Six must visit districts in Marseille during RWC 2023
Perhaps the most appealing and intriguing part of Marseille is the variety. There really is something different around every corner in a city that was previously 111 small villages.
While you might not have time to visit them all, it’s worth getting to as many as you can. Here are six must visit districts in Marseille.
The Vieux Port surrounds Marseille’s picturesque harbour. With fish markets at one end, and castles at the other, the Vieux Port manages to somehow show both the beauty and the grit of Marseille at the same time.
There is always plenty happening, but during the World Cup, the atmosphere in the bars and restaurants around the Vieux Port will be electric and with a Rugby World Cup Fan Zone (big screen showing matches) in the middle of it all, the place will go off.
The city’s old town dates all the way back to 600 BC. Just a stone’s throw from the Vieux Port, and accessible by foot or by a convenient ferry that crosses the harbour, it doesn’t take long to get lost in le Panier, which is filled with street art, galleries, craft stores and beautiful squares surrounded by cafes and bistros.
The Hipster District of Marseille, Cours Julien is filled with artists and students and has an infectious vibrant energy about it. By day, the sleepy streets, draped in street art, are full of local creators, artists, second-hand clothing stores, second-hand shops and bookstores.
By mid afternoon and early evening, the square of Notre Dame du Mont comes alive as locals pack the bars and restaurants for a drink or meal after work.
A few streets back from the Vieux Port and at the foot of the Abbey of Saint-Victor lies a beautiful district filled with small bars and restaurants and perhaps the best views in Marseille.
You instantly feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Vieux Port when you reach Saint Victor and it doesn’t take long to feel like a local in one of the many bars or cafes.
“The belly of Marseille”, Noailles is the multicultural centre of Marseille and differs greatly again from its neighbouring districts. The daily markets are incredible and showcase a delicious mix of European, Asian, and African cultures and cuisines.
While in Noailles you must also visit Maison Empereur, a seventh generation family owned store that dates all the way back to 1827 and sells everything you could imagine from Marseille.
le Vallon des Auffes
Just two kilometres from the Vieux Port is le Vallon des Auffes, a small fishing village that remains stuck in time. The multi coloured fishing cottages that surround the functioning fishing port almost never go on the market and have been passed down through generations of locals.
While there are several restaurants, including the Michelin starred L’Epuisette, the locals trick is to grab a bottle of wine and some cheese and grab a seat around the port for sunset.