
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port

    38-40 Quai De Rive Neuve, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in 7th Arrondissement, this romantic hotel is steps from Old Port of Marseille, La Criee National Theater of Marseille, and Abbaye de Saint Victor. Fort Saint Nicholas and Hotel de Ville are also within 15 minutes. Vieux-Port Station is 10 minutes by foot and Estrangin Station is 15 minutes.

      Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port $172
      Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port

      Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port

      36 Boulevard Charles Livon, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Marseille hotel is located by the sea, just steps from Fort Saint Nicholas and Old Port of Marseille. Notre-Dame de la Garde and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 1 mi (2 km). Vieux-Port Station is 15 minutes by foot and Estrangin Station is 21 minutes.

        Escale Oceania Marseille Vieux Port $81
        Escale Oceania Marseille Vieux Port

        Escale Oceania Marseille Vieux Port

        5 La Canebiere, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in 1st Arrondissement, this hotel is steps from La Canebiere and Old Port of Marseille. La Vieille Charite and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 15 minutes. Vieux-Port Station is only a 2-minute walk and Colbert Metro Station is 7 minutes.

          Best Western Plus Hotel La Joliette $96
          Best Western Plus Hotel La Joliette

          Best Western Plus Hotel La Joliette

          49 Avenue Robert Schuman, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in La Joliette, this hotel is steps from Docks of Joliette and Old Port of Marseille. La Vieille Charite and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 15 minutes. Joliette Station is only a 2-minute walk and Jules Guesde Station is 9 minutes.

            Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port – MGallery $121
            Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port – MGallery

            Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port – MGallery

            4 Rue Beauvau, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in 1st Arrondissement, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Old Port of Marseille, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, and Notre-Dame de la Garde. Les Terrasses du Port and Velodrome Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km). Vieux-Port Station is only a 2-minute walk and Noailles Station is 7 minutes.

              Grand Tonic Hotel Marseille-Vieux Port $67
              Grand Tonic Hotel Marseille-Vieux Port

              Grand Tonic Hotel Marseille-Vieux Port

              43 Quai Des Belges, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in 1st Arrondissement, this hotel is steps from La Canebiere and Old Port of Marseille. La Vieille Charite and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 1 mi (2 km). Vieux-Port Station is only a 2-minute walk and Estrangin Station is 8 minutes.

                Residhotel Vieux Port $55
                Residhotel Vieux Port

                Residhotel Vieux Port

                4 Rue Coutellerie, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in 2nd Arrondissement, this aparthotel is steps from Centre Bourse and Old Port of Marseille. La Vieille Charite and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations are also within 15 minutes. Vieux-Port Station is only a 3-minute walk and Colbert Metro Station is 5 minutes.