Marseille Shopping and Districts
(Marseille, Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur, France)
Marseille can provide a huge variety of shopping choices. These range from traditional Provençal food, wines and handicrafts to the latest fashions and works of art.
Shops worth exploring can mostly be found in the Vieux Port and the main shopping district behind.
There are also a number of lively open-air markets and modern malls to satisfy everyone's shopping needs.
When to Shop and Opening Hours
Small shops and businesses tend to close for two hours at lunch, but stay open until later in the evening. Shopping malls in Marseille, such as the Centre Bourse, stay open all day, generally until 19:00. The standard closing day for shops is Sundays.
Marseille's open-air markets are generally held just in the morning, from 08:00 to 13:00. If you want to catch the fishing boats unload their nightly catch at the Vieux Port, you'll need to head down to the quai des Belges. The first fishermen set up their stalls there from 08:00 onwards.
Where to Shop
A trip to the Vieux Port is a good starting place for tourists wishing to browse in its small boutiques and independent shops. In particular, look out for the tiny carved wooden Provençal figurines known as santons
The main shopping streets in Marseille are behind the Vieux Port, clustered around rue Paradis and rue Saint Ferréol. Here you'll find Marseille's largest department store, Galeries Lafayette, together with plenty of souvenir shops selling locally made handicrafts. These include brightly coloured Provençal fabrics as well as savon de Marseille, a soap that is originates in Marseille and which many French women swear by. Marseille's fashion industry may not rival that of Paris
, but its boutiques still have plenty to offer and are becoming increasingly popular. The streets around Cours Julien are where you'll find dozens of small trendy clothing shops, offering a range of styles.
Marseille boasts a number of lively open-air markets, which are popular with tourists who come to soak up the atmosphere and seek out the odd bargain. Worth a visit is the fish market, which is held daily on the quai des Belges. Cours Julien is home to several Marseille markets. On Wednesdays, tourists can pick up organic fruit and vegetables there. On Saturdays, it becomes a flower market, and on alternate Sundays, second-hand goods are on sale - a memorable shopping experience. Market La Plaine is held every Thursday and Friday and sells fruit, vegetables, flowers and food. Markets are also held daily at cours Puget, place des Capucins and at Market Prado.
The Centre Bourse, just behind the Vieux Port, is a large modern shopping centre located in the heart of Marseille. Its sixty-odd shops and two supermarkets can cater for all your everyday food shopping and grocery needs. Head out of town and you'll find another shopping centre. L'Escale Borély is a more recent development, located on the Avenue Mendès-France, and comprises shops, cafés, restaurants and bars.