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Last updated on the 9th of August 2022 by Lena

Are you looking for the best things to do in Paris at Night? Then you are at the right place!

Paris is called “The City of Lights” and I can tell you, the French capital lives more than up to the expectations. Paris at night is magical. A million lights are illuminating streets, monuments, and facades, bathing the city in light and sparkles and making Paris by night a truly special experience.

If you are enchanted by Paris during the daytime, nighttime in Paris will blow you away!

 

In a Nutshell: The best things to do in Paris at Night

Before listing all the wonderful things you can do to fully enjoy Paris in the evening, a short sum up for you with the most popular night tours in Paris:

Activity
Booking/Info
Dinner Cruise on the Seine
See a Show at the Moulin Rouge
Eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant
Visit the Eiffel Tower
Take a Paris at Night Walking Tour
Have Cocktails in a Speakeasy Bar
Discover Paris in Vintage CV2 car

 

Night at Paris with view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine
Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine

 

If you are looking for fantastic things to do to enjoy the nightlife in Paris, I’ve got you covered! But before filling you in, I want to share a few things about Paris, that you should know when enjoying Paris at night.

 

Is Paris safe at night?

Overall, yes, Paris is safe, even at night. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you should not be careful and stay alert when going out. Especially when having a few drinks and planning a night out in Paris.

Paris is in this regard like most other cities, and the same precaution applies:

  • Never (NEVER!) leave your glass unattended
  • Don’t accept drinks unless you see how they are getting poured into your glass
  • Leave your valuables at home and keep your purse close by
  • avoid lonely alleys and stay where people are

If you are not planning to plunge into the Parisian nightlife, you really shouldn’t worry too much about safety when in Paris. Usually, you will stay in popular areas and the center and those areas are always safe.

Still keep your valuables close and watch out for pickpockets. So don’t miss our post about scams in Paris because knowing about them is the best prevention.

 

Don’t Travel to Paris without Insurance!

Before traveling to Paris, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! I recommend getting a FREE quote from World Nomads. They are my go-to travel insurance and cover as well many COVID-19-related events.

 

Does the Metro run all night long? 

How I wish I could say “yes” to this question but unfortunately, as reliable and frequent the Parisian Metro runs throughout the day, the service stops during the night.

On weekdays, the metro operates from 5:30 a.m. to about 1:15 a.m. On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on the eve of bank holidays, trains run until about 2:15 a.m.

 

Paris streets at night - you can always rent a velib
The Vélib service is available all night

It’s important to know that the end of service times do not indicate the departure time of the last metro, but the arrival. Hence, if you plan to take the last metro somewhere around the beginning or the middle of the line, the last Metro might be leaving actually 20 minutes before the end. 

However, there are night busses, Vélib, and of course taxis and Ubers after the Metro service stops. For most Paris evening activities, you don’t need to worry about how to get home as they finish well before the last Metro.

 

These are the best things to do in Paris at Night

But what are the best things to do at Night in Paris to experience the magic of the city? I assembled for you a list of ideas to enjoy the nightlife of Paris and for you to know about the best things to do in Paris in the evening.

 

Take a Seine Cruise through the illuminated Paris

An evening cruise along the Seine is a great way to see the sights of Paris by night, all while learning more about the city’s history.

Generally, the cruises will take you along the Seine, seeing famous landmarks like the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the many bridges connecting the Left and Right Banks of Pairs.

You’ll end the cruise back at the Eiffel Tower, timed perfectly on the hour so that you can see the twinkling lights. Most cruises also offer commentary to give more insight into the history of Paris and all the landmarks that you see along the way.

There are several Seine cruises to choose from, ranging from romantic dinner cruises, champagne tasting cruises, and family-friendly sightseeing cruises. Specialty cruises, like New Year’s Eve dinner cruises, are also available for certain holidays.

One of the most popular cruise providers is Bateaux Parisiens. Most of the cruises, including those run by Bateaux Parisiens, depart from Port de la Bourdonnais near the Eiffel Tower.

Suggested by Sydney from A World in Reach

 

 

Head up the sparkling Eiffel Tower by Night

Everyone recognizes the striking, graceful lines of Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower, which have been copied the world over, from Las Vegas to Lyon.  One thing you may not know is that at night, the Eiffel Tower adds another fantastic dash of flair to the Paris skyline.

From dusk until 1 a.m., the Eiffel Tower is aglow with millions of lights.   At the top of every hour, there is a dazzling show in which glittering lights dance across the Tower’s metal structure.  Be sure to keep an eye on the time so that you don’t miss this nightly performance!

