Discover our local Gay Marseille Guide and insiders’ recommendations, for best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, monuments, shopping …
Here’s the interview of Vlad, a local from the City.
Hey Vlad, you are from Marseille. Can you tell us a bit more about you?
Hello guys and girls. I’m Vlad, 34 years old, and I was born in Ukraine. I’ve traveled quite a lot in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, before finally settling down in the South of France, in Marseille.
Rather tough and unpretentious on the one hand, my Ukrainian roots, and very open-minded and easy going on the other, my occidental education, I’ve fully embraced my new hometown of Marseille with all its contradictions and mixed Mediterranean culture.
Why do you love Marseille that much?
As I mentioned above, I’ve traveled quite a lot in the past and Marseille is actually the city I’ve lived in the longest in all my life. And this is not in vain. I literally fell in love with it the very moment I arrived here over 8 years ago.
I like the very smell of this city. Well, not that of trash bins during a strike of janitors in the midst of Summer! But that of the sea and the Mediterranean spices ;). I like its wind – that of travel and adventure. I love its spirit, its crazy mixture of the modern and the ancient, the Orient and the Occident.
Its relaxed atmosphere and the French «savoir vivre» combined with the savagery of its beautiful landscapes along its coastline.
My 4 favorite places
My number one, is the Old Port with its Saint Jean Fortress from where you can enjoy the marvelous view on the port with hundreds of yachts moored within and tens of them entering and leaving it for daily promenades around the Frioul Islands. You can eat out here, have a coffee or just gaze in the sun on top of the ancient walls.
Number two is the Noailles fruit and vegetable market. Located right in the heart of the city, noisy and colorful, it is a reflection of the very Cosmopolitan nature of Marseille. Here, you can find any local fruit and vegetables of the season or any exotic fruit from the opposite part of the globe.
Three, is Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral with its splendid panoramic view of the entire city of Marseille. Somewhat crowded in Summer, it is better to visit either it in the early hours or on working days, especially if you like taking pictures and want the whole landscape for yourself.
I think I don’t need to repeat it… my favorite of all favorite places is the natural resort of Calanques. You will undoubtedly find a spot that perfectly suits you too.
Which are the main spots you like to show to travelers in Marseille?
I can show you everything around depending on your interests: historical sights (the Saint-Jean Fortress, the Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral, the Saint Victor Abbey and others…), trendy bars or restaurants, cultural or underground venue (the Mucem, La Friche complex and others) or even vicious hangouts (le New Can Can, the Annexe)…
But I definitely would love to take you to my favorite spots in the Natural Resort around Marseille: the creeks of Sugiton, Sormiou, En-Vau, Port-Miou…
What about gay local life in Marseille?
Even though Marseille cannot boast the active gay nightlife (it only has around 5 gay bars, a couple of gay clubs, some 3 saunas…), it definitely can compensate it with nature and nudist spots, so appreciated by the gay community, especially during the summer season!
Gay Marseille bars and restaurants
Well, my restaurant is the O-Zen all-you-can-eat with an excellent choice of sushi located on the Prado beach… But if you prefer exquisite cuisine, I can take you to a place where you can try the best bouillabaisse accompanied by the most excellent rosé wine you can ever imagine.
L’Annexe bar. Gay-friendly or slightly merely gay or somewhat just friendly. A really welcoming atmosphere, good music in the evening and an outside terrace in Summer.
L’Equitable Café. This is an associative café with a very dynamic and friendly staff where you pay for your bear the price that you decide yourself.
O’Bidul an excellent restaurant, good food, service and low prices.
Gay Marseille beaches
Mont Rose Beach
Located at the far end of the Marseillaise coast, well after the Prado, the Mont Rose beach remains fairly easily accessible from the city centre, including by public transport. As a result, it is extremely popular with both gays and naturists.
To get there, take line number 19, and stop at “Madrague Montredon”, then follow the trails and let your Gaydar work, you should find without too much problem.
Note that it is a beach of rocks, windy and little shaded. Wild but very beautiful. To reach the sea, follow the locals who will show you the way.
Calanque of Sugiton
Sugiton is superb but inaccessible. At least in appearance…
It is a real Marseillaise cove, surrounded by a sublime landscape, but difficult to access. If you decide to go, plan to spend at least half a day there to “amortize” the trip.
Note that the cove is not supervised, and numerous rockfalls: so you access it at your own risk and peril, beauty and isolation have a price.
After arriving at the Luminy Terminus car park, walk for 45 minutes in a beautiful but steep environment.
Be sure to bring real shoes, a backpack, water, food etc…. do not plan to access the cove in flip-flops, with your umbrella, cooler, and all your Prada gear.
The gay part of the cove is located at the very end, on an even more difficult accessible part.
The access is really sporting, it’s more Ko Lanta than Mar Bella. Anyway, Sugiton is earned.
To add to the difficulties, note that access to the creeks is regularly closed in the summer in case of fire risk. Don’t forget to check before you leave.
More Gay bars in Marseille
Gay Clubs and parties in Marseille
Cruising bars in Marseille
Gay Saunas in Marseille
Finally, Marseille is strategically positioned to visit South of Italy or Spain, as it is only a few hours trip by car or speed train to visit other fascinating and gay-friendly cities such as Barcelona, Sitges or even Rome or Naples.