The 26 Best Things to Do in Paris at Night

Paris Panorama. Panoramic image of Paris riverside during twilight blue hour.

They don’t call Paris the City of Lights for nothing. While the French capital is beautiful during the day, when blue skies serve as a backdrop for its distinctive Haussmannian architecture and perfectly manicured parks, Paris at night is another beast. The city glitters in the evening, when the sun goes down and the lights turn on, and Paris’s cafe terraces are overtaken by locals, sharing laughs and romantic embraces as the wine flows.

While there are countless things to do in Paris during the day, a surprising number of attractions remain open late into the evening, from Le Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, to the Arc de Triomphe and Moulin Rouge. And if sightseeing isn’t your thing, Paris has some of the world’s best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to see you through to the wee hours of the morning. The glitz and glam of rooftop bars and cabaret shows await, as do a variety of after dark Paris adventures. So to help narrow things down, here are just a few of the best things to do in Paris at night.

26 Things to Do in Paris at Night

For things to do in Paris at night, consider going to bars like Aux Follies in Belleville.

1. Explore Paris Nightlife

Paris at night is a showcase of some of the best bars and nightclubs in the world. Cocktail lovers can visit world-renowned cocktail bars like Little Red Door, Experimental Cocktail Club, or Le Syndicat. But you can enjoy Paris nightlife even more authentically by wandering the Marais or Bastille neighborhoods and grabbing a table outside on a cafe terrace, where you can enjoy a glass of wine at unbeatable prices.

2. Hang out on a Rooftop Bar or Restaurant

Perhaps you’d like to take in the view of the Paris skyline from a rooftop bar or restaurant. Because most of the buildings in Paris are at the same height, it only takes a few extra floors to make you feel like the whole city is spread out below you. On a Saturday night, you can find locals and tourists alike stopping for a cocktail at the rooftop bar Le Perchoir for a trendy vibe, or TOO TacTac Skybar for a more elevated atmosphere, or check out the Mama Shelter rooftop bar at this unique terrace space. You can check out our full list of recommendations for rooftop bars and restaurants here.

3. Dance All Night

You can’t truly experience Paris nightlife without diving into the city’s thriving club scene. Techno is quite popular, but you can find clubs that cater to all types of music. Catch some of the best DJs in town at Nouveau Casino; or flit among the young, arty, and beautiful at the sexy and surreal Club Silencio, designed by David Lynch.

Things to do in Paris: go to a jazz club.

4. Listen to Live Music

If you’re more interested in concerts than clubs, Paris has a lot to offer. You can book concert tickets for big name artists at music halls like L’OlympiaBataclan, and Zénith Paris. But you may also want to check out some of Paris’s smaller music venues. Local music venues like La Mécanique Ondulatoire and L’International showcase rock, punk, indie, and other artists catering to Paris’s young and in-the-know, making a low key concert one of the best things to do in Paris at night.

And, of course, you can’t forget Paris’s jazz scene. For a fun night out, travel back in time at one of Paris’s historic jazz venues, like La Bellevilloise or Café de la Huchette, where you can listen to live jazz, swing, or funk in an intimate atmosphere. 

5. Stroll Along the Seine

Most of Paris’s world famous attractions are clustered around the Seine River, from the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame cathedral. So one of the most quintessential things to do in Paris at night is to stroll along the river at the border between the Left Bank and Right Bank. While you could walk all the way through Paris along the Seine, it would take about two hours and forty minutes in total. So we’d recommend starting at the Pont de l’Archevêché, by the Notre Dame, and heading west along the Seine River until you reach the Pont d’Iéna, by the Eiffel Tower. The walk takes about an hour, but you can stop along the way to enjoy a drink at a café, or a bottle of wine along the river banks.

6. Take a Seine River Cruise

Walking along the banks of the River Seine at night can be a beautiful experience, but sailing along the river is even better. Book a Seine River cruise, as Paris has dozens of them, all offering evening jaunts down Paris’s major waterway. You can pick a ride with an audio guide of Paris’s history, one that comes with a multi-course dinner, or simply a Seine River cruise with drinks and live music. Watch landmarks like the Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower go by, without having to take a step.

