Where To Stay In Marseille
- ·21 November, 2021
- ·Samantha – Travelling King
Nestled along the coastline of Provence, Marseille is the second largest city in France. From the old port to the Basilica Notre Dame to the surrounding beaches, there are tons of fun things to do in Marseille. The most difficult part of your trip may be deciding what to do and where to stay in Marseille. With our guide to the best Marseille neighborhoods, you can find the best places in Marseille, and for each neighborhood, the best hotels in Marseille France for every budget.
We will cover off all types of Marseille accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Marseille hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Marseille, the best Marseille hotels, best places in Marseille to visit, the best places to stay in Marseille, hotels near Marseille attractions, Marseille neighborhood guide and many more.
Where To Stay In Marseille On A Budget
- COOLEST thing to do in Le Panier stroll around the old streets and admire the creative graffiti on every wall
- BEST place to visit in Le Panier head to the newly built MUSEM to learn about Mediterranean culture
Le Panier is the oldest neighborhood in Marseille and the perfect choice for visitors looking to stick to a budget whilst in the city! Though mostly residential, Le Panier oozes French charm and the small boutiques, food stores and restaurants will give you an incredibly local experience.
Neighboring La Joliette is often considered as part of the same area, and shows how far the city has come in recent years! The modernised waterfront is packed with tourists and locals enjoying the brand new facilities and magnificent views across the Mediterranean. Both areas are within walking distance of the city centre.
- Head to the Cathédrale La Major, a massive Marseille monument with magnificent architecture inside and out
- Go atelier hopping through Le Panier and admire arts and crafts created by local artists they even sell some that make great souvenirs
- La Vieille Charité is a former almshouse that has since been converted into an art gallery showcasing work from across the Mediterranean and Africa
- Head to Lenche Square in the morning where you can enjoy a quiet sip of coffee and some French pastries in the outdoor seating areas
- Looking for a great place to eat at night? Le Petit Nice offers a great range of Provençal cuisine at very affordable prices
Best Beach Cities South France: Meze Languedoc
The coastal town of Meze is a real gem of a place to stay in the South of France. Located on the shores of the Etang du Thau, a large salt water lake separated from the Mediterranean sea by a thin strip of golden sand Meze is an old fishing village with a lovely harbour area and two sandy beaches.
The Etang du Thau produces nearly 10% of the oysters and mussels consumed in France. The nearby fishing village of Bouzigues is famous throughout France as producing the finest oysters and mussels and are shipped daily to the kitchens of most Michelin star restaurants in France. There are over 700 oyster and mussel producers on the Etang and there is also a thriving fishing industry catching mainly sea bass and dorade . It is estimated that up to a third of the people living in Meze depend to certain extent on income derived from fishing, oyster production and marine tourism.
If you want a real treat, take a meal in one of the numerous restaurants that line the shore and sample the finest oysters or mussels you’re ever likely to taste, washed down with a chilled bottle of Picpoul de Pinet. The restaurants are not expensive at all and everything that you eat will have been pulled straight from the Etang du Thau early that morning. Alternatively, do what we do. We take a chilled bottle of Picpoul with us, together with Tabasco and lemon and buy our oysters fresh from the fishermen in the village. We then sit on the banks of the Etang de Thau and eat like kings.
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Best Beaches Near Marseille France
If youre looking to get away from the city limits, there are some amazing beaches within 30 mins drive of Marseille. These secluded coves are all unique, and while some are easily accessible, others require a bit more effort to reach. An effort that is well rewarded once you get there!
Lets discover some of the best beaches in Provence, below.
Note I havent included the Cassis beaches or Calanques de Cassis beaches in this list as theyre a little further away . You can read about those beaches, here.
Plage De La Fausse Monnaie
The Corniche Kennedy is the road/cycleway that snakes majestically along Marseilles coastline to the east of the city and one of the highlights is sitting on the rocks underneath the viaduct arches at Fausse Monnaie, watching the local kids dive recklessly into the water from the Corniche above.
This beach is called many things, sometimes the Petit Nice beach , sometimes Plage des Pierres Plates because of the way you can lay your towel out on one of them and tan.
The rocks get busy so just take the basics and wear water shoes to make it easier to get in and out of the sea.
How to get to Plage de la Fausse Monnaie
Follow the coastlinein the direction of Prado. The #83 bus stop iscalled Viaduc de la Fausse Monnaie and follow the road down to thebeach, following signs to Le Petit Nice. Parking is almost non-existent,so you might want to park in town and walk.
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La Plaine/cours Julien Where To Stay In Marseille For Nightlife
The neighborhood La Plaine is one of the younger areas of Marseille, attracting a diverse crowd of artists, students, and musicians. In addition to budget-friendly accommodation options, La Plaine has a vibrant art scene that includes some of the best street art in Marseille. Many locals and tourists congregate at open-air cafes, and Place Jean Jaurès is the nightlife hub of La Plaine. La Plaine/Cours Julien is the best area for tourists looking to enjoy live music, art, and an overall alternative scene.
