Best Things to Do in Paris at Night – A Quick Guide to Paris Nightlife

Paris by Night

Let me tell you a secret: there really is no city more magical after dark than Paris! Exploring Paris at night is part of the fun of visiting the French capital. Paris is the perfect city for a night stroll when its stunning architecture and monuments truly shine – That’s why Paris is called the City of Light!

If you are traveling to Paris, you should consider spending a night or more out and about enjoying its nightlife, taking in the bustling atmosphere of some Paris neighborhoods. So enjoy the city during the day, but save some energy for after dark to experience Paris by night.

What to do in Paris at night? Where to go out in Paris? Go on reading for the best things to do in Paris at night.

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  1. Le Pavillon de la Reine (historical 5-star hotel in Le Marais)
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  1. Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket
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  3. Seine River Night Cruise
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What to Do in Paris at Night – Overview

If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of what to do at night in Paris:

  1. Head to Montmartre for Sunset
  2. Start your Night out in Paris with an Apéritif
  3. An Eerie Soirée-Concert at Sainte Chapelle
  4. Explore Paris at Night on Two Wheels
  5. See the Louvre at Night
  6. Spot the Illuminated Eiffel Tower
  7. Learn about French Wines with an Expert Sommelier
  8. Experience the Best of Parisian Cuisine
  9. Take a Paris Night Cruise along the Seine River
  10. Music, CanCan Dance & Bubbles in a Parisian Cabaret
  11. A Night at the Opera (Garnier)
  12. Take a Paris Night Tour
  13. Learn How to Become a Parisian in One Hour
  14. Dwelve into the Mysteries of the City of Light
  15. A Night Dip in an Art Déco Pool
  16. Go for Drinks at a Rooftop Bar
  17. Clubbing and Dancing in Paris

Where to Go in Paris at Night

Paris Streets at Night

If you are wondering where to go in Paris at night, this guide will help you. Even if the Seine’s Right Bank has taken over where authentic Paris nightlife is concerned, there are places to enjoy Paris’ nocturnal atmosphere everywhere in the city.

When it comes to the best nightlife in Paris, there are no right or wrong answers. Whether you prefer a quiet night out in Paris, an offbeat night scene, or trendy bars & late-night clubs, a memorable evening out is guaranteed!

Here’s the list of the best places to visit in Paris at night, with something for everyone:

> LE MARAIS (Paris 4): This area is one of the locals’ favorite spots for a night out in Paris. This part of Le Marais is also (but not only) home to a thriving gay and lesbian scene, with rainbow flags everywhere.

> SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS & THE LATIN QUARTER (Paris 5 and 6): This area is perfect for those who wish to spend a relaxed night in Paris over a couple of drinks in cozy bars or bar-terraces. Both neighborhoods offer many restaurants, pubs, and bars. These are much cheaper in the Latin Quarter, as it has been the students’ district for ages, while prices are definitely higher in Odéon or Saint-Germain trendy neighborhoods. I particularly like this area for a Saturday night in Paris.

> CHAMPS ELYSÉES (Paris 8): People looking for an exclusive night out in Paris will head to Champs Elysées. Around Paris’ most famous avenue, there are some good choices for dancing and all-night partying. Expect higher prices in this part of the city.

> BASTILLE (Paris 11): This lively and overcrowded neighborhood is dominated by 20-somethings looking for fun nights in Paris, but it is also a popular spot of nightlife for tourists. This is the kind of place with something for everyone, starting with a bit of bar-hopping down Rue de Lappe or Rue Roquette to end up dancing to any music somewhere else. I particularly like this area for a Friday night in Paris.

> MONTMARTRE & PIGALLE (Paris 18): The upper heights of Montmartre are a good place to go for an evening or night stroll in the summer. At the same time, cheeky Pigalle is Paris’ red-light district, with places like the Moulin Rouge or late-night clubs, but also with interesting places playing rock or hip-hop.

> BELLEVILLE (Paris 20): This neighborhood, still relatively untouched by tourists, has several lively streets packed with affordable bars that attract mixed crowds. Come to Belleville to experience authentic Paris nightlife.

> BASSIN DE LA VILLETTE & CANAL SAINT-MARTIN (Paris 19 and Paris 10): Locals from East Paris crowd the city canals for waterside pétanque, drinks along their bar-terraces, or casual picnics dangling their feet over the water. The Canal Saint-Martin is dominated by the 20-somethings, while the age tends to rise at La Villette. These are two good places to go in Paris at night when the weather is warm, but they are pretty dead in wintertime. From 15 July to 15 August, the Bassin de la Villette’s atmosphere is particularly festive thanks to the activities of Paris Plages.

