NIGHTLIFE IN FRANCE (MARSEILLE, LILLE & CANNES)
Marseille has a dynamic live music and club scene. Check out Sortir, every Wednesday in La Provence (website: www.laprovence-presse.fr), the local daily paper, for listings. Also worth buying is lÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Officiel des Loisirs, out every Wednesday too. Otherwise Vox Mag is a free fortnightly publication with listings, available from La Fnac, Virgin and many venues.
Good online guides with events listings include www.bestofprovence.com and www.tout-marseille.com
The best areas for nightlife in Marseille are the Vieux Port and Place Thiars, and the Escale BorÃƒÂ©ly, a relatively new waterfront development south of the town center (a 20 minute ride on the bus no 83), right by the sea. Also worth checking out is Le Cours Julien, a square lined with cafes and restaurants in the La Plaine area.
Bars: Many bars in Marseille are also Ã¢â‚¬ËœglaciersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (ice cream parlours). In fact, going out for an ice-cream is almost as popular as going out for a drink, at least in the hot summer months. For an aperitif head for the Bar de la Marine, 15 quai de Rive Neuve, 7e, made famous by local author Marcel Pagnol. Le Suffren, quai des Belges, 6e, is one of the many other bars overlooking the Vieux Port, perfect for people watching and especially pleasant at sunset. Le CafÃƒÂ© de la Plage, Escale BorÃƒÂ©ly, avenue Pierre MendÃƒÂ©s, 8e, is a swanky cocktail bar facing the sea near the Prado beaches, popular with a hip young surfer crowd. Le Manureva, 1 avenue de la Pointe-Rouge, 8e, is an ultra trendy bar in the chic part of town (itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decorated like a luxury yacht inside), ideal for a pre-club drink or two. Homesick visitors can try the Red Lion, 231 avenue Pierre de Mendes France, 8e (website: www.pubredlion.com) for some draught beer, English speaking staff and some fish and chips. MP Bar, 10 rue Beauveau, 1e is the most popular of MarseilleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gay bars, open from early evening until sunrise. Bars a vin (wine bars) are popular at the moment. Try Le Bistrot a Vin, 17 rue Sainte, 1e.
Clubs: Le Trolleybus, 22-24, quai de Rive Neuve, 7e (website: http://letrolley.com) has been going strong for years and is still one of the most popular clubs in Marseille, with techno, house, hip-hop, jazz, and salsa, depending on the day of the week. The CafÃƒÂ© de la Plage, Escale BorÃƒÂ©ly, avenue MendÃƒÂ¨s-France, 8e, is where all the trendy young things strut their stuffÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ it offers dancing and karaoke with popular music selections. The New Cancan (3 rue Senac, 1e) is the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest gay-friendly club, while Le Millenium, route de Cassis, 9e, is one of the biggest clubs in town, and plays mainly house music. La Maronaise, Anse Croisettes, Les Goudes, 8e, is frequented by some of MarseilleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beau monde (including well-known soccer players and television personalities) who come here to enjoy the amazing view and the impressive seawater pool (open Apr-Oct only). Entry to some nightclubs very much depends on the whim of the bouncers on the day, but dressing the part helps, so make an effort.
Live Music: check out Espace Julien, 39 cours Julien, 6e (website: www.espace-julien.com), for everything from French music to jazz to hip hop and local talent; Dock des Suds, 12, rue Urbain V, 2e (website: www.dock-des-suds.org) for world music, and Friche Belle de Mai, 23 rue Guibal, 3e (website: www.lafriche.org). PÃƒÂªle-MÃƒÂªle, 8 place aux Huiles 1e, is a many-faceted bar/disco/cafe that occasionally hosts live music. The Cite de la Musique (Auditorium), 4 rue Bernard du Bois, 1e (website: www.citemusique-marseille.com) (also Bastide de la Magalone, 245 bis, boulevard Michelet) is the home of several local music associations and features concerts of all kinds, from jazz to baroque music. La Cave ÃƒÂ Jazz, rue Bernard-du-Bois, 1e, is, as its name indicates, the place to go for jazz music.
Lille has an active nightlife, catering mainly for the thousands of students who live and study in the city. To find out whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on, get a copy of Sortir, a free listings publication out every Wednesday, available from the tourist office.
