Attraction spots in colorful, history-filled Marseille are scattered across the port city, and a brilliant way to see them is from an informative Marseille bus tour. A bus tour of the city provides an easy way to discover the highlights that charm lots of visitors from both far and near.
Colorbus Bus Tours
Upon visit, holidaymakers will have the chance to get a taste of the country’s second-largest city with visits to its old port, fish market. And hundreds-old churches, with full options to hop on and off. The Colorbus is the official bus tour of the city. However, there are other reasonably priced private tours to take you around Marseille as well.
The Colorbus is an open-air double-decker bus offers participants fascinating views of the city from the comfort of their seat. Their pass is useable for 1 or 2 consecutive days. Also, it allows them to hop on and hop off as they want, at any of the company’s 25 stops (2 lines). The trip guide is multilingual with personal earphones, and the tour will last for about 75 minutes.
Passes and Tickets
A Day Bus Pass Red Route
Participants can hop-on the red route and discover the gems Marseille in a unique way. A hop-on and hop-off sightseeing trip of the city is a nice way to be treated to the stunning city filled with history. Explore the Vieux-Port and immerse yourself in the city’s life with its numerous restaurants, fishermen’s shops, and fish market.
Visit the fine fishing port, Vallon des Auffes and walk alongside small boats and many seashore cabins before meandering through the colorful narrow streets. This distinct, quiet place covered by cliffs has stimulated writers and painters in creating masterpieces.
The 1-day pass also allows participants to reach the choicest attractions the city has to offer, including the impressive Notre-Dame de la Garde, located high on a hill that towers above the whole city. The Chateau d’lf is a must-visit as well. The tickets include a day bus pass for Red Route, 14 stops, Wi-Fi, and a multilingual guide.
A Day Bus Pass Blue Route
The blue route offers the chance to explore Marseille’s coastline. Participants will enjoy fantastic views of the coastline from the bus (open top deck), stop at one of the cracking beaches, and have a great time relaxing while swimming and sunbathing. They can explore the Stade Vélodrome, which is among the largest stadia in the continent. The tickets include a day bus pass for Blue Route, 11 stops, and a multilingual commentary.
2 Day Bus Pass (2 Lines)
For a duration of an hour and fifteen minutes each, the Colorbus offers 2 routes. Hop-on, hop-off the red and blue routes to take on the coastline and attraction sites like the Place aux Huiles, Vieux-Port/Mairie, Plage des Catalans, Notre Dame de la Garde, Cours d’Estienne d’Orvs, Parc Valmer, Mucem/St-Jean, etc. Tickets include an unlimited hop-on hop-off across 2 bus routes, 25 stops to discover the city, Wi-Fi, and a multilingual commentary.
The Marseille Metro, Tram and Bus Network
For those who cannot afford the bus tour of Marseille, there are cheaper alternatives like the metro, tram, and bus network. Though they do not have the comfort and luxury of the Colorbus, they offer impressive views of the inner city.
The city has two underground lines. The Blue line, M1, courses from the east to west and back in a wide loop. The M2, red lines go through north to south. The red and blue lines have stops at Marseille Saint Charles, the major train station, and they also link the south at Castellane.
They intersect by a network of three tram lines and more than50 bus routes. To reach L’Estaque, visitors can take any of the trains at Saint Charles station towards Miramas. The train system is cheap, clean, fully integrated and regular, and air-conditioned. You cannot be lost as announcements are made in English too.
Throughout the week, the metro service stops operations at 1 am. Some tram and bus routes operate until midnight-1am too. And for those who are differently-abled, they will find the public transport system friendly. For example, the trams and petit train, the ferryboat, boat terminal, and boat shuttles along the coast are wheelchair friendly. However, some buses are not so.
Some of the city’s metro stations are equipped with an elevator. But there are escalators which are usually out of service. Few stations in Marseille have stairs only, and anyone with a heavy luggage and shopping trolley will find movement in the metro hard. The city transport website has information on the stations that have escalators and elevators and the ones that are not operating.
The Marseille Transport Authority (RTM) provides an impressive array of tariffs and tickets; the RTM website contains information about this. Un ticket solo (single-journey ticket) can be bought while on the buses, at the metro machines and tramway stops, or from an accredited ticket vendor. An RTM sticker in a shop or bar window would give you the cue.
Marseille’s new tram, like a good number of urban transport systems, has cheaper tickets if you purchase them beforehand. In addition, one can save some a little by recharging any of the cards as soon as they are empty travels, but Un ticket solo gives a chance for multiple travels for an hour but with only one metro journey. If you will be taking a two-journey ticket, it offers the exact rate but per trip.
A slightly cheaper option is the Carte 10 Voyages that offers ten trips. Different people can use the same card while traveling together. It is valid for either a day or 3 days.
The petit train (little tourist train) is another affordable alternative to the Colorbus bus tour of Marseille. It is a small but chic train painted in the city’s blue and white colors. Departing from the Old Port (the stop approaches the Quai du Port’s end, close to the Fort Saint-Jean), there are two routes it follows. One of the routes is through the Old Town and the other, up to the Notre Dame de la Garde.
Considering the narrow and steep nature of the streets, the petit trains are the best means of transport here. Every summer, the train leaves to Notre Dame every 20 minutes and 40 minutes during winter. Including a 30 minute stop at the cathedral, the entire ride’s duration is about 75 minutes.
Marseille Bus Tours – Summary
Visitors can catch the idyllic views of the city of Marseille on a hop on hop off sightseeing bus tour. Exploring the city at their own leisure has never been easier. And they can have many stops at the charming Notre-Dame de la Garde, the interesting Le Vallon des Auffes, the alluring La Corniche and many other places to feel the spirit of Marseille. A but tour of the city is always a worthwhile adventure.