Where to stay in Marseille? Nestled in the heart of the Cote d’Azur, Marseille is the oldest city in France, with 26 centuries of history behind it. Mediterranean and cosmopolitan, it has become one of the most touristic and well-known enclaves of those who make up the gala geography.
This thanks to the work of Paul Cezanne, who painted numerous paintings inspired by this beautiful region. His popular Olympique de Marseille football team ; and lavender soap , which comes from the huge fields that embrace it.
Where to stay in Marseille?
This port city also has plenty of attractions, as it distils a captive marine essence, especially visible in the Vieux Port, and treasures very interesting places such as the fish market, the fort of San Nicolás or the Ombriére , an artistic pavilion designed by Norman Foster to take shelter from the heat.
The northern part also holds surprises such as the San Juan fort, the town hall building or the Casa del Diamante.
Its streets, mainly République and La Canebière , are full of shops, galleries, restaurants and bars, constituting the epicenter of leisure and shopping. Some of them converge in the old town of Le Parnier , which treasures some of the icons of the city such as the Vieille Charité, the Cathedral of the Old Major or the De Moulins square.
Others converge in the Eurmediterranée district, which is the greatest exponent of modernity, housing buildings designed by famous architects, such as the CMA-CGM Tower of Zaha Hadid.
The cultural offer of Marseille is also a great tourist attraction, with the most important representatives being the museums of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean , Cantini or History.
Its surroundings are dominated by the Los Calanques National Park , pierced by impressive cliffs, where beaches of turquoise waters and wild coves come, in which locals and travelers find the ideal refuge.
Marseille has a “I do not know what” that catches and urges to want to return again and again. If you have planned a getaway to this Provencal treasure and need information about which are the most recommended areas to stay in Marseille , take note.
The best areas to stay in Marseille
Marseille is one of the most ideal destinations of the Cote d’Azur , as it combines beautiful Mediterranean beaches, traditional Provencal culture, exquisite cuisine and incredible natural spaces, which has made it a very popular destination.
The bustle of visitors increased dramatically after being named European Capital a few years ago. Consequently, the oldest city in France has adapted to the influx of visitors offering a wide and varied hotel offer.
The most expensive neighborhoods to sleep in Marseille are near the old port, because it is the area around which the life of the city revolves and, therefore, with greater dynamism. These are: Euromed-La Joliette or Vieux Port . For its part, Le Panier, Saint-Charles and L’Estaque have cheaper accommodation.
1. Vieux Port
The Vieux Port area extends from the beginning of the Canebière artery . In the streets that embrace it, the most important places of interest lie: the abbey of San Víctor, the lighthouse of Santa María, the forts of San Nicolás and San Juan, the Regards de Provence museum or the European and Mediterranean civilizations.
Here is also the Palais du Pharo, built by Napoleon during the second half of the nineteenth century, whose huge gardens are a beautiful green space that invites to walk and rest.
Also, on the harbor promenade, you will find a good number of shops, bars, and seafood restaurants, whose menu serves species that come directly from the fresh fish market that is located nearby, as well as typical Provencal flavors.
It is one of the most recommended areas to stay in Marseille for those who wish to be centrally located or enjoy the typical marine environment.
The offer of hotels is very generous, although there are many luxury and boutique . So, as expected, the prices are not the cheapest in Marseille. In fact, the average of 3-star hotels ranges between € 64 and € 75 .
2. The Canebiere
This artery runs along a kilometer from the church of the Reformed to the Old Port. It is decorated with countless manor houses, palaces, luxurious cafes, department stores, shops and restaurants, so it has a great dynamism.
This is the starting point of some of the most commercial streets in the city, such as rue Paradis, rue de Rome and rue Saint Ferréol. On this Marseilles tour, you can also find the Grand Theater, the Marseille Opera, the aforementioned neo-Gothic church of the Reformed or the Stock Exchange Palace.
It is an excellent place to stay in Marseille, especially for those seeking to be centrally located or to sleep in sumptuous hotels, as here you will find some of the most impressive and luxurious hotels in the city.
As you can imagine, it is an expensive area, which becomes even more expensive in the summer season. For less than € 90- € 100 it is unlikely to book a 4 star hotel.
3. Saint Charles
Saint-Charles, located in the vicinity of the city center and the Vieux Port, is built around the train station of the same name, which is the gateway to Marseille. The arrival of high speed and its range of lines, including those that connect with Madrid-Atocha, Barcelona-Sants and Paris , has given it great dynamism.
The station acts as a differentiating element, but the neighborhood also has some places of interest for the traveler such as the Grobet-Labadié museum, which includes a family art collection, or the La Criée theater.
It is connected to the Marseilles center through the metro lines M1, the tram T2, and 34, 33.49 or 52 bus, whose station is behind the train.
In this area the provision of accommodation is quite generous, while it is very busy. It is an option to consider for sleeping in Marseille for those who plan to arrive by train or make excursions to the surroundings. The average price of hotels is around € 50 – € 60 a night.
4. Euromed-La Joliette
Just north of the Vieux Port and facing the sea is this neighborhood, one of the most popular in the French city. It has a lot of dynamism and movement, since it houses the Euromed business center , the Marseille docks and monuments of interest such as the Cathedral.
