Resting near the Mediterranean Sea in southern France, Marseille, a city of old stone and the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône region, is much more than just an old port city. With hills that surround the city and appear to stop it from leap-frogging off to the eastern coast, its geographical isolation makes it a natural harbor and a super scenic seaside city, perfect for tourists like you!
When you visit any new city, one of the most important things to plan is your accommodation. In this guide I will break down all the best neighborhoods where to stay in Marseille and provide the best hotel choices for each budget in each one, to help you find the perfect place for you.
The Old Port (Le Vieux Port in French) is the best area to stay in the city as it is the heart and soul of this special little city. But if you are looking for something a little more relaxed, more local, near the beach, for nightlife or simply to be amongst all the best museums, read on because I have plenty of neighborhoods for all interests!
Whichever area you choose, make sure to book your hotel as far in advance as possible. The city may be fairly small but it sure is popular and the best rooms always book out quick!
On y va! (Let’s go!)
If you are in a hurry
If you don’t have time to read the whole post, here is my list of the absolute best of the best hotels for each price point so you can book right now:
Au du Vieux Port
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Les Appartements du Vieux Port
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Before we get started, check out this map to help visualize where all the neighborhoods of Marseille that I will be talking about in this post are located:
1. Old Port (Le Vieux Port) – where to stay in Marseille for the first time
Located at the very end of the Canebière, a famous street in Marseille, is the Old Port area. This site may as well be the golden spot of the entire city center!
Even though it may be old, the Vieux Port still holds great importance in the city, and to call Old it the heart and soul of Marseille would not be an exaggeration! Today it is one of the largest French ports linked to the Mediterranean and a hub for fishermen and tourists alike.
Make sure to go for a stroll by the water in the morning and buy some fish from the small stalls that line the port. Considering the fish has been caught right here, it can’t get fresher than that!
The views, festivities, history, and cultural explosion present in this area all speak for themselves. There is so much to see and even more to do, making this port the main tourist attraction in the city.
This 5-star hotel does a perfect job of mixing modern comforts with classic elegant style. Located in a 19th-century private mansion, Hotel C2 has incredibly bright and spacious rooms with all the facilities you could possibly want. Comfort aside, it’s a good option for tourists because of its placement, which is in close proximity to many tourist attractions.
Other accommodation options in Old Port / Vieux Port
A beautiful modern hotel just a short walk from the beach and the other main attractions
Funky retro Airbnb with an “industrial street art” style close to all the attractions
Things to do in the Old Port / Vieux Port
- Buy some fresh fish
- Ride the Ferris wheel (Grande Roue de Marseille)
- Admire the Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins
- See the Port Antique park
- Visit the Marseille History Museum
- Take a ferry to Corsica
2. Le Panier – best area to stay for history & museums
If you’re like me and you believe that there is no better way to really feel at one with a city than to know its history, then head over to Le Panier (the Basket in English). As one of the oldest districts of this aged city, Le Panier is a former fishing village and still holds history to its very core and is chocked FULL of museums!
But not only that, these days the neighborhood is a hub of art and expression. Made up of narrow winding streets surrounded by small cafés and colorful shops, it is undoubtedly the ideal place to go if you want to find a unique trinket or two to take home with you, or perhaps some fresh food from one of the best markets in Marseille, the Marche de la Joliette.
Le Panier is located on the water just north of the Vieux Port and is a little bit more of a local neighborhood where you can enjoy seeing how the city’s inhabitants have embraced both the new and old.
Apart from the colorful murals, the one thing that stands out in Le Panier is the sheer number of staircases. It seems that just about every rental apartment or cafe seems to be located at least one staircase up. It truly is a mystery to me, what they are doing with all the ground levels!
When looking for a place to stay in Le Panier, keep the staircases in mind!
This beautiful hotel won’t let you forget you’re on vacation in the Mediterranean! With sweeping balconies, stunning views and modern designs, this luxurious 5-star hotel is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a high-class getaway in Marseille.
Other accommodation options in Le Panier
Clean and convenient aparthotel, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for a little more privacy
Cosy budget apartment that will let you live like a local in Le Panier, Marseille
Super cute loft apartment located in a historic building, nestled between the best museums in the city
Things to do in Le Panier
3. Cinq Avenues – best neighborhood for families
Cinq Avenues is a quieter, more residential area, and perhaps the safest area to stay in Marseille making it the perfect location for families.
Centered around the Palais Longchamp, a beautiful grand park that not only contains large green spaces, a decorative monument, and the botanical gardens, but it is also home to the Museum of Natural history, along with the Museum of Fine Arts.
All this goes to show that there’s art and history littered across this area as well, which I guess can be expected of a city as old and rich in stories as Marseilles! Located just northeast of the Old Port, you can easily access all the city center attractions with a quick metro ride, plus the city’s main train station is also fairly close, making it super easy to get around both the city and the country!
