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Marseille is the second most populated city of France. From colourful markets that will make you feel like you are in Africa, to the Calanques, from the Panier area to the old harbor and the Corniche - Marseille has definitely a lot to offer.
Marseille-Provence International Airport (MRS) is located about 30km from Marseille. Buses, taxis and now train connect in less than 30 minutes. Shuttle services from other European cities have made more places available from Marseille.
The main train station is Marseille St. Charles. It is well-linked to the rest of the city, as the two subway lines and many buses stop there. It is a short walk away from the Canebière and the Old Port.
From Barcelona, there is a connection to Cerbère, from which there are regular trains to Marseille; also a night train.
Eurolines has many connections all over Europe. From Marseille there are at least direct connections to Barcelona, Prague and Tangier. The bus station is next to the main train station, the St. Charles Station at Rue Honnorat. You get access through Platform N in the train station.
Marseille is very well connected to most French cities through numerous highways. As always in France those highways are expensive but practical, comfortable and fast. Marseille is around 8 hours from Paris by car, 2 hours from Nice, 1h30 from Montpellier, 4 hours from Toulouse and 3 hours from Lyon.
Marseille has a big harbour. There are direct ferry routes from Marseille to Ajaccio, Bastia, Porto Torres, Porto Vecchio and Propriano. There are several piers at the harbour, so it is advisable to check well in advance from which pier you are departing.
By bus, tram and underground
Marseille is served by a relatively good public transport system, the Régie des Transports de Marseille RTM comprising 2 underground railway lines (métro), 2 tram lines and 74 bus lines.
What to see
The old harbour: watching fishermen selling their stock by auction is a must. Arriving to Marseille in the Vieux-Port on a summer evening is something you will never forget.
MuCEM, the 2013-opened Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is now famous for its unique architecture and intergration with the Fort Saint-Jean, castle which is now a free part of the museum, acting as a park in the city with breathtaking views.
Notre Dame de la Garde: the big church which overlooks the city. Old fishermen used to have their boats blessed in this church. You can still see many boat models hanging around in the church.
Musée d'Archéologie méditerranéenne, Centre de la Vieille Charité, 2 Rue de la Charité, 13002 Marseille.
la Corniche: a walkway and a road by the sea that provides lovely views of the sea, the Chateau d'If to the south, and les Calanques to the east. Vallon des Auffes, small pitoresque port under a viaduc, is particularly remarquable.
Boulevard Longchamp and Palais Longchamp. From the Réformé church you can follow the Boulevard Longchamp where you can see nice example of old upper-class buildings to arrive to Palais Longchamp.
The palais is worth visiting though it won't take you long. You can visit the "musee des beaux arts" as well as the natural history museum.
Parc Borély. A large and great park, 300 meters from the sea. After a siesta in the park go have a drink at Escale Borely to see the sunset.
Le Panier. Panier means basket in French, but in Marseille it is the name of the oldest area of the town. In the middle of this area there is the Vielle Charité, a wonderful old monument, now hosting museums and exhibitions.
Several beaches exist in Marseille. The most typical are Catalans, Prophètes, Pointe-Rouge and Corbières. However, after a big rain, some of them might be polluted and then closed.
Outside of town
The Calanques are a series of miniature fjords to the south of Marseille near Cassis. From Marseille these are best accessed from the University campus at Luminy which can be reached by bus.
The Château d'If The Château d'If is built small island off the city, initially as a defensive structure and was later used a prison. It is most famous for its place in the novel The Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Tourist boats leave from the Vieux Port.
Old Port with lots of bars and pubs (particularly on the southern side and on Cours d'Estienne d'Orves - Marengo, Polikarpov, Barberousse, Hard Rock Café)
La Plaine/Cours Julien with numerous alternative and underground bars (E-wine, Bar du marché, Petit-Nice, Intermédiaire, Asile 404, Molotov)
La Joliette/J4 with trendy chic new bars and clubs (Palais de la Major, Casa Pietra, White Rabbit).