If you’re looking to splurge on a truly romantic ride, you can also rent a private boat, with or without a skipper, and chart your own course down the Seine.

Things to do in Paris at night: take a river cruise along the Seine.

7. Late Nights at the Louvre Museum

Every Friday night, the Louvre Museum stays open until 9:45 pm (past its usual 6 pm closing time). This is one of the best things to do in Paris at night for art lovers, who can enjoy the museum’s famous works of art, like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, without the throngs that usually crowd the Louvre Palace. Follow this up with a long walk in the moonlight through the Tuileries Gardens. Get your tickets for the Louvre Museum here.

8. Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle (or Climb it at Night)

For views that simply cannot be beat, scale the Eiffel Tower at night. At nearly a thousand feet tall, this monument soars over Paris, and the entirety of the sparkling city is laid out below it after dark. Closing times vary slightly, so you should check their website for the closing times on your specific date. The elevator also generally closes before the monument itself does. But you should be able to access the top of the Eiffel Tower until at least 11 pm most days. (And you can even enjoy the champagne bar at the top.) Just be sure to get your tickets in advance!

Even if you don’t want to go all the way up, you can easily catch the Eiffel Tower light show. Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle every hour on the hour from plenty of vantage points throughout the French capital.

Things to do in Paris at night: watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

9. Nuit Blanche

For one night a year, Paris’s museums come alive at night for La Nuit Blanche, a citywide art festival. Dance, music, and art installations pop up around the city, all of them free (as is entry to museums on that night), so the whole of Paris shows out for this special event. In 2024, Nuit Blanche will take place on Saturday, June 1st.

10. Attend a Comedy Show

Over the last few years, Paris has developed a small, but significant, stand-up comedy scene. If you’re looking to grab a glass of wine and take in a few laughs at a Paris comedy club, you’ve got options for comedy in both French and English. For French-language comedy, try Madame Sarfati, which offers curated comedy shows featuring a selection of vetted French comedians. For English-language comedy, try French Fried Comedy, a comedy series that travels across multiple venues.

11. Go See an Opera or Ballet

Culture is everywhere in Paris, and one way to take advantage of it is to get tickets to a ballet or opera at one of Paris’s most famous cultural establishments. The stunning Palais Garnier and the modern Opéra Bastille, which together comprise the Opéra national de Paris, both offer a variety of programming if you’re looking for a highbrow night out. (Families and young adults can also take advantage of special discounts offered by both venues.)

Things to do in Paris at night: watch an opera at the Palais Garnier.

12. Climb the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, which caps the end of the Champs Élysées on Paris’s west side, was built in the 19th century to honor the soldiers of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Today, it is a major tourist attraction with some of the best views in Paris. The arch stays open until 10:30 or 11 pm, depending on the time of year, allowing you to gaze out at the star-shaped radius of roads below. Be aware that the climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe involves 284 steps, and elevators are only available to the elderly or disabled. You can buy tickets here.

13. Catch Dinner and a Movie

France has a major cinematic lineage, as the birthplace of brilliant filmmakers from Jean-Luc Godard to Agnès Varda, so it makes sense that Paris has a lot of movie theaters. We have a great guide to where to go in Paris for dinner and a movieat some of the French capital’s most famous cinemas, from Truffaut’s beloved Le Champo, to Le Cinéma du Panthéon, which is one of the oldest continually operating cinemas in the world.

If you’re looking for a movie experience that’s a little more theatrical, you might also decide to catch a late night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio Galande in the Latin Quarter, where a live shadow cast recreates the entire cult film experience every Friday and Saturday night.

Things to do in Paris at night: catch a movie at a historic cinema.

14. Paris Night Markets & Cultural Centers

While pop up-style night markets aren’t really a thing in Paris, there are some spaces in the city where you can shop, eat, and listen to music after hours. Ground Control, by the Gare de Lyon, is a cultural center made up of boutiques and restaurants with a sustainable and eco-friendly focus. Catch a dance party, a drag show, or a cooking workshop at this unique venue.

