Thirdeyemom

Marseille’s Marché aux Poissons

Anyone who has even been to Marseille knows about its beloved Marché aux Poissons (fish market). The oldest and second largest city in France, Marseille was founded in 600 BC by the Greeks and became one of the most important port towns along the Mediterranean Sea. Given its prime location and wonderful harbor came a long-held tradition of fishing. The Marché aux Poissons has been around for centuries and is the best place around for fish lovers to buy the freshest seafood in France.

Marseille's Fish Market

Held daily along the Vieux Port lies the magical Marché aux Poissons, a vibrant, colorful market offering the fresh catch of the day along with a wide variety of regional fish. It makes a picturesque place for a stroll along the quai as you listen to the cries of the fishmongers and admire all the fisherman untangling their nets.

You can literally buy fish fresh off the boat or even alive. Once you make your selection, the fish is weighed and even cleaned if you like. You can buy anything from grouper, turbot, monkfish, squid, red mullet, and bream to anything else caught that day to go into Marseille’s infamous Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew.  Many local chefs come to the market each morning to buy their fish for the evening’s diners.

Once again, I was entranced by the ins and outs of the fish market and its culture. I captured many photos that show the color and way of life that is so traditional in Marseille. Here are some of my favorites.

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

There were rows and rows of fishmongers selling their daily catch. I was captivated by their brilliantly colored plastic gloves and boots. Selling fresh fish can be a messy and smelly job!

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish MarketI don’t think that fish could get any fresher than this!

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish MarketThe fisherman’s boats were something I couldn’t resist capturing either. As the men worked away untangling their fishing nets, I snapped away and marveled at their weather-worn, leathery faces and windswept hair.

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish MarketAs with any place, there is always an exception to the rule. This woman sat alongside the fish stalls selling fresh produce.

Marseille's Fish Market

Marseille's Fish Market

I finished taking pictures just as the market was starting to close for the day. I salivated at the thought of eating a fresh catch of fish that night or perhaps even trying some Bouillabaisse. I certainly was not going to get fish any fresher than here.

If you go

Marseille’s Marché aux Poissons operates daily in the mornings starting at 8 am. At the Vieux Port. 

This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh. To see more entries, click here.

Related Posts

Getting lost in the street’s of Marseille’s Le Panier

Room with a View: Marseille’s Magnificent Vieux Port

Marseille’s Notre Dame de la Garde

The fleeting moments of a magical trip through Provence

53 comments

  1. For me, this is the way a fish market should be – out in the open, with each fisherman selling their fresh catch for the day – your wonderful photos and words bring it alive!

  2. you worked a long time with all of these beautiful images! there were several really special ones of the fishermen; i often photograph the nets and floats and lines as well… i keep saying that one day i’ll do a serious painting of all of those textures and forms, light/shadow, etc.

    ironically, the ad (in spanish) at the very end of your post has a cartoon image of a woman (shoulder to thighs) in jeans and squeezing her belly fat!

    • Thanks! I love how these photos turned out and especially the fishermen and their nets. There is something nostalgic about the old way of life. 🙂
      That is pretty funny about the ad! I will have to take a look as that is pretty ironic! 🙂

    • I saw that and commented as well! Love it!!!! I remember that fish market and I bought some delicious smoked salmon. I’ve got to make it back to Norway someday. Your photos have been gorgeous!!!!

  3. Great photos. Question- at the fish markets in Asia, often surrounding them are small restaurants where you can take your just purchased catch of the day and they will cook it for you. The Philippines especially has that. Does it exist in Marseilles?

    • Hmmm….that is a good question. I am not sure but I imagine not. Everything was so expensive in Marseille that I would think most restaurants would rather have you pay a premium for the fish. That is really cool though. That is what I love so much about Asia! 🙂 Got to see more….it just takes time!

  4. Very fresh indeed! I have no idea what I’m going to post in this week’s challenge. Better start going through those 7000++ unedited pics from the last month.. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos 🙂

  5. Wow! They are really fresh, fresh fresh! Very fresh post! Thanks. This reminds me of “Pike Place Fish Market “in Seattle. Let me see if I have got some fresh pictures!

    • Thanks Anita! 🙂 I’ve been meaning to ask you about the Wine and travel assn that you went to India with. I’ve liked them on facebook but noticed you can also become a member for something like $150 a year. Are you a member?

  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh | beeblu blog

  7. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh (Poppies) | What's (in) the picture?

  8. This is fantastic. I feel as if I’ve spent the day there with you. Love the light in the very first pic and the older woman with her pram of veg.
    You put my fish to shame. will link your on mine.

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge (Fresh) | being mrscarmichael

  10. A few years ago, I went to Marseilles with a boyfriend from the region. We didn’t go to the fish market, however. We spent most of the time visiting friends of his that he hadn’t seen in years.

  11. Sweetteamob

    Thanks so much for sharing your images and stories about Marseille. I’ve recently relocated to France from America, and your pictures are inspiring me to make a trip to the South!

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