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?
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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!
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.
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!