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City map Marseille

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    Good to know

    Marseille: Old port city in a new light

    Under the vivid blue skies of southern Provence, Marseille is a city that blasts the senses with its rich history, cultural melting pot and bustling streets that proclaim its status as France’s second city – and its oldest. Marseille’s heritage, stretching back to 600BC, is evident in its myriad forts, castles and churches, while the constant influx of immigrants over the

    centuries has created an eclectic atmosphere and diverse cuisine that give the city an intoxicating character. While it hasn’t always been a fixture on the tourist trail, a wave of renovations during its reign as European Capital of Culture 2013 has put Marseille up there with the best city-break destinations in Europe.

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    24 hours in Marseille

    ListMap

    08:00 a.m.: Wake up at Mama Shelter

    64 Rue de la Loubière
    3006 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Vieux Port, or Old Port, is the tourist center of Marseille, and of course there are plenty of hotels there. But if you want to really get to know the city, it’s a good idea to stay in one of the surrounding districts. If you’re looking for an authentic Marseille experience, the Mama Shelter hotel, located in a residential area, is an excellent choice. By day, you can get the feel of ordinary life in Marseille, and in the early evening, when nearby Cours Julien bursts into life (see 10pm), you can live it up a little with the locals crowding the bars and restaurants around the square. And don’t worry about noise – the Mama Shelter is far enough away for you to get a good night’s sleep.

    Just like its Parisian role model, the Mama Shelter in Marseille also boasts a mix of Philippe Starck design and bohemian atmosphere. However cool the interior design, outside on the terrace, flowerpots and colorfully striped walls dominate the scene, and spots illuminate the row of children’s swim rings above the bar. This clash of styles is intentional and prepares visitors for a city brimming with contrasts. No need to go out for breakfast because you won’t find a better buffet anywhere nearby. The mueslis are homemade and the espresso beans organically grown. Free Wi-Fi also part of the package, so planning your day online is a breeze.

    10:00 a.m.: The Vieux Port area

    7 Prom. Robert Laffont
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Tel: +33 4 84 35 13 13
    Show on map

    Tel. +33-484/35 13 13

    website

    Those in the know have already arrived at the fish market by around half past seven in the morning to secure the best fish. Come at ten, and there’ll be less seafood to choose from, but just as much atmosphere – suntanned fishermen selling their catch from folding tables, some loudly vying for custom, others already tending to their nets again. This picturesque scene could almost be from another time – but star architects Norman Forster and Michel Desvigne’s fully mirrored L’Ombrière canopy right next door brings visitors right back to the present. Since 2013, when the city was a European Capital of Culture, great architectural advances have been made all around the Old Port. The waterfront promenade has had a facelift and makes a pleasant walk up to the ancient Fort Saint-Jean.

    Continue from there across the sea on the breathtaking, 115-meter-long J4 pier as far as the manmade museum island. This is the site of the MuCEM, the Museum for the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean, which is encased in concrete tracery reminiscent of an outsized Moroccan window lattice, known as a mashrabiyya, and also of the Villa Méditerranée exhibition hall, which resembles a giant springboard. Our stroll ends at the black-and-white striped Cathédrale de la Major.

    12:00 p.m.: Lunch with a view

    Les Terrasses du Port
    9 Quai du Lazaret
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    A restaurant inside a shopping mall is supposed to be a gourmet tip? Most certainly. Because at the Les Terrasses du Port, which opened in 2014, you get can enjoy the best sea view in the city while you eat. The spacious terrace on the second floor, 260 meters wide, gives onto the Mediterranean and the Cruise Port and accommodates a succession of restaurants resembling a string of pearls.

    The best of these is the former court confectionery Dalloyau, where original French cuisine is served on the shadowy terrace – foie gras, salade niçoise and main course, magret de canard (duck breast). For dessert, you really should try a slice of Opéra, the exquisite chocolate cake invented in 1955 by Dalloyau employee Cyriaque Gavillon, which is a classic in all good confectioneries in France today.

