LivingTravelBarcelona to Marseille by train, bus and car

Barcelona to Marseille by train, bus and car

Marseille is a city in the south of France, nestled between Montpellier and Nice. It’s a five-hour drive from Barcelona in Spain, making it an easy weekend getaway. The bustling port city is the second largest city in France, behind Paris, and it is also the oldest city in the country, dating back 2,600 years. Due to its long past, there are many historical sites to see, from Roman ruins and medieval churches to opulent palaces. The city is famous for being the place where bouillabaisse (French seafood stew) originated.

You can’t visit it without trying this fresh fish dish for yourself.

Train ride

The AVE train from Barcelona to Marseille takes about four and a half hours in total. Barcelona has some of the best railways in the country, making trains a better (and faster) option than buses or cars. The high-speed AVE train, operated by RENFE, is also affordable and extremely easy for foreigners to navigate.

Travel by bus

There are three buses a day from Barcelona to Marseille. The journey takes about seven hours with the many stops the bus takes along the way. Buses from Barcelona to Marseille depart from the Sants and Nord bus stations. ALSA is the most popular bus company in Spain, however, Movelia and Avanza are also reliable options, if you choose to go that route.

Traveling by car

The 500-kilometer (or 310-mile) journey from Barcelona to Marseille takes about five hours, traveling mainly on the AP-7 and A9 highways throughout southern Spain and across the border into France. Note that AP roads have tolls, so it is best to bring a few euros in cash and coins to pay during your road trip. If you are not from Spain, do not worry, it is still very easy to rent a car for the unit. Also, major car rental companies like Hertz, Budget, National, and Alamo are almost always available, especially if you pick you up at the airport.


Recommended stops along the way

Although there are many beautiful coastal towns along this route, consider spending time in Figueres. Just 90 minutes from Barcelona (near the Spanish-French border), Figueres is a perfect village known for its Salvador Dalí Museum.

Getting around Marseille

Once you arrive in Marseille, public transport within the city is easy to manage for those who want to take the bus or train. There are many bus routes, as well as two metro lines and two trams operated by RTM, all of which are cheap and easy to figure out (even if you don’t speak French). You can buy a public transport pass at any metro or bus station in Marseille, and that ticket works for the bus, metro, and tram. If you choose to buy an individual ticket, remember that it can only be used for one hour before it expires.

For those staying in Marseille longer, it would be wise to purchase a one-week pass that is valid for seven days and only costs about $ 15.

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