This is our guide to the best parts of town and the best hotels and B&Bs in Marseille, a city which offers a wide choice of individualistic accommodation.
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The Old Port is undoubtedly the most central spot for sightseeing, eating out and local transport but it is also, of course, the most expensive, especially if you want a harbour view. Some hotels with poor sound insulation can also be vulnerable to traffic noise.
But you can find some bargains if you are prepared to venture into the backstreets: try Les Chambres de l'Abbaye near Saint Victor Abbey or La Maison du petit Canard on the other side of the port, on the edge of the Panier (Old Town).
The other, increasingly popular, option is, of course AirBnB, which is very well entrenched in Marseille (though, as elsewhere in the world, hoteliers are lobbying against it).
And, if you sign up to this online peer-to-peer booking agency using this link, you'll get 30 €uros off your first stay!
If you are in Marseille for the beaches, you should look at hotels along the southern coast road (the Corniche JF Kennedy) or a little inland around the avenue du Prado and the place Castellane.
The latter is well-placed for transport connections to get around town, as it sits on the junction of Marseille's two metro lines. But it will involve a bus ride to get to the seafront. One popular option in southern Marseille is the boutique Hotel 96, though it too is a ten minute drive from the beaches.
Few hotels are actually on the coast: several upscale places such as the C2 Hotel compensate for this by ferrying clients to their own private beaches. For a budget hotel right on the sea, our recommendation is the Hotel Le Richelieu.
The area around Marseille Saint Charles train and bus station (which is also on the metro interchange) has a few good options. Have a look at the justifiably popular Alex Hotel, the Pension Edelweiss, pictured, the Vertigo Centre or the Holiday Inn Express and Ibis Saint Charles.
The backstreets here are best avoided at night, but you can walk to the Old Port in 10-15 minutes along the well-lit main roads, or take the metro (two stops).
If you need to spend the night at a hotel before or after taking a cruise, the new four-star Golden Tulip Euromed is the best bet. Les Gens du Mer, an Ibis Hotel and a slightly more upmarket Suite Novotel can also all be found in the Joliette area of Marseille near the J4 Terminal and a short bus ride from Gate 4 where most of the cruise terminals are located. The backstreets such as rue Mazenod contain many smaller hotels.
Mama Shelter Marseille is a little way out of the centre, in the sixth arrondissement. In return for the commute, though, you get to stay in a very hip hotel and a room created by the super-designer Philippe Starck at bargain rates.
Marseille's many guesthouses and chambres d'hôtel are also an excellent way of getting insider insights into the city.
Marseille's flurry of four-stars, such as the New Hotel Le Pharo, are relatively new additions. As are its top-of-the-range, five-star hotels: the Sofitel Vieux Port, Le petit Nice, the C2 Hotel and the InterContinental Hôtel Dieu, a majestic former hospital in a prime position between the Old Town and the Old Port.
Room rates can vary according to the season (expect them to rocket when the city's football team, Olympique de Marseille, is playing at home). We've provided a rough indication of the price bracket, but check the hotel websites for the latest details and deals.
The hotels and B&Bs listed below are a purely personal selection, with no pretence at being either objective or exhaustive.
All of them have been visited by us personally and we've stayed in a few of them. And they all - even the chain hotels by the station - have something special to commend them.
It could be convenience, value for money, extraordinary classic or modern design, as in the Hotel La Résidence du Vieux Port (pictured top left), historic interest, superb views - or simply a warm and friendly Marseille welcome. Pictured above: Vertigo Vieux Port.
We'll be adding constantly to this list, so check back soon for new arrivals. Click on the links to read the full reviews. And, if you can, do please support the site by making your reservation through our affiliate partner, booking.com
InterContinental Hôtel Dieu Five-star hotel in historic building - €€€€
Sofitel Vieux Port Five-star hotel with stupendous views - €€€€
C2 Hotel Five-star boutique hotel in the trendy sixth arrondissement €€€
Grand Hotel Beauvau A piece of Marseille history, on the Old Port - €€€
New Hotel Le Pharo Tradition meets modernism by the Old Port - €€€
Hotel La Résidence du Vieux Port 1950s retro on the Old Port - €€€
Golden Tulip Euromed Modern four-star hotel near the cruise terminal - €€
Hotel 96 Secluded country house hotel in the southern suburbs - €€
Hotel Belle-Vue Shabby-chic cult hotel on the Old Port - €€
Hotel Le Corbusier Architect-designed in Le Corbu's Radiant City - €€
Holiday Inn Express Saint Charles New chain hotel by the station - €€
Hotel Le Richelieu A funky, colourful beach hotel - €€
Le Ryad Traditional Moroccan ryad in the city centre - €€
Alex Hotel Friendly budget boutique hotel near Saint Charles station - €
Hotel Hermes Two-star prices, five-star location, the Old Port - €
Ibis Saint Charles Chain hotel by the train station - €
Mama Shelter Stylish, cheap designer hotel slightly out of the city centre - €
Vertigo Centre Laid-back hostel near the train and bus stations - €
Vertigo Vieux Port Ditto, a converted warehouse near the Old Port - €
Casa Honoré Print works converted into voguish modern ryad - €€
Les Chambres de l'Abbaye Designer loft, near Saint Victor Abbey - €€
Pension Edelweiss Vintage treasures, near the station - €
La Maison du petit Canard Welcoming guesthouse in the Old Town - €