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Marseille, France City Info
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Sightseeing Tour
Histobus (L')
Espace info RTM 6-8, rue des Fabres
Rue des Fabres
Marseille, 13001
Neighborhood: 1st arrondissement
+33 4 91 91 92 10
Métro: Vieux-Port
Take a sight-seeing tour of Marseilles through the old port and the old town Panier district. The bus tour takes in 28 of the cities monuments, accompanied by a running commentary from your driver, who knows the city and its history. Buses depart from the Vieux-Port (the old port). If you are arriving by métro, come out of the station on the same side as the sea, opposite the town hall. Disabled access is available.

Abbaye St-Victor
Place St.-Victor
04 96 11 22 60
Metro: Vieux-Port
Daily 8:30-7:15
Founded in the 4th century, this abbey grew in influence in the ancient world. It was built above a crypt from the 5th century foundation of the church. The basilica, an example of Romanesque architecture, looks out from its vantage point on a ledge above the sea. The Saracens destroyed the first structure, so the abbey was rebuilt in the 11th century and fortified against further onslaught in the 14th. Its crudely peaked windows indicate the transition from Romanesque arches to Gothic points.

Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde
Rue Fort du Sanctaire
04 91 13 40 80
7am-8 pm
Free admission
Metro: Vieux-Port; Bus: 60
This Romanesque-Byzantine style church stands on a limestone rock perch overlooking the southern side of the Vieux-Port. It was built in the 19th century and topped by a 30 foot statue of the Virgin.

Musée D'histoire De Marseille (Marseille History Museum)
Centre Bourse, entrance on rue de Bir-Hakeim
Admission charged.
Mon.-Sat. noon-7.
This modern, open-spaced exhibition presents Marseille's history through its treasure trove of archeological finds. Highlights include ancient metallurgy, Gallo-Roman pottery making, and shipbuilding. There is a section dedicated to medieval Marseille, and some background on the influence of Louis XIV and Vauban on the city. There is a recovered wreck of a Roman cargo boat, its 3rd-century wood amazingly preserved, and the hull of a Greek boat dating from the 4th century BC.

Centre De La Vieille Charité (Center of the Old Charity)
Designed as a hospice for the homeless, this superb example of 17th- and 18th-century architecture stands at the top of Le Panier (the basket).
Under this complex's extensive roofs are two excellent museums.

(1) The larger is the:

Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne (Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology)
Centre Bourse, square Belsunce
04 91 90 42 22
Metro: Vieux-Port
Admission charged; children under 11 free
An amazing archeological garden where excavations are continuing. The many exhibits span ancient Mediterranean civilizations from ancient Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and Rome. These include a sizable collection of ceramics, bronzes, funeral stelae, amphorae, and sculptures. There are also mummies, hieroglyphics, and gorgeous sarcophagi in an authentic tomb-like setting.

(2) The second museum is:

Musée d'Arts Africains, Océaniens et Amérindiens
(Museum of African, Oceanian, and American Indian Art)
2 rue de la Charité
Admission charged.
May-Sept., Tues.-Sun. 11-6; Oct.-Apr., Tues.-Sun. 10-5.
Has a very good and quite dramatic collection of masks and sculptures.

Musée des Beaux-Artes
Admission charged. Children under 12 free.
June 15- Sept. 15: Tues-Sun. 11-7; Sept. 16-June 14: Tues-sun. 10-5
Metro: Cinq av. Longchamp or Réformés
This museum is housed in a northern wing of the Palais Longchamp. Its displays include a splendid array of paintings from the 16th-19th centuries. Among these are works by Corot, Davis, Rubens, and Miller. Sculptures are featured as well. One room is devoted to the works of Honoré Daumier, born in Marseilles in 1808.

Musée Cantini
19 rue Grignan
04 91 54 77 75
Admission charged. Free for seniors and children 10 and under.
June-Sept Tues-Sun 11-6; Oct-May Tues-Sun 10-5.
Metro: Estrangin Préfecture
The museum is devoted to modern art, with notable works by Derain, Balthus, Ernst, Masson, and Marquet. It also displays works by young international artists.

Musée Grobet-Labadîe
140 bd. Longchamp
04 91 62 21 82
Admission charged. Free for children under 11
June-Sept Tues-Sun 11-6; Oct-May Tues-Sun 10-5
Métro: Réformés
This private collection was given to the city in 1919 and includes Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture along with an excellent collection of medieval Burgundian and Provençal sculpture. Other exhibits are 17th century Gobelin tapestries; 15th-19th century German, Italian, French, and Flemish paintings and 16th and 17th century Italian and French porcelain.

Musée de la Faïence
In the Chateau Pastré
157 av. de Montredon
Admission charged. Children under 11 free.
June-Sept. Tues-Sun 11-6; Oct-May Tues-Sun 10-5
Métro: Réformés
One of the largest collections of porcelain in France. Its pieces date from Neolithic times. Most are representative of the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum is located about 3 miles south of the center of Marseilles in a manor house built in 1864.

