Marseille-Saint-Charles train station is Marseille’s main railway station, and it’s also the intercity bus station. It is located close to the city centre, and around 2 km from the Old Port. Opened in 1848, it is perched on a small hill, with a grand set of stairs linking it to the city. Over a hundred trains pass by the 16 platforms each day, offering intercity, regional, high-speed TGV, and international Eurostar services. Around 15 million passengers make their way through the station every year! Paris to Marseille-Saint-Charles is a journey of around 3h20mins, or a trip from Lyon takes about 1h45mins, whilst from Avignon the journey can be as short as 55 minutes. When leaving the station, passengers can simply exit down the staircase to walk towards the city centre. Buses, the metro and a tram offer services to reach the different districts of Marseille, and anyone wanting to head on to the airport will find both train and bus options right from the station, taking as little as 25 minutes.
After leaving Marseille-Saint-Charles train station, in under a 15-minute walk, visitors can be in the centre exploring the city’s rich past. Amongst the many treasures on show at the Musée d’Histoire de Marseille, the hull of a ship from the 2nd century (which is one of the best preserved in the world) can be admired. Just a further 5-minute walk will lead to the city’s charming Old Port. This picturesque harbour is worth strolling along in order to take in the many ships and yachts docked there. Those seeking a taste of the freshly-caught fish from the harbour should take the opportunity to eat at one of the local restaurants. Visitors can sample typical dishes like Bouillabaisse (a fish stew), Daube (a rustic beef stew), Pistou soup (made with garlic and basil), or an assortment of seafood.
It’s also worth taking some time to weave in and out of the typical alleys surrounding the neighbourhood, which are scattered with craft shops that are ideal for finding a souvenir or local products to purchase. Anyone whose fascination for port life has been suitably sparked will enjoy a visit to the Musée de la Marine, just a 2-minute walk from the port. Other notable buildings in the area include the opera house, a structure from the 1920s with large stone columns, and the town hall, which faces the sea. Less than a 10-minute walk west from the station, travellers can also see Porte d'Aix — an original entry point to the city, with its classical design inspired by the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire.
Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, s/n, 28045 – Madrid
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