Paris at Night

Best Things to Do at Night in Paris

Curious to know what to do in Paris tonight? Here’s a list of fun things to do in Paris at night, a mix of locals’ favorite spots and Paris nightlife for tourists:

GOOD TO KNOW: your after-dark Paris adventures can start earlier in winter (around 5:00 p.m. during the shortest days!). Check out the sunset times in Paris.

1. Head to Montmartre for Sunset

Stairs of Montmartre - Paris

If you are looking for a sunset spot for your first evening in Paris, head to Montmartre to admire the fabulous views of Paris from its heights.

The plaza in front of the Sacré-Coeur is one of the most famous spots to see a sunset in Paris, offering a stunning view of the city. However, it can be challenging to truly enjoy it because of the crowds.

I recommend taking a few steps away from the masses in front of Sacré-Coeur to the southwest. I like Rue Norvins, angle Rue Jean-Baptiste Clément, a good spot to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower (which is non-visible from Sacré-Coeur). The typical Parisian buildings and lampposts add to this vantage point’s allure.

2. Start your Night out in Paris with an Apéritif

French Apéritif with Eiffel Tower Views

It wouldn’t be a night in Paris without starting things off with an apéritif. An apéritif in France is typically recognized as a pre-dinner drink, a moment to relax over a few drinks and snacks. The French apéritif is a moment of sharing – with family or friends – and preparing your palate for the meal to follow.

An apéritif is an ideal way to round up your day and ease into the evening. Of course, you can drink French wine, but there is also champagne and other famous French drinks that are perfect for an apéritif.

3. An Eerie Concert at Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle at Night

Located on the Île de la Cité, in the heart of Medieval Paris, the Sainte-Chapelle is a gem of Gothic architecture, world-famous for its stained glass windows.

After the day crowds, the Sainte Chapelle hosts over 100 night performances each year. The concerts feature favorite works of the classical music repertoire, performed by excellent soloists and ensembles.

A classical concert at La Sainte Chapelle is simply unforgettable! I recommend arriving 45 minutes before the performance begins so you can visit this unique Paris landmark and admire the stained glass windows – Click here for Sainte-Chapelle’s full program

4. Explore Paris at Night on Two Wheels

Paris by Bike

Bike tours in Paris are a great way to discover the city’s highlights. Stop at important or curious sites and enjoy your guide’s commentary on Parisian history and city life. Explore Paris at night while riding an electric bike on this top-rated guided tour. Learn historical anecdotes about Paris and let your guide take your picture at sights like the Louvre Palace and the Eiffel Tower.

If you prefer to do things independently, this quick guide to Paris by bike comes with several self-guided bike itineraries.

Another fun night tour in Paris, also on two wheels, is this 1.5-hour Segway Night Tour, which starts from the center of Paris and goes past the classic points of interest. This Paris night tour will show you what makes Paris the true city of lights!

5. See the Louvre at Night

Louvre Museum At Night

One of the best places to visit in Paris at night (or at least to pass by) is the Louvre Palace, lit by the glowing Glass Pyramid, which dominates the Cour Napoléon.

If you spend a Friday night in Paris, you can visit the Louvre Museum until 9:45 p.m., without crowds. Inside the Louvre, the sculptures look incredibly beautiful when they are lit by the moon.

TIP: Read how to get the most out of the Louvre Museum in 2 hours or less

6. Spot the Illuminated Eiffel Tower

Shangri-La Paris Terrace
photo courtesy: Hotel Shangri-La Paris ©

With nearly 7 million visitors in 2018, the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of France and one of the world’s most popular attractions. Thanks to its monumental size, it is possible to see the Eiffel Tower from almost every corner of the city, usually outstanding among Paris’ quintessential rooftops.

The Eiffel Tower is especially beautiful when it lights up. It is just so romantic to see the sparkling Eiffel Tower, not to mention it is more photogenic! Click here for the best views of the Eiffel Tower, day and night.

There are many ways to enjoy the Eiffel Tower at night, from a picnic in Champs de Mars in summer to a night river cruise on the Seine River. The Eiffel Tower lights up hourly from dusk until 11:45 p.m. The illumination lasts around 5 minutes each time; do not miss it!

