The park of Longchamp Palace is a rare green space located right in the city’s centre. With its 8 hectares of lawns, trees and two museums, the park is a Marseillaise institution that you must absolutely visit.

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Built in the 19th Century to mark the coming of La Durance waters in Marseille according to Henry Espérandieu plans. It took seven years to build it.

The architect wanted to build an impressive palace with a fountain surrounded by two aisles, which hosts the two museums: the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle on the right, the Musée des Beaux-Arts on the left. Then the architect imagined double stairs encercling the fountains to access those two spaces.

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Around the palace, at the same level and below, vast and beautiful gardens extend. The Jardin du plateau, launched at the same time as the edifice, is a “jardin à la française” that enhances the palace architecture and its famous fountain.

Below is the other garden, which once was a zoo. It closes in 1987 because people stop visiting it. You’ll see the remains of cages or animal shelters. The big cats cage, the bears cage etc, the aviary and the giraffe and elephant pavilion…

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Tips & anecdotes

The park boasts children playgrounds and a “buvette” in the old zoo. It definitely offers a refreshing break if you are in the city’s centre.

You can also visit the observatory, still in use, which processes data from world biggest telescopes.

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FACILITIES

Longchamp Park boasts:

  • the Natural History Museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Two gardens
  • The Haute Provence Observatory
  • A buvette in the old zoo
  • children playgrounds
  • a dog pen, following the park opening time

ADDRESS

Boulevard du Jardin Zoologique, 13004 Marseille

OPENING HOURS

Park: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm (except bank holidays)

  • 1st of November to 14th of February:6am-5.30pm
  • 15th to 28/29th of February: 6am-6.30pm
  • 1st of March to 30th of April: 6am-7pm
  • 1st of May to 31st of August: 6am-8pm
  • 1st of September to the 14th of October: 6am-7pm
  • 15th to the 31st October, 6am-6pm

ADMISSION PRICE

Park: free access
Museums: ticket valid for both museums: full price 9€ / reduced price ticket 6€

Natural History Museum:

  • Permanent exhibitions: full price 5€ / reduced price ticket 3€
  • Permanent + special exhibitions: full price t8€ / reduced price ticket 5€

Beaux-Arts Museum: full price 5€ / reduced price ticket 3€

Free access to permanent exhibitions (of the two museums) every first Sunday of the month.

HOW TO GET THERE?

By bike

  • Station Flammarion Montrichet

By tube

  • Station Cinq Avenues Longchamp (line 1)

By tram

  • Station Longchamp