    03:00 p.m.: Les Catalans city beach

    Rue des Catalans
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    The locals avoid the midday sun and only venture out of doors again at around 4pm. That’s why, if you go down to Les Catalans beach in the center of Marseilles in the early afternoon and spread out your towel on the sand, you’ll find it’s delightfully peaceful and deserted (but also very hot, of course). Compared with its big brother, Plage du Prado, this little beach is intimate and offers plenty of shadow thanks to the closely built streets that border it.

    You will only enjoy yourself here if you don’t mind plenty of comings and goings. Many residents come down in their bathing suits with a towel under their arm for a refreshing dip and head straight back home again, barely dry. Swim out far enough and you can see the boats sailing into the Old Port.

    08:00 p.m.: Fish dinner at Michel’s

    6 rue des Catalans
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    You won’t get far here without a reservation. The fish restaurant Chez Michel across from Les Catalans beach is an institution in Marseille and accordingly well frequented. Unremarkable on the outside, rustic interior – and very popular with the locals. Service begins at 8pm – we are, after all, in the south here.

    But the food is well worth the wait because here they serve genuine Marseille bouillabaisse, grilled fish, fish soup, and all manner of shellfish, of course – but there are other local specialties on the menu, too, if fish is not your thing.

    10:00 p.m.: Nightcap on busy Cours Julien

    5 Cours Julien
    13006 Marseille
    Frankreich
    Show on map

    Cours Julien is cool – on two counts: In the middle of this rectangular square surrounded by the graffiti-covered walls of apartment houses, there’s a large water garden with fountains that send random fine jets of water wafting across the terraces of bars and restaurants, leaving customers refreshed.

    For a cocktail, head to oogie!, the city’s first concept store, which is recognizable by its colorful chairs and appreciated for its opening hours – you can shop there till midnight.

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    Top 10 sights in Marseille

    ListMap
    Marseille, Frankreich, Urlaub, Travelguide, Travel Guide, Lufthansa

    Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica

    Rue Fort du Sanctuaire
    13281 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 9113 4080
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1900 (Oct-Mar)
    Daily 0700-2000 (Apr-Sep)

    It’s been 800 years since the first chapel was built on this hill offering sweeping views over the city. Dating from 1853, the present basilica is a symbol of Marseille.

    Vieux Port

    Quai des Belges
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    The beating heart of the city, Marseille’s port has been recently renovated, with its historic buildings offset by Norman Foster’s ultra-modern mirrored Ombrière structure.

    Saint-Victor Abbey

    3 rue de l’Abbaye
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 9611 2260
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1900

    This beautiful fifth-century monastery was originally outside the city walls but through the centuries has seen the metropolis grow around it.

    Le Panier (Old Town)

    Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Despite widespread destruction during WWII, Marseille’s Old Town remains a vibrant district housing cafés, artisan shops, narrow houses and cobbled alleyways.

    Cathedral Sainte-Marie-Majeur

    Place de la Major
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 9190 5287
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800 (winter)
    1000-1900 (summer)

    This vast 19th-century cathedral (often called La Major) evokes the rich diversity of Marseille with its exotic Middle Eastern interior decoration and domed towers modelled on those in Istanbul.

    Fort Saint-Nicholas

    2 boulevard Charles Livon
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 91 13 89 00
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    By arrangement

    Built in a distinctive star shape, this 17th-century fort on the south bank of the old port aimed to protect the city from invasion. You can arrange visits through the tourist office.

    Musée des Beaux-Arts

    Palais Longchamp
    7 rue Edouard Stephan
    13004 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 9114 5930
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    Housed in the 19th-century Palais Longchamp along with the Natural History Museum, the city’s Fine Arts Museum contains gems from the 16th to 19th centuries.

    Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranée (MuCEM)

    7 Prom. Robert Laffont
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Tel: +33 4 84 35 13 13
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1100-1800 (Nov-Apr)
    Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 1100-1900
    Fri 1100-2200 (May-Jun and Sep-Oct)
    Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 0900-2000
    Fri 0900-2200 (Jul-Aug)

    Opened during Marseille’s time as European Capital of Culture 2013, MuCEM’s vast collection, spread over three sites including the historic Fort Saint-Jean, showcases the diverse nature of the Mediterranean region.

    La Vieille Charité

    2 rue de la Charité
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 04 9114 5880
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    This remarkable galleried building, designed by Marseille architect Pierre Puget in the 17th century, was originally a poorhouse. It now stages temporary exhibitions, but it’s worth visiting for the building alone.

    Château d’If

    Embarcadère Frioul-If-Express, 1 quai de la Fraternité
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Tel: 06 0306 2526
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0930-1645 (mid-Sep to Mar)
    Daily 0930-1645 (Apr to mid-May)
    Daily 0930-1810 (mid-May to mid-Sep)

    This 16th-century fortress-turned-prison on an offshore island was where Alexandre Dumas’ fictional Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned. Now open to the public, it’s accessible from the mainland via a regular ferry service.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    You could spend a lifetime’s worth of holidays in France and still not feel as though you’d done the country justice. It remains the planet’s most visited tourist destination, meriting this lofty standing with an almost overwhelming mass of historical treasures, storybook landscapes and cultural idiosyncrasies. The teeming glam of Paris makes for one hell of a centrepiece, matching any city on the planet for ambiance, individuality and set-piece sights.

    But the real beauty of France, in many ways, lies in the seemingly endless list of travel treats elsewhere. The country’s natural gifts are striking, with white sands, hulking mountains and fecund swathes of rolling countryside. It’s a land that has inspired dreamers and drinkers, revolutionaries and artists, gastronomes and geniuses.

    Geography

    France, the largest country in Western Europe, is bordered to the northwest by the English Channel (La Manche), to the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, to the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, to the south by the Mediterranean (with Monaco as a coastal enclave between Nice and the Italian frontier), to the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s loose six-sided shape means it often gets referred to by the informal nickname “L’Hexagone”.

    The island of Corsica, southeast of Nice, is made up of two départements. France is home to an astonishing range of scenery, from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrenees to the attractive river valleys of the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne, and the flatter countryside of Normandy and the Atlantic coast.

    The country has some 2,900km (1,800 miles) of coastline.

    Away from the mainland and Corsica, there are a number of French-administered overseas departments and regions outside of Europe. These include Guadeloupe (an island in the Caribbean), Réunion Island (located in the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar), French Guiana (on the northeastern coast of South America), Martinique (another island in the Caribbean) and Mayotte (an island in the Mozambique Channel).

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 66,3 millions

    Population Density (per sq km): 114

    Capital: Paris.

    Language

    French is the official language. There are many regional dialects, but these are rapidly declining, with the exception of Basque, which is spoken as a first language by some people in the southwest, and Breton,which is spoken by some in Brittany. Many people speak at least some English.

    Currency

    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used.

    General business opening hours

    Generally Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1800.

    Public Holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Victory Day 1945: 08. May 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015

    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    Bastille Day: 14. July 2015
    Assumption: 15. August 2015
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2015
    Armistice Day: 11. November 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Marseille

    ListMap

    Loud and lively, Marseille knows how to put on a good night out.

    There are plenty of bars clustered around the Vieux Port, in Le Panier and in beach area Escale Borély.

    Au Petit Nice

    28 place Jean Jaurès
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Try local tipple pastis at this convivial bar in the Plaine area of town.

    Le Bar de la Marine

    15 quai de Rive Neuve
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Start your night with an aperitif on the large terrace of this 1930s-style bar in the Vieux Port.

    Le Trolleybus

    24 quai de Rive Neuve
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    This popular Marseille club has four different bars, each with a different music style.

    La Dame Noir

    30 place Notre-Dame du Mont
    13006 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Dance the night away at this small club which welcomes local and international DJs.

