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Expat Exchange - Discover the Best of Marseille 2024
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Old Port Area of Marseille, France


Discover the Best of Marseille

By Joshua Wood, LPC

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Summary: Living it Up in Marseille: Your Insider's Guide to Top Attractions, Culinary Hotspots, Nightlife, and More. Discover the Best Recreational Activities, Connect with Friendly Locals, and Experience the Charm of the City.

Welcome to Marseille! If you're planning to move to Marseille, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Marseille has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Marseille.

Marseille's second-largest city, is a vibrant Mediterranean port rich in history, culture, and unique attractions. One of the most iconic sites is the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a neo-Byzantine church that offers panoramic views of the city. The Vieux-Port (Old Port) is the heart of Marseille, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll, admire the yachts and fishing boats, or visit the fish market. The MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) is a must-visit for its striking architecture and extensive exhibits. The Palais Longchamp, home to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum, is another architectural gem surrounded by a beautiful park. For history enthusiasts, the Château d'If, an island fortress turned prison, is a fascinating site. Le Panier, Marseille's oldest district, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, colorful houses, and local shops, perfect for a leisurely exploration.

Marseille's restaurant and nightlife scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. Le Petit Nice is a three-Michelin-star restaurant run by chef Gérald Passedat, offering exquisite seafood dishes. Chez Fonfon, located in the picturesque Vallon des Auffes, is renowned for its bouillabaisse, a traditional Provençal fish stew. For a more casual dining experience, head to Les Halles de la Major, a gourmet food market with a variety of stalls serving local specialties. The nightlife in Marseille is lively and varied, with something for everyone. La Dame Noir is a popular bar and nightclub known for its electronic music and energetic atmosphere. Le Carry Nation, a speakeasy-style bar, serves creative cocktails in a unique setting. For a more relaxed evening, La Caravelle, overlooking the Old Port, is a jazz bar with a cozy, vintage atmosphere.

Recreational activities in Marseille are largely centered around the city's stunning natural surroundings. The Calanques National Park, a series of dramatic limestone cliffs and turquoise coves stretching along the coast, is a paradise for hikers, climbers, and swimmers. Boat tours are also available for those who prefer to admire the scenery from the water. The Frioul Archipelago, a group of four islands located off the coast of Marseille, is another popular destination for hiking, swimming, and bird-watching. The city's beaches, such as Plage des Catalans and Plage du Prado, are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. For those interested in diving, the Parc National des Calanques offers numerous diving sites with rich marine life. In the city itself, cycling is a popular way to get around and see the sights, with several bike rental services available. For a more leisurely activity, the Marseille City Golf, located in the Borély Park, offers a 9-hole course with views of the sea.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland
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The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland

The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.
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Insider Tips from Expats in Marseille: Making the Most of Life and Connections

"Expats in Marseille often join various clubs and activities to meet new people and immerse themselves in the local culture. These include language exchange groups, where they can practice their French and help others learn their native language. They may also join sports clubs, such as football, rugby, or sailing clubs, which are popular in the coastal city. Cultural activities are also a great way for expats to meet locals and other expats. This could include joining a local cooking class, attending art exhibitions, or participating in wine tasting events. Expats often participate in local festivals and events, such as the Fête de la Musique or the Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents, which provide opportunities to socialize and learn about French culture. Volunteering is another way expats meet people in Marseille. There are numerous charities and organizations that welcome the help of foreigners, and this can be a rewarding way to give back to the community and make new friends.Networking events and social gatherings organized by expat groups are also common. Websites like Meetup or Internations often have events specifically for expats living in Marseille, ranging from casual coffee meetups to more formal networking events.Finally, many expats meet people simply by going about their daily lives, such as at the local markets, cafes, or parks. The key is to be open and willing to engage with the people around you," said one expat living in Marseille.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland
Learn More

The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland

The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.
Learn More

"Life for expats and digital nomads in Marseille is vibrant and culturally rich. The city offers a unique blend of old and new, with historic neighborhoods sitting alongside modern developments. The Mediterranean climate is a big draw, offering warm summers and mild winters. Expats and digital nomads often find the cost of living in Marseille to be reasonable compared to other major European cities. The city offers a variety of accommodation options, from modern apartments in the city center to charming houses in the surrounding countryside. The food scene in Marseille is diverse and delicious, with a strong emphasis on seafood due to its coastal location. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from.Marseille is a multicultural city, and while French is the official language, many people speak English, making it easier for expats and digital nomads to settle in. The city also has a good public transportation system, making it easy to get around.The city offers a range of coworking spaces for digital nomads, and the internet connectivity is generally good. There are also plenty of cafes and public spaces with free Wi-Fi.Marseille is also home to a number of international schools, making it a good choice for expats with children. The healthcare system in France is excellent, and expats are eligible for the same healthcare benefits as French citizens.Despite its many advantages, life in Marseille can also be challenging for expats and digital nomads. The pace of life is slower than in many other major cities, and the bureaucracy can be frustrating. However, most expats and digital nomads find that the benefits of living in Marseille far outweigh these challenges," commented an expat living in Marseille.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland
Learn More

The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.

The TEFL Institute of IrelandThe TEFL Institute of Ireland

The TEFL Institute of Ireland operates under European standards of education, which are renowned and respected worldwide. Once you complete the course, you will receive a globally recognised certificate, which is a passport to teaching English worldwide and online. Teach English Online In Less Than 3 Weeks - Ditch the 9-5 job and start living life on your terms by teaching English online. Whether you want to travel the world or crave the flexibility of working from home, teaching online gives you the freedom you need.
Learn More

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Old Port Area of Marseille, France

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