Marseille Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Marseille is one of the largest cities on the French Mediterranean coast and therefore a tourist bus is an excellent way to explore it more quickly.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

9 min read

Marseille Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Marseille tourist bus | ©Michel Voyages

One of the greatest benefits of the tourist buses is that they offer the possibility to go from one place to another within the city while enjoying the most emblematic places. These make a very complete route and are the best ally to explore this wonderful town.

If you want to know more about the benefits offered by these buses I advise you to keep reading this publication. Here you will find all the necessary information so you can take advantage of them in the most practical way possible on your next visit to the city and in turn know some of the things to see or do in Marseille.

The best tourist buses in the city of Marseille

Marseille sightseeing bus| ©Mike Brocklebank
Marseille sightseeing bus| ©Mike Brocklebank

The first thing to know about the tourist buses of the city of Marseille is that these make two routes, but are managed through a single company called Colorbüs Marseille that has the official accreditation by the city to be the only company responsible for managing this type of tourist services.

Both routes undoubtedly pass through some of the most iconic sites of the city. Therefore, it can be said that they are some of the best tours in Marseille. Especially if you evaluate their economic convenience.

In short, you can say that in this bus you will be able to see the architectural beauty that defines this southern French city. This while at the same time enjoying the experience of being in a comfortable two-level vehicle in which the upper floor is completely uncovered so that you can appreciate more accurately the attractive surroundings. You have to know that there are tickets that combine both routes or also a single route.

In addition, there are family rates and it is possible to combine the experience of participating in the tours of these buses with a Segway tour through the historic center of the city. Either way, access to the bus includes an audio guide that is available in several languages including Spanish. At certain times of the year there may also be a guide specialized in the history of the city.

Book a bus tour with free stops around Marseille

Different Marseille sightseeing bus routes

Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica| ©Jorge Láscar
Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica| ©Jorge Láscar

The shortest and most popular route is the red route, which has stops at sites such as the former captaincy, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations or the Basilica of Notre Dame de La Garde.

On the other hand, the blue route coincides in several sections with this route, but extends to other parts of the city such as the famous Le Corbusier Housing Unit stop or the Parc Borély stop.

At the former you will have the opportunity to get close to one of the greatest architectural works of this visionary of French urbanism, while at the latter you can go directly to the best known and most beloved public park in the city. On this route you will also approach the Museum of Contemporary Art of Marseille.

Betting on a ticket that includes both routes will be an excellent decision, since in many of the common stops you can switch between both routes to approach some of the best museums in Marseille, which abound throughout the city and are located in relatively distant corners.

Using this means of transport to move around the city and to reach several of its main attractions is an excellent decision for those who make a trip to Marseille for three days. This is because it is a relatively inexpensive service that will save you a lot of money in terms of cab f ares to take you from one neighborhood to another throughout this sprawling metropolis.

Tickets to the best museums in Marbella.

Advantages of using the tourist bus in Marseille

Getting to know Marseille| ©Jim W
Getting to know Marseille| ©Jim W

The Marseille tourist bus is not only a means of transportation, but it also becomes an experience that offers advantages to its users with respect to the possibility of exploring the city through other similar alternatives. Marseille, being a modern and cosmopolitan city, has public buses of excellent quality as well as a subway system that has nothing to envy to other French cities.

However, this tourist bus year after year ends up captivating its users for the following characteristics that make it a means of transportation that is also practical and favorable from different perspectives.

Economic savings

The economic saving is perhaps the most interesting feature of the Marbella tourist buses. They offer you the possibility to move around the city for 24 or 48 hours during the service hours under a unique and exclusive rate. This means that you can start using the bus early in the morning, get off during the midday to make some plans and still be able to continue the tour until the end of the service. This is due to the simple fact that you can get off and on the bus as many times as you want.

Ease of logistics

The fact that the routes of these tourist buses are so well planned allows you to organize a tour that fits your pace, as well as your pocket.

Throughout the bus tour you will find stops that take you to free attractions, as well as other important buildings that require a fee to enter. So you can choose between some of them strategically so that at the end of the day you will have made good use of your budget and your time.

Guaranteed comfort

Undoubtedly the issue of comfort is one of the highlights of Marseille tour buses especially in summer, as you will enjoy the best things to do in Marseille during the summer without having to walk around the city during the high temperatures of that time of the year.

This while you are living in a very entertaining way an experience that is usually boring. It is no secret that being on a bus is as conventional as riding in a cab and in this case the open top and the audio guides provide a new and more fun scenario for this routine situation.

How long is the complete Marseille sightseeing bus tour?

Tourist bus day| ©Semvatac
Tourist bus day| ©Semvatac

The full Marseille sightseeing bus tour depends directly on the decision to take one or two of the existing routes in the service. In case you only want to take the red route, which is a little shorter, it will probably take you an hour to go through the 14 stops that exist in the tour. On the other hand, if you continue along the blue route, then it is likely to take about 15 minutes longer despite the fact that there are fewer stops.

