Getting around Marseille
The Régie des Transports de Marseille (RTM) provides public transport throughout the city and some of the suburbs. There are two metro lines (blue and red), over 80 bus lines and three tram lines. See the RTM website for timetables (www.rtm.fr).
You can buy tickets in any metro station, at the RTM office on 6 rue des Fabres, or at any shop displaying the RTM sign (blue on white) in their window. One-day and three-day passes are available. There are also weekly passes and various money-saving cards for groups (ask for more information at any station). Tickets have to be validated, or you might incur an on-the-spot fine. You can travel on the same ticket for up to one hour. You can save money by using a reloadable TRANSPASS card.
Major taxi providers in Marseille include Taxi Radio Marseille (tel: +33 4 9102 2020) and Taxi Tupp Radio (tel: +33 4 9105 8080). Tips are welcome but not expected.
Driving in Marseille (as anywhere else in the south) can be a nerve-racking experience – drivers do not always abide by the Highway Code and have their own take on the right of way. The use of the horn is also popular. Try to take it all in your stride if you are behind the wheel – getting angry is generally counterproductive.
Parking in Marseille has always been a problem, especially in those neighbourhoods where narrow streets are the norm, and over the past few years this has become even more of a headache, so the advice is to leave the car behind if you can. The city centre is compact enough to explore on foot (although you should be aware that popular sightseeing districts such as Le Panier involve some fairly steep slopes), and public transport links are good
The minimum age to hire a car in Marseille varies from 21 to 25 years. Drivers must possess a national driving licence, which they must have held for at least one year. Third-party insurance is mandatory for driving in France and this should be covered in the hire price. Additional insurance is optional.
Providers in the city centre (gare SNCF St Charles, 1e) include Avis (tel: +33 820 611 636; www.avis.fr), Europcar (tel: +33 825 825 680; www.europcar.fr) and Hertz (tel: +33 4 9105 5120; www.hertz.com). All of the above also have desks at the airport.
Bikes are available for hire from Marseille's bikeshare scheme, le vélo (tel: +33 1 3079 2913; www.levelo-mpm.fr). Self-service stations are dotted across the city, with seven-day memberships available. The first half-hour of any journey is free.