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Today, we’re going to learn how to travel from Paris to Marseille!
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, but I think it is important to get outside of Paris and visit other cities in France. Lucky for you, it is super easy to travel within France.
Paris and Marseille are quite a ways away from one another, and it may seem at first glance that it isn’t easy to travel from Paris to Marseille.
That isn’t the case at all.
Technically, you can take the bus, train, or fly to Marseille from Paris. However, the only real option is taking the train.
It takes significantly less time than the bus and is realistically quicker than flying as well.
I don’t recommend visiting Marseille on a day trip from Paris because it is too far away, but it is the perfect place to visit on a weekend trip!
Before We Get Started
I personally hate figuring out how to travel from one city to another. I find it tedious.
That’s why I enjoy writing these guides for you so much! Hopefully I make your planning process a little bit easier by giving you all the information you need in one handy place.
If you’re planning a trip through France, these posts might be useful to you:
Option One: Taking the Train from Paris to Marseille
Without a doubt the best way to travel from Paris to Marseille is to take the train. It is the quickest and most convenient way to travel between the two cities.
Plus you get to ride on a high-speed train, and that’s always super fun.
How Long Does the Train from Paris to Marseille Take?
The train ride to Marseille from Paris takes just under 3.5 hours.
That’s pretty quick considering you’re travelling almost 800km!
How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?
It is a bit tricky to tell you how much you’ll pay for a train ticket to Marseille from Paris.
The price depends a lot on when you travel, what day of the week you travel, and how far in advance you book your ticket.
In general, you can expect to pay between €130 and €200 each way. That’s about $135USD to $260USD.
Of course, you could end up paying much less and could pay much more.
France has an annoying train system where ticket prices increase based on how close your departure date is.
The further in advance you book your ticket, the less you pay.
You can book your ticket up to three months in advance, and I highly recommend you book your ticket as close to three months in advance as possible.
Otherwise you’ll be stuck paying an absurd amount for your ticket. Or you wont’ be able to visit Marseille at all because the ticket is out of your budget.
Booking a ticket for off-peak hours on a weekday will also result in a cheaper fare. Travelling during peak times on a weekend will cost you a pretty penny.
Where to Purchase Train Tickets
There are two ways you can purchase your train tickets:
- Online in advance
- At the train station
Without a doubt the best way to purchase your ticket is online in advance.
It can be purchased through the SNCF website. They accept foreign credit cards, and the website is extremely easy to use.
Before you purchase your ticket, read the ticket page closely to see whether or not you need to print your ticket or if an electronic ticket is sufficient.
If you don’t have the ability to print your ticket before your departure, do not choose a ticket where you’re required to print it.
Be sure to choose a ticket where an electronic version is accepted.
It is super easy to miss on the website whether you need a hard copy of your ticket or not, but you need to remember to check that.
You don’t want to show up at the train station with an electronic ticket only if you need a physical one!
That’s a headache you don’t want to deal with!
Your other option is to purchase your ticket at the train station.
This will most likely result in you paying more for your ticket because you’re buying it closer to the departure date, but it is a great option for people who don’t want to pay with a credit card online or want to be spontaneous.
At the train station, you can either purchase your ticket with a ticket agent or at a ticket machine.
Just be sure you go to a machine that says SNCF on it.
That is the only ticket machine that will sell you a train ticket from Paris to Marseille. The other ticket booths are for the Paris metro system.
Where Does the Train Depart from in Paris?
The train from Paris to Marseille departs from Gare de Lyon.
Gare de Lyon is one of six major train station in Paris. It is extremely large, and you want to give yourself plenty of time to find your departure platform.
There is a metro station connected to Gare de Lyon, which is quite convenient.
However, it is quite a long walk from the metro station to the train station, and people tend to get lost during the walk.
I suggest giving yourself at least 10 minutes to walk from the metro station to the train station.
Where Does the Train Arrive at in Marseille?
The train arrives at Saint-Charles train station in Marseille.
The train station is a little less than 2km outside the city centre.
The walk from the train station to the city centre takes less than 30 minutes and is super easy.
If you’re not keen on walking, you can take a bus, tram, or metro!
Overall, the arrival location is very convenient.
Advantages of Taking the Train from Paris to Marseille
- The quickest way to travel between the two cities
- Is relatively inexpensive
- Convenient arrival and departure locations
Disadvantages of Taking the Train from Paris to Marseille
- Have to book your ticket far in advance to get a good price
- Limited luggage storage options
- Only a couple of departure times per day
Option Two: Taking the Bus from Paris to Marseille
The next you can travel from Paris to Marseille is by bus.
This isn’t terribly desirable since it takes an extremely long time. I only recommend this option for people on a very tight budget that are travelling around France for a long time.
If you’re on a short holiday, you don’t want to waste an entire day taking the bus to Marseille from Paris.
How Long Does the Bus from Paris to Marseille Take?
The bus trip to Marseille takes almost 10.5 hours. It can even take upwards of 12 hours depending on the time of day and traffic.
That’s a very long time to be stuck on a bus, and it eats up an entire day.
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
A bus ticket is significantly cheaper than a train ticket, which is why it is a good option for budget travellers.
On average, a bus ticket will cost you between €25 and €55! That’s approximately $30USD to $65USD.
That’s way more reasonable than a train ticket, but you also have to factor in the cost of your time since the travel time is significantly longer.
Where to Purchase Bus Tickets
Just like the train, you can either purchase your tickets online in advance or in person at the bus station.
Buses don’t fill up nearly as quickly as the train, so you don’t have to worry about buying your ticket too far in advance.
Buses also don’t charge you more for your ticket the closer to the day of departure you purchase it.
You can show up at the bus station and purchase a ticket for the next bus, and it’ll cost you the same as someone buying a ticket online in advance.
If I purchase bus tickets online in advance, I like to use the website Omio. They have great prices and are super easy to use.
But, realistically, you can check the timetable online in advance and just show up at the bus station and buy your ticket on the same day.
Just be sure you arrive at the bus station 30 or so minutes early, so you can find the ticket window, buy snacks, and not be rushed if there is a queue.
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Paris?
Buses from Paris to Lille depart from Bercy Seine Station.
The nearest metro station to the bus station is Cour Saint Émilion, and it is less than a five-minute walk away.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Marseille?
The bus arrives at Saint-Charles station, which is the same location the train arrives at.
Again, this is a very convenient arrival location, and there are plenty of cheap public transportation options that quickly take you into the city centre.
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Paris to Marseille
- Very inexpensive
- Don’t have to book tickets in advance
- Guaranteed luggage storage under the bus
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Paris to Marseille
- It takes a very long time
- Not easy to walk around and stretch your legs
- Departure point less convenient than the train
Option Three: Flying from Paris to Marseille
Your last option is to fly from Paris to Marseille.
I don’t recommend this option. Once you factor in the time it takes to get to and from the airport, checking into your flight, going through security, and collecting your baggage, it ends up taking longer than the train.
It also tends to be more expensive than the train.
The only time I see flying from Paris to Marseille as a decent option is if you land in Paris and immediately catch a flight to Marseille without leaving the airport.
If you are already in central Paris, it is definitely a better option to take the train.
Even though Paris and Marseille are on opposite sides of the country, it is extremely easy to travel between the two cities.
France has a wonderful train system that makes it super easy to travel long distances in a short period of time.
The only downside is it can be expensive to travel from Paris to Marseille, and you can’t do it in a day trip.
But, it is a great entry point to southern France if you want to explore that region (which you definitely should!).