Visiting Marseille’s unbeaten tracks

Have you ever visited a city and wished that a local could share their insider secrets? Wouldn’t it be even better to be able to put on your headphones and listen to their advice while strolling? In France, together with Marseille radio journalist Julie de Muer, we’ve just launched a fascinating online experiment, called “Night Walk.”

Julie and several artists involved with local broadcaster Radio Grenouille created the project. Using her recording skills, Julie created “soundwalks”: audio tours that explain the history and hidden sights and sounds of the streets, with stories told by local inhabitants. Visitors just have to download a sound track and a Google Maps route from the Soundwalks website to travel in the steps of these unusual guides, through their stories and their sounds.

More than 40 soundwalks have been created and marked out on Google Maps. Since 2013, they have enabled more than 20,000 visitors to discover the southern French cities of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Aubagne.

Creating the soundwalks has been quite a task. It has taken no less than four years of collective work exploring the cities, meeting new people, recording streets and sounds and putting together the interactive website.

Want to take a walk through the Marseille streets yourself? It's simple: follow an evening soundwalk around Marseille’s Cours Julien, with local musician Christophe Perruchi guiding you as you walk. See a graffiti artist at work. Listen to a jazz jam in one of the neighborhood’s bars, find the 35 “secrets” hidden in the neighborhood, discover a fire-eater or the city’s most surprising garage entrance…and enjoy!