Best Airbnb In Opera: Studio Vieux Port
This modern studio is ideal for solo travellers or couples visiting Marseille for the first time. Situated just steps away from the Old Port as well as many public transport connections, the Airbnb provides a great base from which to explore the city. A kitchenette is included for home-cooked meals, but a couple of minutes walk will take you to some of Marseilles coolest bars and restaurants.
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Ibis Marseille Centre Gare Saint Charles
The rooms at ibis Marseille Centre Gare Saint Charles are simple and laid-back, decorated with neutral tones, matching the casual atmosphere of the hotel itself.
You can enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant, a couple of drinks at the bar, or just head out and see what Marseille has to offer.
The location of this branch of ibis makes it very easy to get around the city its conveniently positioned just a few minutes walk away from the St. Gare Saint Charles metro and train station. But right on the doorstep, theres plenty to eat, drink and discover climb the iconic Escalier Gare Saint-Charles nearby and see for yourself.
The Best Neighborhood To Stay In Marseille: Le Vieux Port
Le Vieux Port is located where the Greeks first founded the city over two thousand years ago. It was, and still is, the center of the city. To me, this district is the best part of Marseille to stay in, especially for first time visitors for a few main reasons.
First of all, being located right in the center of the city, youll find everything here. The Old Port, of course, but also lots of restaurants and bars, and even though there arent any beaches directly in the old port, youll find some nearby.
This brings me to my second point :everything you wont find in the Old Port will be really close, especially because a lot of public transportation goes through the district. Metros and buses will take you everywhere in the city, and you can also easily get to other cities of the French Riviera.
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Best Marseille Beaches Map
As youll see on the map below, there are many beaches within the city limits, making them ideal for a quick dip or late afternoon sojourn after a days sightseeing. But often the most magical shores are just a short drive from the city, so Ive included some beaches around Marseille to explore too.
Use the table of contents above to navigate if youre looking for a particular beach.
Nice Or Marseille: Food & Nightlife
Most of the food scene and nightlife in Nice takes place in the Old Town where you can find a plethora of restaurants and bars such as Ooh Poo Pah Doo, a traditional bistro, and Peixes, one of Nices best fish restaurants near the Opera house.
The historic Negresco Hotel is also a popular hangout for a drink, as well as some nice lesser-known restaurants and pubs around the old port such as the Beer District, Ma Nolans, and Le Marlin. Although Nice does not have an extensive young crown, the old town does have some decent late-night activity.
Marseille, however, has more going on in terms of nightlife than Nice, being a bigger city with an overall younger population. As mentioned earlier, the Cours Julien is one of the edgier neighborhoods not only for cultural events but also for nightlife, with some of the best bars, restaurants and clubs in Marseille. Some trendy pubs can also be found around the Vieux Port.
Theres also a very diverse food scene in Marseille, a lot of it around and East of the Old Port. The port is the best place for eating a bouillabaisse, a traditional Marseille seafood stew fisherman originally made using fish they couldnt sell. Chez Michel is widely considered the citys best bouillabaisse restaurant, being a multi-generation family place.
Youll also find many restaurants and bars along the Corniche Kennedy boulevard.
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South Of France Best Destinations: Marseille Toulon Cassis And Hyeres
and Toulon always seem to have a bit of a reputation. Toulon for being a naval town and Marseille for being, well dangerous. I have to say I didn’t think either reputation is entirely justified. Yes, Toulon is a large port town, but there is much more to the place besides this. Toulon boasts some excellent restaurants and an enormous daily market. It is a rugby-mad town as well and the English Rugby player Jonny Wilkinson played here for 5 season is feted like a God in Toulon
is just a big city and there is no getting away from it. On it’s outskirts it is a bit like the wild west, but in the centre, close to the Old Port, it is really lovely. I always describe Marseille as Shabby Chic – it is scruffy, but the locals are very friendly and you can find some hidden gems if you search for them. It is easy to get around with a metro, tram network and excellent water taxis. Yes you do need to be streetwise and sensible, but last year we spent the weekend in Marseille with our 3 kids and it was absolutely fine, in fact we had a great time. I have also been there recently to watch the football at the beautiful new Velodrome stadium and there was a great atmosphere both in the stands and outside walking around.
Close to Cassis there is a beautiful inlet called the Calanques de Cassis, where the water is crystal clear and a beautiful turquoise colour. The sea is framed by these high white cliffs and you can hire a boat to go fishing or snorkelling.
