What's the Weather like in Marseille in December
Although snowfall is rare in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, France, it remains one of Europe's top destinations for getting into the Christmas spirit. The city goes all out during the holidays, with markets, festivals, shopping opportunities, decorations, and the historic city centre reminiscent of small towns and villages often represented on traditional Christmas cards.
Much like in Avignon to the north, winter properly arrives in Marseille in December. Although the city rarely sees snowfall, it does experience cool temperatures ranging from an average of 4°C at night to 12°C on average in the afternoon, which continue to become chillier into the New Year.
Rainfall remains at a steady 50mm, which continues at this moderate pace until spring when the April showers make an appearance. All the other winter months receive the exact same amount of rainfall on average. December has 10 days with some kind of precipitation, which means that there are still 21 days without any precipitationhat's three dry weeks. The probability that rainfall occurs ranges around 33% throughout the month. There is a minuscule drop in the course of the month, but it's so small (from 34% to 32%) that it is barely noticeable. Moderate rain remains the most common type by far, being recorded on 63% of the days with rainfall. Light rain might occasionally occur as well, but isn't observed on more than 22% of those rainy days. Snow, as mentioned earlier, is exceptionally rare.
Cloud cover also remains relatively high throughout the last month of the year, averaging about 43%. This implies that, generally speaking, the sky is partly cloudy in Marseille this time of year. December is the month with the shortest days of any month. December 21 is the shortest day of the entire year with 8.57 hours of daylight. The other days are only slightly longer.
Average Sunshine Hours
These two factors greatly influence the number of sunshine hours. December is the least sunny month of the year, together with January, with merely 4 hours of sunshine per day on average. If you're travelling to Marseille in the near future, you can check out our detailed weather forecast on this page.
Hotels in Marseille in December
If you decide not to buy any Christmas presents this month and use your money to splurge on accommodation when visiting Marseille in December, consider booking a room at the marvellous five-star C2 Hôtel. This luxury hotel is set in the heart of the city and housed in a beautiful 19th-century building. Its interior is superbly elegant and stylish, featuring chandeliers, imposing stairways as well as fascinatingly modern architectural touches. Amenities are world-class and include a spa, bar, business centre and restaurant.
InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu
Another classy luxury hotel in the city is the magnificent InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu. This five-star hotel and resort overlooks the Old Port and is housed in a listed historic building that dates from the 1700s. You can opt to stay at one of the classic rooms or treat yourself to even more luxury and book an executive room or suite. There are meeting rooms and conference spaces, a spa, fitness centre, a bar and lounge, and even a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Hotel Edmond Rostand
In the likely case that you do want to buy some Christmas presents for your loved ones, staying in a more affordable hotel would be a good idea. Hôtel Edmond Rostand is a three-star hotel that will suit your budget. Located in the antique district in central Marseille, this suggested hotel has 15 rooms that all feature free Wi-Fi, a bath tub, a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning.
Eating and Drinking Out
Le Petit Nice Passedat is one of the greatest eating venues in Marseille. Expect to pay a bit more thoughhis is the only restaurant in the city that has three (!) Michelin stars. This is a wonderful, superb even, place to go for dinner. Its menu features mostly seafood and fish, which is pretty much the typical cuisine of this region of France.
To enjoy a New Year's drink, pop into La Caravelle which remains open until 1 am. There is a rather romantic atmosphere here, so it is perfect for couples. If you're feeling peckish, order some dishes from the menu which offers up French cuisine such as Mediterranean salad, beef tartare and fromage blanc for dessert.
Things to Do in Marseille in December
Although it's one of the coldest months of the year and temperatures drop to 4°C overnight, December really is a magical time in Marseille, as this is when the city plays host to La Foire aux Santons, the Christmas fair. There are figurine workshops, traditional parades, carol singers, balloon sculptures, strolling musicians and, of course, Santa and his elves. The market aspect houses many different stalls reminiscent of the famed Europe Christmas markets, selling handcrafted decorations and festive foods.
If you're looking for a cultural attraction, the Abbey of Saint Victor is a great place to visit. This fascinating abbey contains crypts filled with historically exceptionally valuable artefacts, including things dating from the Greek period. Legend has it that the remains of 14th-century Saint Victor are housed in the abbey as well. A visit to this old abbey is definitely recommended to add some culture to your trip