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Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) is located on the shore of Port of Marseille with a starkly modern cube, connected to the mainland by a skybridge, contained in a swirling concrete age. The museum opened in 2013, when Marseille-Provence was European Capital Culture.
The History And The Inside Of MuCEM
One of the things to do at Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is to visit the J4. The J4 covers an area of 16.500 square meter including 3.690 of exhibition space. Surrounded by harbor basins, positioned facing the sea, the J4 offers 360° views taking in the Fort Saint Jean and the Mediterranean. It is linked to the Fort Saint Jean by a high footbridge 135 metres long. The J4 is the veritable 'heart' of the MuCEM, hosting large permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as regular and one-off events from the artistic and cultural program.
The next thing to do at the MuCEM is to visit the Fort-Saint Jean. Its origin date is back to the 12th century and was a military fort, totally off-limits to the public. Its footbridge projecting over the sea, where the visitor can admire the rich collections of popular arts and traditions, and enjoy the Mediterranean garden. Although some of the buildings are used for exhibitions, the Fort Saint Jean is above all a vibrant new centre in the heart of Marseille, offering a large range of activities, including a historical trail, a botanical stroll through the Jardin des Migrations and a chance to discover spectacular, previously inaccessible views.
Another thing to do at Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is to visit this large ochre-coloured monolith designed by architect Corinne Vezzoni. The CCR, a Centre for Conservation and Resources, houses the MuCEM's collections, consisting of more than one million objects. This is where the collections are conserved, studied and restored. There is a storeroom specially designed to receive visitors and an exhibition room give members of the general public a chance to go 'backstage' at the MuCEM.
How to Get Tickets?
You can access the exterior spaces and gardens of MuCEM for free without tickets during the opening hours of the museum. However, if you want to see all the exhibition spaces J4 and fort Saint-Jean, you will need to purchase a ticket. You can purchase your tickets on the museum's official website or you can purchase the tickets on-site. Tickets are valid on the day of purchase for entry. If you come with your family, it is better to purchase family tickets. If you're visiting on the first Sunday of the month, you can take advantage of free admission tickets. Visitors under 18 get free admission, free tickets can be picked up on site or directy in the exhibition entrance.
How To Get Around?
Getting around in MuCEM is easy, you can simply walk and see everything. All exhibition spaces are accessible by wheelchair and stroller. Take your time to stop, take a picture, or simply admire the exhibitions inside.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code at Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. You can wear anything comfortable or casual, or dress up a little bit if you want to take some nice pictures. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses with you if you visit during the summer, it is very hot in Marseille.
Best Time to Visit
The museum's hours change seasonally, but generally, it welcomes visitors from 10 or 11 a.m. and closes between 6 and 8 p.m. To make the most of your time, visit the museum on weekdays when it's less crowded, and in the afternoon before the sunset to watch the sunset from the museum's rooftop gardens.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, but we recommend you to purchase the entry tickets with audio guide. The audio guide offers tours in permanent and temporary exhibition spaces as well as in outdoor spaces. It's a self-guided tour with audio-guide permit to visit the Museum in an autonomous way, with explanations relating both architecture and exhibitions.
How To Get There?
If you take the metro, buy a ticket and stop at Vieux-Port or Joliette and take a 10 minutes walk. If you take the bus, Line 82, 60, and 49 will all stop at Fort Saint-Jean and you just have to walk from there for a couple minutes. If you take the tram, buy a ticket and take Line T2 République, Dames ou Joliette stop and walk for about 10-15 minutes. If you want to visit the MuCEM straight from the airport, there's an express shuttle between the airport and Marseille Saint-Charles train station. The shuttle leaves every 15 minutes. From here, you can take Metro line 1 or 2 to Vieux-Port or Joliette (direct).