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Marseille Safe or Not?

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Marseille Safe or Not?

We are coming to southern and France in August and have read that Marseille is not a very safe place. Aix en Provence and Avignon are stops for us. Should we avoid Marseille and spend more time in these other cities? Thanks

Le Bugue, France
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1. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

No, you should not avoid Marseille. It was the European Cultural Capital in 2013 and has all manner of new attractions. It's a port city, of course, and has many of the "gritty" elements that port cities can have, but it's no more unsafe than anywhere in Europe, and probably far safer than most cities in the USA. It's not exactly everyone's image of picture-perfect Provence, but it's a vibrant, thriving place with much to offer. Most of the hype about it being unsafe dates from 25 years ago or more.

Philadelphia, PA
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for Cassis, Marseille, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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2. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

Here we go again....

Disneyland Paris might be a better option.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?


Edited: 06 July 2014, 17:14
Gard, France
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for Avignon
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4. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

Reading in England also has a certain reputation, although I don't know your Reading - I know it well and wouldn't advise people to stay away.

I haven't been to Marseille myself, but have a number of friends who have, such as my next door neighbours in France, who are English. They spent 2 nights there recently and loved it and want to visit again. In England they live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of rural Buckinghamshire, but didn't have any problems in Marseille. Aix and Avignon are also lovely places to visit, and you can take buses or trains to other towns in the area as well as enjoying the sights there. What are your interests, what would you like to see while you're in the south of France? Also, where will you depart from? By the way, if you mean August 2014, you really need to book accommodation as quickly as possible; it could prove hard to find.

As has been mentioned, Marseille is a port and parts of it could be described as 'gritty', but so are most ports, maybe Portsmouth or Hull come to mind. If you fancy visiting, act as you might when visiting certain parts of Reading or anywhere else - alert to your surroundings and with your valuables well-secured, not taking your wallet out in public places - and not keeping it in your back trouser pocket.

Waterloo, Belgium
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5. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?


Edited: 12:14 pm, today

Wonder what was your original post, Bienvenue....

Palo Alto...
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6. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

Scotland067: I see that you are from Reading, PA. Think of Marseille as you of Philadelphia and by that I mean if you never go to Philadelphia because of concerns about crime then do the same with Marseille. If on the other hand, you go to Philadelphia at times but exercise normal big city precautions and do not wander around in crime ridden areas, then do the same in Marseille.

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7. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

This one comes up about twice a year. Marseille has a reputation based on what it was like 50 or so years ago. Nowadays it is a large, lively, cosmopolitan city, and you should bear in mind that you are in a city when you're there, and take the usual precautions, eg not flashing cards and cash about, not leaving bags unattend. However, it is a beautiful and interesting place and I as a single middle-aged woman have wandered about there alone and got completely lost and had to ask directions, and been perfectly fine.

Antibes, France
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8. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

The French Connection movie has provided Marseille with some baggage although 'To Catch a Thief' hasn't done Monte Carlo a lot of harm. Having said that I have a sociologist friend who loves spending time in Marseille because it provides her with so much material. I understand Marseille Nord is the part to avoid otherwise you are as safe as anywhere as long as you keep an eye out for gypsy pickpockets who can be met throughout Europe these days.


Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

Comparing Philadelphia to Marseille is completely ludicrous. It's posts like this that keep these ridiculous speculations about Marseille going.

It needs to stop or people are going to continue asking this question again and again.

The crime / murder rate in Philadelphia is more than 10 times that of Marseille.

Philadelphia has hundreds of murders a year. Marseille has maybe 20.

Comparing the crime rate of any US city to that of Marseille is nonsense.

Marseille, France
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for Marseille, Aix-en-Provence
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10. Re: Marseille Safe or Not?

This is such a redundant question. I live in Marseille. It is perfectly safe, inasmuch as any big port city is, given the usual precautions. End of story.