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Edgy and cultural Marseille

Marseille

A cultural port town

For a long time, Marseille had a reputation as a rough port town on the Mediterranean, but behind the rugged facade lies a city packed with street art, bold architecture, jazz clubs and trendy restaurants. Let France's second largest city surprise you.

Discover Marseille

Marseille

Multicultural Marseille has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. The rough edge is still there, but the large port town that used to be only known as a rowdy harbour city is now bursting with creativity. Street art, boutiques, modern museums and countless bars and restaurants make Marseille a worthwhile destination. Add in the historic port, broad shopping boulevards and a stunning location on the Mediterranean, and you will quickly see that Marseille has earned its place in the sun.

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The daytime market makes for fun browsing among the stands filled with antique trinkets, flowers and books. At night, movie buffs will be delighted with the quirky film selection at Videodrome 2.

Cours Julien

Market full of street art

Young, alternative and hip best describes the majority of pedestrians in the area around the Cours Julien. This elongated square and its surrounding streets are packed with colourful street art, vintage shops, tattoo parlours and cafés that walk a fine line between trendy and tatty.

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Chateau D’If

Former prison

The old port of Marseille has been in business for over 2000 years. These days, the large container port has moved a few kilometres north. The downtown Vieux Port is now used by pleasure boats and the ferries that depart for the Frioul Islands. Don’t miss the Chateau D’If, a beautifully preserved fort from 1524. For centuries it served as a prison, which held revolutionary heroes such as Mirabeau. The most famous fictitious prisoner was Edmond Dantès: the main character from the novel The Count of Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

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Doors open early at 7 am. with the kitchen serving up a petit déjeuner. Later in the day, guests can enjoy local specialties from Marseille and sip classic cocktails. Magnifique!

La Caravelle

Jazz club from the 1930s

A fixture in Marseille since the 1930s, La Caravelle is everything a jazz club should be. Little has changed since the early days: a wooden interior with an antique grand piano, inexpensive concerts and excellent food.

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Mama Shelter

Super heroes on the wall

Those who don't shy away from bold design are at the right place at Mama Shelter. This trendy hotel occupies several old buildings in the heart of Marseille, only a few minutes on foot from the Vieux Port. The upbeat interior is decorated with graffiti art, super hero masks and industrial lighting. The decor is by the hand of super star designer, Philippe Starck.

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The eclectic restaurant with an equally irreverent menu serves a variety of international dishes, ranging from dim sum to mac ‘n cheese and Catalan sausage. Late risers will love the large brunch menu on Sundays.

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The museum's temporary collections showcase the diversity of the Mediterranean cultures: from architecture in the Provence to Tunisian revolutions.

MuCEM

Elegant concrete

MuCEM, the newest museum in Marseille, opened its door in 2013 when the city was the European Capital of Culture. The striking building – a glass cube with an almost mesh-like concrete casing – was designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti.

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