Which bookshops in Marseille are a must?

Whether you’re looking for scientific works, historical books, textbooks or romance novels, bookshops are part of life for literature lovers. Each bookshop has its own specific features that give it its charm. Whether you’re looking for an essential bookshop or an independent one, discover our selection of bookshops in Marseille.

Maupetit bookshop

Marseille’s oldest bookshop, the Maupetit bookshop has stood on the heights of la Canebière since 1919. Bought by Ernest Maupetit, to whom it owes its name, it was originally called ‘Librairie des Allées’ and was located at ’56 allée de Meilhan’. Its name officially changed in 1928 when the Canebière was extended to the Reformés. The purchaser’s aim was to offer a large multi-specialist bookshop on Marseille’s main thoroughfare with school, university and medical sections. In 1998, éditions Actes Sud acquired the bookshop. Today, the Maupetit bookshop – which has been awarded the label LIR by the French Ministry of Culture – organizes various events, workshops and meetings on its premises. Within its 850 m², you’ll be able to unearth the classics of French literature, school textbooks, comic strips or stories specially designed for children and adolescents. Don’t hesitate to ask one of our team members for advice on finding the book you’re looking for!

Address:142 La Canebière – 13001 Marseille

Jeanne Laffitte bookshop

Also known as Les Arcenaulx, the Jeanne Laffitte bookshop is both ageneral bookshop with an exceptional stock on Marseille and its region and a antique bookshop with books and engravings that are a collector’s delight. Mixing old books and recent editions alike, Les Arcenaulx is a true place of history, as evidenced by the stone walls and exposed beams that were originally dedicated to goods from the trading port and housed the Arsenal galleys. Within this charming venue, you’ll have access to a selection of new releases and fundamental works, ranging from literature to the humanities, fine arts to youth, and even gastronomy.

Address: 25 cours d’Estienne d’Orves – 13001 Marseille

Pantagruel bookshop

Independent and generalist, the Pantagruel bookshop, open since 2016, caters to all, young and old, lovers or regulars of the 5th art. This neighborhood bookshop is a place for exchange and sharing around culture and literature. With its 70 m², you’ll find among the 8000 references novels by French and foreign authors, comic strips, essays,art books, crime novels… Pantagruel also gives an important place to youth literature. In this place, the watchword remains conviviality and diversity.

Address: 44 rue Paul Codaccioni – 13007 Marseille

L’Odeur du Temps

Located just a stone’s throw from the Old Port, l’Odeur du Temps is a general independent bookshop offering French and foreign literature, works of philosophy, sociology, poetry, theater and many other themed novels. The bookseller (and his cat) aims to be demanding in his choices, as he wishes to privilege the creation of writing rather than the production of books in order to offer readers an alternative to the media prescription that dominates the literature scene.

Address: 35 rue Pavillon – 13001 Marseille


In place of a former bakery, l’Attrape-mots is a generalist neighborhood bookshop with a marked tendency for translated literature and polar. It features a large area dedicated to young people and comic strips, allowing everyone to make their own choice. The booksellers’ expert advice is always welcome. The bookshop also organizes various events such as readings, debates, meetings with authors…

Address: 212 rue Paradis – 13006 Marseille

Histoire de l’Œil

The Histoire de l’Oeil isn’t just a neighborhood bookshop. It’s also a gallery, a youth space and a cafe with veranda. This bookshop specializes in contemporary forms in both literature and art. The literature section provides a substantial background in theater and poetry, but also crime novels and classic novels. The art section includes artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, art writings… The bookshop favors lesser-known publishing houses in order to offer a varied choice of quality works. It also sets up meetings, readings and other events with the aim of sharing a passion for literature and art.

Address: 25 rue Fontange – 13006 Marseille

Specialized bookstores

If you’d like to find new works on particular themes, here’s a list of specialized bookstores:

  • The La Cardinale Maritime Bookshop: Located on the Old Port, La Cardinale Maritime Bookshop stands out for its authentic maritime charm and vast collection of books dedicated to the fascinating world of the sea. From the moment you enter, you’ll be transported to a world of nautical knowledge, tales of maritime adventure and accounts of great explorations. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor, a sailing enthusiast or simply curious in search of a literary escape, this bookshop invites you to explore shelves brimming with literary treasures, where each book tells a captivating story.

Address:26 Quai de Rive Neuve – 13007 Marseille

  • The La Bourse bookshop: Right next to the Bourse center, this bookshop specializing in maps, tourist guides and plans will delight adventure and travel enthusiasts. Whether you’re a traveler eager to explore the world, a historian looking for old maps or simply a curious geography enthusiast, this bookshop will meet your expectations.

Address:8 Rue Paradis – 13001 Marseille

  • The International Music Bookshop: Specializing in music, LMI offers a vast selection of sheet music, books on music and even accessories. Whether you’re a professional musician or a passionate music lover, this is the bookshop for you! Its team of enthusiasts and experts will be able to advise you during your research.

Address:2 Rue des trois Mages – 13006 Marseille