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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Marseille 2024
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Old Port Area of Marseille, France


7 Tips for Living in Marseille

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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

Summary: Advice for people moving to Marseille or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Marseille or thinking about moving there.

Living in Marseille as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This vibrant city, nestled on the Mediterranean coast, offers a unique blend of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. However, to make the most of your time in Marseille, it's important to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in this beautiful French city.

1. Learn the Language

While many people in Marseille speak English, learning French will greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks like shopping and dining easier, but it will also help you connect with locals and immerse yourself in the culture. Consider taking a language course or using language learning apps to get started.

2. Explore the Neighborhoods

Marseille is made up of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. Le Panier, the oldest district, is known for its narrow, winding streets and vibrant street art. La Joliette is a modern, bustling area with shopping centers and the famous MuCEM museum. The trendy Cours Julien neighborhood is filled with cafes, bookshops, and boutiques. Spend time exploring these and other neighborhoods to find the one that feels like home to you.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Marseille's location on the Mediterranean Sea means it's a paradise for seafood lovers. Don't miss out on trying bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew that's a specialty of the city. For a casual meal, head to Chez Etienne in Le Panier, known for its pizza and seafood dishes. For a more upscale dining experience, try Une Table, Au Sud in the Vieux Port area, which offers stunning harbor views along with its exquisite cuisine.

4. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

With its sunny climate and beautiful landscapes, Marseille is a great place for outdoor activities. Take a hike in the Calanques National Park, a stunning area of limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. Or, spend a day at the Prado Beach, one of the city's most popular sandy spots. If you're a sports enthusiast, join a local football club or try your hand at sailing, a popular pastime in this coastal city.

5. Understand the Cost of Living

While Marseille is generally less expensive than Paris, it's still important to budget carefully. Rent can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood, with more central areas being pricier. Groceries, dining out, and entertainment can also add up. Be sure to factor in these costs when planning your stay in Marseille.

6. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new city is to get involved in the community. Look for local events, festivals, and activities that interest you. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet people and contribute to your new community. Research groups and organizations that align with your interests and see how you can get involved.

7. Navigate the Public Transportation

Marseille has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro. It's a cost-effective and convenient way to get around the city. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules. Consider getting a transport pass if you plan to use public transportation regularly.

Living in Marseille can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By learning the language, exploring the neighborhoods, enjoying the local cuisine, embracing the outdoor lifestyle, understanding the cost of living, getting involved in the community, and navigating the public transportation, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your time in this vibrant French city.

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

We are the best possible negotiator to help our expatriate clients to safely, efficiently and effectively find the right property in the right place in the French Riviera. Whether buying or renting, French Riviera House Hunting's objective is to find the best place for you, making sure that there are no hidden problems in the acquisition or renting process!
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

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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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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