I’m off to Marseille – European Capital of Culture 2013 – in a few weeks to see what all the fuss is about. Looking for some cool bars/restaurants to check out after my culture-filled days and I still haven’t booked anywhere to stay. Any recommendations?
Definitely go and see the Cité Radieuse, Le Corbusier’s most famous apartment complex. The roof terrace is like a concrete sculpture park (better than that might sound) and is being refurbished for the Capital of Culture year. There’s a bar-restaurant in there too, which is cool in a wood-panelled time capsule sort of way. You can get there on the #21 bus, which is also the one you need for Les Calanques (swimming/walking etc). When I was last in the city (2011), Cours Julien had the best bars – pretty rough around the edges though. One last tip – rent the Marseille version of a Boris bike and head down the coast to the Parc Balnéaire du Prado – clears the head after a night on Cours Julien.
These tips will be really useful, thanks Neil. I especially like the sound of the concrete sculpture park! If Cours Julien is the place to be at night, would you recommend staying there too? Merci!
I stayed at a really nice hostel not far (ten minutes on foot) from Cours Julien – Vertigo Vieux Port – which has a lovely, airy communal area. Seems to be dorms only, but one (maybe more) of them is for two people!