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A long time ago, Gaul travelers established a port town right beside the Rhone river. Eventually, Greek colonists would take this land from the Gauls and rename their port town Massalia. Greek settlers from Phocaea surged into Massalia, inspiring the nickname “the Phocaean City.” Centuries passed, and Massalia changed hands from Greeks to Romans all the way back to Gallo-Romans before French forces annexed the land in the late 1400s – changing the city’s name from Massalia to Marseille.
Today, Marseille is a city that is deeply connected with its past. Artifacts from Greek, Roman, and Gallo-Roman culture flood Marseille's museums. Many still refer to Marseille as the Phocaean City because of its connection with those ancient Greek settlers. Moreover, Marseille played an integral role in the French Revolution – hence why it’s the focal point of France’s National Anthem “La Marseillaise.” Marseille is also one of France’s most pivotal trade cities and event hubs. The 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship have both been held in Marseille.
Bounce is a secure luggage storage service that’s available 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Marseilles is just one of the cities that Bounce services. To learn more about us, and to find the nearest Bounce storage stations near you, download the app. Book storage for your briefcase between meetings, extra parcels as you shop, or luggage while you await your hotel. Bounce is all about convenience and helping to make your day a smooth one.
Top Things to Do
Water sports and oceanside resorts are very big in Marseille. Marseille also hosts numerous multicultural festivals each year, living up to its reputation as the “Melting Pot of France.” When you visit Marseille, you'll find no shortage of activities to try out. Below are just a few of our favorites.
Marseille is home to several abbeys, palaces, and chateaus that are open to visitors. You can learn a lot about the city’s history from visiting these places, as well as any of the numerous landmarks that decorate Marseille. We highly recommend visiting these venues as soon as you can:
Musée d'Histoire de Marseille: Marseille’s Museum of History is located on 2 rue Henri Barbusse. Many of Marseille’s residents tout this venue as the one-stop-shop for all things related to the city’s storied past.
Musee d'Archeologie Mediterraneenne: The Museum of Mediterranean Archeology can be found on 2 rue de la Charite Centre de la Vieille Charité. This venue is overflowing with Roman statues, Greek vases, and all sorts of ancient artifacts.
Musee des Beaux-Arts: The Museum of Fine Arts rests on 7 rue Edouard Stephan. Paintings, portraits, reliefs, murals, and frescos from every time period and every region known to man can be found here.
High fashion and French culture go hand in hand. That’s why it’s no surprise that Marseille is chock full of eye-catching boutiques and shopping centers. The following three venues are some of the best places to shop in our opinion:
Les Docks Village: You can find this indoor and outdoor showing center on 10 Place de la Joliette. Browsing and buying here are truly a one of a kind experience – even window shopping!
L'Espérantine de Marseille: This popular chocolate shop is located on 70 Rue Caisserie. If you visit, you have to try their olive oil green chocolate. It’s the highest-rated item sold at the shop by far.
Tourist Office and Convention Bureau of Marseille: Looking to buy some souvenirs before you leave Marseille? The Tourist Office has you covered. Head to 11 La Canebière Monday through Sunday.
One of the most surprising things about Marseille’s culinary scene is how diverse it is. You can find African entrees, Caribbean food, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, Lebanese pastries, and more in Marseille. Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
Grand Bar des Goudes: A gourmet eatery that specializes in Seafood and Mediterranean dishes. Head to 29 avenue Desire Pellaprat les Goudes, and try out their bouillabaisse, a dish created in Marseille!
Spanish Dishes: Are you craving carne asada? Do you have a taste for chorizo? Marseille has plenty of well-reviewed Spanish eateries at your disposal. Tapas Rojas, located on 23 rue d Isoard, is popular among locals and tourists alike.
La Poule Noire: Duck and desserts are La Poule Noire's main claim to fame. Head to 61 rue Sainte and take a bite for yourself. If you’re vegetarian, you’re in luck. La Poule Noire offers plenty of plant-based dishes.
Compared to other countries with similar population sizes, France has a relatively low crime rate. Marseille follows that trend, with a few caveats. Our research indicates that Marseille experiences very little physical crime each year. Crimes like assault and battery are rarely reported because they rarely occur. This is due, in no small part, to the dedicated men and women who work for Marseille’s law enforcement agencies.
However, Marseille is considered to be at high risk for terrorist activity. In recent years, France has experienced multiple terrorist attacks in a relatively short time span. Marseille’s police officers have teamed with federal agencies to quell these threats. Because of their efforts, Marseille is a safe city overall. However, we encourage you to remain vigilant when you visit the Phocean City.
“What’s the best way to get around Marseille?”
Marseille is compact enough to travel by walking. Just about every amenity that you might need is within walking distance. Biking is also a great way to make your way around and explore the city.
“Is public transportation in Marseille safe?”
Yes, the Régie des Transports Métropolitains is very safe. Whether you’re traveling by metro, tramway, or bus, rest assured that you’re in good hands.
“What’s the best neighborhood to stay in Marseille?”
One of the best neighborhoods to stay in is Marseille’s Old Port. The atmosphere here is very calm and relaxing. Moreover, you’ll also find plenty of beachside resorts, hotels, and hostels to stay at during your trip.
“What are the best museums to visit in Marseille?”
The Château d'If, Musée Cantini, and the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean come to mind. You should definitely visit these venues when you get the chance, along with the other museums that we mentioned earlier.
“What’s the best time of year to visit Marseille?”
Try to visit Marseille before or after tourist season (May to August.) That might sound strange, but trust us – it’s better to visit Marseille when the beaches aren’t overcrowded with scores of people. If anything, the period between September to November would give you the most bang for your buck.
How much does luggage storage cost in Marseille?
The price for luggage storage in Marseille is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Where are there luggage storage locations in Marseille?
There are multiple locations all around Marseille which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille Cathedral, Old Port of Marseille and many other areas.
Is it safe to store your bags in Marseille?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Marseille.
Are there storage lockers in Marseille?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Marseille. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Marseille where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
Where are the best places to stay and eat while in Marseille?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Old Port of Marseille, Prado Resort Park, and Le Château. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Marseille are InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu, Toyoko Inn, and Le Petit Nice Passédat.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Marseille?
Marseille offers several scenic parks including Borély Park, Prado Resort Park, and Albertas Gardens.
Where can I find tourist information and guideposts in Marseille?
You can find local tourist information at Le Panier Quarter, Le cours Julien, and Gare Routière Marseille-Saint-Charles.
What are the best museums and historical attractions in Marseille?
If you're looking for a good museum in Marseille, we recommend Longchamp Palace, Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean, and Cantini Museum. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Marseille's most popular historical attractions including Marseille Cathedral, Longchamp Palace, or Porte d'Aix and monuments like Longchamp Palace, Porte d'Aix, or Monument aux héros et victimes de la mer. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Garden of Remains, Arles Roman Theatre, or Château des Baux-de-Provence.
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