Car hire in Marseille
Hiring a car in Marseille
Marseille has so much to offer even the most intrepid traveller so it's no surprise that people visit the city time and time again. The port city is full of history, stunning sights and plenty of cutting-edge modern spaces. Named the European Capital of Culture in 2013, it is very easy to see why. What better way to make the most of a visit to the second largest city in France than by hiring a car and driving around it? While parking on some of the narrower streets can be a problem, driving in Marseille ensures you can see the city and the area beyond. Just be aware that residents of the city are very fond of using their horns.
What you need to know
Hiring a car in Marseille is easy, as there are plenty of companies to choose from. You can narrow it down and find the best deal by using our booking tool, which will allow you to see cars, prices and extras with no hidden costs. If you hire through Holiday Autos, you also have the peace of mind of knowing that 24-hour support is available should you need it. Cancellation is also free so you don't have to worry if your plans change.
Where to pick up your car
If you're flying into the city, you'll be happy to know that you can pick your hire car up at Marseille Airport (MRS). This means that once you've collected your luggage, you'll be ready to go and can start exploring this wonderfully vibrant city. You'll find the car hire offices in the outside car park, with the majority of them open until 11.30pm. It is also possible to pick up your car from the downtown offices of several car hire companies, although you'll need to check the location of the one you require before your journey.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
No matter what holiday you're after, Marseille is the city to visit. You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to go and things to do, especially if you hire a care. Being able to get around easily and at your own leisure means you can really make the most of this amazingly vibrant city. Head to the République quarter for some of the best shopping or take in the new buildings of the Joliette area. If you want to soak up the sun, you can also take a drive to any of the coves along the coast of Marseille.
There are a number of sites of renown in Marseille, all of which are definitely worth a visit. One place you can't miss a visit to is Château d'If, which featured in the novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The 16th-century fortress is set on an island off the coast of Marseille. You can reach the Vieux Port, where boats leave regularly for Château d'If via the A55, with the drive usually taking around 30 minutes from the airport. If you fancy getting away from the busy city, the traditional fishing village of Vallon des Auffes is a great place to go. Here you'll find views that are straight off a postcard and a great relaxed atmosphere. The journey is only 5 kilometres via the Tunnel de la Joliette.
Hiring a car in Marseille also means you have the freedom to explore further afield. If you're up for a longer drive, it is definitely worth heading to Luberon, which is 86 km from the centre of Marseille. The mountain range is home to vast lavender fields, as well as a number of villages that are perched on hilltops. The picturesque villages are beautiful from afar but are also worth exploring up close.
Another worthwhile journey is to Arles, the UNESCO-listed historic city. The journey to Arles takes just over an hour via the A7 and A54 and is definitely a great choice for a day trip. There are tolls to pay along the way, so be sure you have money to hand. Arles is famous for inspiring paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and for the Roman influence on the buildings, including the 20,000-seat amphitheatre. The city is full of rich history, which is perfectly mixed with modern touches that ensure you'll be entertained.
Top attractions to visit in Marseille
Car hire provides great flexibility that will allow you to explore the top attractions that Marseille has to offer.
Eating and drinking
With Marseille being on the coast, you'll be able to enjoy a glorious mix of fish and seafood dishes throughout the city and when you visit smaller fishing villages in the area. From tiny restaurants that are hidden away to popular eateries with menus designed by some of the best chefs in France, Marseille is a gastronomic delight. It's worth noting that drinks in the bars and restaurants aren't particularly cheap, but the atmosphere makes it worth the expense of a glass or two.
Things to do
Whether you want a relaxed holiday or to cram as much into your time in Marseille as possible, you will never be bored in this varied city. If you really want to get a feel for the city, head to Cours Julien, which is a square in the heart of Marseille. Here you'll find locals gathered at cafes, children playing games and a variety of market stalls on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays that are ideal for browsing.
To see Marseille from a different perspective, why not head out on a boat tour to view the coast from the sea. You can enjoy a leisurely trip to make the most of the weather or try your hand at snorkelling in the blue water.
You know that any city that was once named the European Capital of Culture is going to have plenty to see and Marseille doesn't disappoint. It is full of galleries, museums, historical landmarks and gorgeous churches so you'll be spoilt for choice. Sights of note that are definitely worth a visit include the 19th-century Romano-Byzantine Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, which you'll find on the highest point in Marseille. You should also visit the Musée des Beaux Arts, which is the oldest museum in the city and is set in the stunning Palais de Longchamp.
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