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Marseille has some wonderfully interesting bookstores | © emily kneeter/Flickr
Marseille has some wonderfully interesting bookstores | © emily kneeter/Flickr

The Best Independent Bookstores in Marseille

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 28 May 2017

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.


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

International Music Bookstore

Whatever language you speak, everyone reads the same music. This store has a tonne of sheet music. Why not try your hand at playing some French songs on whichever instrument you play?

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 7pm. Monday, 2pm to 7pm. Closed Sundays.

Many authors used the French Riviera, including Marseille, as backdrops to their books, like Somerset Maugham and F. Scott Fitzgerald | © Pocket | © Carl Van Vechten/WikiCommons | © Vintage Classics | © Public Domain/WikiCommons | © Collier books | © Public Domain/WikiCommons

La Friche

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.

Marseille is a very cultural city and a great place to find all these classics | © unsungequiparle/flickr

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