Getting Around Marseille
The best way to get around Marseille is on foot, since most of the neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly and easy to navigate. However, the metro and tram lines are fast, affordable and efficient ways of getting around, too. Driving around the city, however, is not recommended, since parking can be a hassle. Taxis (or Uber) are another option, but fares can add up quickly. The city's bike-sharing program is a transportation option as well.
To reach Marseille, visitors usually fly into the Marseille-Provence Airport (MRS), located less than 20 miles northwest of the city. To traverse the distance between the airport and Marseille, visitors can hop aboard a shuttle bus, which costs 8.30 euros (about $10) for a one-way fare, or rent a car. Taxis from the airport to the city center cost 50 euros (about $60) during the day and 60 euros (approximately $72) at night.
Marseille is very walkable. In fact, some of its neighborhoods, including Vieux Port and Le Panier, are best experienced on foot. Plus, if you buy the City-Pass, a walking tour of the city is included in the price.
Cycling is a pleasant and cost-efficient way of getting around Marseille, and the city's bike-sharing program, Le Vélo, makes it easy. Travelers can sign-up online for just 1 euro, a little more than $1, and can access the bikes as many times as they want within a seven-day period. The first 30 minutes of each ride is free. There are bike stations all over the city, and visitors can check the website to find how many available bikes each station contains. Keep in mind that visitors who have the City-Pass get the first hour of each ride free.
Travel experts recommend that visitors rely on other modes of transportation in Marseille since parking can be tricky. But if you want to rent a car to travel up and down the coast, you can rent vehicles near the airport. Just know that parking will likely be a hassle. You can reserve your parking in advance through OPnGO, a website and app that allows you to reserve and pay for parking spaces in various destinations, including Marseille. Though an international driving permit is not required, especially if you're staying less than 90 days, it is recommended.
Marseille's public transportation system is called Régie des Transports Métropolitains – or RTM, for short – and includes a two-line metro system, a few tramway lines and a network of buses. The metro's M2 line, which travels north to south through downtown Marseille, as well as the tram's T2 and T3 lines, which arcs through downtown as well, tend to be some of the most convenient for travelers.
A one-way ticket on metro, tram or bus will cost 1.60 euros (about $1.90), but if you plan on using public transportation more frequently, it makes sense to buy the TransPass rechargeable card or a City-Pass, which offers unlimited trips and is sold in 24-, 48- and 72-hour increments.
Visitors can hail a taxi via Uber or they can go to any of the 85 taxi stations spread out across Marseille.
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