Marseille Gare Saint Charles--how bad?

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Jan 14th, 2005, 11:56 AM
  #1
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Marseille Gare Saint Charles--how bad?


Is the station itself unsafe? I ask only because a friend of mine, far more of an intrepid traveller than I, told me she was genuinely concerned about me being there alone to catch the navette to MRS at night (not late, around 7p.m.).

She had had a number of very bad experiences in Marseille several years ago and advised me to avoid passing through.

But is it likely to be that bad just waiting for the navette?

Silly question, I know. I attribute it to last-minute paranoia.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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I've never been there, but I remember reading a thread here from a woman who said that she walked a block (?) to catch a train in the morning (decided not to take a cab) and was assaulted and robbed.

Not sure how you can search for that thread though, but someone else may know.

But your question is more about waiting in the train station than getting to it.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Don't mean to scare you, but this is the thread I read:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...2&tid=34527478
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Yikes. Yes, I had read that one.

It's more convenient for me to get to MRS from Saint Charles, but if it's really so horrible just waiting for the shuttle I can shift things around a bit and leave from Aix.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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If your intrepid traveler friend is warning you, then you should probably take note, I'd think. But I've also heard that Marseilles has been cleaned up and rehabilitated considerably.

Don't have any first-hand experiences, but I'm sure that someone else here probably knows.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Are you saying that you will only be IN the station itself? We spent a night in Marseille a few years ago. We stayed at the Ibis hotel, which was connected to the station. We walked down to the waterfront in the dark (two females) and I will admit to being a little nervous. But there was nothing about the station itself that made me uncomfortable. Of course you will use your normal good common sense about your belongings.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Yes, I assume I don't have to traipse about somewhere else to get the bus to the airport, in which case I'll just basically be in the station.

My intepid-traveller friend is also curious to see if I have the same impression of Marseille that she did. So on the one hand she's warned me away and on the other she'd like me to check it out a bit more. I guess that's what makes her so intrepid.

Thanks for the replies.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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I've been there numerous times, even walked down the stairs into town, all the way to the port (with my 4 year old!). It is a bustling, busy place with lots of people milling around. There is no concern at 7:00 pm as that is the height of evening travel (returning from work, making connections to other trains, etc). I would not be concerned at all. There are also French police patrolling the station and walking around with dogs, so they create an appearance. There is also a nice buffet restaurant inside the train station that you can sit down at a table with a magazine to wait. The taxis, shuttles, etc. pass in front of the restaurant and you can see out of the glass when your navette comes to pick you up. I would not be concerned, now if you were alone in the Naples train station, that would be an altogether different story.......
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Jan 14th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Huitres,

Thank you, this was what I was looking for. I'm glad to hear it's just a normal train station and not full of hatchet-wielding murderers.

And thanks to this board for the all advice and information. I'll post a trip report about my first all-grown-up solo holiday when I return.
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Jan 14th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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There is no place in France safer than a train station or airport. If you have been to either in the past two years you would have seen many police officers with dogs and military people with machine guns. This is common procedure today due to the terrorism threat. Fear not.

Larry J
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Jan 14th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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Leely -

I'll second what Huitres had to say. I have been there often both to take the train and pick people up, and it is as busy, hectic and safe as teh Gare de Lyon or Grand Central, for that matter.

-Kevin
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