    La Caravelle

    34 quai du Port
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    This atmospheric bar stages regular live jazz nights and has a superb terrace overlooking the harbour.

    U.Percut

    127 rue Sainte

    13007 Marseille
    
France
    Show on map

    Tuesdays through Saturdays, this hot artists’ club resounds mostly to strains of live jazz music – but jazz that’s not a million miles from noise, electronic and hip-hop. Some amazing sounds come together on its small stage, which is also home to modern theater and experimental art. Admission is moderate and the audience mostly young.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Marseille

    ListMap

    Influenced by the Mediterranean and infused with the flavours of North Africa and Italy, Marseille’s restaurant scene is exciting and diverse.

    Sample local speciality bouillabaisse, a flavour-packed Provençal fish soup.

    L’Epuisette

    Vallon des Auffes
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Located right on the coast, the sublime fish dishes served in this Michelin-starred restaurant are super fresh.

    Chez Michel

    6 rue des Catalans
    13007 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    An upmarket brasserie serving some of the best bouillabaisse in town.

    Le Café des Épices

    4 rue du Lacydon
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This great little place near the old port has a lovely outdoor terrace.

    Le Goût des Choses

    4 place Notre Dame du Mont
    13006 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A good value bistro serving both Provençal classics and dishes influenced by the wider Mediterranean.

    Sahtein

    2 rue Henri Fiocca
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Ideal for a quick lunch, this relaxed Lebanese restaurant serves delicious falafel, hummus and baklava.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Fête de la Musique

    21 June 2016
    Website

    Venue: Throughout the city

    Since being launched by the French Ministry for Culture in 1982, the Fête de la Musique has extended into more than 100 countries around the world. It takes place annually on the 21 June summer solstice and consists of a number of free concerts. Marseille embraces the occasion.

    Festival de Marseille

    24 June – 19 July 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues around Marseille

    Celebrating the worlds of dance, music, theatre and cinema, this three-week event draws on the multicultural society that characterises Marseille. Visitors can expect to experience spectacular events ranging from cutting-edge theatre productions and film screenings to contemporary dance and music performances. While the popularity and stature of artists performing here grows each year, it strives to remain accessible to all by keeping the ticket prices low.

    Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque

    3 – 8 July 2016
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Marseille.

    There are few pursuits that sit within the French stereotype as comfortably as pétanque. Each July sees the largest tournament in the regional calendar, with thousands of competitors from France and overseas converging on the city.

    FIDMarseille

    12 – 18 July 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    Showcasing the very best in documentary films from around the world, FIDMarseille is one of the biggest European events on the filmmaking calendar. The festival also screens a small selection of fiction films. Featured films are often followed by Q and A sessions with directors.

    Bastille Day

    14 July 2016

    Venue: Vieux Port.

    Celebration of the French revolution and national democracy with a grand fireworks display over the Vieux Port. Marseille’s key role in France’s history (its citizens provided the inspiration for La Marseillaise, the national anthem) means the event remains a significant one.

    Marseille Lesbian and Gay Pride

    16 July 2016

    Venue: Various venues around Marseille.

    One of the largest lesbian and gay prides in the south of France, this event attracts thousands of brightly dressed, whistle-blowing folk who flock to Marseille to be a part of this great street party. The pride march usually starts at Parc du 26e Centenaire and ends at the Vieux Port. Later in the evening, the fun really gets underway at a series of parties.

    Festival de Marseille

    30 October 2016
    Website

    Venue: From the Vélodrome Stadium on Boulevard Michelet in Marseille to the port of Cassis

    The Marseille-Cassis Classique International is an annual half marathon taking place on the last weekend in October. The event follows a scenic route from Marseille to the port commune of Cassis and attracts around 15,000 participants. The course itself presents a reasonably serious challenge in the form of the Col de la Gineste, a large hill in the middle of the route.

    Fête de la Chandeleur

    2 February 2017

    Venue: Abbaye de St Victor.

