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The most popular time of year to visit Marseille is during the summer. However, this is not necessarily for reasons having to do with the weather and/or climate, because Marseille is generally pleasant throughout the entire year. Marseille is probably the most crowded during the summer simply because a majority of the of people around the world plan their vacations during the summertime.
One reason, however, that Marseille sees more tourists during the month of July in particular is that France celebrates Bastille Day in the middle of the month, and the French national anthem bears the name of the city - "La Marseillaise". The celebration generally lasts for about two weeks, and the city is exciting and full of entertainment during this time.
Marseille sees tourist activity during the spring, fall and winter because the climate here is exceptionally pleasant all year round. The air is always full of breezes because Marseille is located on the Mediterranean Sea, and the city rarely sees any sort of snow or even frost during the winter. While the temperature can get chilly during the winter, it's not unpleasant for visitors. For travellers from northern countries, the pleasure to be had from visiting Marseille in December lies, amongst other things, in being able to eat outside during the day and to catch some of the sun's rays.
To avoid some of the crowds of tourists in the summer, and if it fits with vacation schedules, it may be a good idea to consider traveling to Marseille during an alternate time of year.