Marseille has a metro system

Marseille Metro

Subways in France: the subway in Marseille

Marseille is one of the oldest cities in France. It was built over 2500 years ago, and is the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. With 900,000 inhabitants, Marseille is the second largest city in France, and the airport is that Aéroport Marseille Provence.


The metro in Marseille opened on November 26, 1977, with metro line 1. The Saint Charles and La Rose-Technopole de Chateau-Gombert metro stations were two of the first to go into operation. On March 11, 1978, the underground line 1 was extended with the Castellane station.

Metro line 2 opened on March 3, 1984 with the Joliette station. The next station to be built was Saint-Marguerite Dromel, which opened on February 1st, 1986. Subsequently, the Bougainville station was built and opened on February 14, 1987.

Metro line 1 was expanded to include La Timone station on September 5, 1992, and La Fourragère station was the last to be built. This was put into operation on May 5, 2010.

Subway lines and stations

The metro network in Marseille consists of two metro lines and 28 metro stations. The lines are known as Line 1 and Line 2. The following are the stations for each of the subway lines:

- Subway line 1: has the following stations: La Fourragère, Louis Armand, Saint Barnabé, La Timone, La Blancarde, Castellane, Baille, Vieux-Port - Hôtel de Ville, Estrangin - Préfecture, Saint Charles, Colbert - Hôtel de Région, Cinq Avenues Longchamp, Réformés Canebière, Saint Just - Hôtel de Département, Chartreux, La Rose, Frais Vallon, Malpassé

- Subway line 2: has the following stations: Bougainville, Désirée Clary, National, Jules Guesde, Joliette, Noailles, Saint Charles, Castellane, Notre Dame du Mont - Cours Julien, Rond Point du Prado, Périer, Sainte-Marguerite Dromel

    Below are some interesting facts about some of the subway stations:
  • a) Bougainville: located on the Ferdinand de Lesseps boulevard, near the Saint-Mauront, Crottes and Canet regions. The architects were André Mascarelli and Pierre Garnier.
  • b) Malpassé: this station is elevated. The name is derived from the region in which the station is located. Parking spaces are available here.
  • c) La Rose: This is one of the terminus of metro line 1. Parking is available here and avenue de la Rose is nearby, with a shopping center and post office.
  • d) Colbert - Hotel de Région: the platform is shaped like an island here. This station started operating on May 11, 1978, and the name comes from the nearby Hotel de Région. Interesting here is the Belsunce district with a shopping center nearby, and La place Jules-Guesde, where the Porte d'Aix, also known as the Porte Royale, a triumphal arch is to be mentioned.
  • e) Saint Charles: This is the central station of the metro in Marseille. It's one of the two stations that both subway lines stop at, and it's within a seven-story building. There are also stops for buses and other trains and other transport companies. Nearby is the Université d’Aix-Marseille, the largest francophone university and the youngest university in France. It was built by Jean Nogaro.
  • f) Estrangin - Préfecture: is located on the Préfecture des Bouches-du-Rhone. Nearby are the Saint-Ferrésol shopping center and Estrangin-Pastré square, where a flower market takes place on Mondays.
  • g) Vieux-Port - Hotel de Ville: this station has two floors, one at street level and one underground. The subway entrance, escalators and ticket offices are at street level, and the platforms are underground. This station is also shaped like an island. As interesting information it should be mentioned that she owns works of art by Pierre-Alain Hubert, and is close to the City Hall.
  • h) Castellane: this station is the second where both underground lines stop. It is located under the Plaza la Castellane. This station has two side platforms. It was built by Georges Rainant, Gabriel Carta and Roland Carta, and there are four subway entrances, all around Castellane square. Almost the entire underground station is purple, with the exception of the platforms of underground lines 1 and 2. The platform of line 1 is laid out with yellow tiles, and the platform of line 2 with white tiles. It is historically interesting that there is a fountain with an obelisk on this square, which was built around 1774.


