Cours Julien is the main artery of the 6th arrondissement of Marseille. But that's not all it is. It's also the buzzing, beating hipster enclave of this culture-packed port city. Far away from the elegant bistros and million-pound yachts of the marina, this one's a hit of gritty street art, vintage stores, and boho cafes that reveal the edgier side of central Marseille.

    Most people come to the Cours Julien for street art and shopping. Some have hailed the district as the single best urban gallery in Europe as it certainly doesn’t have a shortage of intriguing murals. Whatever your expectations are of this Marseille neighbourhood, you can learn more about it below.

    Cours Julien in Marseille - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Streets in Marseille (Read all about Marseille here)

    foto dari Jeanne Menjoulet (CC BY 2.0) dimodifikasi

    A brief history of the Cours Julien

    Cours Julien started life as a market back in the early 1800s. It was a time when the modern plan of Marseille began to take shape as the city expanded south and west from the old ports of Le Panier. The bazaar attracted all sorts, from French farmers to traders selling exotic goods imported from Africa. It's not that different today, and only the historic warehouses have been taken over by the resident hipster crowd.

    What are the highlights of the Cours Julien?

    Charge your camera and go graffiti hunting as there's a wealth of intriguing murals to find throughout the Cours Julien. Some of the highlights include the smiling felines of Rue des Trois Rois and the haunting portrait of Mr Burns of The Simpsons fame. Even so, the whole area is a real cacophony of colour and intricate spray-painted creations, stencils and strange floral bursts, which pop out from the window frames and the arcades everywhere you look.

    And if all that sounds like the perfect place for Marseille's leading bohemian shopping scene, that's because it is. Cours Julien now hosts everything from second-hand vinyl stores to retro outfitters. There are also weird and wonderful boutiques like the Heritage Mecanik, specialising in vintage motorbike helmets, and Cherry Bones Creatrice De Bijoux, with its handcrafted gold jewellery.

    Adjacent to Avenue Canebière, Marché de Noailles is one of the largest markets in the Cours Julien area, offering colourful fabrics, loose spices, and various specialities from North Africa.

    foto dari Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) dimodifikasi

    What are the best things to do at night on the Cours Julien?

    For the locals, evenings on the Cours Julien often start with a bottle of shop-bought red wine on the main plaza. It's all very relaxed but things get busier towards the north end of the street, where open-air summer bars hide under plane trees and cypresses.

    You won't go hungry in the evening hours, either. Cours Julien is a medley of ethnic flavours that takes a very strong nod from North Africa. Everything from spice-scented Moroccan tagines to Syrian kebabs is on sale, but you also get loads of vegan and veggie choices to boot.

    For the later hours, consider a show at the Espace Julien, a 1,000-capacity concert venue that's a favourite spot for touring rock bands. You can also delve into the duo of art-house cinemas that lurk between Rue Pastoret and Rue Crudère. They show off-beat titles and award-winning local films by French directors.

    foto dari Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) dimodifikasi

    Good to know about the Cours Julien in Marseille

    Cours Julien is directly east of the main Marseille marina. It's easy to reach on foot from the Vieux Port. That takes around 15 minutes, going straight up the grand La Canebière boulevard before turning southwards at the Noailles metro stop. Talking of the metro, Cours Julien also has its own stop – it's on the red line.

    Despite its edgy looks and overload of graffiti, Cours Julien is actually pretty safe. It's important to be wary after dark here, though, just as you would in any European city. Things can get loud, too, so it might not be the best spot to book a hotel if you're coming as a family with young kids in tow.

    foto dari Bryce Edwards (CC BY 2.0) dimodifikasi

    Cours Julien in Marseille

    Lokasi: Cours Julien, 13006 Marseille, France

    Joseph Francis | Penulis yang Berkontribusi

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