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How To Reach Marseille
Marseille is a vibrant and lively port city situated in the south-eastern part of France, along the Mediterranean coast. The original Old Port of the city may not be the main commercial harbour of Marseille anymore, yet it remains the heart of the town and serves as the perfect starting point for your tour of Marseille. With a recent past that wouldn’t serve as the best example for any kind of publicity for a tourist town, Marseille’s rich ancient history and its cultural vitality more than makeup for what it lacked just a few years ago.
In addition to that, Marseille’s colourful and multi-ethnic background exudes charm and a distinct character that draws visitors from near and far. The extensive transport system of Marseille also makes it convenient for all kinds of travellers visiting from any part of the world to reach the city in a comfortable and time-efficient manner. Read on to know what are the different ways to reach Marseille and which ones are best suited for your convenience.
The Marseille-Provence International Airport is situated about 30 km from the city and is known to be France’s fifth busiest airport; most of the flights arriving at this airport are from neighbouring European countries. Travellers from India only have options with booking connecting flights to Marseille with one or two stopovers since there are no direct flights currently available between India and Marseille. Airport buses operate between the airport and the Gare Saint-Charles railway station, from where trains leave every 15 minutes for Marseille city centre. Travellers can also choose to book cabs from the airport to reach their destination directly.
If you have already embarked on a trip to Europe and are looking to travel to Marseille, going down the rail route will be one of the best decisions you make. Not only is the journey cheap and convenient, but the scenic views of the French countryside experienced on this route are also breathtakingly beautiful. The Gare Saint-Charles railway station is the city’s main railhead and is situated on the eastern side of Marseille. Paris is connected to Marseille through both the high-speed TGV line and the SNCF rail network. The TGV line also connects Marseille to Lyon, Nice, Frankfurt, Brussels, Geneva and Strasbourg.
Most French cities connect to Marseille through a vast network of highways. Marseille’s bus station, also called Gare Saint-Charles, is located just behind the train station and operates daily buses to and from cities all over Europe. The bus service Eurolines has direct connections between Marseille and Barcelona, Tangier and Prague. If you choose to book a cab or rent a car, Paris is about 8 hours away; Nice around 2 hours; and Lyon about 3 hours away.
The Regie des Transports de Marseille is the city’s transit system that comprises two subway lines, 2 tram lines and 74 bus lines. Moving around the city in a cheap and efficient manner becomes very convenient with these means of travel. If you decide to take a taxi, beware of rogue taxi drivers; while they’re not common, you might come across an occasional cheating driver. Avoid cars in Marseille as much as possible, since the city’s narrow and congested streets make driving almost a nightmare in this region.
Bicycles are also a great way to explore the city. Marseille’s bike-sharing program allows you to hire bikes at very cheap rates and go about the city at your own leisurely pace. Ferry boats can be used to reach smaller islands located close to Marseille, which are a tourist attraction in itself.