So, you're headed to Marseille, but where should you stay? Here's a quick guide to the city's most popular and central neighborhoods. (You can see hotels in additional neighborhoods by doing a CheapoSearch.)
This main thoroughfare of Marseille runs due east from Vieux Port and showcases some of the city's 19th-century architectural achievements. Built in 1666 under orders from Louis XIV to expand the city, recent public works projects have tried to restore some of the original glory of La Canebière with new shops, restaurants and hotels. Just off the main drag, there is the "Musée d'Histoire de Marseille" and the Opera House.
Place Castellane, located south of the Old Port, is a grand roundabout (complete with fountain and sculpture), surrounded by chic cafes and cinemas.
The Stade Vélodrome, located south of the city's center, is Marseille's main soccer stadium. The home of the "Olympique de Marseille" soccer team, it's the largest soccer stadium in France, seating more than 60,000 spectators.
Vieux Port and Panier
The historic center of Marseille grew up around the Vieux Port (Old Harbor) and the neighborhood just to the north, le Panier. Though most shipping activity has moved to the new Port de la Joliette, the old harbor is still used as a private marina. In this area, you'll find the church La Vieille Charité and many museums. Vieux Port is a great neighborhood to stay for the views and central location, but the streets can be a bit noisy in the evenings.