One of the city's oldest districts, the Panier (literally translated meaning "basket") is where the ancient Phocaeans first settled and founded the city of Massilia. Using the 18th-century Hôtel-Dieu and Notre Dame des Accoules church bell tower (17th-19th century) as reference points, these lead to the foot of Montée des Accoules - a series of steep flights of steps typical of old Marseilles - which lead right to the heart of the district and pedestrians' paradise. Once home to the ancient city's Greek agora (a public open space used for assemblies and markets), Place de Lenche still bustles with life and has its own market, restaurants and theater. At the summit of the old town is Place des Moulins, which in the 16th Century lived up to its name with no less than fifteen flour mills. These days its fountain and school help maintain its village square's tranquility and charm.
This is one of the most peaceful markets in Marseille; no hustling or bustling while trying to make your way around all the different vendors! At the entrance, near Castellane, you will see the fruit and vegetable stalls and further down, there is a fairground. This market is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8a to 10p. On Fridays, there is also a flower market.
At the heart of the city center, Centre Bourse spans a multitude of shops that promise absolute retail therapy. It attracts all sorts of people as it has everything from designer stores to small-scale boutiques to hobby and art stores and a lot more. There are of course places to sit, eat or to rest between shops. The regular sales and discount offers running across the mall add to the overall shopping experience. Centre Bourse also has a parking lot that is open 7 days a week.
Everyone knows that you can get anything at FNAC. Take, for example, the book selection: books for kids, foreign literature, comic books, humor, economics, and ethnology. It's perfectly laid out, with a defined area for each category. If you're not much for books, you can check out the movie section, and there is also a place to buy tickets for upcoming events. It's possible to spend hours here, browsing or buying, because prices at FNAC are very reasonable. And in case you change your mind, it's incredibly easy to do an exchange. There's really no need to hesitate.
At the heart of the commercial center of "la Valentine" on the outskirts of Marseille, this large shop attracts a certain kind of clientele with its famous, top quality goods. In this Printemps store, you can find all kinds of beautiful things here such as collections from Cacharel to Rene Derhy. There are also dedicated sections to purchase silverware and chinaware. Overall, Printemps is a shop that combines real style with substance.
A massive and newly built center in the Northern district of Marseille, (the view is brilliant!) Grand Littoral attracts all kinds of people, near and far. It has more than 200 shops on only two floors and also the largest "Continent" hypermarket in Europe. Wander around the alleys as you are enchanted by all that's on offer here. If you get lost, follow the maps and signposts of this shopping city. The entire center is open from Mondays to Saturdays, with varying hours within each department.
This is a general bookstore, with two vast and incredibly well-stocked floors. It's a reference point in Marseille, since it provides all the learning materials for local children (the annual influx of back-to-school shoppers transforms the first floor into a hive of activity!), not to mention University students and book-worms. The selection is excellent in all categories (history, sociology, fiction, art, current events, foreign literature etc). There's even a music section, where you're welcome to listen to jazz, classical, or world music before you make your selection. You're also invited to leaf through the beautiful books on Marseille and Provence. The sales staff are really friendly, and always available to help you with your search.
This large general bookstore in the heart of the city centre attracts our immediate attention with its sidewalk display of racks and bins full of used books ( on cooking, art, foreign civilizations etc. Inside, you'll find three floors which contain a wide range of school and office supplies, along with all kinds of books - even the most specialist - all at bargain prices. It's worth noting that secondhand books, including textbooks, are available here (and these may be sold back to the store for cash, rather than exchanged for credit).
This store, which boasts a prime location on the Canebière, just steps away from Rue de Rome, is continuously packed with satisfied customers from morning until night. It sells a wide variety of goods extending over several floors, including cosmetics, clothes, toys and a food section, throughout the day. It offers unbeatable value for money and the efficient staff are always helpful.
Perched above the Noailles district, this seafood specialist sells an assorted catch of fresh seafood in a 500m2 store. The refrigerated stalls harbour the best selection of fish from the Mediterannean coast, caught by local fishermen. Also on display is an incredible array of strikingly colourful African species at prices that would take some beating.
This small bookstore specializes in the sciences of education. You will find a wide range of relevant material (in all forms: paper as well as multimedia), dealing with pedagogical methods, child development, early childhood and social work. An essential reference point for students and parents alike.