The 5 districts of Marseille to discover

For your first time in Marseille

Forged over 2600 years ago, the Phocaean city boasts a remarkable architectural heritage, sublime natural spaces, tasty gastronomy and unmissable cultural sites. Between art, culture, nature, history and the sea, we invite you to discover Marseille’s best neighborhoods for strolling, eating and partying.

1. Le Panier – 2nd borough

Marseille’s oldest district having inspired the producers of the series Plus belle la vie, Le Panier generally attracts visitors with its colorful, vegetated alleys that lead you to lively, bustling squares. To discover an authentic Marseille, this is definitely the district to see on your trip to Provence. For a morning or an afternoon, stroll through its picturesque alleyways to meet artisans’ shops who will share their love of their craft.

In the heart of the 2nd arrondissement, Le Panier is a true open-air museum, witness its frescoes that invite admiration and its cultural venues (the Maison Diamantée, the Pavillon Daviel, the Hôtel de Cabre, the Vieille Charité…). At aperitif time, you can enjoy a good rosé or a glass of pastis in one of the neighborhood’s small bars. In the evening, sit down at one of the traditional restaurants for a Marseille speciality such as the traditional bouillabaisse. In summer, different animations are offered in the evening by associations, creating a nightlife where festivity, music and good humor are essential.

2. Les Cinq Avenues – 4th borough

Want to party all night long? Head for the Cinq Avenues in Marseille’s 4th arrondissement. This district gathers adresses not to be missed: restaurants, bars, pubs… Everything is brought together to spend an unforgettable evening in the heart of the Phocaean city.

For families and history and culture lovers, this district will also appeal to them thanks to the Palais Longchamp that makes it up. Originally built to accommodate the waters of the Durance, this palace is a veritable waterode in the heart of Marseille, which is home to 2 museums: the Fine-Arts museum (in the left wing) and the Nautral History Museum (in the right wing).

To relax with friends or children, a public garden is available to visitors at the front of the palace, and a park with observatory at the rear.

3. The Vieux-Port – 1st borough

The first district that comes to mind when we think of Marseille, the Vieux-Port can be visited in any season and at any time. Every morning, the stalls of fish merchants attract the curious and the neighborhood regulars in search of a freshly caught delicacy. After passing under the ombrière, playing on mirror effects, imagined by the British Norman Foster, you can head for the Canebière, Marseille’s most famous shopping avenue for shopping, or to the Mucem, the first major national museum devoted to the Mediterranean, to discover temporary and permanent exhibitions on a variety of themes (history, archaeology, contemporary art…).

4. Notre-Dame-du-Mont – 6th borough

Within Marseille’s Notre-Dame-du-Mont district, you’ll find the Plaine and the cours Julien, the place to be for artists, where street art prevails, witness the many graffiti on the walls and staircases. Venture into its original alleys to discover designer boutiques with bourgeois-bohemian and vintage allures, or browse the farmers’ market on the cours Ju’ offering fresh, organic and seasonal produce. An atypical Marseille neighborhood, it’s frequented as much during the day for its restaurant terraces as in the evening for its festive, cosmopolitan atmosphere. During your stay, call on the Marseille Tourist Office, which offers guided tours on the theme of street art to find out more about the works on Cours Julien.

5. La Pointe Rouge – 8th borough

On sunny days, the Pointe Rouge becomes the place for lively evenings with friends thanks to its many trendy bars and discos. During the day, water sports enthusiasts appreciate this part of town, where they can enjoy sailing, scuba diving, paddleboarding or water skiing. Popular with families and children, the district offers several pretty beaches, such as l’anse des Sablettes and the Pointe Rouge beach, where holidaymakers can relax to perfect their tan or take a dip in the turquoise Mediterranean water. A true gateway to the Calanques National Park, Pointe Rouge enjoys an idyllic setting between land and sea where the green spaces that make it up are transformed into picnic spots for families.