ruelle colorées et végétalisée du quartier du Panier à Marseille

The districts of Marseille

Marseille has 111 official districts, 16 boroughs and eight sectors. Find all the information on the tourist districts of Marseille ! Each sector contains two boroughs, each of which is made up of several districts. The city has eight sector town halls and a main town hall located on the street “Quai du Port”.

The origin of the neighbourhoods

Marseille’s neighbourhoods were built in several ways. Many neighbourhoods were outying villages in Marseille, which were attached to the commune and included in the list of 111 neighbourhoods. They then took the name of the village church, which explains why 26 of them are named after a Saint : ‘Saint Jérôme’, ‘Saint Antoine’, ‘Saint Loup’, ‘Saint Victor’ …

Others are former plots of “countryside” which have taken the name of the estate (‘la Blancarde’), or of its owners ( ‘les Camoins’).

Some districts take their name from a building (Grands-Carmes), or from a motto on the pediment of a bastide (Menpenti). It was written ‘Marchi toujou e jamai m’en pent'(I always walk and never repent).

Some districts have simply taken the name of a geographical or economic element : ‘Roucas Blanc’ (rocky limestone hill) or ‘Montolivet'( at the time a hill with olive trees).

The unofficial districts

There are also neighbouhoods that are very much in the mind of the people of Marseille but which are unofficial such as  : ‘Le Panier’, ‘Le Vieux-Port’, ‘Longchamp’, ‘les Catalans’, ‘La Plaine’, ‘Malmousque’, ‘Luminy’…and many others.

Do the locals know the name of the 111 districts by heart? 

List of the different boroughs of Marseille
  • 1rst borough

    Belsunce – Chapitre (Le) – Noailles – Opéra – St-Charles – Thiers

  • 2nd borough

    Arenc – Grands Carmes (Les) – Hôtel de Ville – Joliette (La) – Panier (Le)

  • 3rd borough

    Belle de Mai – St-Lazare – St-Mauront – Villette (La)

  • 4th borough

    Blancarde (La) – Chartreux (Les) – Chutes-Lavie – Cinq-Avenues

  • 5th borough

    Baille – Camas (Le) – Conception (La) – St-Pierre

  • 6th borough

    Castellane – Lodi – Notre-Dame du Mont – Palais de Justice – Préfecture – Vauban

  • 7th borough

    Bompard – Endoume – Îles (Les) – Pharo (Le) – Roucas Blanc (Le) – St-Lambert – Saint-Victor

  • 8th borough

    Bonneveine – Goudes (Les) – Montredon – Périer – Plage (La) – Pointe Rouge (La) – Rouet (Le) – Ste-Anne – St-Giniez – Vieille Chapelle

  • 9th borough

    Baumettes (Les) – Cabot (Le) – Carpiagne – Mazargues – Panouse (La) – Redon (Le) – Ste-Marguerite – Sormiou – Vaufrèges

  • 10th borough

    Capelette (La) – Menpenti – Pont-de-Vivaux – St-Loup – St-Tronc – Timone (La)

  • 11th borough

    Accates (Les) – Barasse (La) – Camoins (Les) – Éoures – Millière (La) – Pomme (La) – St-Marcel – St-Menet – Treille (La) – Valbarelle (La) – Valentine (La)

  • 12th borough

    Caillols (Les) – Fourragère (La) – Montolivet – St-Barnabé – St-Jean du Désert – St-Julien – Trois-Lucs (Les)

  • 13th borough

    Château Gombert – Croix-Rouge (La) – Malpassé – Médecins (Les) – Mourets (Les) – Olives (Les) – Palama – Rose (La) – St-Jérôme – St-Just – St-Mitre

  • 14th borough

    Arnavaux (Les) – Bon-Secours – Canet (Le) – Merlan (Le) – St-Barthélémy – St-Joseph – Ste-Marthe

  • 15th borough

    Aygalades (Les) – Borels (Les) – Cabucelle (La) – Calade (La) – Crottes (Les) – Delorme (La) – Notre-Dame Limite – St-Antoine – St-Louis – Verduron – Viste (La) 

  • 16th borough

    Estaque (L’) – Riaux (Les) – St-André – St-Henri

Unique but united

If each district has its church and its bowling green, not all the districts of Marseille have the same history. Some, like ‘l’Estaque’ or ‘Les Goudes’, have always been resolutely turned towards the sea. They are fishermen’s neighbouhoods and are in a way witnesses of this long love story between Marseille and the Big Blue. 

Marseille has been able to exploit its coastline, but the city is also a hinterland, a countryside often found in the novels of  Marcel Pagnol. From ‘Château-Gombert’ to ‘La Treille’ via ‘ Les Camoins’, the population has always been considered more rural. If there were many fishermen on the seaside, there were many hunters inland. These 111 districts have a strong identity of which the inhabitants are proud. When it comes to  the question ” Where are you from from?”, it is not uncommon for them to answer ” and my goodness, from l’Estaque !”. These districts, from the most eccentric to the most polite, from the most populated to the most deserted, all have one thing in common : uniqueness.  Each neighbourhood is unique. This is what makes the people of Marseille proud of their city, which is endowed with a breathtaking cultural wealth. Looking up, each inhabitant of each district has the same landmark in the distance : ‘La Bonne Mère’, all districts proudly display their specificities as well as the blue cross on the white background that represents the city of Marseille.

The motto “Actibus immensis urbs fulget Massiliensis” means “Marseille shines by its deeds”. We could say that the splendour of the city of Marseille comes from its heterogeneous and atypical character, which can be found in all 111 districts.

Northern and southern Neighbourhoods

In Marseille, the word ” neighbourhood” also has a broader meaning. It is used to designate areas of the city : the northern districts, made up of the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th boroughs. And the southern districts, which extend as far as the Calanques National Park. The main city centre street ‘La Canebière’ not only flows into the ‘Vieux-Port’ (old-port), it is also the boundary that separates the northern from the southern districts.

Neighbourhood Interest committees

The Neighbourhood Interest Committees (CIQ in french) are associations open to all residents. Their purpose is to act as a link between the residents and the municipality for all matters relating to the daily life in town (public services, security, traffic). They also participate in the animation of local life ((lotos, “marché aux puces” (flea market), festivals)).