Identity card

General information
Marseille is the regional capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the second largest city in France and the largest commercial port

  • Population: 800,550inhabitants/French
  • Time zone: GMT +01:00. Legal summer time
  • Weather: Mediterranean climate. Rainy weather is more likely during the spring and autumn months. Temperatures reach 11/12 C in Winter and 27/30 in Summer
  • Opening times: Mon/Sat 8 am-12 am and 2 pm-7 pm, although some remain open at lunchtime. Most shops are closed on Sundays. Government Offices operate between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • Driving: to drive you must be over 18. A driving licence issued by any of the EU countries is valid. Otherwise you must obtin an international licence or a conversion of your state side licence.
  • Public holidays. In these days shops, banks, offices and schools are closed:
    1 January: New Year’s Day /1 May: Labor Day /8 May: 1945 Victory Day/14 July: Bastille Day/15 August: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary/1 November: All Saints Day /11 November: Armistice Day/25 December: Christmas Day

Electricity, telephone, mail

  • Electricity: Appliances in France run on 220 v., 50 cycle AC current
  • Telephone: National code: 0033 Local code: 04 91 or 04 96
    For mobile phone contracts or prepaid cards: Orange and SFR. –
  • Post offices opening time: Mon-Fri (9.30 am-12.30 pm and 1.30 pm-6 pm)

Banking / Currency

  • Banks: Tue-Fri (9 am to 12.15 pm and 1.45 pm to 5.30 pm. On Saturdays some banks are open and usually close at about 4pm Documents required to open a bank account are: proof of identity; proof of your address; furthermore some banks may also require a reference from a previous bank either in France or other country.
    Main Banks are BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Alpes Provence, HSBC, Société General and Banque de France – – – –
  • Currency: Euro

Emergency services
112 SOS all services (calling from a mobile) – 17  Police – 18 Fire Brigade, 15 Ambulance

Marseille has never been a major industrial centre; historically, its importance has been much more in trade and commerce. Nevertheless, churchcertain industries did develop in Marseille. The oldest, founded in the 15th century, was the manufacture of soap. Other activities included food processing, shipbuilding and ship repair, metallurgy, clothing, chemicals, and precision engineering. Many of these industries have either disappeared or been reduced in importance through loss of markets or transfer to the city’s periphery. Heavy industry (oil refining and petrochemicals) grew up around the Berre Lagoon in the 1950s following the building of an outport at Lavéra capable of receiving large oil tankers. The industrial zone is also directly linked to the national rail and highway networks, to the South European Pipeline, and to the Rhône inland waterway. The port complex of Marseille–Fos is the largest in France and among the largest in Europe. In recent years the commercial traffic of the port complex has exceeded 90 million tons annually. Exports consist mostly of refined oil products, chemicals, and steel.

General Practitioners
Almost 90% of French citizens are affiliated with the “sécu”. Contributions are levied on wages up to 20%, and employers must also pay social contributions for their employees.  If you are living and working in France, you can benefit from the same social rights as to French citizens regarding the French social security system. Foreign workers in France must first get a social security number (“numéro de sécurité sociale”). The request must be made by your employer in France. After obtaining a Social Security number, foreign workers receive a health card (“carte vitale”) of a credit card format and accepted by most doctors and pharmacies. The “carte vitale” enables copayment for health care. Dependents of the primary insured are also covered by the sécu. Reimbursement for health care costs is only partial, especially for dental or eye care, and many French citizens subscribe to private health insurance for better coverage.

Assurance Maladie
T 3646/0033 811 703 646

Service is open: Mon – Fri: 07:45 am – 05:30 pm
Best times to call is 08:30 am – 09:30 am and 12:00 pm – 02:00 pm)

Pharmacies in France are denoted by a green cross, usually in neon. Medicines must be ordered from the counter, even non-prescription medicines. The pharmacist is able to help you about various medicines and propose you generic drugs.

Marseille with its 26 centuries of history combines tradition and modernity. The city is deeply marked by its past and is constantly digging up the remains of all the cities that have been built on top of each other over the centuries. It takes the visitor on a journey that begins with its Greek and Roman origins and leads us past the medieval religious foundations, the 16th Century fortifications, the rich homes of the 17th and 18th Centuries and the many prestigious buildings erected in the 19th Century and right up to modern times and the great architectural achievements of the 21st Century. Moreover, the sun light makes pleasant the living environment. The Mistral gives the brightness that has inspired famous painters Cezanne, Braque, Dufy, Derain, Marquet. Marseille is also proud of one of the modern architecture monuments Unité d’habitation (Cité Radieuse) projected by Le Corbusier. The Marseille unité d’habitation brings together Le Corbusier’s vision for communal living with the needs and realities of post-war France. Up to 1600 people live in a single-slab ‘vertical village’, complete with an internal shopping street halfway up, a recreation ground and children’s’ nursery on the roof, and a generous surrounding area of park land made possible by the density of the accommodation in the slab itself.

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