    Candelmas celebrations ushering in the beginning of spring. The holiday is otherwise known as jour des crêpes (pancakes day) – tradition has it that if you hold a coin in your hand while successfully flipping a pancake, the upcoming year will be a prosperous one.

    Babel Med Music

    March 2017
    Website

    Venue: Dock des Suds

    Babel Med Music will take place at the Docks des Suds venue in Marseille over the course of three days and nights across four stages and through 36 concerts. There will be 190 artists, 19 round-table discussions and 170 stands at this annual music event.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Marseille

    ListMap

    A rash of new hotels have boosted Marseille’s accommodation offering lately.

    Many are clustered around the Vieux Port, a good base for exploring the city.

    C2 Hotel

    48 rue Roux de Brignoles
    13006 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Brand new in 2014, this 5-star hotel offers modern luxury in a beautifully restored 19th-century building.

    Hôtel Dieu

    1 place Daviel
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This grand, recently renovated hotel is located in the heart of the Old Town.

    Grand Hôtel Beauvau Marseille Vieux Port

    4 rue Beauvau
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Traditional yet opulent, this hotel enjoys a splendid location overlooking the old port.

    Suite Novotel Marseille Centre Euromed

    33 boulevard de Dunkerque
    13002 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A centrally located hotel with all the modern comforts expected of the Novotel chain.

    Residhome Appart Hotel Saint-Charles

    10 boulevard Charles Nedelec
    13001 Marseille
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Near to Marseille railway station, this place offers apartments with kitchenettes, ideal for longer stays.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 24.08.2016 23:00 UTC

    No current information available

    temperature


    22°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    0 mph

    humidity

    2%

    7 days forecast

    Friday

    26.08.2016

    32°C / 20°C

    Saturday

    27.08.2016

    31°C / 20°C

    Sunday

    28.08.2016

    30°C / 19°C

    Monday

    29.08.2016

    30°C / 20°C

    Tuesday

    30.08.2016

    29°C / 18°C

    Wednesday

    31.08.2016

    30°C / 18°C

    Thursday

    01.09.2016

    29°C / 18°C

    Climate & best time to visit France

    France has a temperate climate in the north; northeastern areas have a more continental climate with warm summers and colder winters. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with some snow likely in winter. The Jura Mountains have an alpine climate. Lorraine, sheltered by bordering hills, has a relatively mild climate. There’s a Mediterranean climate in the south; mountainous areas are cooler with heavy snow in winter.

    The Atlantic influences the climate of the western coastal areas from the Loire to the Basque region where the weather is temperate and relatively mild with rainfall throughout the year. Summers can be very hot and sunny – sunburn can be a risk if you’re unprepared. Inland areas are mild and the French slopes of the Pyrenees are renowned for their sunshine record. A Mediterranean climate exists on the Riviera, and in Provence and Roussillon. Weather in the French Alps is variable. Continental weather is present in Auvergne, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. Very strong winds (such as the Mistral) can occur throughout the entire region.

    Climatic variations – and in particular the long summer holiday period – mean that mainstream tourism in France peaks in July and August. If you’re visiting the country at this time, prepare to face higher-than-usual demand at major sights, attractions and coastal resorts. There’s likely to be plenty of queuing involved – some roads may even get clogged at particularly busy times.

    By contrast, visiting during the low season – from October through to February or March – is not only far quieter, it also sees a drop in costs. This doesn’t apply to ski resorts, of course, which see peak demand over the winter months.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    47 mm

    54 mm

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    77 mm

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    4 h

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    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    75 %

