Travel to Marseille: Cheap trains, buses and flights

Mon, Aug 26
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Marseille

Marseille is a city steeped in history. One of Europe’s most important ports, it is France’s second largest city and considered to be a multi-cultural hotspot. Situated on the south coast of France, Marseille’s weather is an average of 75°F, with its hottest months being in July and August, perfect weather for a quick swim in the sea. There are lots of things to do in Marseille and the surrounding areas. Explore the port and see the local fishermen bring in their daily haul or visit the many museums explaining Marseille cultural history and importance. From Le Panier to le Vieux Port, there are plenty of winding streets to spend your days getting lost in. Then, when you feel like a change from the city, beauty spots such as Aix-en-Provence and La Calanques are just a short trip away.



Getting to Marseille

Getting to Marseille by Train

If you're already in Europe then traveling by train is one of the easiest ways to arrive and depart from Marseille. Marseille's main station is the Gare de Marseille St Charles and is located on the east side of the city. Being the main station most trains arrive and depart from the station. The Paris to Marseille train is direct and take 3:15 hours with the SNCF. You can also get the trains locally such as the Marseille to Nice train, which takes 2:48h.

Getting to Marseille by Plane

The closest airport to Marseille is the Marseille Provence Airport, which is located 27km northwest of Marseille and is France's fifth busiest airport. Flights from all over Europe arrive at the airport daily, with around 86 planes arriving from Paris alone. There are currently no direct flights from the USA to Marseille but many carriers fly there via London, Paris or Dublin. The Navette Marseille Aeroport bus runs from the airport bus station to Gare St Charles, a return ticket cost 13.40 €. It leaves approx every 15 minutes and takes 25 minutes to reach the city center. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle bus from the airport to Vitrolles Aeroport Marseille Provence, where a direct train will take you to Gare St Charles in approx. 13 minutes and cost 6.30€ for a one-way ticket.

Getting to Marseille by Bus

Marseille's main bus station is the St Charles bus station, located just behind the main train station, Gare St Charles. The bus station is open daily and buses, including flixbus. arrive and depart from all over Europe. From here you can use the local transport service, the RTM, to take you to other parts of Marseille.

Things to do in Marseille

Vieux-Port de Marseille

Situated at the bottom of Marseille’s main street, the Canebière, is the natural port of Marseille. First used by the Greeks in 600bc the area has developed over time to be the historically rich port that it is today. Mostly pedestrianized you’ll find markets regularly and the highly popular MUCEM.

Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde

One of the most popular attractions in Marseille is the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, a Catholic church situated 149m above Marseille. The Basilique was completed in 1864 and draws thousands of visitors a year for its intricate architecture and stunning views of Marseille. Although it is possible to walk to the Basilique, many visitors opt to use the local RMT bus.

Chateau d’If

Once a fort and then a prison, Chateau d’If is a small island located 1.5km away from the port of Marseille. Famous for being the location of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, the island is only accessible by ferry. Tickets cost 6E and can be bought on the day at the harbor.

Day Trips from Marseille

Aix-en-Provence

The picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence, is just 11 minutes away by train from Marseille. The TGV leaves from St Charles train station and arrives into Aix-en-Provence TGV. There are approximately 30 trains and tickets on the day cost approximately €5.09.

Cassis

A small commune to the east of Marseille, Cassis is just a 20 minutes train ride from Gare du St Charles station and cost €6. From Cassis station you can take bus to reach the beach or the famous Calanques, which are great for hiking.

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