A Travel Price Comparison for France Marseille vs. Lyon for Food, Nightlife, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Marseille or Lyon?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Marseille or Lyon, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Marseille

Marseille is a energetic and vibrant city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. This is an attractive and quaint destination worth visiting as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Lyon

Lyon is a authentic, historic, and beautiful city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

How is Marseille different from Lyon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Food?

Foodies will find both Marseille and Lyon both to be unique destinations.

Known for it's food scene, Marseille is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. It's famous for its bouillabaisse, which is a hearty seafood soup that was once affordable but is now quite pricey.

Known for it's food scene, Lyon is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Known as "the Gastronomic Capital of the World" this city stands above the rest when it comes to Michelin star restaurants (there are 17!), fresh ingredients, and unique local flavors. Favorite local dishes include pâté en croûte, rosette de Lyon, and saucisson brioché.


Is Marseille or Lyon better for Nightlife?

Both Marseille and Lyon have similar vibes after the sun sets.

People head to Marseille just to party. Much of the city's nightlife is centered around being outdoors. Whether you're on the beach or hanging out at a rooftop bar, Marseille is a magical place.

Lyon offers plenty to do in the evening. The city has enough diverse neighborhoods that you'll find a scene that is great for everyone. There are dance clubs, cocktail bars, and wine bars that meet every personality and style.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for its Old Town?

Marseille and Lyon both have historical old towns that attract visitors.

The historic old town of Marseille is revered around the world. The Old Port is filled with shops and boutiques, and is the most scenic part of the city. It dates back to the Middle Ages and is filled with history and character.

Lyon offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. This impressive old town climbs from the river into Fourvière Hill. It's a Renaissance era district with beautiful buildings and plenty of character. You can spend days wandering the quaint streets and popping in the world class restaurants.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Marseille and Lyon.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Marseille. The city has boutiques, farmers markets, and flea markets to explore, as well as any luxury brand you may want.

Lyon is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has many trendy markets, pedestrian shopping areas, and character-filled boutiques. From the charming shops in old town to the chic shopping streets, there are plenty of places to splurge around town.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Families?

Families will find a wider variety of activities in Lyon than Marseille.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Lyon. The city has many kid-friendly museums including Musée des Confluences and the Cinema and Miniature Museum. There are also playgrounds, patisseries, and river cruises that you can enjoy as a family. Puppet shows are also fun, but do note that they're usually in French. While the restaurants are amazing for adults, it can be tricky to find a kid-friendly option with early opening hours that are convenient for little ones.

Marseille is not the most family-friendly destination. Nearby beaches and an outdoor climbing area make it a diverse city to visit with kids.


Is Marseille or Lyon better for Couples?

Marseille and Lyon are both fun to visit as a couple.

Marseille makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Strolling the boulevards and exploring the history and culture of this city make it a top couples' destination.

Lyon is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples can enjoy wandering the beautiful Old Town, taking a river cruise, and dining on some of the best food in France.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Marseille and Lyon are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Marseille. It has a decent number of hostels for a city of its size.

Lyon is a great city to visit for backpackers. The city has several hostels and a number of activities that are fun for budget travelers and backpackers.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Students?

Both Marseille and Lyon are popular destinations for students.

Marseille is a great city to visit as a student. It attracts international students because of its rich culture, unique atmosphere, and lively bar scene.

Lyon is a great destination for students. It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.

Is Marseille or Lyon better for Public Transit?

Lyon generally offers a better public transit system than Marseille.

With a huge network, the transit system in Lyon can get you around easily. The city has a metro, trams, and buses, that make it easy to get around.

Marseille has a few public transit options. The city has trams, a metro, and buses that you can use to explore.


Is Marseille or Lyon a more walkable city?

Marseille and Lyon are similar when it comes to walkability.

Marseille is a very walkable destination. The Old Port (Vieux Port) is particularly walkable and is one of the best areas to explore on foot.