The life of this neighborhood is organized around the Plaza de la Joliette, very popular for hosting one of the most acclaimed markets in Marseille.
On the other hand, lovers of shopping will find products and fashion from French and international brands at the Les Terraces du Port shopping center. Also, it has a nice terrace from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the Vieux Port.
This neighborhood is excellently connected to the urban heart by the metro line 2, the tram T2 and T3, as well as bus 35, 49, 70 and 82.
It is an interesting area to stay in Marseille , especially for those who come for business or for those who wish to be close to the sea and the old port area. The offer of hotels is very broad, although their prices are not for bare minimums. Thus, one of 3 stars costs between € 65 and € 70 per night.
5. Le Panier
It is the oldest in the city and runs behind the City Hall. It has a very local and multicultural environment , because it is inhabited by a good number of Neapolitan, Corsican and some parts of Europe immigrants.
It is crossed by a network of tangled streets, adorned with houses of very Provencal colors and some valuable architectural gems like Vieille Charité; an old hospice converted into a museum dedicated to archeology and African, Amerindian and Oceanic art or the Cathedral of the Major.
Among these streets, traditional artisan workshops such as Artera, specialized in the painting of figures from the Belén portal, ateliers, vintage shops and traditional shops where they sell typical products such as Marseille soap, are also sold. The best known is La Grande Savonnerie, one of the few where you can still buy the soap above.
Places such as De Lenche, which formerly housed the old agora, or De Moulins, decorated with bars, terraces, and fountains and with a very Provencal atmosphere, end up shaping the essence of this charming historic neighborhood, dominated by calm and peace.
This neighborhood is an option to consider when staying in Marseille, especially for those who are looking for quiet areas or want to get into the true way of living Marseille.
Perhaps, the hotel offer is a little more limited than in other neighborhoods, but it is possible to find some cheap hotels. For € 50 – € 55 you can book a 3-star hotel, as long as you do it in advance.
6. Blancarde Avenues
This district, one of the most refined districts of Marseille, owes its name to the intersection of Liberation, Blancarde, Philippon, Maréchal-Foch and des Chartreux boulevards .
A good part of this is occupied by the Longchamp park, which is the garden of plants, the zoo and other beautiful French and English beauty gardens.
It is presided over by the Baroque palace of the same name, which houses the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural History. It also houses the Marseille museum, the observatory and several interesting buildings such as the Carthusian College.
It has good public transport connections with other areas of the city. Bus lines 6, 7, 7B, 42 and 81 stop here; the metro M1; and the tram line T2.
As we have mentioned, this neighborhood is adjacent to Blancarde Avenue, where you will find the Marseille-Blancarde railway station, which connects with urban neighborhoods and with other nearby French cities.
Also, it has excellent public transport connections with the rest of the districts of Marseille, since the tram lines T1 and T2 pass through here, the metro M1 and the bus lines 6, 7, 67 and 509.
Both areas have one of the lowest accommodation offers in Marseille . In spite of everything, the prices are a little more economic than in other more central places. In fact, a 4-star hotel ranges between € 65 and € 70 per night; while one of 3 is around € 55 a night.
7. The Corniche-Prado
It is a walk that runs along five kilometers parallel to the sea , from the cove of the Catalans to the spa park. Strolling it is one of the great attractions it offers, because it allows you to enjoy unique views of the sea, the medieval castle of If and the islands of Frioul.
Along the promenade, you can also see the tide gauge, dating from the eleventh century, and sumptuous mansions and villas, many of them built by wealthy merchants during the nineteenth century, such as the Renaissance villa Valmer, Château Berger.
However, the authentic charm of the Corniche lies in the small fishing port of Vallon des Auffes, dotted with colorful traditional houses and where countless local boats docked. On the walk that runs through there are several restaurants where they serve seafood and fresh fish and local specialties, such as bouillabaisse.
In spite of its extension, it does not have an offer of accommodation that is too generous. Still, it is an area to stay in Marseille highly recommended, especially for those travelers who want to be near the sea or enjoy the marine environment that invades each of the corners that make it up.
You will find very expensive options, but also more affordable ones. In fact, it is feasible to book a 3-star hotel for around € 55- € 60 per night .
This picturesque neighborhood is at the northern end of the city , sheltered by the Nerthe mountain range . It has an undeniable charm, given by the gigantic villas sheltered in nature, the colorful houses, the cute bars, restaurants and seafood restaurants and, of course, the beaches .
It is also an area linked to art since time immemorial; in fact, it is said that modern painting was born here. It has been the inspiration for great masters of painting such as Braque, Cézanne, Renoir and Monticelli, among many others.
The wake of these artists is very present, so much so that among its streets you will find numerous shops and art galleries where they sell reproductions of these artists. Staying in this area means sleeping in the most natural, picturesque, bohemian and artistic Marseille.
The offer of accommodation is less than that offered by other districts of Marseille, but it is worthwhile to stay in the cradle of modern painting. In addition, the prices are lower than, for example, in the old area of Marseille. For example, a 3-star hotel ranges from € 55 to € 60 per night. We hope that this article about the best areas to stay in Marseille has been useful.