Greentraveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Marseille St Charles, which is conveniently located in the centre of Marseille. For more information about where to stay in Marseille, as well as tips on local restaurants, markets, museums and how to get around the city by bike and public transport, see our Green Traveller's Guide to Marseille.
Journey Time: fastest from 6 hours 19 mins.
Sample timetable: Depart London 11.04am, arrive Marseille 6.49pm
Changes: 1. In the summer there is a direct train, see Direct Train London to Marseille
Transfer: Platform change within Lille Europe station
Frequency of Departures: 21/day
Carbon emissions: 16.22kg (flight would be 94.73kg)*
Car hire at Marseille St Charles Train Station: Yes
What's the journey like?
There's just a quick same-station change of platform at Lille Europe station to catch the onward connection. From the Eurostar platform arrival, go up the stairs (or lift) to the main concourse from where the onward TGV trains depart.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Lille
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Lille while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near the station. Here are some hotels that are conveniently nearby: Hotels near Lille Europe train station
Miss your connection in Lille?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager. Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).
On arrival at Marseille St Charles station
Bienvenue à Marseille! A city without too many airs, Marseille has a life and energy that more manicured destinations lack. The spectacular old port at its centre is surrounded by pavement cafes, restaurants and bars, and overlooked by an iconic hilltop church. Detour into the old quarter of Le Panier or the hippyish Cours Julien and you’ll find atmospheric architecture, bustling markets and some of the country’s most down-to-earth inhabitants.
There are lots of hotels near to the station, see: Hotels near Marseille St Charles train station
Various eco-districts are also in development across the city, with renewable energy, greywater recycling schemes, tree planting projects and bike paths part of the plans. The most high profile of these lies within the Euroméditerranée district; a 480-hectare urban renewal project between the commercial harbour, the Vieux Port (Old Port) and the TGV station.
The city is gradually moving towards a more sustainable future. With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, many public buildings in the city are being equipped with solar panels; it's said there are more roofs here than in any other city in France.
Getting around Marseille
Marseille has an excellent public transport network. From Marseille Saint Charles train station there are trams, metro and buses that take you around the city centre and to the main harbour and port, see: Marseille public transport timetables and routes (French only). Marseille’s handy City Pass is an allin package including free entry to many of the city's museums, a boat trip to the Château d'If, a trip on the Petit Train, reductions on certain other excursions, and unlimited travel on the buses, metro and trams. It is valid for one (€22) or two (€29) days. See Marseille Tourism for more information. From outside the station, you can pick up a bike from the city’s bike hire scheme Le Vélo.