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A capital in the South of France

In recent years, Marseilles is experiencing a spectacular revival.


With approximately 860,000 inhabitants, Marseilles is the second largest city in France. It spreads over an area of 240 (compared to Paris’ 105 the calanques (a nature park of narrow rocky creeks) stretch from the Village of Goudes, south-west of the city to Cassis. Marseilles attracts 4 million visitors each year and its tourism industry is expanding, in particular since it was European Capital of Culture in 2013. Major changes in its infrastructure and the creation of several new museums (including the Museum of Mediterranean and European Civilizations (MUCEM)) have made a strong contribution to this growth. At the same time, Provence is the top destination for French tourists and second for international travellers, making it a very successful and attractive region.

Marseilles: an international City

Marseilles is home to headquarters of several international research organizations, including the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the Mediterranean Committee of the United City and Local Governments’ (CGLU), and the World Water Council. In addition, local offices of the UN Industrial Development Office (UNIDO), the World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2012, Marseilles was host to the World Water Forum.

Universities, Business and Industry

With nearly 3,000 researchers and 52,000 students, Aix-Marseilles offers a very strong and dynamic academic environment. As the second largest research pole in France, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is home to the second-largest centre for France’s national research organization, CNRS. At the same time, the PACA region has seen the highest increase in development in a number of industrial sectors, including aeronautics, microelectronics, transport, energy and chemistry.