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Paris At nighttime

ok, I have a question that I am now beginning to wonder if we should go to London instead. I have read Rick Steve's 2007 book and could not really find a big section in nightlife and I think the insight guides and fodor's fail to both state what to do at night.

So my question for those who have been to Paris, this will be in the mid-September '10; what is there to do at night, after the museums and shops have closed. I heard of taking the Flood-light taxi/bus tour, and going to see moulin rouge, but what else is there to do at night in Paris. I do not want to go to bed at 8 pm everynight. I am there from a Wednesday to Monday, but plan on not taking any trips besides going to Versailles. Thank you all!!!!!

Posted by
9110 posts

Have a late supper and walk your heart out before and after. That's what the town is all about.

Et's open at night, so's the top of the Arc.

Walk along the left bank from maybe Petit Pont to Pont de Alma; only a couple of miles, but a nice stroll.

Walk the Champs from Concorde to l'Etoile (in that direction, not backwards)(Ignore the record stores and junk, it's sill a nice walk).

Not too sure about floodlight tours; actually never heard of them, but I've only been there a hundred times or so.

Take a wad of cash for Moulin Rouge, only went there once and it was many years ago, but it was pretty steep back then.

Plenty of night life in MR area (Pigalle metro and thereabouts). Have heard that's a high pickpoket area (so's New Orleans, probably), but have never had any trouble.

Posted by
14939 posts

How about telling us what you normally like to do in the evenings and your age.....suggestions for a 25 year old are different than for a 60 year old.

Generic--lots of jazz clubs, Segway at night tour, illuminations tour--on the ground or bateaux mouche. If you roller skate, there used to be a massive skate every Friday night (not sure if it's still on.) Or just walk around. Paris is a great place to explore at night.

I've been to the Moulin Rouge, and unless you've never seen a Vegas show, I'd skip it. Very expensive and not worth it IMHO.

Posted by
75 posts

Frank II you are very true. I am 28; we like to go bar hopping sometimes, we do like the theatre scene, though not sure how it is in paris. Basically in columbus you have three options; drink, eat, shop.

i hope this helps out....

Posted by
14939 posts

It's been awhile since I was in my 20's so I really can't offer more than I have. My suggestion is to ask at your hotel.

Posted by
3313 posts

Time Out is a great start for a current guide to clubs and entertainment.

Posted by
11507 posts

Since dinner starts around 8 pm,, I hardly doubt you will be in bed that early. I am a middle aged woman who has grabbed dinner at a cafe at midnight,, so obviously there is something to do in Paris at night.. it is a huge modern city you know,,,LOL

They have clubs, bars, pubs etc etc,, just like any big city..

PS ,, As a 28 yr old looking for nightlife I am thinking you could be looking at another guide book,, you do realize Rick is a middleaged man and hardly going to be an authority on nightlife in Paris,,, LOL too funny.

Check out the Lonely Planet Forums, I think they are called Thorntree ( they get a lot of budget and or, young OR young at heart posters) , and also look at Paris forums,, there are tons of resources out here in web land ,,you will have a blast in Paris if you do some homework.

Posted by
875 posts

We stay close to the St. Michel fountain area on the left bank. It's fun to hang out around Notre Dame plaza on weekend nights as there is so much free entertainment going one. Also close to the Latin Quarter with their plethora of bars, etc.

Posted by
403 posts

Look in Let's Go--France and the Unofficial Guide to Paris. Both are aimed at people your age and have extensive nightlife listings. When I was your age I had a great--and cheap--time at night by plopping down in a cafe with a great view and ordering a coffee or a beer. You can sit for hours and people watch in a different area each night....Place St. Michel, Rue Moufftard, Place Bastille...the options are endless. in general, my impression is that the area just east of the place de la to the Marais full of young people and nightspots. Neither Paris nor London is New York--but neither is Columbus at night either.

Posted by
9420 posts

One of the many things my 19 yr old son (almost 20) and I Love about Paris is how much life there is going on outdoors, especially at night. Paris has an exciting energy about it. Lots of street performers (especially at Notre Dame) & musicians, the Latin Quarter is very fun at night, anywhere along the river (especially around Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis), and all the outdoor cafes. There's a great club for your age called "Queen" on the Champs Elysees ( There's lots of great bar hopping areas and jazz clubs, and small clubs for dancing. Fat Tire does a night bike ride, very fun. There's so much to do in Paris, you'll be amazed. Reading the suggested guidebooks will have it all.