The Marseille metro is connected to the tram, the TER Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (TER PACA) regional train, buses, ferries and ferries from Navette Maritime de Marseille. The available connections at the stations are as follows:

    Subway line 1:
  • La Fourragère: Cartreize city buses and long-distance buses
  • Louis Armand: Bus 10 and 67
  • Saint Barnabé: Bus 7, 7B, 7T, 9 and 10.
  • La Timone: Bus 12, 12B, 12S, 40, 52, 54, 72, 91 and 540.
  • La Blancarde: Bus 67, TER PACA train and T1 and T2 trams
  • Castellane: tram T3, bus 18, 19, 21, 41, 50, 54, 73, 74 and underground line 2
  • Baille: Bus 54 and 540.
  • Vieux-Port - Hôtel de Ville: Bus 31, 32, 41, 49, 55, 57, 60, 61, 70, 80, 81, 82, 82S, 83, 89, 97, 509, 518, 521, 526, 530 , 533, 535, 540, 582, and 583.
  • Estrangin - Préfecture: Bus 41, 54 and 583.
  • Saint Charles: underground line 2, bus 49, 52, 82S, 521, 533, TER PACA train, Cartreize long-distance buses, TGV high-speed train and LER bus Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur
  • Colbert - Hôtel de Région: Bus 31, 32, 70, 89, 97, 521, 526, 530, 533 and 535
  • Cinq Avenues Longchamp: trams T2, buses 6, 7, 7B, 42, 42T, 81, 509 and 582
  • Réformés Canebière: tram T2, bus 33, 34, 49, 52, 81 and 509.
  • St Just - Hôtel de Département: Bus 42, 42T, 53, 72 and 81.
  • Chartreux: Bus 42, 42T, 67 and 72.
  • La Rose: Buses B3B, 1, 1S, 2, 3, 4, 4B, 5, 11, 27, 42, 42T, 142, 142J, 143, 144, 144J, 145, and B3.
  • Frais Vallon: Bus 6, 27, 39, 42, 42T and B3.
  • Malpassé: Bus B3A, 37, 38, 39 and B3.
Image via Ingolf.
    - Subway line 2:
  • Bougainville: long-distance buses of the Cartreize B2, 25, 28, 30, 36B, 38, 70, 72 and 535
  • Désirée Clary: Bus 70, 526 and 535
  • National: Bus 88, 89 and 530
  • Jules Guesde: Bus 31, 32, 49, 70, 89, 97, 521, 526, 530, 533, 535
  • Joliette: Bus 35, 49, 55, 82 and trams T2 and T3
  • Noailles: Bus 8 and 509 and trams T1 and T2
  • Notre Dame du Mont-Cours Julien: Bus 74
  • Rond point du Prado: Bus 19, 21, 22, 22S, 23, 41, 44, 45, 72, 83 and 521.
  • Périer: Bus 19, 21, 41, 73, 74, 86 and 521.
  • Sainte-Marguerite Dromel: Bus 15, 15S, 16, 16S, 16T, 17, 24, 24B, 24T, 46, 46S, 47, 48, 48T, 73 and 518

Airport connection

The nearest metro station to reach the Aéroport Marseille Provence airport is Saint Charles. To get to this subway station from the airport, you have to get on the bus towards Navette Aeroport - Gare Saint Charles. The ticket costs € 8.50 and the journey takes about 30 minutes. This bus runs every 20 minutes.


    1) Departure times every minute:
  • 1.1) Monday to Friday: every 4, 5 or 6 minutes.
  • 1.2) Saturdays: between 5 and 6 minutes.
  • 1.3) Sundays: 9, 10, 11 or 12 minutes.

2) Opening times: The following are the opening times from Monday to Friday of each subway station:

