MARSEILLE - GETTING AROUND
The public transportation system, Transports de Marseille RTM, is comprised of 2 underground railway lines (Metro), 2 tram lines and 74 bus lines. Metro lines 1 and 2 both stop at the main train station, Gare St-Charles, place Victor Hugo. Line 1 makes a U-shaped circuit from the suburbs into the city and back again; Line 2 runs north and south in the downtown area.
Individual tickets cost about €1.50 and are valid on the Metro, tram, and bus lines for up to 60 minutes after the first boarding. If you plan to take public transport several times during your visit, it is best to buy a multi-journey ticket (costs about €13.60 for 10 trips) or a daily ticket (costs about €5.20) or a 72-hour ticket (costs about €10.80). Valid for an unlimited number of trips, on the RTM network: bus, metro, tramway, ferry boat (excluding sea shuttles) and on the Transmétropole network.
The metro service runs until 1am all through the week. Some bus and tram routes run until midnight or 1am.By Boat
A Ferry Boat crosses the Old Harbor (Vieux Port), which takes around 5 minutes to cross the width of the port. Departs from quai du Port outside Town Hall between 8am and 5pm. Several other ferries propose connections with L`Estaque, Les Goudes, La Pointe-Rouge and Le Frioul. Also, there are several companies proposing boat tours of the Calanque, mini-cruises, etc. from Old Port.By Car
It is recommended to avoid taking your car, if at all possible, because parking, safety, and traffic can be very problematic. Your best bet is to park in a parking garage and rely on public transportation.
On Street Parking: Paid parking applies on Monday - Saturday from 9 am - 7 pm (not on Sundays and holidays). In the city center, the maximum parking is 4 hours except for the busy shopping streets where a maximum of 2 hours is permitted. In the rest of the city, the maximum duration is 4 hours. Inner city street parking is about €1.50 for the first hour, up to about €8 for 4 hours. Outside the city rates are around €1.50 for the first hour, up to about €6 for 4 hours.
Unlimited parking is set to parking garages in the city center. Parking rates in public parking lots start around €1.50 for the first hour, daily maximums are between €15 - €20. For more information on parking lots and hourly fees, visit: www.parking-public.fr.
If you need a taxi in Marseille there is a single number to call: 0811 46 90 90. From this number you can order a taxi from any one of Marseille`s taxi ranks (the service is offered in English). The two main taxi companies, Taxi Radio Marseille and Taxis Marseillais, both have a smartphone app.By Pousse-Pousse or Tuk-Tuk
The pousse-pousse, an electric-assisted bicycle taxi, accommodates up to three passengers, and the little Asian-style tuk-tuk. Various itineraries are offered, including the Old Town or Panier and commentaries are in French and English. More information on these can be found at the tourist office.By Walking
Walking is a great way to see the city and take in the atmosphere. Neighborhoods are easy to navigate on foot. However, unless you are an avid walker, you may want to rely on either the Metro or the tramway to get around.
Marseille Provence Greeters offer free walking tours of the city, organized by theme and hosted by locals. You can also follow a self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions by downloading the `Marseille Map and Walks` app. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to the next. The tourist center also has maps to provide great walking tour options.By Bicycle
The`le velo` bicycle hire (en.levelo-mpm.fr) allows you to pick up one of the city`s 1,000 rent-a-bikes at one of its 130 bike racks and park it at any of them at the end of your ride. Biking can be rather dangerous in the city because there are basically no cycle paths and the few that are there are usually filled with pedestrians or parked cars. There is a hefty deposit of about €150 which will be charged if you don`t return the bike properly. The rental is quite cheap, about €1 per hour, and the first half hour is free.
You will also find various companies offering bicycle, electric bike, electric scooter and Segway rentals and/or guided tours of Marseille on their vehicles.
Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, Marseille`s HoHo tourist bus, covers a large circuit that takes in most of the main tourist sites. It runs about every 30 minutes throughout the summer (less frequently in the winter months) and has an earphone commentary in eight languages, including English. You can board at any of the 14 stops and buy tickets on the bus itself, at the tourist office, or on the HoHo website, which also has the bus timetables and route map.By Petit Train
The Petit train (little tourist train) is a fun toy-town choo-choo painted vehicle that leaves from the Old Port. It offers two routes: up to Notre Dame de la Garde and through the Panier (Old Town). It is by far the best mode of transport around the steep and narrow streets.
The train to Notre Dame runs every 20 minutes in the summer and every 40 minutes in the winter. The ride lasts around 80 minutes, including a 30 minute stop at the church. The train to the Old Town runs every 30 minutes from April to December only and also stops at the docks, the MuCEM and the huge Terrasses du Port shopping mall. A third train runs from Port Ratonneau to the Hospital Caroline in July and August only.
The city pass is perfect if you plan to visit more than a few of Marseille`s sites and museums; purchase a 1-day (about €24), 2-day (€31), or 3-day (€39) pass. The pass includes admission to many tourism and cultural services: free access to museums, boat crossing and guided tour of the famous Château d`If, tourist train tour to Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, and free access to public transportation (bus, metro, tramway). The pass also includes free tastings at various artisanal shops, discounts at a selection of citywide boutiques, and more. Kid passes are also available.