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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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La Vieille Charité

A vibrant culture and museum complex serves as an artistic hub for Marseille, in a building that was once a 17th-century shelter for the homeless.

Designed by Pierre Puget, one of Marseille’s most famous sons, La Vieille Charité was once a place for “the great confinement of the poor.” Today the building houses several museums and cultural organizations that give even a casual visitor a sense of the life of art in the city. It is also worth visiting to appreciate the architecture of the building, which is topped by an elegant dome that easily dates the building to the height of the Baroque period. 

Wander in the entrance and take a moment to breathe in the calm that radiates from La Vieille Charité’s walls. Start your tour in the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology, which brings together art and artifacts from all around the Mediterranean basin with a focus on Egypt and Greece. 

Continue on to the Museum of African, Oceanic and Amerindian Art, featuring an extensive collection of shrunken heads donated to the museum by famed French explorer Dr. Gastaut.

Visit the Centre International de la Poésie de Marseille (CIPM), where poets from around the city, country and even the world come together to discuss and read their work. Watch French arthouse cinema at the “Le Miroir” cinema, where you might discover a new favorite. 

See what’s on in the temporary exhibition halls, where rotating collections highlights the art and history of Provence and Marseille itself. Have your nightly apéritif in the café within the walls, taking your glass of wine to one of the recesses to relax and chat as the evening descends.

La Vieille Charité is in the heart of Marseille, just north of the Vieux Port. Walk or take the tram from Marseille-St-Charles station in 18 minutes, or walk from the Old Port in 12 minutes. Drive from the airport in 20 minutes. Metered parking is available nearby. 

The center is open daily, except every other Monday, from mid-morning to the early evening. Individual museums and centers inside have variable hours. Access to the center is free, but the museums and temporary exhibits have a fee. All museums are free on the first Sunday of the month.


Guide to Exploring around La Vieille Charite


Best Lodging Options Near La Vieille Charite

See all 3,321 Properties near La Vieille Charite
Golden Tulip Marseille Euromed ¥10,060
Golden Tulip Marseille Euromed

Golden Tulip Marseille Euromed

6 Place Henri Verneuil, Marseille
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in La Joliette, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Port of Marseille, Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal, and Grand Port Maritime de Marseille. Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations and Le Dôme are also within 3 mi (5 km). Arenc Euroméditerranée Station is 6 minutes by foot and Désirée Clary Metro Station is 12 minutes.

    NH Collection Marseille ¥6,407
    NH Collection Marseille

    NH Collection Marseille

    37 Boulevard des Dames, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in 2nd Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Port of Marseille and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal and Grand Port Maritime de Marseille are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jules Guesde Station and Colbert Metro Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu ¥19,871
      InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

      InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

      1 Place Daviel, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in 2nd Arrondissement, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Port of Marseille and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal and Grand Port Maritime de Marseille are also within 2 mi (3 km). Vieux-Port Station is 8 minutes by foot and Colbert Metro Station is 8 minutes.

        Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux-Port – MGallery ¥10,461
        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 Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal are also within 2 mi (3 km). Vieux-Port Station is only a 2-minute walk and Noailles Station is 7 minutes.

          Residhome Marseille Saint Charles ¥6,662
          Residhome Marseille Saint Charles

          Residhome Marseille Saint Charles

          10 boulevard Charles Nedelec, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in 1st Arrondissement, this residence is within 1 mi (2 km) of La Canebiere, Old Port of Marseille, and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal and Grand Port Maritime de Marseille are also within 2 mi (3 km). Jules Guesde Station and Colbert Metro Station are within a 5-minute walk.

            Radisson Blu Hotel, Marseille Vieux Port ¥14,632
            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.

              Residhome Marseille ¥8,474
              Residhome Marseille

              Residhome Marseille

              23 Rue Mazenod, Marseille
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in La Joliette, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Port of Marseille and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal and Grand Port Maritime de Marseille are also within 1 mi (2 km). Joliette Station is only a 3-minute walk and Jules Guesde Station is 9 minutes.

                Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port ¥19,081
                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, within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Saint Nicholas, La Corniche, and Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Old Port of Marseille and Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km). Vieux-Port Station is 15 minutes by foot and Estrangin Station is 21 minutes.