Located right in the city’s centre, the Cours Julien is one of Marseille most lively quarter. It is said to be France biggest quarter dedicated to street art. With graffiti and frescos on the walls and small designers boutiques, this place is a must-see if you’re in Marseille.
The Cours Julien or “Cours Ju”, as called by the Marseillais, belongs to Marseille emblematic quarters. Artists and designers HQ, it boasts pleasant and trendy terraces, lively bars and restaurants. Day and night, there is lot happening on Cours Julien. Made in Marseille tells you all about it!
The place of street art
The Cours Julien wharehouses were used by market gardeners before progressively being converted into restaurants or shops. In this quarter, you will find fashion designers, second-hand goods dealers, rare books, comics and film posters shops and more.
With artists, designers, trendy bars and restaurants terraces, the atmosphere is cosmopolite and unique. We advise you to walk in the streets that connect Cours Julien to Place Jean Jaurès. Walls are covered with beautiful graffiti and paintings.
Since September 2012, the Marseillaise association Juxtapoz offers “une Galerie à ciel ouvert” (an open-air gallery) on a red wall located on the corner of rue Crudère and Cours Julien, « Le M.U.R. ». Every month Juxtapoz asks a street artist to play with a wall of 3 meters x 5 meters. It’s called le M.U.R for the French « Modulable Urbain Réactif ».
Acrylics, inks, aerosols, collage or live performances, the way artists express are free and vary everytime. Le M.U.R belongs to an important part – but often unknown – of Marseille’s culture : street art.
Going out in Cours Julien and La Plaine
If you like beers, La Bière de la Plaine (16 rue Saint-Pierre) is for you. It’s the first microbrewery of Marseille. It opened four years ago and offers traditional non-filtered, non-pasteurised beers 100% Made in Marseille!
For a drink in a warm and lively atmosphere, sit on the Bar du Marché (15 place Notre Dame du Mont) or Bar de la Plaine (57 place Jean Jaurès) terraces. If you enjoy watching football, these two spots are the meeting point of locals to watch matches. To share the terrace of Marseille cool youth, go to the Petit Nice (28 place Jean Jaurès).
It’s also in the Cours Ju quarter that concert rooms and halls have local artists on their line-up. Try Le Molotov (Place Paul Cézanne) or l’Espace Julien and Le Café Julien (39 cours Julien). Jazz, electro, rock, reggae, salsa, the diversity of music styles will satisfy everyone (you probably won’t find classical music though).
Quirky spots in Cours Julien
If you’re looking for an adventure, we advise you to try the Nexus (52 cours Julien). Opened since 2015, it’s Marseille first gaming bar. Also a restaurant, you can have a bite and play video and board games, cards, and try e-Sport.
If you’re more into culture, head to the Vidéodrome 2 (49 cours Julien). It’s a movie café and club, a bookshop and a restaurant boasting a nice terrace. You can choose to rent a film among the 5000 available – classical, independent, world movies… The bookshop offers independent publishers, DVDs and books about cinema. The movie room can host 49 people and welcome five non-commercial screenings per week.
Where to eat on Cours Julien
For a local cuisine using fresh and organic vegetables, the best spot of the quarter is Au Cours-en-Vert (102 cours Julien), a vegetarian restaurant. Meals are prepared on the day and all veggies and fruits come from the Cours Julien market, a famous market in Marseille. Some meals are even vegan!
On Cours Julien and La Plaine, you will also find tapas restaurants that match the lively atmosphere of the quarter. Try the Dos Hermanas (18 rue Bussy l’Indien) or El Picoteo (53 rue Saint-Pierre). But the best tapas spot is definitely Tasca (102 rue Ferrari) offering Iberian, Corsican and Provençal cuisine.
For a refreshing break, stop at L’éléphant Rose à pois blancs (3 rue des Trois Rois) or Ego (organic ice creams; 73 Cours Julien), the area’s artisan ice cream shops. But if you’re looking for a proper tea, go to the tearoom Si Par Azar (18 rue Pastoret) where teas and herbal teas are served with delicious homemade pâtisseries. Talking about pâtisseries, it is said that Mademoiselle Cupcake (25 rue des Bergers) offers the best cupcakes of Marseille!