Marseille is a French city located in the south east of the country, in the Provence Alpes Cotes d’Azur region. It is the prefecture of the Bouches du Rhone department. Marseille is the second city of France in terms of population: over 839,000 inhabitants. Marseille is the major city of the south east of France, and even of the Mediterranean basin. It was created around 600 BC by Greek sailors coming from Phocaea (Asia Minor). Its nickname cité phocéenne comes from this period.
Marseille benefits from many assets: sea, sun, nature and culture. Its accessibility and welcoming inhabitants are also strong values that the city is proud to display. From the Vieux Port to the Calanques making a step in the Bonne Mère, Marseille is a varied landscape land. Its open and natural spaces stretch as far as the eye can see around the city. No other large city offers such a variety of scenery!
The signs of a rich history are all present throughout the architecture, culture and population. Due to its age (2,600 years old), characteristic culture, strong identity and ethnic intermingling, Marseille is today one of the most cosmopolitan cities of France. The Olympique de Marseille is a French football club playing in League 1 (equivalent of Premier League). It received the best number of rewards.
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Huge differences in property prices can be noticed in Marseille according to the arrondissements. Prices in arrondissement 2, 7, 8 and 16 are much higher since located close to the seafront. On the contrary, the 3, 14 and 15 are quite cheap areas: about €2,000/ sq m. As regards rentals, prices in the 5 and 8 arrondissements are the highest. If your budget is low, you would better pitch on the 15 and 3 arrondissement where prices are lower.
To get updated info about the property prices in Bouches du Rhone, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Property Prices.
Historical heritage: some historical monuments are absolutely to be seen. Here are just some examples: Notre Dame de la Garde chapel, Palais du Pharo (inhabited by Napoleon 3), Palais Longchamp (which houses two museums), Saint Jean Fort, Sainte-Marie-Majeure Basilica Cathedral, Vieille Charité (whose originally aim was to house beggars), the Docks and the Château d'If (a castle built to protect the city’s harbour access and was then converted into a prison).
Good food: Pastis (alcoholic drink flavoured with aniseed), aioli (sauce made of garlic and olive oil) served with vegetables. The famous tapenade (composed of capers, olives and anchovy), the great bouillabaisse (dish made of fish, sauce and vegetables), Panisse (chick-pea flour pancake), navette (a cookie flavoured with orange blossom water), bourride (speciality made of monkfish).
Climate and weather: Marseille offers an exceptional duration of sunshine period with over 2,800 hours of sun a year. This may be partially explained by the Mistral wind which blows about 93 days a year. Summer is hot and dry, to the up-most delight of its inhabitants and tourists. Living in Marseille gives the impression to be on holiday all year long!
Street markets: Provence town markets are famous for their colours, perfumes, animations… They are part of the local tradition and are appreciated by any tourist. Food, flowers, typical produce, it is a good way to meet the locals, discover their customs and spend a lovely while in the streets of this beautiful city.
Location – transport links: Marseille is connected to Paris (3hrs), Brittany, Lille, Brussels, Burgundy and Lorraine thanks to the high-speed train. Regional trains allow travelling all over the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region. Two underground lines lead to different points of interest in the city. Airline companies fly to Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes, Corsica, London and North Africa. Shuttles connect the airport to the city centre any 30 minutes. Maritime companies are another way to travel: Mediterranean, Africa and Middle East. Marseille harbour is one of the point of access to Corsica.
Economy: Marseille harbour plays a very important role. It is the first of France and of Mediterranean, and the third oil harbour of the World. Between the 12th and the 20th centuries, many industries developed in the area: Marseille soap, tiles, ceramics, food industry, oil and shipbuilding. It also remains some market garden growing and floral growing in some quarters of the city. Another important pole is the National Centre for Scientific Research. It is the second regional centre of France after Ile-de-France in terms of budget and employees. It deals with advanced researches at a worldwide level.
Town houses: located in the city centre, they have the advantage to be very close to all amenities (shops, sea, harbour…). Town houses may come with a piece of land and offer view over the countryside. Some of these properties have exposed beams, which gives more charm to the house. They may be either very modern or old-styled dwellings.
Villas: they are luxury and modern properties often located in remote parts of the city. They have painted walls and shutters outside, and white-painted walls inside. The luminosity is emphasized by the white colour of the walls. They hold a swimming-pool, huge land planted with trees, garage, terrace and courtyard. They are dedicated to well-off clientele as often expensive.
Apartments: it is a widespread kind of property there (82.8% of the total properties). When built in residences, they offer more facilities such as a park, parking and even a swimming-pool. Inside they are modern and luminous. Apartments are often located in the city centre and thus close to the shops, schools, buses… They may be a good kind of property if you are looking for a buy-to-let.
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