Marseille is the undiscovered jewel in the crown of France’s Mediterranean coastline. The rocky hills of Provence look down onto the ancient port and the thousands of boats docked in its clear blue waters. Countless artists have been seduced by the sunny climate and the hustle-and-bustle of the town. France’s second city has all you could ask for - beautiful beaches, ancient buildings, thriving arts, and a diverse and dynamic nightlife. Welcome to a place fiercely proud of its unique cultural heritage, dubbed "Planet Mars" by its youthful population.
Euro (EUR) €1 = 100 cents
EU Emergency Number: 112
La Provence - www.laprovence.com
Marseille Plus - www.marseille-plus.fr
Le Monde - www.lemonde.fr
Le Figaro - www.lefigaro.fr
Normal opening hours for shops are 10 am-7 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some shops might be closed over lunch. On Sundays shops are normally closed or have reduced opening hours.
Marseille urban area: 1 750 000
Main Tourist Office
11, la Canebière, Marseille
+33 826 500 500
Open: Mon-Sun 9am-6pm
Founded by Phocaean Greeks 2 600 years ago, Marseille is France’s oldest town, a melting pot of peoples and cultures, and a gateway to southern Europe and North Africa. Today, the city is still dependent on the port for its revenue and is dominated by fishing boats and people selling fresh produce.
Marseille is cut in half by La Canebière, one of the main shopping streets, which runs west to east from the Vieux Port. The city is divided into 15 arrondissements (districts), ranging from gentrified to run-down, and is famed for its fish-dominated culinary menu and its potent aniseed tipple, called pastis.
The exclusivity increases as you head further south to the corniche and Prado, the city’s best beach, with three kilometres of fine sand.
Marseille is an urban cultural hot spot, a French city with historical and maritime museums, lovely architecture and beautiful nature in the form of parks and a stunning beach. Visit the main harbour and take a stroll around the Abbaye Saint Victor, explore the narrow streets of the old quarter, or make time for one of the beaches not too far from the city centre.
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde
Vieux Port Fish Market
Saint Victor Abbey
Marseille History Museum
Roman Docks Museum
Orange Vélodrome Stadium
The Old Charity
Garden of Remains
Memorial of the Marseillaise
Marseille boasts a culinary tradition heavily influenced by its surroundings. Fish dominates, and one dish in particular - bouillabaisse. This fish stew combines a variety of fish with saffron, fennel and orange zest. It is served with rouille, a garlic and chilli-flavoured mayonnaise. Olive oil, herbs, fresh fruit and vegetables are also quintessential elements of Marseille cuisine.
Toinou Les Fruits de Mer
Le Café Thaï
Nul Part Ailleurs
Le Petit Nice
Les Trois Forts
La Côte de Boeuf
Le Charles Livon
Numerous little shops and boutiques clutter the small streets in Le Panier, the oldest part of Marseille, whilst the trendiest spots are located in the south around the bohemian area of Cours Julien and Place Jean-Jaurès.
Le Café de la Banque
Le Bar de la Marine
Les Buffets du Vieux Port
Marseille is all about bar culture - whether it be sipping on an aperitif at an outdoor cafe table in the late evening sun or standing around a bar chatting with friends, drinking beer and snacking on olives. The city’s cultural diversity means there is a little bit of everything in Marseille to suit all tastes. Locals really go for it, partying until well into the morning hours, especially during the summer.
La Part des Anges
Le Bar de la Marine
Ice Club Bazar
Dock des Suds
The Red Lion
Marseille’s main shopping areas are in the central and southern parts of town and cater to all tastes, from Côte d’Azur luxury and large department stores to quirky little boutiques and stores.
If you want smaller shops then head to the Cours Julien area, which has built up a reputation as an alternative, bohemian quarter. The area is also great for food and antique markets at weekends. Le Panier, Marseille’s oldest neighbourhood, is the best place for local products. Rue des Petits Puits and places des Pistoles are good streets for Provençal pottery and shops selling lavender soap and olive-based goodies.
Vieux Port Fish Market
Les Terrasses du Port
Rue de la Tour
Cours Julien Area
Le Panier Area
La Maison du Pastis
The Grand Littoral Retail Park
Centre Valentine and Printemps
Cours Julien Market
Marseille Provence Airport
Marseille Provence Airport is located 30 kilometres from the town centre. You can take the train to reach the city centre, and the journey takes approximately half an hour. There are also shuttle buses that run between the airport and Marseille’s train station, Gare Saint Charles.
From the train station you can easily reach other nearby cities. Taxis and car rental companies are represented at the airport.
+33 4 42 88 11 44
Address: Marseille Provence Airport, Marseille
Phone: +33 4 42 14 24 44
Passport / Visa
France can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Best Time to Visit
Most people choose July and August for their stay in Marseille and Provence, due to the pleasant - although sometimes very hot - weather, which allows for beautiful days at the beach. However, visiting in May or June can be a great idea as well: the city will be less crowded and the temperature nicer, spring at its best. Provence's famous lavender fields are in bloom from June to August.
The best way to get around in Marseille is by using the very efficient metro system which runs between 6 am and 9 pm. With two lines, it is part of a wider Marseille public transport network (RTM) that includes buses (which run later). The public transport network consist of the metro, buses, trams, trains and ferries.
There are different types of tickets depending on your preferences. A useful ticket is the Carte Groupe for four to twelve people, which makes a single journey cheaper. A 24H/72H card is also available: it allows you to make as many journeys as you like on the RTM network.
Remember that you will be charged for suitcases, unless it is hand luggage, when you order a taxi. There are 98 taxi stations in Marseille, 31 of which can be phoned.
Taxi Radio Marseille:
Phone: +33 4 91 02 20 20
Look for a yellow mailbox if you want to send a letter or postcard.
Address: 25 Rue Colbert, Marseille
Pharmacies take turns to stay open around the clock.
Pharmacie du Vieux Port:
Address: 4 Quai du Port, Marseille
Phone: +33 4 91 91 63 10
230 V / 50Hz
Country code: +33
Area code: 04