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Marseille or “La Cité Phocéenne”, is located in the South-Eastern coast of France. Marseille is popular for a wide range of audiences, from booklovers fond of Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo, to fans of Zinedine Zidane. The city is crazy about its local football team, the Olympique de Marseille, and is known for its cultural diversity. There have been significant investments in Marseille’s infrastructure, and the city offers an excellent combination of old and new.

Marseille – a sunny Mediterranean haven

Marseille has a mild, sun-soaked climate. For a major European city, Marseille enjoys an outstanding amount of sunshine, reaching up to 2,800 hours per year. The city is also famous for its chilly wintery winds, referred to as “le Mistral”. Marseille is made up of of 111 small “villages”, allowing you to live in a home surrounded by a garden right in the centre of a bustling city. Each one of the villages boasts a rich history.

The heritage and vitality of Marseille earned it the status of European Capital of Culture in 2013. This enabled Marseille to rid itself of the some of the negative connotations it had built up over the years and to portray its uniqueness, its eclectic culture and its artistic heritage. Marseille is also famous for its creeks (called “Les Calanques”) and its beaches, many of which are as secluded as they are appealing.

Neighbourhoods of Marseille

Although the city-centre is highly urbanised, the outskirts of Marseille have a strong rural atmosphere. Both the centre and surrounding areas offer a range of housing styles: flat blocks, new houses, old and modern buildings. Marseille is divided into 16 districts and 15 neighbourhoods as follows:

  • The city centre is very dense but has apartments with amazing views of the seafront
  • Cours Julien is a preppy area with a dynamic and festive nightlife
  • The old neighbourhoods near the Old Port (Vieux Port) are beautiful but not convenient for families with small children due to the number of lanes and stairs
  • The 7th and 8th districts are home to the posh areas of Marseille
  • The 9th district is a residential area undergoing thorough redevelopment and is ideal for expat families
  • The 3rd district is particularly striking and has a distinct, vibrant atmosphere, and is undergoing a remediation process
  • The 10th and 11th districts have a rather rural look despite new development projects
  • The 12th district is ideal if you are looking for a town house of villa
  • The 13th is famous for its student population
  • Northern Marseille is worth of a visit thanks to its historical and cultural heritage

Rent prices

In general, accommodation in Marseille costs around 12 to 14 euros per square metre, depending on the type of housing unit you have chosen. Broadly speaking the rental prices are as follows:

  • Studio or a single bedroom apartment: around 13.40 euros per square metre
  • Two-bedroom apartment: around 12.50 euros per square metre
  • Three-bedroom apartment: around 10.70 euros per square metre
  • Four-bedroom apartment: around 10.40 euros per square metre.

Finding accommodation

As a general piece of advice, it is better to start your hunt for housing in Marseille well in advance, that is, right from your home country, but bear in mind that you are not likely to sign the lease documents unless you are on the spot. However, for expatriates, it might be worthwhile to hire a real estate agent, especially if you do not speak fluent French. In the second case, you will often have to pay half of the fees beforehand and the rest once you have found suitable accommodation.

 Useful links:

Se Loger
Particulier à Particulier
Yellow Pages (for real estate agencies in Lyon)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.