The good news is that some of the best hotels in Paris also come with the best views of the Eiffel Tower. So, if you are traveling to Paris for a few days and can afford it, why not treat yourself to a hotel with Eiffel Tower views?

7. Learn about French Wines with an Expert Sommelier

Wine Tasting in Paris

Book a wine tasting by an expert sommelier to learn more about French wines. Visit virtually the main wine regions of France and learn how to taste and identify wine on a fun and informative wine-tasting experience.

The wine-tasting workshops by Ô Château are the most popular and always get the best ratings.

For a unique experience, book a wine tasting at Les Caves Du Louvre. Located near the Louvre Palace, these were King Louis XV’s wine cellars!

8. Experience the Best of Parisian Cuisine

Paris Bistro

What better way to start an evening in Paris than tasting some of the best food in the world? With over 100 Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris is the right destination for food lovers. If you prefer something more casual, the Parisian bistros will get you covered.

Check out my Paris food guide to learn what to eat in Paris, the most popular desserts in Paris, and more. If you are looking for a romantic soirée, here are some favorite romantic restaurants in Paris.

9. Take a Paris Night Cruise along the Seine River

Seine River at Night

If you spend only one night in Paris, head to Paris’ Most Beautiful Avenue for an evening cruise along the Seine River. Depending on the season, the banks of the Seine River are more or less lively, but it is always a beautiful experience.

During this Paris night cruise, you can see some of the main Paris landmarks, such as Notre Dame or Les Invalides, this time beautifully illuminated. It is difficult not to fall in love with Paris after a view like that!

The evening Seine river cruises come with or without dinner. Dinner river cruises are a great way to spend a relaxed soirée. I particularly like this Seine River Panoramic Cruise, with bistro-type meals, because the seats are positioned facing the river in a way to enjoy both the Seine River and your company (see the pictures on the link).

10. Music, CanCan Dance & Bubbles in a Parisian Cabaret

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Looking for cheeky, fun things to do in Paris at night? Then head to one of the Parisian Cabarets, one of the top attractions of nightlife in Paris for tourists. Cabaret shows usually include the crazy French cancan (our favorite part) and also singing, dancing, and juggling.

The Moulin Rouge is the most iconic cabaret in Paris, but there are many more! Most of the cabarets also come with the dinner option or a glass of champagne, so you are set for the whole night. From the Moulin Rouge to the Crazy Horse on the Right Bank or the Paradis Latin on the Left Bank, there’s something for everyone.

Crazy Horse VIP Experience: Enjoy the rare opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes and meet one of the dancers before the show! 

11. A Night at the Opera (Garnier)

A night at the Opéra Garnier, with the right program, is a great way to start a night out in Paris. I suggest arriving well in advance to admire its architecture and rich decoration before the show – Click here to see Opéra Garnier’s list of events

Feeling thirsty during the interlude? Then head to the Grand Foyer, grab a glass of champagne, and admire this stunning gallery. It has a design inspired by the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles Palace!

Opéra Garnier is mostly dedicated to ballet shows, while Opéra Bastille is the place to go for opera performances. If opera and ballet are not your thing, but you don’t want to miss one of the most beautiful attractions in Paris, then take the self-guided Opera Garnier tour (until 5:00 p.m.). Learn about Palais Garnier’s history and its most famous guest, the Phantom of the Opera, and visit his reserved balcony#5 (option available only on some tours).

12. Take a Paris Night Tour

Things to do in Paris at Night

Paris night tours are ideal during the summer months. Enjoy the fresh air while learning about the city’s history, your favorite neighborhood, or local food.

Drive through the city’s illuminated streets and avenues in style on a classic Vintage Citroën 2CV and get the most out of Paris by night. Enjoy a glass of champagne while admiring the Paris attractions beautifully lit, such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Sacré Coeur in the neighborhood of Montmartre. This Paris Night Tour on a Vintage Citroën 2CV includes a fun and informative driver /guide, so you just need to sit in the back, relax, and enjoy Paris (and the champagne).

Are you in need of some exercise after that delicious fondue? Discover top Paris landmarks by night with this small-group Paris by Night Bike Tour. See where the City of Lights got its name as you cruise between illuminated monuments with your guide.

Looking for more relaxed Paris night tours? See the City of Light after dark on a City Bus Night Tour. Navigate through Paris’ landmarks and monuments illuminated while listening to recorded commentary (several languages) on each location’s history.