    72 %

    67 %

    65 %

    64 %

    63 %

    59 %

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    69 %

    74 %

    75 %

    77 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    13 °C

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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan19 °C-12 °C10 °C2 °C75 %47.2 mm6.54.8 h
    Feb22 °C-16 °C12 °C3 °C72 %54 mm65.5 h
    Mar25 °C-10 °C14 °C5 °C67 %43.7 mm5.56.9 h
    Apr28 °C-2 °C17 °C8 °C65 %47.9 mm5.38.2 h
    May31 °C0 °C21 °C12 °C64 %42.3 mm4.99.4 h
    Jun37 °C5 °C25 °C15 °C63 %27.8 mm3.510.9 h
    Jul39 °C7 °C29 °C18 °C59 %13.7 mm1.611.8 h
    Aug38 °C8 °C28 °C18 °C62 %29.3 mm310.6 h
    Sep34 °C1 °C25 °C15 °C69 %46.7 mm3.68.5 h
    Oct30 °C-2 °C20 °C11 °C74 %77.6 mm5.86.6 h
    Nov24 °C-5 °C14 °C6 °C75 %58.4 mm5.15.2 h
    Dec20 °C-12 °C11 °C3 °C77 %55.8 mm64.6 h
    year39 °C-16 °C19 °C10 °C68 %544.4 mm56.77.8 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +33

    Telephone

    Card-only telephones are common, with pre-paid cards bought from post offices and tabacs; coin boxes are being phased out throughout the country. International calls are cheaper between Mon-Fri 1900-0800 and all day Sat-Sun. Calls can be received at all phone boxes showing the sign of a blue bell. Information in English and other languages can be accessed by pressing the button with a two-flags icon.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent.

    Internet

    Public access is available at internet cafés in all large towns and cities.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Marseille

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    From luxury brands to artisan boutiques selling Provençal specialities such as soap and santons (clay figurines), Marseille has something for everyone. Head to rue Saint Ferréol and rue de la Tour for high-street fashions, and rue Paradis for designer brands. The alleys of Le Panier throw up artisan workshops, galleries and classy gifts, while you can seek out antiques around the Prefecture. The recently regenerated rue de la République has plenty to offer too.

    Shopping Centres

    Indoor shopping comes courtesy of the Centre Bourse (17 cours Belsunce) near the port, which contains 60 shops including department store Galeries Lafayette.

    Markets

    Don’t miss the famous daily fish market at the Vieux Port, a real Marseille experience which has changed little over the years. Find clothes and textiles at the markets of Le Prado (avenue du Prado) and La Plaine (place Jean Jaurès), or head to the suburbs in the 15th arrondissement to rifle through bric-a-brac at a huge flea market.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Shaking hands and, more familiarly, kissing both cheeks, are the usual forms of greeting. The form of personal address is simply Monsieur or Madame without a surname and it may take time to get on first-name terms. At more formal dinners, it is the most important guest or host who gives the signal to start eating. Mealtimes are often a long, leisurely experience. Casual wear is common.

    Social functions, some clubs, casinos and exclusive restaurants warrant more formal attire. Evening wear is normally specified where required. Topless sunbathing is tolerated on most beaches but naturism is restricted to certain beaches – local tourist offices will advise where these are. A smoking ban for workplaces and public spaces has been in place since February 2007.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    This being France, the only real problems posed by the local food and drink are mild stomach complaints resulting from overindulgence. Tap water is safe to drink (although you’ll find a huge amount of bottled water for sale too) and cooked food, assuming it’s come from a hygienic kitchen, is certainly no more risky to consume than that of any developed country. Some travellers steer clear of unpasteurised dairy products due to a perceived risk of disease, while others laud the same products for their perceived health benefits. If you’re at all unsure, it’s probably best to stick to what you’re used to.

    Other Risks

    Visitors to forested areas should consider vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis. There was an outbreak of canine rabies in 2008. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

    In more universal terms, sunburn is perhaps the most common complaint among visitors to France, particularly over the summer months – temperatures are generally higher in the south but it’s wise to be cautious across the country. The usual precautions apply: use a generous amount of sunscreen and be sensible about how long you spend in direct sunlight. Be aware that a breezy day can sometimes mask high temperatures.

    If walking over a long distance in warm weather, it’s advisable to drink – and carry – plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing, including a sun hat. Blisters can be another problem for hikers. These can often occur if new walking shoes are being worn across a long distance. Ideally footwear should be worn in before the trip.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

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