So you’re looking for a night out in France’s 2nd largest city, eh? Well you’re in luck. A city of 16 arrondissements and over 1.5 million residents, there’s plenty here to keep you night owls entertained. Start with the Vieux Port, the epicenter of activity in this harbor town, and its wealth of cool bars and cafes to choose from. Great ambiance and cool port views are aplenty here, so keep your eyes open for names like L’Unic, O’Malley’s and of course Le Bar de la Marine early in the evening. Later, if you feel like getting a bit crazier, hit up Le Trolleybus (also along Quai Rive Nueve) and enjoy one of the city’s oldest and coolest mainstays.
Head east a few blocks and you’ll run into the trendy Cours Julien district, an artist friendly neighborhood filled with painted buildings and an inexhaustible supply of cool sidewalk bars/cafes. This is Marseille’s bohemian powerhouse, and prides itself on offering a more alternative take on the city. Dance to the Latin infused music playing at La Cubalia or sample some Senegalese hospitality at Ziguinchor and you’ll see what we mean. It’s not necessarily a nightlife mecca, but for the 7pm-1am hours, or for nights that aren’t focused solely on satiating your wild side, it’s a must.
And to those whose idea of fun is grinding it out with some college-aged partiers on a beach we say, “go south, young man!” South to Escale Borely, that is. Located well south of the city center, this waterfront development in the 8th arrondissement is usually crammed with 20somethings on the weekends, and is a good bet for getting your club fix satisfied. There are, of course, plenty of other cool clubs and bars dispersed throughout the city, but this should get you started in the right direction. Check our Marseille nightlife guide below (French only, sorry) for more good ideas, and enjoy the wild side of an equally wild city.