Les Arnavaux 1 Mairie Du 13 14emeLes Arnavaux 1 Mairie Du 13 14eme
©Les Arnavaux 1 Mairie Du 13 14eme

Les Arnavaux district

We’re heading for Marseille’s 14th arrondissement, in the Arnavaux district. This district is mainly home to administrative offices spread over several neighbouring districts. In Arnavaux, you’ll find restaurants, cafés, housing, schools, businesses and a market. The district has direct access to the A7 motorway (Autoroute du Soleil), and excellent bus links. For the record, the district takes its name from the word ‘arnaveù’, which literally means ‘thorny grass’, a reference to the thorn of Christ.

What to do in the Arnavaux district?

In terms of cultural visits, the Arnavaux district is not the most touristy area of Marseille, but its quick access to the motorway makes it interesting in many ways. The district offers a number of original activities, including several sports leisure centres and shops of all kinds.

For an afternoon of sport, head to ‘le 13 by Puma’ for an indoor football activity. The programme includes indoor football, cross training and padel tennis. This 6,500 m² complex has 8 synthetic pitches, one of which can be played on with studs. Enjoy long football sessions sheltered from the elements in the largest indoor football pitch in the region. Next door, on Boulevard Gay Lessac, you’ll find Modern Squash Badminton, a squash and badminton club with several courts, a gym and a restaurant.

At the western end of the district is the Parc François Billoux. It bears the name of the former minister, who has been a member of parliament for the constituency since 1978. In the 18th century, the park covered more than 27 hectares and housed a chapel and three mills. Today, the François Billoux park covers 5.2 hectares and is home to a wide variety of vegetation, including oleanders, bamboos, hundred-year-old white oaks, plane trees and privet. Just south of Les Arnavaux, outside the 14th arrondissement, is the Parc de l’Espérance. Here you’ll find green spaces, a skatepark and children’s play areas.

The Arnavaux district is home to the huge Marché des Arnavaux. This market alone boasts more than 267 producers and over a hundred businesses. You’ll find a variety of products from all over the world, including meat, fruit, vegetables and even confectionery, as well as professional equipment for restaurateurs. For early risers, Marseille’s Office de Tourisme, des Loisirs et des Congrès organises guided tours of the market, ending with breakfast at the M.I.N (Marché Marseille Méditerranée) brasserie.