This has to do with the fact that, in terms of mileage, the blue route is a bit longer, as it is a bit further away from the historical epicenter of the city. In turn, when you combine the two routes in the same day, it will almost certainly take you about 2 or even 3 hours to complete the route, always depending on the amount of traffic.

There are other factors that can affect the duration of this ride. And that is that you have the possibility to stay inside the bus at all times while it is also possible that you get off at each of the stops to then take the next bus that will take about 20 minutes approximately to arrive.

Anyway, you have to know that the practical and comfortable character that defines the use of these tourist buses makes it one of the best things to do in Marseille with kids, as it is a much more favorable alternative to move around the city than walking through it. At least when traveling with children too young for whom medium to long distance walks can become a challenge.

What will I see from the Marseille sightseeing bus?

MuCEM| ©Fred Romero
MuCEM| ©Fred Romero

From the Marseille tourist bus you have to know that you will have the opportunity to tour some of the most representative areas of the city. One of the first places you will visit is the old port of Marseille where you will find great attractions such as the MUCEM or the famous and extensive marina of the city.

The Castellane district and the surroundings of the city's velodrome are other great attractions that add to the interesting routes offered by these tour buses. The seafront, the financial center, the famous Borely Park and many other urban wonders are also part of the things you will be able to appreciate when participating in this type of tourist itineraries.

In any case, you should know that this type of tours can be complemented with other experiences that will also allow you to get to know the city in other, more peculiar ways. For example, the best gastronomic tours in Marseille can offer you the possibility to familiarize yourself with the local cuisine that combines the best of French gastronomy with a wide variety of influences from Mediterranean communities.

At the same time, you have to keep in mind that the passage through some of the most important avenues of the city makes these buses one of the best things to do in Marseille during Christmas, as it allows you to comfortably enjoy the decorations of these public spaces for the end of the year festivities.

How much does the ticket for the Marseille sightseeing bus cost?

Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

The price of the ticket for the Marseille sightseeing bus is something that depends on the type of experience you want to live. For example the pass that combines the two routes, both red and blue, costs about 25 euros approximately for an adult. On the other hand, the red route costs about 20 euros approximately per adult and the blue route costs about 15 euros.

At the same time, it is worth knowing that children between 4 and 13 years old pay a single rate of 8 euros regardless of whether it is a ticket for both routes or for one. Children under three years of age will be able to access these buses completely free of charge.

There is a special fare with direct transfers from the cruise port to the departure point of the buses. This is about 30 euros per adult and about 13 euros for children. At the same time there is a family rate for the tourist buses of about 58 euros. It is available for two adults and two children. Either way, these prices are quite competitive and this allows you to supplement these tours with other fun experiences along the way such as the best bike tours of Marseille.

Finally, there is a pass that includes the two Marseille sightseeing bus routes with a two-hour Segway tour with guide included through the city center. This experience is priced at approximately 45 euros per person.

Marseille sightseeing bus schedules

Clock| ©Cats Coming
Clock| ©Cats Coming

The timetables of the Marseille tourist bus depend on the time of the year you decide to use this service. And is that they change depending on the number of visitors arriving in the city. For example, the high season for this tourist service runs from April to November and during these months both routes usually operate continuously from 10 am to five or six in the afternoon.

However, during the low season, which for the people of Marseille is between December and March, you will find fewer tourist buses on the streets. As a result, the service will only be available from 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m.. This is logical, since the demand decreases due to the cold temperatures that make this city a less interesting destination for international tourism.

Anyway, you have to know that these schedules are quite favorable because they allow you to combine it with other activities that you can develop during the night or during the early hours of the morning. In fact, you can enjoy this city tour just before doing one of the best excursions in Provence from Marseille.

How does the Marseille sightseeing bus work?

Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov
Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov

To understand how the bus works you have to know that it is a service managed by a private company that at the same time has the accreditation by the city council to operate. This means that the circulation of these buses throughout the city is fully permitted by the competent authorities and has the necessary infrastructure to make the service comfortable and favorable for its users.

The stops are very well marked through an interactive map that is offered to users indicating the areas of the city where these boarding points are located as well as when the next bus will arrive at the stop where they are.

These two features make these buses an excellent resource for those day trips to Marseille. These tend to be very frequent among tourists arriving in the city, since they plan a tour along the French blue coast that allows them to spend enough time in each of the cities, but without having to stay for more than 48 hours in each of them.

On the other hand, you also have to know that the buses have the greatest technological innovations within this style of vehicle intended for urban tourism. Therefore, they are an excellent option for those for whom comfort is a decisive issue when choosing between different transportation alternatives.