For an amusing and relatively harmless exposure to the town’s saltiness, walk around the Vieux-Port, where cafes and restaurants angle their sightlines for the best views of the harbor.

L’Escale Borély, avenue Pierre Mendès France, is a recreational beach spot 20 min. south of the town center (take bus no. 83). With a dozen animated bars and cafés, plus restaurants of every possible ethnicity, you’ll be spoiled for choice until late into the evening if you wish. For more local drinking and dining, at cheaper prices, hit the homey suburb of La Camas (ride the tram to Camas or Eugène Pierre).

What beats a rooftop party? R2 Rooftop des Terrasses, 9 Quai du Lazaret (; tel. 04-91-91-79-39; Métro: Joliette), booms from sundown most summer nights. Ride the 4th floor elevator to Les Réformes, 125 La Canebière (; tel. 09-71-16-35-90; Métro: Réformés Canebière), is a bar-restaurant that lords it over the Canebière boulevard.

Marseille’s dance clubs are habitually packed out, especially Trolley Bus, 24 quai de Rive-Neuve (; tel. 04-91-54-30-45; Métro: Vieux-Port), known for techno, house, hip-hop, jazz, and salsa. Equally buzzing is Chez Pablo, 23 rue Saint-Saëns (tel. 06-47-08-44-78; Métro: Vieux-Port), where DJs spin electro, pop, and house music classics. The Bounce, 35 cr. Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves (tel. 06-13-35-12-06; Métro: Vieux-Port), hops until dawn with dancehall and latin tunes every Friday through Sunday from midnight until 5am.

For jazz right on the port, head to La Caravelle, 34 quai du Port (; tel. 04-91-90-36-64; Métro: Vieux-Port), an aperitif bar and dinner club that serves a different flavor almost every night, including manouche, the French gypsy style most associated with guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.