The Eiffel Tower is THE Parisian landmark that you find the most on Instagram. Take a look at our list of 130 epic Paris Instagram captions for your content to stand out!

Paris nights are incomplete without marveling at the sparkling Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower lies right by the Seine and you can see it sparkle from across town

There are many fantastic Eiffel Tower viewpoints from which to enjoy this sparkling spectacle. Stake out a spot on one of Paris’ many bridges, or make a visit to the Trocadero. From there you get an excellent, unimpeded view of the Eiffel Tower, just a hop away across the Seine.

Contributed by Lisa of Waves and Cobblestones

 

These articles could also be interesting for you:

 

See a Movie (even if you don’t speak French)

Cinema culture is huge in France. If you are a movie lover yourself and keen on exploring the Parisian cinemas and screenings, you’ll be happy to know that the language barrier is no longer a showstopper.

Lost in Frenchlation shows the best French films, with English subtitles! The screenings are happening in independent cinemas and start with a convivial cocktail hour. Many are accompanied by QA sessions with the Director, or thematic walking tours. See their monthly programs here.

 

Visit the Louvre in Paris by Night

Unsure what to do in Paris by night? If so, then try visiting one of the most famous museums in the world after dark. Click here to reserve your spot.

See, their incredible collection of world-class art and historic artifacts is routinely open until 9:45 pm on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Plus, guests can also enjoy a free late-night opening of the museum on the first Saturday of the month. 

The Pyramide of the Louvre by Night
The Louvre has prolonged opening times on Wednesday and Fridays

And while these hours are currently suspended due to COVID, this practice is sure to continue sometime soon – creating a quiet, peaceful and safe atmosphere that is perfect for couples, as well as anyone, who plans to solo travel Paris

This way, you can quickly and easily enjoy the famous artworks of the Louvre like the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Seated Scribe, and Liberty Leading the People without all the crowds. Just be sure to book your tickets well in advance, since queues for tickets at the museum can get incredibly long. 

Also, remember that you will have to spend some time waiting to get inside as patrons pass through security before entering the museum.” 

Suggested by Kelly of Girl with the Passport

 

 

Head up the Arc de Triomphe

Also read: 35 fascinating Facts about the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is a great location to admire the Parisian Skyline. The view of the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower is stunning. The popular landmark is open daily until 22:30h.

places to visit in paris at night: Arc de Triomphe
Places to visit in Paris at Night: Arc de Triomphe

 

Take a Bike Tour through Paris by Night

Click here to get an overview of all Paris Night Tours 

During the past years, Paris massively improved when it comes to bike lanes and bike-friendly passages. In fact, you can cross Paris by bike now without even leaving your designated bike lane and crossing regular traffic. By now, cycling through Paris is actually my favorite way of moving around, and honestly, it is captivating by night. You’re gonna love it!

You can either rent a Vélib (see our Vélib guide here) or join a guided tour if you want the extra layer of safety. The two most popular Paris at night tours by bike are those:

Tour
Duration
Feature
Price
2h
Electric Bikes
3h
Budget-Friendly

 

Eat at a Bouillon

Much nighttime fun in Paris revolves around food. With its elegant brasseries, neighborhood bistros, and starred Michelin restaurants, there’s plenty to choose from. But what if you want Art Nouveau Décor, authentic Parisian flair, and reasonable prices?

It’s not impossible, not by any means.

As 19th century gave into the 20th, Paris was packed with so-called proletarian restaurants, or “bouillons”, designed to feed the working classes quickly and affordably.

With the arrival of World War I, the bouillons went into decline, and by mid-century, they were eclipsed by other, newer types of eateries.

All of a sudden, a few years ago, they started changing hands, reopening, dusting off their menus, and Parisians were lining up at the doors. The Paris bouillon was back in style!

Paris by Night
Eating in a traditionally Parisian Bouillon is one of the unique things to do in Paris

Today, you can pick and choose your bouillon, from the rather upmarket Bouillon Racine and the delightful Petit Pharamond to the light and airy Bouillon Pigalle or the old-fashioned Art Nouveau Julien or Chartier. You’ll know you’re in a bouillon when the item at the top of the menu is eggs mayonnaise, the service is excellent, and your bill is impossibly reasonable.

Suggested by Leyla Alyanak from Offbeat France

 

Attend a Concert

No matter if you are into classical piano concerts by candlelight, jazz clubs, open mic sessions or prefer to see Lady Gaga at the Stade de France: Paris delivers.

