Only Paris and the French Riviera can compete with Marseille for its breadth and diversity of merchandise. Your best bet is a trip to the streets just southeast of the Vieux-Port, crowded with stores of all kinds.
Rue Paradis and rue Saint Ferréol have many of the same upscale fashion boutiques found in Paris, as well as a Galeries Lafayette, France’s largest chain department store. For more bohemian wear, try cours Julien and rue de la Tour for richly brocaded and beaded items on offer in North African boutiques.
Rue Paradis and rue Saint Ferréol have many of the same upscale fashion boutiques found in Paris, as well as a Galeries Lafayette, France’s largest chain department store. For more bohemian wear, try cours Julien and rue de la Tour for richly brocaded and beaded items on offer in North African boutiques. Le Panier is now home to a vibrant range of unique boutiques. Try ceramics store with adjoining restaurant Ahwash Concept Store, 56 rue de Lorette (tel. 04-91-44-04-60), or Les Baigneuses, 3 rue de l’Eveche (www.lesbaigneuses.com; tel. 09-52-68-67-64), which sells a gorgeous range of retro-styled swimwear.
For unique souvenirs, head to Ateliers Marcel Carbonel, 49 rue Neuve-Ste-Catherine (www.santonsmarcelcarbonel.com; tel. 04-91-13-61-36). This 80-year-old business specializes in santons, clay figurines meant for Christmas nativities. In addition to personalities you may already know, the carefully crafted pieces depict Provençal common folk such as bakers, blacksmiths, and milkmaids. The figurines sell for around 12.60€ and up.
Navettes, small cookies that resemble boats, are a Marseillaise specialty. Flavored with secret ingredients that include orange zest and orange flower water, they were invented in 1791 and are still sold at Le Four des Navettes, 136 rue Sainte (www.fourdesnavettes.com; tel. 04-91-33-32-12), for around 10€ per dozen.
One of the region’s most authentic fish markets at Quai des Belges (daily 8am–1pm), on the old port, is partially sheltered under the new Norman Foster–designed Ombrière mirrored canopy. On cours Julien, you’ll find a market with fruits, vegetables, and other foods (Tues, Thurs, and Sat 8am–1pm); exclusively organic produce (Wed 8am–1pm); stamps (Sun 8am–1pm); and secondhand goods (3rd Sun of the month 8am–1pm). The cheapest buys are in the photogenic Noailles neighborhood, where stores of 50 nationalities from Algerian to Vietnamese vend spices, spring rolls, jewelry, and homeware.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.