10 Things to Do in Marseille in February

The cold February weather in Marseille does not prevent you from enjoying its monuments, natural spaces and seasonal activities. Discover this beautiful port city!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Marseille in February

Marseille Square | ©Etienne Baudon

Local celebrations, beautiful natural spaces, sporting events, multicultural shows and much more. Here are some of the activities you can take part in during your stay in the port city of Marseille in February.

You will have the opportunity to fly kites on the beaches of Marseille and watch the sunset over the Old Port while taking a boat trip. You can also visit the ski resorts of Provence from Marseille, attend a day of the city's Open 13 tennis tournament, enjoy Japanese culture at Expo Japan and more.

1. Enjoy the sunset from the Old Port of Marseille

Old port of Marseille| ©Jeanne Menjoulet
Old port of Marseille| ©Jeanne Menjoulet

Make the most of your stay of 2 days or more in Marseille to enjoy a unique sunset from the Old Port of Marseille. To do so, you can get on a boat for a short tour of the surrounding area.

You will have the opportunity to contemplate a privileged sunset. During the month of February, the humidity is low and the air is therefore cleaner. The colours projected by the sun are therefore more vivid, compared to the sunsets in Marseille in summer.

You can also walk along the marina while admiring the horizon or sit on one of the terraces. This way, you can have a drink or sample the local gastronomy.

Book a boat tour of Marseille

2. Be part of the big Carnival celebration during your visit to Marseille

Marseille Carnival| ©jeanmary inzerillo
Marseille Carnival| ©jeanmary inzerillo

If you make your trip to Marseille in mid-February, you'll want to be part of the Carnival celebrations. You'll see a great local street show and you can even escape to Nice for its carnival, considered the oldest in France.

Marseille Carnival

To enjoy the Marseille Carnival, you'll have to go to the Old Port area. There, a parade takes place in which you will see floats, acrobats, costumes, clowns, jugglers, among others.

In addition, in the marina you will find live music and craft sales. There are also theatrical performances and children's play areas, which is ideal for the little ones at home.

There are also dozens of terraces with restaurants and bars surrounding the port, from where you can watch the spectacle. In fact, you could take advantage of the culinary variety of these places to go on one of Marseille's gastronomic tours.

Nice Carnival

If you have time in your itinerary, you can take advantage of your stay in Marseille to visit the city of Nice, which is less than three hours away by car or bus. There, you'll experience one of the biggest celebrations, second only to the Carnival in Brazil.

At the Nice Carnival, you'll be surrounded by a lively atmosphere of celebration 24 hours a day, for a whole week. You'll see impressive floats, dance to the rhythm of the comparsas and more.

Book one of the best gastronomic tours of Marseille

3. Join the celebration of Our Lady of Candlemas at the Abbey of Saint Victor in Marseille

Saint Victor Abbey| ©Pearl, su maleta & Cia
Saint Victor Abbey| ©Pearl, su maleta & Cia

The Abbey of Saint Victor is one of the must-see destinations during your visit to Marseille, due to its great historical and cultural content. In addition, if you stay in February, you can take part in the traditional pilgrimage on the occasion of the day of the Virgin of Candlemas.


February 2nd is a day dedicated to the Virgen de la Candelaria. So if you are one of the faithful of the Black Madonna or simply want to be part of the local traditions, then you should join the annual pilgrimage.

You will walk with dozens of faithful through the streets of Marseille to the Abbey of Saint-Victor or you can go directly to the monastery. There, you will see the virgin in front of the crowd, dressed in a beautiful green dress, to be blessed by the archbishop, who also celebrates a mass.

St. Victor's Abbey

If you want to explore Saint Victor Abbey, you'll need to buy a ticket to visit the crypts (including the one housing the Virgin of Candelaria), sarcophagi and chapels. You can also go inside the cathedral and climb the tower to look out over the city, which offers an interesting snowy view in February.