For an overview of all concerts, check this link. If you are looking for concerts in cozy venues, the nicest ones of them are listed here.

 

Join a night walking tour of Paris

Book here the most popular nighttime walking tour in Paris

I said it probably a hundred times before: Paris is a wonderfully walkable city. Distances are typically rather short and with only a few hours of strolling, you can see most sights in Paris. But: Paris is also spectacular at nighttime, and joining a night tour of Paris combines both to perfection. It is honestly one of the nicest things you can do in Paris at night. Especially with an experienced and local guide by your side, who fills you in plenty of secrets, fun facts, and anecdotes. Great, especially if you don’t know exactly where to go in Paris at night.

 

 

Vdisit the Opéra Garnier

Seeing a show at the Opera Garnier is one of the best things to do in Paris in the night! If you attend a ballet, an opera, or a concert of classical music, you will enjoy the show and place! The opera house from the end of the 19th century has an astonishing architecture with a mix of Napoleon III, Baroque, Classicism of Palladio, and Renaissance style. It’s one of the most iconic opera houses in the world!

The Opera Garnier hall
You can visit the Palais Garnier during the daytime and see an opera in the evening

The building is stunning from the outside but also from the inside with its stunning grand staircase and the “grand foyer”. This room features impressive paintings on the walls and chandeliers.
You should plan to book the show in advance to make sure you have someplace available.

Suggested by Ophélie from Limitless Secrets

 

 

See a Cabaret Show

There is probably no venue in Paris that is more famous than the Moulin Rouge. The recognizable red building with the windmill on the roof is unmissable from the Parisian cityscape, and so are the world-known cabaret shows. But the Moulin Rouge is not the only cabaret show that you find in Paris. See our post that explains the different cabaret shows in detail, or check the option right below:

The best Cabarets in Paris at a quick glance:

Cabaret
Dinner Options
Cancan
Prices
Moulin Rouge
yes
yes
Lido
yes
yes
Crazy Horse
amuse bouche
no
Le Paradis Latin
yes
yes
Au Lapin Agile
no
no

 

 

Have a drink at a Roof Top Bar

The skyline of Paris by night is spectacular, but you don’t necessarily need to visit a tourist hotspot to enjoy it to the fullest. Paris has plenty of outstanding rooftop bars where you can not only marvel at an illuminated Paris but also enjoy first-class cocktails.

One of the hippest rooftop bars at the time is the Skybar on the Pullman Montparnasse Hotel. They don’t take reservations, so either be there early or prep yourself to queue for a bit. The dress code is smart casual.

 

 

See a Comedy Show

Are you keen on spending a fun evening in Paris? Visit a comedy show in a theater! There are a few shows in English that are very popular among locals, expats, and tourists alike. Especially as there is obviously no topic that you can laugh more about than Parisians, and being Parisian, with a wink, of course. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Paris at night.

 

Climb down to the Catacombs

→ Book your entrance ticket here with a full refund guarantee

In the late 18th century, public health concerns from the overflowing cemeteries led to millions of bones being transferred to the former Tombe-Issoire quarries. At first, the bones were just dumped underground with no care. But eventually, they got organized into walls, monuments, and even traditional cabinets of curiosities.

Thus, the catacombs of Paris were born. You get quite an eerie feeling when visiting the catacombs. It’s quiet, cold, and damp down there – and, of course, there are lots and countless bones wherever you look.

Think about bringing a jacket, the temperature is always around 14°C, no matter the season.

Visit the Catacombs in Paris - lots of skulls and bones in Paris underground
Cool things to do in Paris: Visit the Catacombs in the evening

It’s infinitely interesting to see this place and to learn about Paris, and its history. The catacombs were even a hideout for the French Resistance during WWII.

The Catacombs are open until 20:30 and are great for kicking off your night in Paris. Very close by, you find one of the best food streets of Paris, Rue Daguerre. A good location to have dinner!

The catacombs are no hidden gem of Paris anymore and are often booked out weeks in advance. Make sure to save your spot as early as possible. Check here for availabilities.

Suggested by Kristine from Wanderlust Designers

 

 

visit the Galerie Lafayette Roof Top Terrace

Even if you’re not into malls or shopping, Galeries Lafayette is an impressive sight to behold. The main building on the corner of Boulevard Haussman and Rue de la Chaussee d’Antin is open until 8 pm daily. The historic edifice has a stunningly ornate interior that’s well worth exploring.

In addition, there are two rooftop terraces where you can enjoy free, panoramic views of the city. Because of the unique viewpoint of Paris hidden away from main attractions, it’s a great spot for first-time visitors as well as long-time residents.

