Once considered to be one of the most important trade ports in France, Marsielle is a gorgeous city in Southern France nestled against the Mediterranean Sea. As France’s third largest metropolitan area, Marsielle offers something for every traveler, from locally owned clothing shops, sandy beaches, local cuisine, and freshly caught fish sold daily in a historic port.
Arriving at Marseille Airport
The Marseille airport is the fourth busiest airport in France, serving primarily foot traffic, so depending on the time of year you travel it can be quite busy. Therefore it is best to arrive early to your departing flight.
There are car parks in the airport that you should be able to find pretty easily after picking up your luggage, making your car rental an easy experience. Many travelers have positive reviews for Hertz, and Eurocar as their rental company.
The airport itself is easy to navigate with terminals within walking distance. If there is extra time before a flight the Marseille airport offers shopping and dinning options to help pass the time.
Since Marseille is quite large and surrounded by beautiful landscapes, renting a car is a great way to ensure you see everything during your trip. If you choose to rent a car the airport is roughly 27 km (17 miles) from the city of Marseille.
If car rental is not the best option for you, there is a shuttle from the airport to the city center every twenty minutes.
Driving in Marseille
The city center of Marseille is busy and can be confusing, so if you’re not comfortable driving in big cities you should probably see the city center by foot. Other than the city center, the rest of Marseille is easy to navigate and even new drivers should have no problems.
Due to the population density parking can be difficult, there is a free app to help you find a parking space though. The app urleaving will help you save time by locating available parking spaces, eliminating time wasted circling your destination looking for a spot to park.
Driving tips for Marseille
- There is a no tolerance policy in effect. Meaning your one glass of wine will take you over the 0.02% limit.
- Earpieces are prohibited when driving or biking.
- Cell phones are prohibited while driving or biking.
- Many travelers have mentioned radar speed traps, so be cautious.
- Kids must be at least ten to sit in the front seat of a vehicle.
Things to do in Marseille
- Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde– The 1km hike from Vieux Port is well worth it. However, if you choose to skip the hike there are tours or you can catch bus 60 to the top. Once there, the views of the historical Romano-Byzantine Basilique are breathtaking.
- Old Port– Vieux Port or the Old Port, is a lovely historical site surrounded by two forts. A very relaxing place to stroll through, with bits of culture and history in every step.
- Wine Tour– When traveling to France you can’t miss going on a wine tour. Spend an afternoon with wonderful people, seeing beautiful local vineyards while enjoying hand crafted local wine.
Best Places to eat in Marseille
- Le Citronnier– 2 Rue Elemir Bourges, 13004 Marseille, France. A reasonably priced restaurant with great reviews on food, atmosphere and service.
- La Boone Mere– 16 Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13006 Marseille, France. Fresh ingredients and handmade thin crust pizza make this hidden gem a must. There are only about 3 tables so show up early. The pizza here is affordable and as fresh as they come, take out service is also available.
- L’Epuisette– Vallon des Auffes, 13007 Marseille, France. In a beautiful location overlooking the port, reviews have claimed this to be a wonderful place to grab a bite. They also warn to take a taxi because the restaurant can be tricky to find.