Marseille is a principal Mediterranean port city in the south of France and is located 980km south from Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Marseille by air, train or bus. Note that there have been some significant changes to service frequencies due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
1. Amsterdam-Marseille by Train
Travel by train is possible between Amsterdam and Marseille and the journey can be done in about 8-10 hours.
The Amsterdam-Marseille rail journey comprises of 2 parts:
(1) Travel from Amsterdam to Brussels Zuid/Midi in the morning using either the high speed Thalys trains or the Intercity Brussels train. Thalys normally runs 7-9x daily (weekdays), 4x daily (Saturdays), 5-6x daily (Sundays) and takes about 2 hours. Note, Thalys is running a greatly reduced service at the moment. Intercity Brussels runs 13x daily and takes 2 hours 50 minutes.
(2) Taking a TGV train between Brussels Zuid/Midi and Marseille St Charles which departs at 1300 and takes about 6 hours. This train runs via Paris Charles De Gaulle, Marne la Vallée-Chessy, Lyon Part Dieu, Valence, Avignon and/or Aix-en-Provence.
For those overnighting in Brussels there is also an early morning departure at 0634.
It is also possible to take the Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris Nord then transfer across to Paris Gare de Lyon. From here there are more frequent TGV trains to Marseille St Charles. However connecting in Brussels is more convenient.
Marseille-Amsterdam rail journey: Take the 0631 TGV service departing Marseille which arrives at Brussels Zuid at 1217. Then take the 1245 Intercity Brussels which arrives back in Amsterdam at 1538.
One-way fares for an Amsterdam-Marseille trip start at €84 (2nd class) or €119 (1st class). To secure the lowest fares it is essential to book well in advance.
There is a special Amsterdam-Marseille ZonThalys direct service which runs weekly on Saturdays during July and August only – although it did not run in 2020. There are provisional plans to operate this service between 10 July and 21 August 2021.
The train operates as a normal Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels but then continues on to Marseille St Charles.
One-way tickets cost from €49 in 2nd class / €99 in 1st class – tickets normally go on sale around the end of February and sell out fast.
As both France and the Netherlands are part of the Schengen Zone you do not need to go through a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Marseille.
2. Amsterdam-Marseille by Air
Flights between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) take around 2 hours. Flying is by far the quickest way to travel between the two cities.
Air France flies 1-2x daily non-stop from Amsterdam to Marseille using either Airbus A320s or smaller CRJ1000 aircraft.
Prices start from around €110 return not including checked luggage.
Air France-KLM also offers connecting flights throughout the day via Paris Charles De Gaulle.
Note, no frills airline Ryanair operates 2x weekly flights from Eindhoven (EIN) to Marseille (MRS).
3. Amsterdam-Marseille by Coach
Flixbus normally offers an irregular coach service from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Marseille, with a change of bus in Paris. Travel time is around 21 hours and singles start at €28.
Blablabus (formerly OUIBUS) normally has up to 3x daily connections for Amsterdam to Marseille, also with a change in Paris. Singles start at €34 and the total journey time ranges 18-22 hours.
However Amsterdam-Marseille coach services are temporarily suspended.
If overnighting in Brussels you can book your hotel with Booking.com here.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 7 April 2021.