Marseille Travel Guide

Getting Around

By bus, tramway, subway

Marseille is served by a transit system, the Régie des Transports de Marseille (RTM) comprising 2 subway lines, 2 tram lines and 74 bus lines. If you have any mobility problems, are in a wheel chair or have a child in a push chair, you should be aware that almost every métro station has steps in it somewhere and some will have several flights of stairs - stick to the trams and buses which are a better option.

The tickets for bus/métro can be bought in the cafes, at the subway stations, or on the bus; it is advised to buy a multi journey ticket (carte libertés) at 13 € (10 voyages), which are not sold in the buses. The number of transfers is unlimited (including the return journeys) within the one-hour limit between the first boarding and last transfer on all the network (you must validate with each entry to the bus). The subway actually runs between 5:00 a.m and 12:30 am. The tram system operates until 12:30 a.m. 7 days a week. Most bus routes do not operate after 9:00 p.m. or so, although a limited network of night buses (Fluobus) operates with infrequent service (only about every 45–60 minutes or so) until about 12:30 a.m. or so. Using a taxi is recommended if you need to travel after 9:00 p.m.

The Pilote website, includes all the bus, tram and metro schedules but is easier to read than the RTM sites. Moreover, this site repeats the schedules of the majority of transport in common runs of the agglomeration (tram, bus interurban, trains regional) and makes it possible to search for journeys in Marseille and the nearby communes.

Airport transfers are available for 8.50€ each way to/from Gare St Charles. Tickets may be bought at the cabin between Hall 1 and Hall 3/4 of the main terminal and at a separate kiosk in the new Gare Routière, after Voie N in the Gare St Charles. The bus runs every 20 minutes on 10, 30, and 50 minutes past the hour. The ride is about 30 minutes. The bus says Navette Aeroport Gare St Charles on it. From Gare St Charles, the metro can get you to most hotels.

Metro tickets allow unlimited transfers onto bus or tram within 1 hour of initial use for the base 1.50€ fare but does not include re-entry (1 hour limit) to the metro. A daily ticket (carte journée) costs 5.00€.

By boat

A Ferry Boat crosses the Old Harbour (Vieux Port). It is a tourist attraction in itself known as the shortest commercial boat ride in Europe.

By car

Avoid taking your car if you possibly can. Marseille, at least the centre, has narrow streets, one-way streets, random lane changes and so on which can drive both locals and non-locals crazy. The local drivers have a well deserved reputation for fearlessness - particularly if they are on two wheels. In addition, Marseille has some of the lowest parking fines in France - parking fines are rarely enforced and consequently you will find cars parked (and sometimes double parked) everywhere.

Due to the new tunnel that is being built to try to alleviate some of Marseille's traffic problems, satellite navigational systems such as the Tom Tom are likely to be out of date and dangerous if followed. For instance, following a Tom Tom in the centre of Marseille could take you across newly installed pedestrian areas or Tram lines. The one-way system has also completely changed.

By taxi

Be careful of rogue taxi drivers. While there aren't many, there are a few and a €20 ride can quickly become a €40 ride. If you think you've been cheated get the taxi driver's number (located in the rear of the car, often on the window) and go to the Tourist's Office at 4, La Canebière (near Le Vieux Port) and speak to a representative, they can and will get your money back if you've been ripped off. They will also get the taxi driver in significant trouble.

By Bicycle

Marseille has the excellent le vélo cycle hire scheme in place as well as plenty of cycle paths, this makes it possible to get round the city quickly and very reasonably but be warned that the velo stations lock at midnight so if you don't return your bicycle before then you will need to pay for an extra day. It costs 1 euro for a week's subscription. Each time you hire a bike, the first 30 minutes are free, then each hour costs 1 euro. Note that there is a 150 euros deposit which will be charged if you don't return the bike properly.

source: Wikivoyage

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