The Coppola of the Galeries Lafayette during Christmas Time
The dome of the beautiful Galerie Lafayette during Christmas Time in Paris

To find the two overlooks: In the Galeries Lafayette “Grand Magasin” building, take the elevator or escalator up to the 5th level and then continue up two flights of stairs to the 7th floor.

Further down Haussman, the equally elegant Printemps Beauté department store also has a rooftop terrace and café on the 9th floor.

Wander up to either terrace, enjoy the view, and make room in your luggage for any treasures you might find on the way!
By Michelle C. of Intentional Travelers

 

Enjoy a 360° view from the Tour Montparnasse

Reserve your ticket to the observation deck here

Open until 22:30h, the Tour Montparnasse is a great thing to do in Paris by night. You’ll be granted a breathtaking 360° view of Paris from the observation deck and can marvel at all sights of Paris: illuminated!

For a more exclusive experience, you could also book a table at Le Ciel de Paris. A gastronomic restaurant on the upper floor of the Tour Montparnasse, where you are not only enjoying a fantastic view but also a delicious French dinner.

 

Bar Hopping in Paris

One thing you can always do when you are looking for Paris night activities is simply go to a bar. Or to several. Paris has countless bars and pubs, and you won’t need to go out of your way to find something matching your taste. The easiest is to just head to Châtelet, where you find tons of bars, restaurants, and pubs.
If you are looking for a somewhat alternative scene and cheap(er) drinks, head to Oberkampf or Ménilmontant. The Buttes-aux-Cailles is also a good address.

Nightlife Paris: bars in Saint Germain des Pres
Paris streets at night in Saint-Germain-des-Près near Rue de Buci

For not so cheap drinks but beautiful settings, it’s Rue de Buci, and for student and casual vibes, the Latin Quarter around Rue Descartes or Rue de Pot de Fer.

If you are looking for a non-touristy area to go out, the bars and restaurants around the Metro Station Edgar Quinet are a good location.

 

 

Clubbing in Paris

Ok, here’s the thing. I can’t help you with clubbing in Paris because I am more of a pub kinda person. But for many people, clubbing is, of course, one of the best things to do in Paris during the night. If I was looking for a club and the best nightlife in Paris, I’d check the recommendation on timeout or the culturetrip.

 

 

Excellent Paris by Night Tour: Discover Paris in a CV2 

Click here to book this tour in a vintage car

Taking a ride in a vintage convertible is hands down one of the nicest ways to discover Paris by night. Your private driver will steer you around the stunning, illuminated Paris while you relax in the back seat and sip champagne.

The Citroën CV2 is the most iconic French car, and you will find hardly anything more appropriate for driving down the Champs-Élysées or the cute alleys in Montmartre. You can book your memorable tour here!

red vintage car Citroen CV2 in front of Brasserie
What to do at night in Paris: Take a city tour in a vintage CV2

 

Join a Quiz Night

Pub Quizzes, also known as Trivia Nights and Quiz Nights, are very popular in Paris and as good as every English/Irish/Scottish pub hosts them. You can find Pub quizzes every day of the week, so if you are looking for things to do in Paris Sunday night, you can be sure that a trivia night is up somewhere.

If you are not familiar with the concept, it goes like this: Several teams are trying to answer as many questions as possible, and the best team wins a round of cocktails/champagne/shots. Normally, teams are the size of 3-5 people, but it can vary. Don’t worry if your group is too small, or you are in Paris on a solo trip, you can find a group to join on meetup. Many

 

Dine in a Michelin Star Restaurant

Paris is, after Tokyo, the city with the highest density of Michelin Star awarded Restaurants. So, even if Paris is certainly not the most affordable location to try high-class cuisine, it is – quite humbly – the best.

Michelin Star Restaurants in Paris
Paris is the best place to eat amazing food

 

But did you know that there are Michelin Star Restaurants and restaurants that are in the Guide Michelin? The latter are not necessarily honored with a sought-after star, the accolade of every cook, BUT (!) they are still SO good, that the Guide Michelin recommends them. You find them all here.

Also, check our guide on the most fun restaurants in Paris to dine in a quirky and casual setting.

 

 

Enjoy a Picnic by the Seine

If you are traveling to Paris during Summer or even Spring or Autumn, you can join one of the favorite evening activities of many Parisians: A picnic by the river Seine. The Seine is one of the most popular places to go in Paris at night.

