One cannot leave Marseille without trying this famous dish at least once. This is best sampled in one of the small restaurants on the Vieux Port, not the touristy 'school dinners' eating establishments where you sit drinking the house red and you buy your girlfriend a rose and you tell the germans next to you that berlin is a great city and isn't marseille so much warmer than london and isn't there much less crime although some one gave my friend a strangle look outside the station and they have a tgv which takes you to paris which is really fast and england could do with one of those and i really like the singing and guitars of the guys dressed like matadors and my friend said that's because marseille was once in spain . Start off with a small dish as it can be quite filling, particularly if it served with pommes de terre.
A very popular drink in Marseilles is rosé wine. You'll often see locals putting ice in their rosé, which sounds completely wrong, but trust me, it is delicious, and complements the local climate and cuisine perfectly.
It is de rigeur for the Marseillais to have an apéritif or two before going out for an evening meal, and there is no more typical local apéritif than a glass of pastis, or "pastaga" as it is known locally. Served with ice and an accompanying jug of cold water, you can mix the strength yourself at your table.. but beware.. I would advise you to have no more than two before your meal. It is deceptively strong, and if you overimbibe, you may well turn up at the restaurant of your choice drunk, and your meal will be spoilt. Enjoy.
Petanque is the game about I'm speaking. If you have free time and have bought a peach in local food shop of Panier district then go to Cathedral De La Major. If you will be at time then you can watch this game. Next to Cathedral is place for Petanque.
Really interesting game and I suppose it isn't a only place where local people play Petanque in Marseilles.
This game is a little similar to curling but the scene is laid in sand and players send a ball closer to center. This game play mens and womens as well.
And to finish the visit of the "Marché aux poissons", look at this superb poulpe de roche (octopus or Octopus vulgaris) It is red with anger of being caught ! As you can see, it is fully living and you can take it home. Octopus have expressive eyes and can attach themselves strongly to any nice person. Why not to take this as a pet ?
Though there are many tourists that visit the "Marché aux poissons", those who buy fish are mostly locals. They know the shop keeper and the shop keeper know them and again, if you are able to understand enough French, listening to the people is worth the visit. "Avé l'assen" (with the [local] accent)
Even if you do not plan to buy fish, you should visit the "Marché aux poissons". The women that keep each booth are usually wife of fishermen. If you understand French, you will soon realize that they have a very interesting language to speak in praise of there fishes.
The fishes are usually not kept in ice but on special tables with a rim that allows filling it with fresh seawater. Thus, most of the time, fishes are kept alive morning long. They cannot be fresher, you can bring home living fish !
On the "Marché aux poissons", you will find every kind of local fish : soles (Solea solea) that the shop keepers will be happy to skin for you, Bonitou (bullet tuna or Auxis thazard) that you can buy as whole fish or sliced and many others.
On the "Marché aux poissons", you will find only extra fresh fish, caught during the very early morning along the neighboring and rocky shores by fishermen on their typical boats, the "pointus". They are called "pointus" because both ends are sharp.
On this picture, you can see in the foreground the "Marché aux poissons" and behind, in the background, the entrance into the metro, the lower end of the Canebière with the Bourse of Marseille and on the left, Église Saint Féreol.
The famous open air "Marché aux poissons" stands at the bottom of the Cannebière, on the quai des Belges, on the Vieux Port. It is a must see in Marseille. It begins every day at 8:00 AM and lasts until about noon.
Marseille's history is 2600 years old and it started off as a Greek city in 600 BC as part of the Hellenic civilisation. The city was always a gateway and often sacked by invaders. It is also the beginning of Western monasticism with the founding of Saint-Victor's Abbey and urban institutions were established at a very early date.
Possibly the easiest way to get some good photos of the locals is to ask them to take your picture first. Even if you get a child to take the picture it makes for a relaxed atmosphere and not 'just another tourist'
This is the south of France not Calais. If you want some respect from the waiters you will need to at least try and speak in French. The waiter will note the effort and then switch to one of the six languages that suits the situation best. If you just go stumbling in with English it's a real sign of disrespect.