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Highlights, tips & info to live authentic going out experiences in Marseille
What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in Marseille?
Located off the Mediterranean Sea and second biggest city in France, Marseille's reputation is well renowned. Its mild climate, its picturesque districts such as le Vieux-Port and le Panier, its fish-based cuisine and its growing culture, appreciated day and night, make it a very attractive city for French as well as for international tourists. Throughout the year, partygoers in Marseille like to go out one or two evenings during the weekend; but the pace increases during spring and summer, with the arrival of the good weather and the opening of new places with seasonal open-air events. At the afterwork and at the weekend, locals like to meet up in bars and terraces, when the weather allows it, to start their evening with their first drinks. Ricard is one of the most famous places in town! The apéro usually starts around 5 pm and finishes between 8 pm and 9 pm. Then people go to dine at home or in one of the many restaurants around town. Same for the "before” (the pre-party), during which the night owls go back to the bars downtown around 9:30 pm or continue warming up at home. Once the bars close, around 1 am, who wants to party goes to a club, which generally starts to fill up at 1:30 am is full by 2 am. The closing time is between 5 and 6 am. But if during your night you meet the right people, it won't be difficult to find an after-party. Something else you should keep in mind when coming to Marseille is the city's passion for football and its mythical OM club. For many people, it’s quite common to go to bars and support their team on match nights. The Vélodrome stadium is located near the Rond Point du Prado metro station. Although reputed (with benevolence) for its operation sometimes on the fringes of the rest of the country, there are some rules to respect when you go out in Marseille. For example, it's not allowed to buy alcohol in small grocery stores between 10 pm and 6 am. As in the rest of the country, it's forbidden to drink alcohol on the streets, and inappropriate and noisy behaviour might probably get you into trouble with the police.
Which are Marseille's best neighborhoods to go out?
Once, it wasn’t very well known for its nightlife, often linked to a bad image, but the situation in Marseille has completely changed in the past few years, with the appearance of new venues, collectives and festivals ready to restore the city's image. Also, when it comes to finding a place where to start your evening, there are so many bars and restaurants in Marseille that you’ll be spoilt for choice. The city's clubs are located in different districts, between la Plaine, le Cours Julien, la Belle de Mai and the 8th arrondissement (district). In terms of dining, to feel the atmosphere and taste local specialities, La Boîte à Sardine and Chez Étienne are must-see places. To drink, the Brasserie Communale located in Cours Ju' (as the Marseille citizens call it) is a popular place for young people who are starting their evening. Changing atmosphere, Le Capian, located inside the Hôtel Intercontinental, will delight who loves cosy atmospheres and sophisticated cocktails. For electronic music fans Baby Club, Cabaret Aléatoire or Chapiteau de la Belle de Mai are the perfect option. And during and summer also Baou, an open-air club in the northern districts open since 2019. Instead, if you prefer a more mainstream or urban atmosphere, then Bazaar, Chez Pablo or New Cancan are the places for you.
How expensive is to go out in Marseille?
Marseille is a cheap city, compared to other French cities such as Paris, Bordeaux or Lyon. There is something for every budget. The price of a dinner can vary between 10€ and 50€, depending on your choices and the wine that will accompany your meal. To drink, a small beer costs an average of 3€ (20% less than the national average), while a glass of wine, depending on its quality, between 4€ and 10€. The price of a cocktail is around 10€. To get in a club, the entry fee starts from 5€ and can reach 20€, in the most exclusive places or when there’s a headliner. Don't forget to check whether the place you want to go to sells tickets online, which are often a few euros cheaper than the tickets at the door and might also save you from boring queues.
What's the dress code in Marseille?
As everywhere else, you should choose your outfit according to where you have decided to go. The more commercial or elegant the place, the more attention to detail is required: shirt and elegant shoes for him, dress and heels for her. On the other hand, if you choose an underground party, no one will pay attention to the way you are dressed, just have fun.
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