During the milder months, many Parisians enjoy an outdoor apéro. They meet by the banks of the Seine and share snacks, nibbles, and of course one or two bottles of wine. It is fairly easy to organize, just head to the next grocery store or one of the excellent Paris bakeries and buy whatever you’re keen on enjoying.

Seine in Paris. People gather in the evening to enjoy their night in Paris
The Seine is a popular place to hang out in the evening

Stroll through Montmartre

If you are looking for the perfect setting for a walk during night time in Paris, head to Montmartre. The district in the North of Paris is truly something else by night. Cobblestone alleys, rolling hills, many cozy restaurants and bars, and of course magnificent views over Paris: Montmartre is a perfect location to spend an evening and a night walk in Paris.

.

From my personal experience, it is actually best to stay either long or to arrive late. While it can be a bit crowded during the evening, from midnight on, Montmartre is almost deserted, and you will find yourself wandering alone through the history and atmosphere-loaded neighborhood.

 

 

Bus Toque: The most talked about Paris at Night Tour

Click here for prices and more information on the itinerary and menu

Enjoying Paris by night is one amazing thing. But what if you could treat yourself to a 5-course gastronomic dinner and Champagne while marveling at this beautifully illuminated city? Sounds too good to be true, but it is one of the newest activities in Paris, and it became very quickly very popular.

 

Visit a Wine Bar

Click here to book a 3-course dinner with paired wine in one of the nicest wine bars

France is probably one of the best places in the world to enjoy the most delicious wines, if not even the best. So obviously, when visiting France’s capital, a great evening activity in Paris is to visit a wine bar and enjoy every second of it. You find a good list of the best wine bars in town here.

 

 

Sip world-class Cocktails in one of the Parisian Secret Bars

Hidden bars became popular a few years ago, and it is not only super fun to go and look for them, they are although known for amazing drinks. It’s a great activity if you are searching for ideas on what to do in Paris at night.

The Parisian hidden bars are not on the cheap side, but you will be granted the best cocktails in Paris that have absolutely nothing in common with the Mojito you find elsewhere. High-quality spirits, signature drinks, and receipts from Paris’ best Barkeepers.

Read my article about hidden bars in Paris and know where to find my 4 favorite secret bars!

L'Épicier in Paris - looking for Places to visit in Paris at night, check out the hidden bars in Paris
Is it a grocery store or the entrance to a bar? Find it out

 

 

A Night in a Museums: Musée d’Orsay

Book your tickets for the Musée d’Orsay here

Whether you are looking into maximizing your limited time in Paris or are just searching for something to do in Paris after an early dinner:  The Musée d’Orsay is open on Thursdays until 21.45 and is a perfect evening activity in Paris.

As a museum does not require necessarily company and is way better enjoyed at your own pace, the Musée d’Orsay is also one of the best things to do in Paris alone at night.

 

Dance Tango by the Seine

As soon as the temperatures are getting milder, the banks of the Seine turn into an outdoor dance floor. Head to the Jardin Tino Rossi near the Jardin de Plantes and join in. It is not an official event, though – rather an improvised gathering of dancers and musicians.
The event is also one of the few free things to do in Paris at night.

Dancers By the Seine in Sunshine
As soon as the weather gets milder, public dancing events are happening along the Seine

 

Visit Versailles and see the Fireworks and Fountain Shows

Every summer, the beautiful Castle Gardens of Versailles are remaining open during the evening and pulling off some spectacular shows: Fireworks, Fountain shows, Electro Concerts, Costume Balls, Masked Balls… click here for the events schedule. 

The shows at the Château are one of the most spectacular things to see in Paris at night.

 

 

Attend an Author Reading Shakespeare & Company

The iconic anglophone bookstore Shakespeare & Company is an institution in Paris.  Especially when it comes to literary events. At the time of writing, their author readings are on hold due to Covid-19 but usually, they are held once a week in the evening. Visit their page to see their event schedule.

Paris in February - what to do in Paris in February
Due to Covid there are no events scheduled at the moment at Shakespeare & Company, but the bookstore is nevertheless worth a visit.

 

Discover Paris during a Night Bus Tour

Get further information regarding bookings and schedules of the Night Tour here

If you spend the day sightseeing, you might want to lean back during your evening activities. A relaxing way to discover Paris at night (without walking!) is by taking an open Bus Tour and getting chauffeured through the beautifully illuminated Paris. You will not only get to admire the city of light in full shine but also will marvel at the Parisian landmarks, which are all illuminated during nighttime.

It is especially a good activity if you are searching for things to do in Paris at night with family.

 

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Paris at night