Lyon is a very walkable city. The old town is particularly walkable, but the hills can make things a bit challenging. There are also a number of pedestrian streets around town.

Marseille and Lyon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Should I spend more time in Lyon or Marseille?

How long in Marseille or Lyon?

In either Marseille or Lyon, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Lyon than Marseille because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Marseille is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Lyon is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Marseille or Lyon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Marseille 2-3 
    Lyon 2-5

One day in Marseille or Lyon?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Marseille. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

People visit Lyon because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Marseille or Lyon?

Marseille is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

People visit Lyon because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Marseille or Lyon?

You'll find food and shopping around the energetic destination of Marseille. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

People visit Lyon because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.


A week in Marseille or Lyon?

The vibrant city of Marseille offers shopping and nightlife. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Lyon is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Lyon or Marseille?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Marseille is €117, while the average daily cost in Lyon is €100. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Marseille and Lyon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marseille 56
    Lyon 42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marseille 112
    Lyon 84

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marseille 23
    Lyon 14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Marseille

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Marseille:


  • Metro Pass
    3.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marseille

Also for Marseille, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Marseille Private Transfer from City Centre to Marseille Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Marseille Private Transfer from Marseille Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Marseille Private Airport Transfer from Cruise Port to Marseille Airport: $9.41
  • Ultra - Marseille Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Marseille Airport: $9.41
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Marseille Cruise Port to Marseille City Center: $29
  • Private Departure Transfer from Marseille City Center to Marseille Cruise Port: $29
  • Private Business Car Arrival Transfer: Marseille Cruise Port to Marseille city: $41
  • Private Business Car Departure Transfer: Marseille city Marseille Cruise Port: $41
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Marseille to Marseille Airport (MRS): $50
  • Private Transfer from Marseille Cruise Port Terminal to Marseille Airport (MRS): $51
  • Private Business Van Departure Transfer: Marseille city to Marseille Cruise Port: $55
  • Private Business Car Transfer: Marseille city or Port to Marseille Airport MRS: $60

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lyon

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lyon:


  • Funiculaire
    5.20
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus
    19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lyon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lyon:

  • Superior Private Transfer From Lyon City to Geneva City: $156
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Lyon Hotel to Lyon-Saint Exupery: $128
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Lyon Hotel to Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry: $128
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport to Lyon Hotel: $128
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupery to Lyon Hotel: $128
  • Round Trip Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) Transfer to Lyon City Center: $115
  • Private transfer: Lyon–Bron Airport (LYN) to Meribel: $765
  • Private transfer: Lyon–Bron Airport (LYN) to Les Deux Alpes: $744
  • Private transfer: Lyon–Bron Airport (LYN) to Chamrousse: $532
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Lyon (hotel OR airport pick-up): $75
  • Private Transfer: Lyon to Lyon–Bron Airport (LYN): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer: Lyon Hotel to Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: $91

Is it cheaper to fly into Marseille or Lyon?

Prices for flights to both Lyon and Marseille change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Marseille 34
    Lyon 33
Typical Food prices in Marseille

For Marseille, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Orangina
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marseille

For Marseille, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 3-Hour Shore Excursion Walking Food Tour: $85
  • Cool Food Tour and Street art Marseille: $106
  • Great Marseille Food Tour Experience: $107
  • Walking Food Tour with Tastings: $108
  • Food Tour Excursion in Provence !: $771

Typical Food prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lyon are as follows:


  • Pastry
    1.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lyon

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lyon.

