As Marseillais, we know very well our city and its secrets. Discover Marseille off the beaten track.

If Marseille is one of the French oldest towns, it is a city with many secrets and stories. Founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea 600 BC, Marseille, with its extraordinary light and fiery temper, will charm you. Discover the city hidden and quirky places and have an unforgettable experience, follow our guide!

*Discover the hidden vineyards of Marseille city’s centre

* Take a walk in the tunnel Bénédit and admire its surprising decoration

* Visit the small art gallery of Le Panier near Les treize cantons place

*Discover the Aygalades’s waterfall

* Play Pétanque in le musée de la boule in Le Panier

*Discover the town’s oldest house that turned itself around

* Taste a beer made in Marseille

* Visit the last Pastis factory of Marseille

* Discover the altitude zero point in Europe, hidden in Marseille

* Did you know the longest bench of the world was in Marseille?

* Don’t be scared and enter the rainbow cave

* Discover a Vietnamese pagoda in Marseille!

* Wander in one the trendiest street-art quarters of Europe

* Discover the hidden pyramid of le Roy d’Espagne

* Have a drink in an underground bar back in the 20’s

* Rest in Marseille’s nap-café

* Try the first “sardine bar” of the world

* Visit Borély Park Japonese garden

Discover the hidden vineyards of Marseille city centre

Did you know there were two tiny vineyards in Marseille city’s centre? The first one is a 100 metres from the Vieux-Port almost opposite to Pharo Palace entrance, and the second is at the feet of Saint-Victor abbey.

See our pictures here!

secret-wine-city-center-marseille

Take a walk in the tunnel Bénédit and admire its surprising decoration

The tunnel Benédit-Jobin joins la Friche de la Belle de Mai, urban culture and skateboard headquarters, to Longchamp palace, an important landmark of Marseille. A link between heritage and modernity promoted by the « mille signes de Frédéric Clavère », a piece of art made of painted metal panels. This tunnel was not really liked by walkers, it is now a high spot !

Looking like modern hieroglyphs, these panels took inspiration from road signalling, signs, symbols, images related to history, art, mythologies, natural science, but also reference from the popular culture like comics, graffitis, tattoos, logos, onomatopoeia etc. They create a pictograms mosaic coming from the artist’s imagination as well as the tunnel’s users.

unusual-secret-tunnel-marseille

Visit the small art gallery of Le Panier near Les treize cantons place

La Maison du Petit Canard (the house of the little duck) is an artist gallery open on the street. Located in the historic area of le Panier. It’s a beautiful and poetic place right in the city’s centre. You should definitely have a look at it !

Discover Les Aygalades cascade

No, Marseille “quartiers Nord” (or “banlieues”) are not on fire, with gunmen running everywhere (stop watching TV J.) They have their hidden treasures too, like la cascade des Aygalades, an heaven of peace. Nevertheless you can only visit it during the “Journées européennes du patrimoine” (European heritage days) in September.

This place used to be the meeting point of the Marseillaise bourgeoisie. It was abandoned for a long time, and finally, in 2008, the quarter’s inhabitants took care of it. La cité des arts et de la rue is in charge of this project of waterfall.

Play Pétanque in the musée de la boule of Le Panier

What would be Marseille without its famous and endless games of Pétanque ? To honour this tradition, a very small museum opened in Le Panier, where you can also play on a dedicated playground or “boulodrome”.

Hervé Rofritsch is the project initiator, director of la Boule Bleue, the last company in Marseille that makes the famous “boules”.