Unfortunately, there are no good luxury hotels in Cinq Avenues. If you are looking for a deluxe getaway, I suggest Hotel C2 in the Old Port area, but if you are looking for any other price point, check out my suggestions below:
Other accommodation options in Cinq Avenues
Clean, bright, french style apartment with the option of including a delicious continental breakfast
A cheap and cheery loft apartment, fully equipped with everything you need for a budget holiday
Bright and modern apartment with airconditioning connected to most of the city by tram
Things to do in Cinq Avenues
4. Notre Dame du Mont – where to stay for nightlife
If colorful street Art, vintage shops, quirky street performers, and of course bustling bars and nightclubs in narrow streets simply calls your name, Nore Dame du Mont is for you!
This small neighborhood is found within walking distance east of the Vieux Port and city center area and is a hub of activity all day and all night long!
If your main mission is to party the night away, make sure to head straight to “la Plaine’ (Jean Jaures Square). Packed full of bars, restaurants, and clubs this is the center of nightlife in the city.
During the day this fun area continues to live up to the hype with plenty of hipster boutiques, coffee shops, and vintage shops. This area is quite international meaning it has a super unique vibe and is quite different from the other areas in this historical city.
Since this is a more residential area, there are no luxury hotels here. If you prefer the finer things in life, you can easily stay in the Old Port and take trips here. For everyone else, here are my suggestions for where to say in Notre Dame du Mont:
Other accommodation options in Notre Dame du Mont
B&B set in a farmhouse full of antique furniture and offering a delicious breakfast
Funky modern loft apartment located between Notre Dame du Mont and View Port
Things to do in Notre Dame du Mont
- Party all night in “la Plaine’ (Jean Jaures Square)
- Watch buskers’ shows
- Do some people watching from a quirky cafe
- Find something special in the vintage shops
- See the Église Notre-Dame-du-Mont
- Admire the street art & take pictures on the colorful stairs at Cours Julien
5. La Corniche & Le Roucas-Blanc – for the best beaches
La Corniche is essentially one long seafront promenade that runs along the Mediterranean coast south of the Old Port, offering some of the most breathtaking views in France.
Unlike the tear-wrenching movie, this is a walk to remember with fondness for many years to come. Even if you are the laziest traveler in the world, I would strongly recommend not missing out on the chance to experience all that a simple stroll along La Corniche has to offer.
This area hugs the rocky shoreline and is well known for its stunning white rocks and beaches. Pretty scenery and relaxing beaches just 10 mins by car from the historic city center – sounds like a perfect holiday to me!
Le Roucas-Blanc is a neighborhood that sits high above La Corniche on the famous white rocks after which the area is named. There are unbelievable views from every angle here but nothing can beat the panoramic overview you can get from the Basilique Notre-Dame.
If terrace restaurants, sweeping views, beaches, and a quiet atmosphere sounds ideal to you, La Corniche & Le Roucas-Blanc is your perfect spot!
This hotel seems too good to be true. Located right on the La Corniche, the view from the start to the end of the day is a sight to behold. Wake up and enjoy the stunning views through your floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, then take a dip in the ultra-luxurious swimming pool before starting your day.
Other options in La Corniche & Roucas-Blanc
4 star hotel on the shoreline with a spa, outdoor swimming pool and panoramic views
Beautiful, bright and modern apartment with sweeping views of the surroundings
Things to do in La Corniche & Roucas-Blanc
- Go for a long stroll along La Corniche
- Soak in the hot springs at Promicea Marine Baths
- Relax on Plage du Prophète beach
- See the views from Basilique Notre-Dame
- Enjoy a meal from a terrace restaurant
- Take a trip to Calanques National Park
|👑 Luxury price:||€180|
|💵 Mid Range:||€40|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||Medium|
|📍 Best area:||Old Port|
|👪 Best area for families:||Cinq Avenues|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Hotel C2|
|🧳 Best mid-range hotel:||Maisons du Monde Hôtel|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Les Appartements du Vieux Port|
Frequently asked questions about hotels in Marseille
🕵️♀️ Is Marseille a safe city?
Yes, it is. Though its reputation has been slightly tarnished due to its history of trafficking and gambling, most parts of Marseille are generally safe, especially the neighborhoods mentioned in this post.
🌆 Is Marseille a good city for tourists to visit?
Yes! The city has always been and still is an excellent destination for tourists. This city really has something for everyone with distinct areas full of history, museums, art, nightlife, and beaches!
📍 What is the best arrondissement to stay in Marseille?
Arrondissement 1 (the Old Port) area is the best neighborhood where to stay in Marseille. It is the heart and soul of the city at the center of the action with its old-school charm and countless attractions.
🚣♂️ What are the best hotels in the Old Port area of Marseille?
If you have made this far into the post, I hope you now have a pretty good idea about what to expect from your trip and some good ideas for where to stay in Marseille!
Remember that booking in advance can help you get some of the best deals and save you the hassle of making arrangements at the last minute – it really pays to be prepared, especially in summer!
Although I have tried to bring down the number of accommodation options available in Marseille from about a million to just the best of the best, if even that is way too many options for you, then here are my two favorite picks again:
- Hotel C2 – A 5-star hotel at the heart of the city, with all the facilities you could ever want.
- Maisons du Monde Hôtel – With great mid-range prices and super modern yet elegant design, this one is a steal!
So, what are you waiting for? Book your hotels, flights, and travel insurance now so that you too get to see the beautiful Marseille!
If you have any more questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will help you out as best I can!
See you in Marseille,