Marseille, the city-world, as many call it, is a complex and varied reality: in recent years it has been able to redevelop itself from an urban point of view while retaining its deepest characteristic, its multi-ethnicity.
Its reputation as a dangerous city is gradually fading but there are still some areas that are preferable to others to stay in.
✔ Central ✔ Touristy ✔ Restaurants and clubs ✔ Prices to suit all budgets
To date, it remains one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Marseille: in a single area you will find everything you need for your evenings out, from restaurants to nightlife venues. You will also have the city’s major attractions within walking distance.
Sleeping in Le Vieux Port is a great way to take a leisurely stroll in the evening, enjoy quality hotel facilities and the chance to admire all the beauty of Marseille at night. Thanks to its central location and the presence of the metro, Le Vieux Port is one of the best places to stay in the city.
Most of the city’s accommodations are located in this area: you can choose from luxury hotels with panoramic views of the harbour to cheaper accommodations. Despite the variety of alternatives, it is still the most touristy part of the city and therefore on average more expensive than the others.
✔ Central ✔ Residential ✔ Romantic ✔ Exclusive ✔ High prices
This residential district encompasses Marseille’s seafront: here you will find some of the city’s most exclusive hotels and a succession of period villas, restaurants, small beaches and bars, a great area for a relaxing and peaceful stay. It is perfect for a romantic getaway for two while enjoying all the comforts.
Although it is slightly more remote, it remains a very central area, a stone’s throw from the main attractions. It is also perfect in summer, thanks to the presence of numerous small beaches where you can swim.
✔ Central ✔ Commercial ✔ Elegant ✔ High prices
The neighbourhood around Marseille’s most famous street is the central heart of the city, along with the Vieux Port: La Canebière is ideal for those who wish to stay in the centre, to limit their movements as much as possible and to experience the city at its liveliest.
You will find cafés, shops, expensive restaurants, theatres, cinemas and nightclubs. With its old palaces, monuments, luxury hotels and historic cafés, the Canebiére is an elegant and refined neighbourhood with decidedly high prices, perfectly in line with the romantic image of its architecture.
✔ Peripheral ✔ Residential ✔ Quiet ✔ Average prices
If you want peace and quiet, you can opt for this residential district that retains all the charm of a picturesque village, located between the sea and the hills.
L’Estaque is a small village incorporated into the urban fabric of the city, which retains all the charm of old Marseilles. Once the refuge of artists and intellectuals, today it is a favourite location for many directors to shoot films and TV series. Wandering around its picturesque nooks and crannies and stopping in the small cafés and restaurants, you will still find relics, photographs and objects that belonged to the golden age of this district, once a haunt of illustrious personalities.
It is suitable for those who shy away from the hustle and bustle of the city and prefer the tranquillity of the old atmospheres.
✔ Semi-central ✔ Trendy ✔ Lively ✔ Cheap prices
As is often the case in port cities, the harbour and commercial docks area in Marseille has been completely redeveloped into a trendy district.
Shopping centres, bars, art galleries and boutiques of many creative young people, attracted by lower rental prices, have sprung up in the old docks. In a short time, the Joliette has turned into one of the city’s liveliest and most vibrant areas: residential buildings have sprung up, and Marseille’s busiest shopping centre, the Terraces du Port, where French brand boutiques and international designer shops congregate.
Within the same area, one can stroll along the harbour, listen to concerts, go shopping and stay at very reasonable prices.
In addition, its location north of the Old Port, close to Marseille Cathedral, makes it attractive to tourists, who can reach the centre in only 10 minutes on foot.
✔ Semi-central ✔ Commercial ✔ Chaotic ✔ Cheap
If you are looking for savings, you can choose to stay close to the station, where the cheapest solutions can be found, including most hostels.
Obviously, the areas around stations do not normally enjoy great peace and security, especially at night, but they guarantee ease of movement as they are crucial public transport hubs.