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Marseilles solo

by razella Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Has anyone traveled solo to Marseilles? And, what is the simplest way to travel outside of Marseilles without a car?

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16 Answers
  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Marseille has excellent train service and there are local buses. It depends on where you want to travel. We've stayed in the area often but not visited Marseille so I can't give you advice there. Here's the French train web site and you can check connections to places that interest you. Also, be patient, I'm sure you'll get many more answers but VT spans all the world time zones so sometimes it takes a while to get the answers. While you wait, you can type Marseille into the VT Search Window above and see what members have already written about the city. There will be photos, things to do, hotels, restaurants, transportation advice and outside web links to help you. When the answers start coming in, click on the names of the people who answer you and then you can check their Travel Pages on Marseille. The search function is one of the strong points of Virtual Tourist and looking at the photos is also lots of fun.

    Here's the French rail web site. http://www.sncf.fr/

    Here is one of the bus web sites but I don't know if it is comprehensive. You might want to Google it until you hear from other VT members . . . or check their Travel Pages for Transportation Tips. http://www.regionpaca.fr/

    Enjoy.

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by johngayton Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    It's been quite a few years since I've been to Marseilles but I recall getting off the train at St Charles and finding it a bit of a culture shock - I thought I'd arived in Istanbul. I hadn't even booked a hotel and so just wandered until one looked as if it would suit.

    Then it was all fun. No problems with my naff French. Some excellent meals and very friendly locals.

    No up-to-date info though as this was over ten years ago.

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  • Re: Marseilles solo

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I have travelled and lived in that region solo for a long time, if you speak some French - and even if you don't - it shouldn't be any more of a problem than anywhere else, with the typical big city street wise advice - For train schedules the site is www.voyages-sncf.fr - There are all kinds of trains all the time to the lovely cities around there, Arles, Aix, etc. As for seeing some of the country, the villages etc, that is trickier but there should be a few buses here and there. Do your research, decide what you want to see, and then search for the bus info, which is generally online in France now (finally) - And once there, of course, you can inquire too. Marseille is a major train, boat (Corsica for instance) and air hub, and thus an excellent base for travel, if not always as elegant as the surrounding towns.

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  • alza's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by alza Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Bonjour Gizella,

    I travelled to/around Marseilles a few times, last one around 2004. Usually by car but also by train. Here's a link to website Marseilles Tourism/Access, showing all transports by air, sea, train and road, including Station addresses and taxi companies.

    I bought a good Géo featuring Marseilles last year, will try to find it and see if Transports out of Marseilles are mentioned. Will get back if I find more info.

    Bon voyage!

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  • alza's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by alza Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    oops, forgot the link! Désolée! Here it is:

    marseille-tourisme.com/en/pr...

    2 members found this helpful

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    alza, That's a really good web site. Thanks.

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  • alza's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by alza Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    thank you Beausoleil!

    by the way, Gizella, my Geo magazine was strictly on the Calanques de Marseille (rocky seaside formations), which it says are best reached or appreciated from the sea, by boat. But the Calanques have terrific walking trails!
    I was thinking of another magazine, French National Geographic special of March 2012 on "Marseille, capitale de la diversité". The article focusses on the many ethnic groups that make up Marseille today, indeed that always made up Marseille. Nothing specifically about transports but it does say:
    "A remarkable public transport system allows everyone to reach the beaches from anywhere in Marseille in less than 45 minutes."

    I think Marseille with an "s" is mostly used in English but I could be wrong. :) Just that I noticed in the two French magazines that Marseille is spelled without an "s". Easily found anyway! :)

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  • maykal's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by maykal Online Now Mar 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I spent a few days on my own in Marseille last summer and really enjoyed the city. It's one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2013, so it should be a good year to visit with a lot going on. I saw the city being spruced up in preparation for the big year, so a lot of the city was under scaffolding or behind fences...that should all be gone now, and the Vieux Port should be fully accessible to pedestrians again. Here's a link to find out what special events are going on: marseillecityofculture.eu/ca...

    There's quite a lot to see, if you're into big cities...the Vieux Port, the old Panier quarter, Notre Dame de la Garde on a hill with fantastic views over the city, the Marche des Capucins around Noailles and Belsunce, the trendy Cours Julien quarter, the long Corniche, and the fishing village-like Vallon des Auffes...as long as it isn't too hot, it's a good city for walking. There's also a bicycle hire system, with pick up and drop off points every few hundred metres...if you can read French, you can find out how it works here: http://www.levelo-mpm.fr/

    As others have said, it's a major transport hub with good links to the surrounding area.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by gwened Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Marseille is up and coming with lots of renovations and new things due to been European Cultural Capital for 2013. plenty to see and do in city,and lovely hub to sightseeing around towns such as the Calanques. The train station St Charles is fantastic building and walking distance to the vieux port (at least for me), on the back of it on the steps you can see on clear day the notre dame de Moont church on cours julian.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by gwened Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    ahh the train station connects with many nice town along the coast try the TER site as it has more local schedules it will revert to sncf for payment of tickets online if you use the TGV trains for the local trains no need to purchase in advance,on site is ok.
    i have it on recherche of itineraries in french but not hard to navigate many have use it already
    ter-sncf.com/Regions/paca/Fr...

    right next to the train station is the bus terminal and you can take buses to other towns from there easily again in FRench , you have at the bottom buses Cartreize that takes you to aix-en-provence, martigues etc, and LER to Nice, Gap, etc

    international lines on eurolines,and navette train station to airport as well. hope it helps if need specifics let me know
    rtm.fr/guide-voyageur/se-dep...

    hope it helps

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  • razella's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by razella Online Now May 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Thanks Alza...a very useful and well-done site!

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  • razella's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by razella Online Now May 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Thank you everyone for your prompt answers. I rarely check Virtual Tourist so forgive me if I haven't thanked you before this!

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by gwened Online Now May 29, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Enjoy Marseille and its regioni. Or have you been yet?

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  • razella's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by razella Online Now Jun 30, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    I'm leaving for Marseilles July 3rd

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  • Re: Marseilles solo

    by jeanfinney Online Now Jun 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    There are trains and buses, this has been previously discussed not too long ago, just look through the Marseille forum....

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Marseilles solo

    by gwened Online Now Jun 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    razella wrote:
    I'm leaving for Marseilles July 3rd

     enjoy it then ,nice weather now closer to 27C and sunny daytime.  cheers

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