As a popular tourist destination on the Cote d’Azure, Marseilles receives frequent bus travellers. However, as France lacks a national bus service, few direct buses run to Marseille from other French cities. One option is via the National Express/Eurolines daily service from London Victoria. Leaving at 13:30 p.m., it requires a change of coach at Paris Gallieni before arriving in Marseilles at 12:15 p.m. the next day. The coach calls at Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saone, Lyon, Valence, Avignon, France, and Aix En Provence. Spanish operators Alsa and Linebus offer frequent daily departures from Estación de Autobuses Barcelona Nord for the 8 hour run to Marseille, along with overnight services from Madrid. Also Ouibus operates one daily service each from Genoa and Milan. Buses to Marseille arrive at the bus station located at 3 rue Honnorat to the rear of the Marseille Central Train Station (Gare Saint Charles). Onward travel is convenient as Marseille is home to an integrated public transport system (RTM) whereby buses, trams and the metro are covered by a single ticket. Tickets need to be validated before each trip and are valid for one hour. Trams run between 5 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. and the metro operates between 5:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. everyday. Buses operate from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a limited night service operating until 12:30 a.m.
A city with a long and storied history, Marseille’s character is strongly influenced by by its role as a major seaport which adds a rich cosmopolitan flavor to the city. This maritime heritage can be found in the Old Port at the end of the Canebière, the city’s main strip. Pedestrian-friendly and with an abundance of cafes and restaurants, it’s the natural meeting place for the city’s residents. This being France, Marseille is not short on trendy boutiques and other fashion outlets. As a recent European Capital of Culture, Marseilles is well endowed with theatres, opera houses, along with a thriving cafe culture, fine cuisine, and vibrant nightlife.