Modeled on the Champs Elysées in Paris, La Canabière is the heart of Marseille’s downtown. Lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants, the thoroughfare links the old port (le vieux port) with the square Stalingrad. As you walk along the street, you’ll pass through the historic Noailles district of the city, with its bustling market and spice stores that reflect Marseille’s long history as a trading post with the rest of the world, and street art that reflects the area’s current reality.
On the other side of the street you’ll find many of the big-name stores at the Centre Bourse and beyond it the Jardin des Vestiges, which contains remnants of the ancient Greek city of Massalia dating back over 2,000 years. Whether you explore with an insightful audio guide, as part of a tour, or alone, La Canabière offers the opportunity to get a feel for the real Marseille.
Things to know before you go
*La Canabière is wheelchair-accessible. *The street is famous as the place where Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia, was assassinated in 1934. *The name Canabière reflects the city's thriving trade is nautical rope in the Middle Ages. The word comes from the Latin word for ""cannabis,"" or hemp, which was used to make the ropes.
How to get there
La Canabière is in the center of downtown Marseille, and best explored on foot. There are three metro stations along the street: Vieux-Port-Hôtel de Ville, Noailles, and Réformés-Canabière.
When to get there
The shops and restaurants along La Canabière are open every day. The market in Noailles (marché de Noailles) is open Monday to Saturday from 8am-7pm. The annual Foire des Santons festive market is held along the boulevard from mid-November to January, selling hand-painted terracotta figurines.
- Marseille History Museum (Musee d'Histoire)
- Maritime and Commercial Museum of Marseille (Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie de Marseille)
- Chateau d'If
- Cantini Museum (Musée Cantini)
- Old Port of Marseille (Vieux Port)
- Place aux Huiles
- Roman Docks Museum (Musée des Docks Romains)
- Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology (Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne)
- Centre de la Vieille Charite
- Museum of African, Oceanic and American-Indian Art (MAAOA)
- Marseille Cathedral (Cathédrale La Major)
- Fontaine Castellane
- Marseille Museum of Natural History (Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle)
- Palais Longchamp
- Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)