  • Price: from €2 per person.
  • Opening hours: daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

4. Attend one of the annual Open 13 Provence tennis matches in Marseille

Palais des Sports| ©Frédéric BISSON
Palais des Sports| ©Frédéric BISSON

If you are a tennis enthusiast and plan to spend more than 4 days in Marseille during the month of February, then you have a date at the Open 13 Provence. This is an annual tournament held in the city, which brings together the best players in the sport.

This sporting event usually takes place in mid-February. For a whole week you can enjoy different matches in the arena of the Palais des Sports in Marseille. This is a modern multi-purpose stadium with a history dating back to 1988.

Tickets and the programme for the week are available on the official website of the Open 13 Provence. You just need to check all the information beforehand. Also, if you attend during the qualification period, you can get in for free.

  • Price: from €18 (unnumbered) and €28 (numbered).
  • Address: 81 Rue Raymond Teisseire, 13009 Marseille.

5. Celebrate Japanese culture during your visit to Marseille at Expo Japan.

People at expo japan| ©Saâd Zniber
People at expo japan| ©Saâd Zniber

For 3 days in Marseille, the annual Expo Japan takes place. It is a meeting that takes place at the end of February, where you can celebrate Japanese culture in all its expressions.

Among the activities that you can enjoy during Expo Japan, the following stand out:

  • Ichigo Scene: in this area you will see some conferences given by gamers, mangakas and professional cosplayers. You will also see jpop music exhibitions and cosplay parades.
  • Sakura Stage: this is an open pavilion where you will have the opportunity to watch traditional performances (Japanese folklore), sing your favourite J-songs in karaoke, play games, etc.
  • Sumiré Zone: this is where you can meet the authors of your favourite manga. You can get autographs and take pictures with them.

Also, if you are interested in martial arts, local clubs offer demonstrations of each of the disciplines. You can take part in a group practice and thus perform your first katas or martial arts moves.

Useful information

  • Address: the activity usually takes place at the Parc Chanot at 114 Rdpt du Prado, 13008 Marseille.
  • Price: from 8€ per person (tickets may vary according to your category (normal, genin, chûnin or jônin), so the price range is between 14€, 12€, 10€, and 8€, respectively.

6. Take advantage of February's winter weather to visit Provence's ski resorts from Marseille

Skiing in Provence| ©AD 04
Skiing in Provence| ©AD 04

If you're a winter sports enthusiast , then a day trip to Provence from Marseille in February is a good alternative. There, you will find several ski resorts, generally popular with tourists and locals alike.

You can ice skate, ski, snowboard and enjoy beautiful natural and snowy scenery. Some of the resorts available are:

Ski resort d'Ancelle

This is a family ski resort with an extension of 30 kilometres, where you will find a total of 17 slopes. You can also sit out on the terraces and enjoy the local food and drink while admiring the scenery.

  • Address: Commune of Ancelle in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur (approximately 2 hours 14 minutes from the centre of Marseille).
  • Price: from €23 per person.

Chabanon ski resort

At the Chabanon ski resort you will find around 35 slopes available for different activities. You will have the possibility to ski, slide downhill on a snake gliss (sledge train) or yooner (a suspended seat on a ski). You can also go speed riding (skiing with paragliding).

  • Address: French commune of Selonnet in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes from the centre of Marseille).
  • Price: from €23 per person.

Saint Jean Montclar ski resort

At the Saint-Jean Montclar ski resort you will have access to 32 slopes spread over 50 kilometres. You can go paragliding, ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and other variations of this sporting equipment.

  • Address: French commune of Montclar in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur (approximately 2 hours 16 minutes from the centre of Marseille).
  • Price: from €27 per person.

7. Come to the Salon du Chocolat and enjoy this delicious product while learning about its history

Parc Chanot| ©cachecache
Parc Chanot| ©cachecache

During the second half of February, you have the option of attending the Salon du Chocolat. This is an annual event, which originated in Paris, but is now celebrated in Marseille and other parts of the world.

You will learn about cocoa cultivation and how it is processed to meet the different needs of consumers. All this, through some conferences and live demonstrations.

