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Destination Guide to Marseille

Discover the beautiful city of Marseille with Avis

Marseille bustles with southern European charm, nestled as it is right on the coast, halfway between Italy and Spain and yet irresistibly French. But this is not a gentle, sleepy town. Marseille has a refreshingly cool and edgy feel, bringing a big city attitude to a stunning coastal location. That's not to say there isn't history and tradition here. With the notable exception of Paris, Marseille is larger and older than any other city in France. This is a place to explore and to discover, a unique and exciting experience for every new visitor.

Currency: Euro

Marseille Road Trip

Three and a half hours north of Marseille lies the historic city of Lyon. Venturing inland from the coast, this is a fabulous way of exploring the region. The route offers many great opportunities for interesting stops, including Avignon and Saint-Etienne.

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Interactive map of Marseille

Marseille Map

Top spots to visit with an Avis car

Sights

Unite d'Habitation

Unite d'Habitation is the brainchild of visionary architect Le Corbusier. Sometimes referred to as the "Garden City", this 337 apartment tower block was designed to revolutionise urban living. There is an onsite hotel and restaurant, but this is well worth a visit even if you are staying elsewhere.

Monument aux Repartries d'Afrique du Nord

This somewhat dark and yet compelling monument remembers those who returned from war in North Africa. It was sculpted in bronze by Cesar in 1971, and is in the shape of an enormous propellor blade.

Shopping

Marche aux Puces

This big and colourful market could well be the best in Marseille. Lose a few hours perusing the many indoor and outdoor stalls, and don't be alarmed if you see the odd chicken being slaughtered, they are routinely killed to order. Other highlights are African objets d'art and Marseille sweaters.

Fresh fish market

This stunning fish market is a daily fixture at the Vieux Port docks. Foodies among you will know that Marseille is famous the world over for it's Bouillabaisse (a kind of fish stew). It is said to have originated from fishermen cooking what they couldn't sell at these markets.

Activities

Parc Balneaire du Prado

This is Marseille's main beach area. It is 1km long and the area is split into five beaches. It was created with the backfill from Marseille's metro system, and is now a fun filled destination for all the family. Pack the car up for a day at the beach!

Palm Beach Plongee

Get stuck into some fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling at Palm Beach Plongee. There is equipment for hire for those that require it, and lessons available for beginners.

Useful driving tips

  • A right hand side road system operates in France.
  • kph Motorways
  • kph Towns
  • kph Major Roads
  • Seatbelts are compulsory in France, both in the front and the rear of the vehicle.
  • An international driving licence is required to drive in France.
  • The drink driving limit in France is 50mg of alcohol in the blood. Penalties are severe, including heavy fines, loss of licence and up to a 2 year prison sentence.
  • The minimum driving age in France is 18.
  • Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.

Avis benefits for Marseille

  • Rapid Return available at most locations
  • Representation at all major airports
  • Take advantage of our speed of service with Avis Preferred
  • Competitive rates