  • Lyon Old Town Walking Guided Food Tour: $68
  • Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise: $72
  • Lyon Old Town Half-Day Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties Tasting & Lunch: $93
  • Lyon Old Town Five Tasting Stops Walking Food Tour with Lunch: $108
  • Lyon Quais Saint Antoine Private Gastronomic Food Tour: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Lyon: $137
  • Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse Food Tour: $217
  • Food tour in Lyon: $258
  • Secret Food Tours Lyon w/ Private Tour Option: $296
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marseille 30
    Lyon 16

Tours and Activities in Marseille

For Marseille, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Marseille Walking Tour - The Other Side: $1.24
  • Marseille Walking Tour - La Panier: $1.24
  • Mucem Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket: $12
  • Le Panier - Walking Tour of Marseille's Historic Neighborhood: $15
  • City Segway Tour - Explore the Panier neighborhood in an unexpected way: $25
  • Marseille Segway Tour - Explore the Panier neighborhood in an unexpected way: $25
  • Panier Neighborhood 1-Hour Segway Tour: $34
  • City Segway Tour - Discover the beauty of the Pharo Palace and its neighborhood: $37
  • Marseille Segway Tour - Discover the beauty of the Pharo Palace and its neighborhood: $37
  • Marseille Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $39
  • Marseille Smalll Group Electric Bike Tour: $41
  • Calanques Picnic Cruise: $44

Typical Entertainment prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lyon are as follows:


  • Lunch for 2
    45

Tours and Activities in Lyon

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lyon are as follows:

  • 1 or 2-Hour Pedicab tour of Lyon: $31
  • Beaujolais & Perouges Medieval Town - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $134
  • Beaujolais & Perouges Medieval Town - Private Day Tour: $858
  • Beaujolais Crus Wines & Castles - Afternoon - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $114
  • Beaujolais Crus Wines & Castles - Morning - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $114
  • Beaujolais Wine Discovery - Morning - Small Group Tours from Lyon: $108
  • Beaujolais Wine Discovery - Private Tour - Half Day: $280
  • Beaujolais Wine Route Private Tour: $641
  • Beaujolais Wine Route Small-Group Tour with Tasting from Lyon: $123
  • Beaujolais Wines & Castles - Private Tour - Half Day: $299
  • Beaujolais half day private tour: $280
  • Best Intro Tour of Lyon with a Local: $61

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marseille 22
    Lyon 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Marseille

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Marseille:

  • Aix en Provence Full-Day Wine Tour from Marseille: $137
  • Full-Day Wine Tour around Luberon from Marseille: $137
  • Full-day Wine Tour around Bandol & Cassis from Marseille: $137
  • Marseille Shore Excursion - Full Day Wine Tour in Provence: $137
  • Marseille Shore Excursion - Private Full Day Wine Tour in Provence: $348
  • Provence wine tour of vineyards & the best foods & wine of Provence private tour: $404
  • Provence Private Wine Tasting Tour from Marseille: $435
  • Wine tour of Châteauneuf du Pape, gastronomy, wines & joie de vivre private tour: $435
  • Aix en Povence Private Half Day Tour including Wine Tasting from Marseille: $523
  • Coteaux d'Aix: Ste Victoire Wine Tour & Cezanne Mill Visit: $567
  • Bandol Wine Tour - 4 hour Private tour: $650
  • Coteaux D'Aix : Half Day Wine Tour: $650

Typical Alcohol prices in Lyon

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Lyon from other travelers:


  • Drinks for 2
    6.80
  • Bottle of Wine
    15

Sample the Local Flavors in Lyon

Also in Lyon, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Northern Rhône Valley Cheese & Wine Tasting Half Day Tour from Lyon: $111
  • Lyon Old Town Food & Wine Tasting Tour including a Bouchon Lyonnais: $112
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Afternoon - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $114
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Morning - Small Group Tours from Lyon: $114
  • Beaujolais Gourmet Wine Tour with Tastings from Lyon: $123
  • Macon & Beaujolais Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $147
  • Cotes du Rhone Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $153
  • Northern Rhône Valley Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Burgundy South of Region Small Group Day Tour with Local Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Beaujolais Region Vineyard Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Côte-Rôtie & Vienne Region Roman History with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $243
  • Rhône Valley Terroir Private Tour with Local Cheese & Wine Tasting from Lyon: $280


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Marseille and Lyon, we can see that Marseille is more expensive. And not only is Lyon much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lyon would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lyon and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Marseille would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Marseille than you might in Lyon.

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Marseille vs. Lyon Travel Comparison

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