    2.1) Subway line 1:
  • 1. La Fourragère: 5:00 am - 12:27 am.
  • 2. Louis Armand: 5:02 am - 12:29 am.
  • 3. Saint Barnabé: 5:24 am - 12:54 am.
  • 4. La Timone: 5:05 am - 12:32 am.
  • 5. La Blancarde: 5:21 am - 12:51 am.
  • 6. Castellane: 5:17 am - 12:47 am.
  • 7. Baille: 5:06 am - 12:34 am.
  • 8. Vieux-Port - Hôtel de Ville: 5:13 am - 12:44 am.
  • 9. Estrangin - Préfecture: 5:15 am - 12:45 am.
  • 10. Saint Charles: 5:10 am - 12:41 am.
  • 11. Colbert - Hôtel de Région: 5:12 am - 12:43 am.
  • 12. Cinq avenues Longchamp: 5:08 am - 12:38 am.
  • 13. Réformés Canebière: 5:09 am - 12:40 am.
  • 14. St Just - Hôtel de Département: 5:05 am - 12:35 am.
  • 15. Chartreux: 5:06 am - 12:37 am.
  • 16. La Rose: 5:00 am - 12:30 am.
  • 17. Frais Vallon: 5:01 am - 12:33 am.
  • 18. Malpassé: 5:03 am - 12:33 am.
    2.2) Subway line 2:
  • 1. Bougainville: 4:50 am - 12:34 am.
  • 2. Désirée Clary: 5:13 am - 12:46 am.
  • 3. National: 5:14 am - 12:47 am.
  • 4. Jules Guesde: 5:10 am - 12:43 am.
  • 5. Joliette: 5:11 am - 12:45 am.
  • 6. Noailles: 5:07 am - 12:40 am.
  • 7. Saint Charles: 5:10 am - 12:41 am (This is the same station as Line 1).
  • 8. Castellane: 5:01 am - 12:46 am (this is the same station as line 1).
  • 9. Notre Dame du Mont - Cours Julien: 5:06 am - 12:39 am.
  • 10. Rond point du Prado: 5:01 am - 12:33 am.
  • 11. Périer: 5:02 am - 12:47 am.
  • 12.Sainte-Marguerite Dromel: 5:00 am - 12:32 am.

Prices, tickets and season tickets

The prices are shown in euros.

- Tickets (occasional journeys): these are divided as follows:

  • One-way ticket 1.70 €
  • Single ticket with manual top-up 1.36 €
  • Buy a single ticket on the bus € 2.-
  • 72h city pass 41 € / 48h city pass 33 € / 24h city pass 26 €
  • 2-person ticket € 3.30
  • 10-ticket € 13.70
  • Group ticket 4 people € 4.90
  • Ferry ticket between € 5 and € 8
  • 3-day ticket (72h) 10.80 €
  • Day ticket € 5.20

- Season tickets: these are divided as follows: Le Pass XL Permanent, Le Pass XL 30 Jours, Le Pass XL Annuel, Le Pass XL 7 Jours.

  • 1) Le Pass XL Permanent is divided as follows: Jeune Solidarité: costs € 9.90 per month, Pour Tous: € 37.10 per month, Enfant Famille Nombreuse: € 14.70 per month, Solidarité: € 18.55 per month, Jeunes: € 18.30 per month. In addition, these time cards are reloaded every year. They include free travel on the underground, the RTM bus, trams and ferries. These season tickets must be loaded onto a card, which is called: Card Transpass.
  • 2) Le Pass XL 30 Jours: is divided as follows: Jeune (36.70 €), Jeune Solidarité (23 €), Pour Tous (46 €), and Solidarité (23 €).
  • 3) Le Pass XL Annuel: is divided as follows: Pour Tous (446 €), Jeune Solidarité (119 €), Enfant Famille Nombreuse (178 €), Jeune (220 €), and Solidarité (223 €).
    Note: The description of the season tickets, Le Pass XL Permanent, is shown below:
  • 1.1) Jeune Solidarité: Season tickets for children between 6 and 10 years of age. Students under the age of 26 who have received a scholarship for the university can also buy this ticket
  • 1.2) Pour Tous: Season ticket that is valid for 12 months and costs 37.10 € per month. This ticket can be purchased by everyone
  • 1.3) Enfant Famille Nombreuse: Season ticket for families and family members with at least 3 children. If a young passenger is between 11 and 16 years old, he or she is not required to provide evidence of family membership
  • 1.4) Solidarity: Time card for the unemployed under 26 years of age. Proof of unemployment or receipt of social allowance must be presented for this ticket.
  • 1.5) Jeunes: Season ticket for students from 18 to 26 years. The student should be enrolled at the college, university or vocational training center.


  • 1) Sometimes there is a strike, which can lead to delays in the train timetables. It is therefore advisable to check the news to see if a strike has been reported before setting off
  • 2) Avoid poorly lit areas in the subway stations at late hours to avoid robbery
  • 3) Before starting the journey, wheelchair users should check via the website whether there is an elevator and a ramp at the desired subway station. Unfortunately, not all underground stations are equally equipped for wheelchairs.

Rules of Carriage

The subway driver can refuse entry to the train for a passenger with a stroller. Strollers are not allowed at all underground stations.

