The Best Independent Bookstores in Marseille

Marseille has some wonderfully interesting bookstores | © emily kneeter/Flickr
Marseille has some wonderfully interesting bookstores | © emily kneeter/Flickr
Marseille is a very cultural city and has strong links to some of the worlds’ most renowned classics. Many authors were based in the French Riviera to write, and employed the region as a backdrop to their stories. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has an interesting selection of bookshops, carrying everything from the new and the specialist to the second hand. Here’s our list of the best in and around town to explore.

Maupetit

This bookshop is on one of the main streets in the centre of Marseille, La Canebière. It has everything; the classics, children’s books, an English section and a huge amount of reference books. The website is very comprehensive and they hold a lot of writing events as well.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm. Closed Sundays.

Marseille has some great literary references, not least The Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned on nearby island Château d’If © Penguin | Alexandre Dumas photographed by Nadar, 1855 © Public Domain/WikiCommons | © Jan Drewes/WikiCommons

Le Lièvre de Mars

Bookstore
This little independent bookstore specialises in graphic design, architecture and urbanism. It also has literature from the 11th and 12th centuries and a children’s section. It takes its name from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, because in French a “le lièvre de mars” is a March hare, one of the main characters. A great place to find something to read that’s a little bit different and arty. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm. Monday, 2pm to 7pm. Closed Sundays.
Looks like it's closed Hours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
More Info

La Friche

Bookstore, Building, Theater
La Friche (the Wasteland)
La Friche (the Wasteland) | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
La Friche is an old tobacco factory that sprawls the land to one side of the main St Charles station; it’s one of Marseille‘s amazingly edgy urban spaces. It holds a lot of creative and cultural events, as well as being a main hang-out spot in the summer months (there’s a DJ on the roof most weekends). The artsy bookstore on the ground floor at the entrance is fantastic, with lots of art books also in English, and offers a great chance to pick up a present and have a delicious cup of coffee.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm. Monday, 10am to 6pm.
More Info

Maurel

Bookstore, Library
This is an English and Italian bookstore that has been running for over 30 years. Pierre and Anne-Sophie Maurel offer a friendly welcome and like to think of themselves as a melting pot and meeting place for every nationality – for example, they have the French classic Le Petit Prince, (The Little Prince) in lots of languages. It is starting to offer books in other languages too, such as Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and more. Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30am t0 6:30pm. Wednesday, 9:30am to 1pm. Friday and Saturday, 9:30am to 12:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Looks like it's closed Hours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
More Info

L’Attrape Mots