Dining At Best Beach Hotels In Marseille
are characterized by phenomenal dining and plush setting. All these hotels feature in-house restaurant that serves tempting food amidst beautiful setting. From local to international, these restaurants have everything to fascinate the travelers. The chefs and waiters of these hotels are highly courteous and thus sometimes prepare food as per the travelerâs personal demand and taste. Guests can visit these in-house restaurants at anytime and satisfy the craving of their taste buds. Hotel Sofitel Marseille and Hotel Novotel Marseille are two best known beach hotels that feature Mediterranean restaurant. Radisson Blu Hotel Marseille is one of the Marseille beach hotels that has a poolside grill restaurant to fulfill the gastronomy needs of the travelers. Along with fine dining, these hotels also feature on-site bar where travelers can enjoy variety of drink options with their delicious.
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Best Neighbourhood In Marseille For Your First Time
- COOLEST thing to do in Vieux Port head to the Quai de Belges Fish Market and watch the fast-paced bidding between restaurant owners
- BEST place to visit in Vieux head to Émile Duclaux park where you can enjoy spectacular views across the Old Port
The Old Port, or Vieux Port as its known in French, is the ancient heart of the city! This is where many of the major happenings in the city occur such as festivals, cultural exhibitions and even political displays. For anyone visiting Marseille for the first time, Vieux Port is a must see in your itinerary.
The entire harbour is lined with excellent restaurants from local French cuisine to international chains and everything in between! This is also the centre of the fishing industry in the city, and getting up early to attend the Quai de Belges Fish Market is a rewarding experience to embed yourself in the local culture.
- Head to Le Musée Savon de Marseille to learn about the citys soapmaking tradition and pick up a couple of bars to take home
- Hop on Le Petits Trains de Marseille for a unique tour of the city on a small, road-bound locomotive carriage
- For art lovers, Musée Cantini has some great exhibitions featuring artworks from the beginning of the 20th Century
- For a typical French bistro experience, head to Le Café des Épices behind the town hall and enjoy the gorgeous terrace area
- Pastis is a popular aniseed liqueur from Marseille, and many of the bars on Vieux Port offer it we suggest heading to Le Vieux Port bar
Opera Where To Stay In Marseille For Your First Time
Opera is right in the middle of the action, situated on the business end of the port and encompassing the famous Vieux Port area. Theres so much here to explore, as well as a range of fantastic dining options.
Theres a fish market on early mornings, and the port is a great place to sit and watch the boats go by. Thanks to its array of activities and places to discover, Opera is our top pick for visitors staying in Marseille for the first time.
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Southern France Beach Towns: Argeles
The Southern France beach resort of Argeles-sur-Mer, located close to Perpignan and the Spanish border, is home to over 55 campsites and it sees its population swell from 9,000 to over 90,000 during the months of July and August. The visitors are drawn to the seven mile sandy beach, which has the beautiful backdrop of the Pyrenees mountains in the distance. The Mediterranean sea at Argeles is lovely and warm and perfect for swimming.
Argeles Plage is one of the best beaches near Perpignan and has a blue flag award to recognise the quality of the water and cleanliness of the beach. Argeles-sur-Mer itself has along with nearby Canet, become a major Mediterranean beach resort, with excellent facilities and a big harbour area. Argeles has one of the best Water Parks in the Languedoc and there is also a Zip-wire wakeboarding centre and an amazing Canyoning centre locate din a disused quarry, where you can jump off cliffs into deep turquoise water pools.
Areles-sur-Mer also hosts an annual music festival during July, where some of the biggest acts in Europe perform on their way down to the summer festival circuit in Spain.
Le Panier Where To Stay In Marseille For Foodies
The original Marseille neighborhood, Le Panier Marseille means the basket and it is the center of the old city. Originally a fishing village, this area retains a small town charm with winding cobblestone streets, quaint squares lined with cafes and a diverse population of immigrants.
This neighborhood has many historic churches and attractions, including the Hôtel-Dieu, Saint-Laurent church, and the Vieille Charité. Marche de la Joliette is one of the best markets in Marseille or head to the new shopping mall Les Terraces du Port. A self-guided walking tour is a perfect way to explore Le Panier.
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Other Hotels In Marseille
Looking for more hotel options in Marseille? If yes, make sure to check out my hotel guides dedicated to Marseille, youll find the ideal place!
As Ive said many times through this guide, the best place to stay in Marseille France is the Old Port. Its ideally located in the center of the city and offers anything you might want. Its the oldest part of the city and the architecture is gorgeous. There are a lot of hotels to choose from, lots of restaurants, and you can easily get to the rest of the city with public transportation.
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Hey, I’m Kevin
My dream is to become a full-time travel blogger. But for now, I work as a project manager in a major company. When I’m not at work, I’m either traveling around the globe, or at home in Paris sharing my stories & travel guides on this blog. Enjoy your time on the site!
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