Meanwhile, in the exhibition area set up in the Parc Chanot, which is where the event takes place, you will have the opportunity to taste endless presentations of chocolate. In addition, you will be able to witness a fashion show, where chocolate is the protagonist.

8. Enjoy the performances of the Toursky Theatre in Marseille

Orchestra in the theatre| ©Daniel MARTIN
Orchestra in the theatre| ©Daniel MARTIN

Marseille is a city with an important cultural scene, which you can discover at the Toursky Theatre. There, during the month of February, you'll find an extensive programme of theatre, dance and musical performances.

Also, if you're lucky, you might be able to enjoy some contemporary art exhibitions, opera, flamenco, poetic circus, among others. Everything will depend on the schedule of activities planned for the second month of the year. Therefore, you must confirm the shows in advance on the theatre's website.

  • Price: from 14€ per person (ticket prices may vary according to the show).
  • Address: 16 Prom. Léo Ferré, 13003 Marseille.

9. Tour Marseille on board a tourist bus with free stops on cold days

Marseille tourist bus| ©Mike Brocklebank
Marseille tourist bus| ©Mike Brocklebank

A good way to get to know the city is to travel around it on board the Marseille tourist bus service. This way, you will have a panoramic tour with the possibility of getting on and off freely at any of the 14 stops.

Besides, as you may know, February is the winter period in the city, so it will be more convenient to use the bus in case of rain or snow. You can hop on the red or blue route of the Marseille Color Bus, which runs from 10am to 4.30pm during this low season month.

Book a ticket on the Marseille tourist bus

10. Take a stroll along the beaches of the Prado in Marseille and have fun flying a kite

Meadow beach| ©Ratozamanana Andriankoto
Meadow beach| ©Ratozamanana Andriankoto

Marseille in February is usually a rather cold place, but this is no excuse for you to visit the Prado Beaches during your stay. Not only will you be able to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, but you will also be able to fly kites, which is a very popular activity among the locals during this month.

To do this activity you will drive or take a bus along the Corniche road, while enjoying the stunning panoramic view of the Mediterranean coastline. You will pass through the picturesque fishing village of Vallon des Auffes, which will surprise you with its stream, small boats and traditional food.

Finally, you will arrive at the Prado beaches, which stand out for their blue waters and white sand. You will find green areas, restaurants with seafood and some street stalls with traditional kites for sale.

You can walk, run, swim (if you don't mind the low sea temperature), lie on the sand and join the people flying kites. You will have an unforgettable day. Definitely a good plan if you have decided to visit Marseille with children.

The influx of tourists in Marseille in February

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

If you plan to travel to Marseille in February, you should know that this month is considered a very low season in the city. As a result, you will get fewer tourists on the streets, beaches, monuments and other attractions.

February is also the season for low prices on accommodation, airline transfers, car hire and entrance fees to places of interest. You could save up to 30% compared to the very high season (July and August).

Temperatures in Marseille in February

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

February in Marseille coincides with the winter season. Therefore, if you visit the city during this month, you will enjoy low temperatures with an average temperature between 7°C and 12°C. In fact, although daily measurements may vary by 1°C or 2°C, you will rarely see the thermometer read less than 7°C or exceed 10°C.

During the second month of the year the weather is quite cool in Marseille, recorded rainy days are between 3 and 8, daylight hours increase to approximately 10. The snow forecast is usually moderate.

All these weather conditions are quite mild, so they will not prevent you from taking part in the best tours of Marseille, either with a guided service or on your own.

What to pack for a visit to Marseille in February?

Luggage| ©tookapic
Luggage| ©tookapic

Like January, February is considered one of the coldest months of the year in Marseille. So if you plan to visit the city during this season, you'll want to pack some warm clothes and coats.

Also, make room in your suitcase for an umbrella, as you might encounter some unexpected precipitation. Also, take some sturdy socks and a pair of closed-toe shoes with good traction. This will keep your feet warm, protected and prevent you from slipping when walking in the snow or wet.