Bars: La Part des Anges, 50 rue de la Monnaie, has an impressive wine list, with Ã¢â‚¬ËœplanchesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (wooden boards) loaded with cheeses or charcuterie to nibble on. Friendly service and laid back atmosphere. Try Les Trois Brasseurs, 22 place de la Gare, a big and bustling bar, or Le Moulin dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or, 30 place du ThÃƒÂ©atre, which used to be a lingerie shop, now a very popular cafÃƒÂ©. In the rue Royale area, BD Fugue CafÃƒÂ© at number 5, a funky comic store with a bar at the back, or at number 18, LÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Illustration, where local intellectuals meet. Or try the Lounge CafÃƒÂ© at number 21 if cocktails are what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re after.
Clubs: Sapo, 11 rue de Gand, or La Scala, 32 place Louise de Bettignies just round the corner, are popular with students. So is Le Tri Postal, avenue Willy Brandt (near the Euralille Shopping Center), which has live music, a bar and a club in an old postal sorting office. The Network CafÃƒÂ©, 15 rue du Faisan (website: www.network-cafe.com) is one of the busiest (and trendiest) clubs in Lille, playing house and dance mainly.
Live Music: Try Le Tri Postal (see Clubs) or Le Splendid, 1 place du Mont de Terre (website: www.le-splendid.com).
The focus of nightlife, as elsewhere on the CÃƒÂ´te dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Azur, is the casino. The streets buzz at night, particularly around La Croisette, along la rue du Dr Monod and la rue Saint Antoine in Le Suquet, except for the rare occasions when it rains. Many restaurants double up as bars and clubs, as the night draws on. On the whole, the Cannois like to dress up to go out. But visitors will feel at ease in anything from jeans to eveningwear, depending on the venue. Restaurant-bars serve drinks until about 0200, casinos remain open until about 0400 and discos and nightclubs until 0400 or 0500. Many bars have a happy hour 1800-1900. The legal drinking age in France is 16 years. While the standard price for a drink is aorund Ã¢â€šÂ¬3, prices tend to rise dramatically during high tourist season and key festivals.
Entertainment listings and information is available online (website: www.cannes.fr) and in Le Mois a Cannes, a monthly listings magazine published in French, available at the Cannes Tourist Office. However, for all its excitement, Cannes is a small town and long-term residents and revelers are often tempted to make the trip to Nice.
Bars: The popular Loft bar, 13 rue du Dr Monod, above a Chinese restaurant, is ideal for a relaxing drink. Another cosy little bar is Les Coulisses, 29 rue Commandant AndrÃƒÂ©, which plays black American music. Why Not?, 8 rue des Freres Pradignac, just a stoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s throw from La Croisette, can be relied upon for playing the latest pop tunes to a lively crowd. Le LÃƒÂ©gend CafÃƒÂ©, 9 rue dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Oran, plays chilled music in the early evening, before progressing to techno from 2300 onwards. MorrisonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, 10 rue Teisseire, with its entire dÃƒÂ©cor imported from Ireland, acts as a magnet to CannesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ youthful foreign crowd. There are plenty of reasons to join them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not least the wide choice of beer and drinks. Le Zanzibar, rue FÃƒÂ©lix Faure, is CannesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ oldest gay bar. For romantic nights, head for seaside La Fregate, boulevard Jean Hibert, to watch the sun slowly rise Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this restaurant-bar is open 24-hours.
Casinos: The Carlton Casino Club is located on the seventh floor of the smart Hotel Carlton, 58 La Croisette. The Casino Croisette Club is situated inside the Palais des Festivals. Gaming at both venues is restricted to those over 18 years and French law requires the presentation of an identity card (EU nationals) or passport at all casinos. Casual dress is accepted for the slot machines, however, formal attire is required to gain access to the gambling rooms.
Clubs: Le Cat Corner, 22 rue MacÃƒÂ©, is one of the trendiest and most happening clubs in Cannes. JaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Club, Hotel Gray dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Albion, 38 rue de Serbes, has themed evenings on Fridays and disco nights on Sundays. Le JimmyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, at the Casino Croisette, has a bar, a thumping dancefloor and a large terrace for an older crowd. Gays and straights converge at Disco 7, 7 rue Rouguiere, known for its techno music, transvestite show and party atmosphere.
Live music: Within the palatial hotels on La Croisette, there are many piano bars, such as Le Bar des CÃƒÂ©lÃƒÂ©britÃƒÂ©s, Hotel Carlton, 58 La Croisette, and the wonderful LÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Amiral, Hotel Martinez, 73, La Croisette. Or you could try BrumelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Piano Bar, 3 boulevard de la RÃƒÂ©publique, as an alternative. Irish pubs are particularly good for live music, including MorrisonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, 10 rue Teisseire. Salsa and Latino groups play at restaurant-bar El Caliente, 84 boulevard del la Croisette, also excellent for Cuban cocktails and spicy meals.