13. Learn How to Become Parisian in One Hour

How to Become a Parisian Comedy Show Paris

If you are wondering what to do at night in Paris to have some fun, consider a comedy show. Learn how to think and act like a Parisian at this hilarious 1-hour show in English, “How to Become a Parisian” at Thêatre des Nouveautés in Paris 9. Laugh along with others from across the globe as you explore cultural differences, the Parisian way of life, and more – Click here to buy your ticket to this fun comedy show

If you are looking for fun and entertaining things to do in Paris tonight, a comedy show won’t disappoint. See Paris’s only one-woman comedy show, 100% in English, by Julie Collas. In “Oh My God, She is Parisian!,” you will learn everything you need to know about how Parisians live from a real Parisian woman – Click here to buy your tickets for this one-woman show

City of culture “par excellence,” Paris is home to many theatres of all sizes that host the best plays and shows throughout the year. Check out the full program of shows in Paris for your trip dates.

14. Dwelve into the Mysteries of the City of Light

There’s no need to wait for Halloween in Paris to uncover the mysteries of the City of Light! This Night Walking Tour of Paris’ Ghosts, Mysteries, and Legends by a masterful storyteller explores the dark side of Parisian history. Challenge your romantic illusions of Paris on a terrifying tour of the city’s most sinister spots!

This 2-hour walking tour starts from the iconic Pont Neuf and covers sinister chapters like the burning of the last Knight Templars at stake, the St. Bartholomew’s massacre in 1572, the French Revolution, the Paris Commune, and the Nazi rule – Click here to book the Ghosts, Mysteries, and Legends Night Walking Tour of Paris

15. A Night Dip in an Art Déco Pool

Belle Époque Pool in Paris
photo courtesy of  @guide-piscine

What to do in Paris at night after a busy day? Head to the 5th Arrondissement of Paris, to the Art Déco-style Piscine Pontoise for some night laps.

Built during the ’30s, the unattractive external facade at 19 Rue de Pontoise hides a listed building with a vintage touch, individual changing cabins, a huge glass ceiling, and mosaic frescoes.

The pool is open until midnight from Monday to Friday, and it isn’t easy to find a more attractive setting for a late-night swim!

16. Go for Drinks at a Rooftop Bar

Rooftop bars in Paris
Photo courtesy: Terrass Hotel Montmartre ©

When the weather in Paris is good and the sun starts to set down, there are few better ways to enjoy Paris’ nights than from above, cocktail in hand, gazing across the lights and landmarks that define the city.

Paris has no shortage of rooftop bars, trendy spots to enjoy a drink, and, eventually, some cheese and cold cuts, so if you are looking for things to do at night in Paris that need no reservation, check out our list of favorite rooftop bars in Paris, with something for everyone.

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17. Clubbing and Dancing in Paris

Clubbing in Paris

For some, clubbing and dancing will be the best way to spend a Friday or Saturday night in Paris. When it gets dark, the City of Light has some legit clubs and bars for dancing and partying with all kinds of music. Here’s the list of locals’ favorites:

>Les Bains: This place was Paris’ answer to NYC’s Studio 54 and welcomed everyone with a name on its dancefloor and in its (adjacent) swimming pool. Address: 7 Rue du Bourg-l’Abbé, Paris 3

>L’Heritage: This place promises a unique clubbing experience at once sophisticated and classy. Address: 37 Avenue de Friedland, Paris 8

>Le Baron: An exclusive club that hosts some of the city’s best DJs and features live music acts. Address: 6 Avenue Marceau, Paris 8

>Le Bus Palladium: Located in the heart of Pigalle, this is the favorite place for rock lovers. Address: 6 Rue Pierre Fontaine, Paris 9

>La Java: This is a historic place dedicated to alternative, underground, and emerging new music talents. Address: 105 Rue du Faubourg du Temple, Paris 10.

>Wanderlust: Its 1,600 square-meter terrace is the perfect place for hanging out and dancing during the summer nights in Paris. Address: 32 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 13

>La Machine du Moulin Rouge: The iconic cabaret’s former boiler room has been transformed into an underground dance floor. Address: 90 Boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18.

>La Bellevilloise: This club is perfect for a trendy indie clubbing experience in one of Paris’s coolest arrondissements. Address: 19-21 Rue Boyer, Paris 20.

So there you have it, where to go at night in Paris to enjoy the city after dark. Have you tried any of our favorites?

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Quirky Parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light! Read more about me.