There's no shortage of places to drink and people-watch along the quays at the picturesque Vieux Port – at their finest at sunset. Street-smart Rochelais gravitate to the peppering of fashionable wine bars on pedestrian, bohemian-feel rue St-Nicolas and neighbouring place de la Fourche.

Summertime Dancing

Salsa, jazz, tango and bags of other toe-tapping frivolities enliven La Guinguette du Gabu, a sassy, open-air dance floor, cultural stage and cafe-bar that pops up each summer (May to September) in the old fishing quartier of Gabut. To track down the party, head to the paved esplanade between Tour St-Nicolas and the line-up of crumbling warehouses plastered in a riot of colourful street art.