To the south of Marseille’s Vieux-Port, this bustling neighborhood along the Avenue Prado is full of magnificent civil and religious architecture.
Castellane, and its popular central plaza, is one of Marseille’s most beloved neighborhoods among locals. Full of restaurants and impressive if a bit run-down buildings, it’s the perfect place to go to get a sense of how the Marseillais live. Shop, explore or just sit in a small café with a glass of pastis to people-watch as the city happens around you.
Form a self-guided tour of Castellane’s many religious buildings, starting at the 19th-century Grand Synagogue and its impressive Romanesque façade, center of worship for Marseille’s Jews that have lived here since the 5th century.
Go south to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, built after World War I in a neo-Romanesque, neo-Byzantine style with massive granite columns. Return to the secular world at the Palais de Justice, a courthouse that boasts impressive neoclassical design and pleasant lawns with a central statue.
From the Palais de Justice, head to the Place Castellane, from which the neighborhood gets its name. Take photos of the famous fountain at the center of this 18th-century plaza. Come in the mornings for the Marché du Castellane, where everything from local produce to antiques can be purchased.
To the north is the Musée Cantini. Spend some time perusing its artworks that are focused on early 20th-century modernism and housed in an impressive 17th-century mansion.
Castellane is in the 6th arrondissement, immediately to the south of the Vieux-Port. A metro station in Place Castellane has connections to the rest of the city. Reach Castellane by metro in 10 minutes from the Marseille-Saint-Charles train station or in 40 minutes from the Marseille Provence airport.
One of the many Marseillais neighborhoods that was almost completely rebuilt in the 18th century by Louis XIV, Castellane is best explored on foot so the small details of the local architecture can be appreciated.