You are sure to spend some time on this broad boulevard known as the Hub of Town. La Canebière runs for about a kilometer down to the Old Port, and it gets its name from the material grown here which once thriving rope-making trade and huge export; hemp or canabè in French. Set up your Marseille car hire and explore everything from the Old Port that this boulevard has to offer.
La Canebière was originally designed with the Champs-Élysées in mind, it became more of a patchwork affair, spotted with hotels, cafés and shops. The street serves to divide two areas of town, the more upscale southern quartiers, and the ramshackle quartier BelsunceI to the north - an extraordinary and dynamic, mainly Arab area and great trading ground.
Quartier Belsunce has its own appeal for shopping, as you can find some of the best prices in the mediterranean for stereos, suits, and jeans from France and Germany, as well as spices, cloth, and unique metalware from across the coast. You can often find goods sold here on flattened cardboard boxes in the streets, completely absent of a French middleman.
Steer your car hire Marseille one block to the west and visit the Centre Bourse. This is more in the line of mainstream shopping, but behind it is the Jardin des Vestiges, where the ancient port extended north from the present quai des Belges.
Excavations have revealed a stretch of the original Greek port and bits of Marseille's ancient city wall with the base of three square towers and a gateway, dating to the second or third century BC.