Maison Diamantée (Diamond House)
The name is the result of the museum's beveled-stone façade. The collection includes beautifully carved wooden furniture, crèches and santons, and 19th-century clothes. Of particular interest is a display of locally made playing cards; Marseille was one of the medieval ports of entry for playing cards from the East. Check with the tourist office for new hours. rue de la Prison, 04-91-13-89-00 info.

Eglise Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Georges
16, rue Clapier
Marseille, 13001
Neighborhood: 1st arrondissement
métro: Réformés
This church is situated in the centre of Marseille in the Saint-Charles district, near the train station of the same name.
On Saturdays, Vespers takes place at 5.30pm. On Sundays, the Slavonic liturgy starts at 10am and the French at 2pm (apart from on the first Sunday of every month). During the week, the liturgy is at 10am.

4, rue du Bon Pasteur
Marseille, 13002
Neighborhood: 2nd arrondissement
+33 4 91 55 57 38
métro: Jules Guesde
This mosque is situated in the Grands-Carmes district, in the north of Marseille.
The Islamic service begins at 10am on Sunday.

Arts and Entertainment:

Théâtre National de la Criée
30, quai Rive-Neuve
Marseille, 13007
Neighborhood: 7th arrondissement
+33 4 91 54 70 54
+33 4 91 54 27 17
This theatre takes its name from an old fish auction, which was once situated here. Since 1981, this highly respected cultural landmark has been an important cultural center of the city. The programming is of good quality.

Espace Julien
39, cours Julien
Marseille, 13006
Neighborhood: 6th arrondissement
+33 4 91 24 34 15
+33 4 91 42 67 82
All types of music are represented here from rap to rai, jazz to rock. The auditorium has 1000 seats alongside the 150 seater cafe. In the heart of the plain, this up to date area caters for all tastes. There are concerts throughout the year.


Vieux Port and the streets surrounding it are filled with fascinating shops and boutiques.

Art Galleries:

Galerie Cargo
55 rue Grignan
Where paintings from international artists are exhibited and sold.

Galerie Roger-Pailhas
61 cours Julien

Galerie Wulfram-Puget
39 rue de Lodi
Antiques from around Provence are sold here.

Antiquites Francois-Decamp
302 rue Paradis


The local fashion industry is booming. The fashion center is found along Cours Julien. Much of the clothing reflects North African influences, although there is an array of French styles as well.

Folklore & Souvenirs:

Especially popular are the santons (carved wooden creche figurines). The best place for acquiring them is just above the Vieux Port, behind the Theatre National de la Criee. All the souvenir shops along the pedestrian rue St-Fereol, running perpendicular to La Canebiere, sell replicas of handcrafts from Old Provence, including the cream-colored or pale-green bars of the city's local soap, savon de Marseille.

Ateliers Marcel Carbonel
47 rue Neuve-Ste-Catherine
More than 600 figures, available in half a dozen sizes.

La Savonnerie du Serail
50 bd. Anatole de la Forge

Food & Chocolate:

69 bd. Eugene-Pierre
A photograph or a work of graphic art can be reproduced in various shades of chocolate on top of a delicious layer cake in any flavor you specify in advance.

25 rue Francis-Davso
Traditional pastries and chocolates with another location at 155 rue Jean-Mermoz
The treats available here include chocolates stuffed with almond paste (pate d'amande) or confits de fruits, along with a type of biscuit called une Marseillotte.

Le Four des Navettes
136 rue Sainte
It opened in 1791 and is dedicated to perpetuating the city's most cherished medieval myth and guarding the secret of how the pastries are made. The boat-shaped cookies are sold by the dozen.


Brasserie Vieux-Port New-York
33 quai des Belges
Members of Marseille's arts community gather here to chat with friends.

Escale Borély
avenue Mendès-France
A waterfront development south of the town center. There are in this area about a dozen cafes as well as a variety of restaurants.

L'Assiette Marine
A seafood restaurant with a separate bar area where fresh oysters, clams, and chilled lobster are served.

Café de la Plage
in the Escale Borély
A 35-and-under crowd dance and enjoy life.

Metal Café
20 rue Fortia
Where 20- to 50-year-olds listen to recent releases from London and Los Angeles.

Trolley Bus
24 quai de Rive-Neuve
Is best known for its techno, house, punk rock, and retro music.

8 place aux Huiles
A many-faceted bar/disco/cafe and host of occasional live music.

La Cave à Jazz
rue Bernard-du-Bois

Bar Eden
7 rue Curiol

O.M. Café
3 Quai des Belges
04 91 33 80 33
Owned by a former Olympique Marseille soccer goal keeper; it is decorated in blue and white, the team colors. Soccer matches play on the TV, and fans pack the terrace.

Le Chocolat Théâtre
59 cours Julien
A cabaret that presents broad humor, and occasional political satire.

New Can Can
3-5 rue Sénac
An enormous venue that's everybody's favorite dance emporium Thursday to Sunday, from 11pm - dawn.


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