- Parking:

In order to be able to use the underground car park service, an XL season ticket or the Card Transpass card is required. Payment for the parking service depends on whether the passenger has an XL season ticket or not. The following are the payment instructions:

a) With the XL season ticket: with this ticket the parking service is free of charge. A trip into the city by bus, BHNS, subway or tram must be made to use the parking lot. After the return trip, stay up to 2 hours to pick up the car from the parking lot

b) Without XL season ticket, with Card Transpass: The parking service is only chargeable with the Transpass card. The fee will be deducted from the Transpass card. If the car is only parked for 10 minutes, it is free of charge. It is not possible to park the car for more than 24 hours. The fees are as follows:

  • b.1) Up to 3h: 0.30 € every 15min.
  • b.2) Between 3 and 12h: 0.10 € every 10min.
  • b.3) Between 12 and 24 hours: 0.30 € every full hour.

- Cycles:

The operator of the metro, Régie des transports de Marseille, offers bike rental. In order to be able to rent a bike, the Transpass card or the XL time card is required again. In addition, an account must be created on the operator's website ( After logging in, you have to click on a link on the website to add yourself to the bike map. Then accept the terms and conditions, and finally pay the fee of € 1 via bank or credit card.

The bikes can be used at any time of the day. Use is even free of charge for the first 30 minutes. After that, each hour costs: € 0.50. In order to get a bicycle out of the bicycle station, the Transpass card or the XL time card is required again. One of the two cards must be swiped through the existing reader.

Interesting facts

  • 1) The Saint Charles metro station has a unique decoration that sets it apart from the other metro stations. The color of the interior is turquoise. Then there are these two frescoes. The first shows a steam locomotive and the second shows contemporary trains.
  • 2) Marseille's air conditioning systems are used in all underground trains during the summer.

Future expansions

All trains on the metro will be replaced with automatic trains. This exchange will take place in 2023. In addition, the doors on the platforms of the underground stations will be replaced with doors that will have a maximum height of 1.80m.

The operator, Régie des transports de Marseille, plans to expand metro line 1 to allow travel between the Bonneveine and Rond-Point du Prado areas. The expansion and the construction of a new metro station called Gèze should be completed by 2018.

Metro line 2 will also be expanded to allow travel between the Saint-Marcel and Saint-Loup areas. In order to achieve this, about 4km of rail line will be added. This expansion should be ready by 2025.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the entire rail line of the subway will be doubled and should be ready by 2023.

Nearby attractions

The Saint Charles underground station will be our starting point. The sights that are close to this station are as follows:

1) Vieux Port: The journey time is 10 minutes. At the Saint Charles metro station, take line 1 towards La Rose-La Fourragère, and get off after 5 minutes at the Vieux Port stop.

2) Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica: The journey time is 20 minutes. At the Saint Charles metro station, take line 1 in the direction of La Rose-La Fourragère, and get off after 5 minutes at the Vieux Port stop. Then walk towards Vieux Port (old port), and at the bus stop you get on bus 81 towards Le Pharo. After 5 minutes get off at the Place la Corderie stop and walk about 760 meters to Rue Fort du Sanctuaire.

3) Museé des Civilizations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranée (MuCEM) (Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean): The journey time is 15 minutes. At the Saint Charles metro station, take line 1 towards La Fourragère, and get off after 5 minutes at the Vieux Port stop. Walk towards Vieux Port (old port) and get on the bus 82 S towards Gare Saint Charles at the bus stop. Get off after 5 minutes at the La Major stop and walk about 400m in the direction of Promenade Robert Laffont 7.

4) Saint-Victor Basilica: The journey time is 15 minutes. At the Saint Charles metro station, take line 1 towards La Fourragère, and get off after 5 minutes at the Vieux Port stop.Walk towards Vieux Port (old port, Cours Jean Ballard) and get on the bus 81 towards Le Pharo at the bus stop. After 5 minutes get off at the Saint Victor stop and walk to 3 rue de l’Abbaye, where the basilica is located.

5) Cathédrale de la Mayor: The journey time is 15 minutes. At the Saint Charles underground station, take line 2 towards Bougainville and get off after 5 minutes at the Joliette stop. Finally, walk to the Place de la Major, where the cathedral is located.