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Discover the town’s oldest house that turned itself around

L’Hôtel de Cabre is the oldest house you can visit in Marseille. Located in the corner la rue de la Bonneterie and la Grande rue (2e), its impressive façade and lattice windows will surprise visitors. Read its incredible story and see the archival photos here.

oldest-home-marseille-hotel-cabre

Taste a beer made in Marseille

In La Plaine, near the city’s centre, the first micro-brewery of Marseille opened in 2014. Have a “Bière de la Plaine” in this trendy spot, which is a bar, a gallery room and a shop.

beer-factory-made-marseille

Visit the last Pastis factory of Marseille

Marseille, mondial capitale of Pastis, counts many companies related to this emblematic alcool. If Ricard and 51 are the most famous, they have a local competition with smaller companies growing fast with their Pastis and Anisette made in Marseille.

last-Pastis-factory-of-Marseille

Discover the altitude zero point in Europe, hidden in Marseille

Marseille tide gauge was set up in 1883 (174 Corniche Kennedy) and marks Europe altitude zero points. All measurements start from this point. Le Mont-Blanc with its 4 810 metres, the Eiffel tower with its 324 metres, or la Bonne Mère with 162 metres wouldn’t be without the tide gauge. Such an interesting story! If you’d like to know more about it, see our   photo report here.

altitude-point-zero-sea-europe-maregraphe

 Did you know the longest bench of the world was in Marseille?

Our city breaks a funny world record! Indeed Marseille has the longest urban bench of the world, located on one the most beautiful seaside promenades of South of France : la Corniche du Président-John-Fitzgerald-Kennedy. If you’d like to know more about it, see our photos report here.

bench-corniche-kennedy-longest-world

This is something you must absolutely do: sit there and wait for sunset, so gorgeous!

Don’t be scared and enter the rainbow cave

Don’t trust its name, the rainbow cave is only a tunnel. Located on l’île de Jarre (Jarre island), this spot is one of the rare place where albino coral. Take look to our photos of the best diving spots here. 

diving-rainbow-cave-mediterranee-sea

Discover a Vietnamese pagoda in Marseille!

Built in the 90’s, the Pagoda Phap Hoa is the only Buddhist place in Marseille. Located in North, at the feet of la Savine, this pagoda is not very known by Marseille people. The place is really charming. The first Sunday of the month, the Vietnamese community gather to share Vietnamese meal and a traditional pray. Non-Buddhists are most welcome! To book call 0033 (0)491516810, Mme Phan Dinh Goi.

Wander in one the trendiest street-art quarters of Europe

Le Cours Julien quarter looks like an open-air art gallery. The atmosphere is really cool and the streets are painted with beautiful graffiti or drawings. A must-do in Marseille! Take a look at our photos report of Le Cours Julien here. 

trendiest-street-art-quarter-Europe

Discover the secret pyramid of le Roy d’Espagne

The only pyramid of Marseille is located in le Roy d’Espagne park, south of the city. Its story is quite unusual. It was built in 1804 by Dominique Bastide, the owner of the Roy d’Espagne castle (now demolished), who wanted to have a special gravestone. The bodies were transferred to Saint-Pierre cemetery. Sadly the edifice was never classified and is abandoned.

secret-pyramid-south-marseille-calanques

Have a drink in an underground bar back in the 20’s

We can not tell you the Carry Nation address because it is a secret… You must book on the website where you’ll be given all information. Why such a mystery ? Because Because the bar “froze” a few decades ago and it’s still in the 20’s, in the prohibition time. Even cocktails are from the past! You can be sure to go back in time…

Secret place! You must book through the website of Le Carry Nation

carry-nation-bar-cocktail-secret Rest in Marseille’s nap-café

The first nap-café opened in 2015 in Marseille city’s centre. What a better place to rest during an exhausting day of discoveries in Marseille? Take a look to our photos report here.

sieste-bar-city-center

Try the first “sardine bar” of the world

No wonder this unique concept comes from Marseille city, the sardine is one of its symbols. The cook Anthony Germani is the inventor. Here you will taste the famous sardine of Marseille in many ways!

fish-sardin-bar-restaurant

Visit Borély Park Japanese garden

As we said, Marseille has many hidden treasures… Like Borély Park Japanese garden, a true wonder.

More information here and there. 

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