Marseille's main shopping district is found between La Canebière to the north and the Prefecture to the south. Along the pedestrian Rue Saint Ferréol, the Rue Paradis, and adjacent streets shoppers will find everything from department stores to small independent shops selling shoes, jewelry, and clothes to vendors specializing in the handcrafted items the city is famous for, such as olive-oil soap, Provençal pottery and fabrics, and carved wooden crèche figures.
The Mall Experience
North of La Canebière, along the Rue Bir Hakeim, is Marseille's take on a multi-level mall, the Bourse Centre. More than 60 stores are located here, selling merchandise that includes clothing, books, music, electronics, beauty products and home décor. Restaurants and cafes are also part of the mix, giving shoppers plenty of opportunities to rest and relax. Unlike traditional shops, which often close over lunch, stores in the Bourse Centre remain open all day.
Fashion mavens love Marseille. Though not as famous as Paris, the local garment industry is thriving and provides a wonderful showcase for new designers. The best place to see their wares is in the boutiques along the Cours Julien, where shoppers will find the latest cutting edge designs. The vibe is French with a sunny Provençal outlook and, sometimes, bold dashes of north African pattern and color. To ward off the southern sun visit Felio, at Place Gabriel-Péri not far from the Bourse Centre, where gentlemen's and ladies' hats are sold in styles ranging from beret to straw boater to lavish, wide-brimmed picture hats.
Nestled in the heart of Marseille's main shopping district and perfect for an afternoon break are two shops of note, Puyricard on Rue Francis-Davso and Dromel Ainé on Rue De Rome, both selling chocolates and traditional pastries. Navettes, the city's traditional boat-shaped cookies, are best sampled at Le Four des Navettes on Rue Sainte, which has been serving them for over 220 years. For the rest of the meal, La Fromagerie Marrou on Boulevard Baille bordering the Castellane specializes in gourmet cheeses, cold cuts, appetizers, baked goods, and wines.
Wine may be the drink of France but pastis is the obsession of southern France. Maison du Pastis on Quai du Port boasts what may well be the most extensive selection of this anise-flavored liqueur anywhere on the planet. In addition to nearly 100 varieties of the drink, this unique shop sells accessories and books, gives tastings and acts as a meeting point for pastis enthusiasts worldwide.