Posted by
208 posts

Aside from the bar scene, I would also check out the top of the Arc de Triomphe at night. It offers stunning views of the city - including the Eiffel Tower.

Posted by
1525 posts


The fact that you ask such a question suggest to me that you have not travelled much before. If you think there is any chance at all that PARIS might close up at 8PM with nothing to do, you need to get out more.

To begin with, many Parisians and tourists, as well, often don't eat dinner until 8:00. Dinner, itself (if you're into that sort of thing) can take three hours.

The city is lit-up after sunset. There are delightful walks and people watching everywhere. There are a few museums open late every night. There is the Eiffel Tower. There are concerts & clubs.

And if you want to party like a brain-damaged college student, you can do that, too.

Pretty much the same is true of every large European city, but even more so for Paris.

I have always skipped the nightlife section of every travel book I have read. The last thing on earth I need is any sort of relief from bordom while travelling. That's like burying your head in a cookbook while dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Posted by
2349 posts

One night you should head to Montmartre before sunset. There's quite a street scene just below Sacre Couer while people watch the sun going down over Paris, eat a picnic and drink some wine.

Posted by
582 posts

Rick Steves does not like moulin rouge very much. Much too touristy. He loves the jazz clubs and there are many. You can't go wrong in Paris. I was just there in October and had the time of my life!

Posted by
796 posts

walk along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower at night, what a gorgeous site!!! The Eiffel Tower is my favorite part of Paris, just seeing it leaves me in awe all the time.

Explore different neighborhoods and have a drink or a meal sitting at an outdoor cafe. Outdoor cafes are another favorite for me, such great people watching; most of the time the food is really good. The house wines available by the glass are usually marvelous.

Some museums have late evening hours; might be best to check with each museums website. Thursday's might be the evening but I'm not sure. Also, ask at your hotel for suggestions.

There is a weekly entertainment guide available from any magazine shop, I'm sorry I can't remember the name of it. It is very inexpensive. It lists live music, plays, movies, etc, just about anything. THere is also a free online version.

Paris is my favorite place in the world. Happy Travels

Posted by
88 posts

My husband and I spent a week in Paris in December 05. One evening we went to a nightclub called Caveau de la Huchette in the Latin Quarter a block off the Seine. After you walk in you go down a staircase to an old cellar which has been used as a gathering space since the middle ages. There was a band playing swing music and people (mostly french) dancing the lindy hop. It was great!! It's mostly a jazz place.

Posted by
15576 posts

And some of the museums - Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou/Modern Art - are open late at least one night a week. I think the Louvre is open late on Wed and Fri and the Orsay on Thurs. The buildings are floodlit until midnight every night.

Plus what everyone else said already. If you choose, you will be out and about until midnight every night.

Posted by
719 posts

Hey Randy, lighten up a bit. Jonanthan mentioned that he was only 28. I was about 28 for my first European trip, and it was a big learning experience. Everyone has to have a first time traveling, so we can't be expected to know every culture in the world. That's why we travel, to learn. That's also why he's posting his question to those of us that have been there before, and may offer some insight.
Jonathan, I'm now 35 and I was in Paris in the spring, and you'll definitely have more available to you than you can fit into 5 nights. Do yourself a favor, though, ditch the 2007 book and get a 2010 version (rick's are great, but there are better options for nightlife than his) Also, Rick's son Andy has his own website which he focuses a bit more on the younger crowd. Check it out:
Good luck!

Posted by
1806 posts

Paris has amazing nightlife. Guidebooks, even ones that are written for the 20-something traveler, still often recommend places that are overrun with tourists, pricey and may not be the best fit for you personally. Hotel concierges also tend to recommend touristy venues unless you really prod them. Your best bet is to ask the locals that are around your age where they go. Tell them what kind of clubs/bars you frequent in the States. That way they won't send you to a jazz club if you prefer a DJ that spins house or techno.

Dinner and drinks at outdoor cafes are really events in Paris. The waiters expect you to linger for several hours, not scarf down your food and be out the door in under 60 minutes. If you want to eat with the locals, you won't even think about sitting down to dine before 8:30 PM. People watching in public squares on a bench with an ice cream cone is also fun and cheap if you can't afford to sit for hours drinking at that outdoor cafe. Trust me, you won't be bored in Paris at night.

Posted by
75 posts

Thanks again to everyone who has posted something; well that is everyone but a certain person who is in Minneapolis.

I think some of your posts are really great ideas!