Le Panier, the oldest part of Marseille, is north of the Old Port, behind the Town Hall, and was created by the Greek colony of Massalia in 600 BCE.
A working-class district, this is traditionally where immigrants have first settled in Marseille. In recent years, renovations and the establishment of new cultural venues have made Le Panier a tourist area, popular with visitors seeking 'authenticity'. A stroll through the area is a return to the daily life of Marseille. Through the narrow streets that climb among old houses and administrative buildings, the joyful sounds of schoolyards fill the air. It is a paradise for photography fans, with the surroundings inspiring all kinds of creativity.
There's plenty to visit, too, such as 'La Vieille Charité', 17th-century hospital transformed into an archaeology museum focusing on African, Pacific, and indigenous American art.
Do not miss La Grande Savonnerie, 36 Grand-Rue, one of the few places where you can buy genuine 'Savon de Marseille', the city's famous soap. Many places with bars and restaurants provide a relaxing break between two visits.