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Overview

Haven for artists who appreciate the Vieux

Haven for artists who appreciate the Vieux

Nestled right on the Mediterranean sea and an inspiration for artists, Marseille is the third largest metropolitan area in France. And yet it can seem like a quiet little fishing village. Over the last 2600 years, Marseille has built a rich, colorful atmosphere enhanced by the fresh sea air, ancient architectural foundations, incredible art and amazing food.

With its history so linked to the sea, it’s no surprise that the hub of Marseille’s action is at the Vieux Port, or Old Town. On the quai de Rive Neuve, check out La Criée, Marseille’s most famous theater. Built in 1909 on the site of the old fish auction rooms, you’ll find diverse programming – from the avant-garde to current jazz acts. In Marseille during the summer ? The place Thiars is a lively square dotted with dozens of restaurants and bars, and the ideal place to enjoy an evening en plein air.

About France


After an evening of imbibing, cross the harbor on an old wooden ferry – the oldest of its kind in France – to the other side, the quai du Port. Take a peek at the impressive 17th century Hotel de Ville (town hall). Walk back up towards the quai des Belges where a famous fish market takes place in the morning. From here you can enjoy the best view of the Canebière, the most famous street in the city, and the subject of a popular song.

Les Plages (the beaches) near the Prado is a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike. To walk through history, check out Le Panier, the oldest part of town. You’ll find tiny streets, steep steps and houses of every era. Also in this quarter, the Vieille Charité, a former almshouse that now functions as a museum.

And as a special honor, Marseille has been designated as one of the two cities chosen as European Capitals of Culture in 2013. Throughout that entire year, Marseille will be celebrating its unique culture through scheduled events such as exhibitions, shows and festivals.

With so much to see, you’ll want to get here fast. And with the high-speed TGV, it’s possible. There are 200 trains daily servicing Marseille at its St Charles train station. You can get here from Paris in a mere three hours, all while enjoying the changing scenery of the French countryside. And once in Marseille, the other charming towns of Provence and the Riviera await : Nice, Monaco and Aix-en-Provence – all just a short train ride away. You could even stay in Marseille taking day trips to the rest of the region.

See more of the Cote d’ Azur ? Sounds right on track to us. A France Rail Pass can help you make the most of your time in France.

One word – Bouillabaisse! Try this local speciality, a fish-based stew served with garlic and saffron sauce. The Panier area is a great place to enjoy a glass of Provençal rosé on a terrace before heading to Rue La Maronnaise for cocktails at a beachside bar.

The city centre is filled with shopping areas. You can go to Paradis, Grignan, Montgrand and Sainte street, which are semi pedestrian streets. Trendy shops are in Saint-Ferreol street. Le Cours Julien and Place Jean Jaurès are great places to pick up some interesting books, visit the colourful markets while you’re there.

_ Marseille Tourist Office
4, La Canebière, 13001 Marseille
Tel: +33 (0) 826 500 500

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Marseille station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Marseille.

Marseille city guide

Travel forum

From our travel community

Adult vs youth prices with the france rail pass (paris cdg airport-paris-dieppe-paris-aix en provence-antibes-nice (...) Hi, just wondering why the adult prices are a lot less expensive than the youth? I would like to purchase 1 Adult and two youth (children are age 13 & 10) and the youth is $75.00 more than the adult! This would be for the France only rail (...)

claudine | 15 May 2025 complete | 2 Comments
Can i exchange a reservation? If I want to take and earlier train to my destination and there is space available on the train, can I use my current reservation to take a seat on the earlier train (same destination)?

Leslie Carlseen | 12 July 2023 complete | 49 Comments
Eurail france pass. how many days for paris-strasbourg, nice-marseille-aix en provence, aix en provence-lyon, & (...) Hi,I wonder how many day Eurail France Pass I need to purchase if I want to travel every 1, 2, or 3 days in France. Furthermore, I will be traveling from (1) Paris-Strasbourg; (2) Nice - Marseille; Marseille - Aix en Provence; (3) Aix en (...)

Lennie Pau | 17 August 2014 complete | 3 Comments
What cities do the train travel to from paris I would like to go to Italy from Paris on the train. Is this possible

charlene Best | 17 August 2001 complete | 6 Comments
Bikes on trains in europe My daughter and I are cycling Europe this summer. We were hoping to sometimes be able to jump on a train between some major points to maximize our time. Specifically we want to take our bikes on the train from Vienna back to Amsterdam at the (...)

Susan | 12 June 2003 complete | 33 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Paris Marsielle Journey |
    "The train stations are neat and clean information desk people were happy to help and the trains were clean even though the trains were no smoking trains some people did smoke inside toilet and sprayed deodorants inside.The station announcement were only in french would be better atleast 2 language preferably English for Asian people. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Arles to Hyeres  |
    "Went to Hyeres from Arles, with a change of trains in Marseille. Fine weather and it all worked very well. Trains were on time and not to many people onboard. Traveled in the beginning of October "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Comfort and convenience  |
    "Great experience and comfortable ..will do moire rail travel in my next trip. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Good but beware of thieves |
    "I was extremely happy with the whole process, I dont really speak French, but found the booking process was smooth and clear and easy to understand. I had all information and didnt have to seek help at the train stations. The trains were clean and comfortable and the staff on the platform were helpful. However, I think the carriages could be better labelled, and the security improved as I had things from my luggage stolen while on the train. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Very bad services  |
    "Irresponbile for my request for documentary proof of train service disruption and refund of appropriate of fare due to disruption of train service and continue the journey but by coach. "

  • Excellent |
    "The trip was excellent, without any problem, everything on time, and very comfortable, cheaper than a plane in the same total time "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Marseille to Paris - pleasure ! |
    "First trip for me on the TGV. On time. Clean. Fast. Comfortable. I really enjoyed my trip and only wish we had this train service in the USA ! Will definitely ride again. Thanks. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Go rail in Europe |
    "The TGV is undoubtedly the best way to see Europe within a limited time frame. The punctuality is impeccable . However having said that it is important that one has to be careful of the connecting trains that connect to the TGV . In case the connecting trains are delayed TGV has no allowance on the departure time. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Luggage bin too small |
    "It was fast but there were just too many stops on the way to Marseille. The luggage storage was too small for the number of passengers in the coach, especially with some travellers who have big suitcases. "

  • Convenience
    Good experience |
    "As always europe trains are on time ! "

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