Another similar venue is Le Hasard Ludique, which is built on top of abandoned railway lines by the Porte de Saint-Ouen. This off-the-beaten-path hangout is part food hall, part concert hall, and offers concerts of all genres alongside various events, workshops, and flea markets.

15. Try Your Luck with the Green Fairy

If you have Belle Époque dreams of getting drunk on absinthe and running away from home to live in an artist’s colony, well, we can help you with at least half of that. La Fée Verte (The Green Fairy) is one of Paris’s oldest and most famous absinthe bars. Enjoy this old school tipple in the traditional way, with an absinthe fountain to be shared with friends—in moderation, of course.

16. Attend a Parisian Cabaret (and not just the Moulin Rouge)

While the Moulin Rouge might be the most famous Parisian cabaret, it’s certainly not the only one you should check out when visiting Paris. If you’re looking for things to do in Paris at night that come with a bit of razzle dazzle, pay a visit to Au Lapin Agile, Paris’s oldest cabaret, where you can enjoy classic French tunes. Or enjoy an avant-garde cabaret show at Crazy Horse Paris. Other Paris cabaret shows can be found at Le Paradis LatinMadame Arthur, and Chez Michou.

Things to do in Paris at night: attend a cabaret show at the famous Moulin Rouge.

17. Hang out by the Canal Saint Martin

The Canal Saint Martin, which is located in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital, is a fantastic place to explore Paris at night. This hip district is filled with bars and restaurants, but as night falls on a Friday night, the banks of the canal fill with young people sharing a bottle of wine or a few beers. 

18. Take a Night Dip at a Paris Pool

What could be a better way to spend a beautiful night in the French capital than going for a late night swim? You can go for a night dip at a local swimming pool, since many of Paris’s pools stay open until 10 or 11 pm at night. Check the locations near you to see which nights these pools are open late. But here’s a pro tip: Aquaboulevard in the 15th arrondissement, and Pailleron in the 19th arrondissement, have swimming “nocturnes” every night of the week.

19. Enjoy Traditional Parisian Cuisine

One thing’s for sure: you can’t check out Paris nightlife on an empty stomach. Luckily, you can enjoy some of the best food in the world while visiting Paris, whether that involves a stop for street food in the Latin Quarter, or a Michelin star meal at Le Cinq or L’Ambroisie. Parisian cuisine is a varied thing, encompassing fine dining with oysters and foie gras, as well as dishes influenced by Paris’s diverse immigrant community, like Vietnamese phô or North African falafel.

View of people sitting outdoors and enjoying dinner and drinks at a restaurant bistro in Paris France.

20. Discover the dark side during a ghost tour

Delve into the ominous underbelly of the City of Love with an unparalleled Paris night tour. An English-speaking guide will share stories of mischief and murder as you venture through the Square of Innocents, the Louvre, the Fontaine du Palmier, and beyond. Not to mention the Place de la Vert Gallant, where the final Knights Templar met their fiery fate; the Church of Saint Germain L’Auxerrois, infamous for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre; and the Palais du Justice, witness to countless death sentences. From the plague to the French Revolution, to Paris’s famous serial killers, a ghost tour is truly one of the spookiest things to do in Paris at night.

21. Have your breath taken away with a Sainte Chapelle night concert

While the Notre Dame cathedral is still off limits to the public, you might as well pay a visit to its neighbor on the Île de la Cité, Sainte Chapelle. This gothic chapel is known for its stunning architecture, particularly its stained glass windows, but you shouldn’t miss a chance to marvel at the acoustics at Sainte Chapelle. The chapel hosts classical music events in the evening, including frequent opera performances, and renditions of famed works of music like Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” or Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” You can book tickets for these events (which are family friendly) at Euro Music.

Things to do in Paris at night: attend a concert at Saint Chapelle in Paris.

22. Explore Paris at Night on Two Wheels

Over the past few years, Paris has expanded its bike lanes and made the city far more accessible to cyclists, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions by discouraging the use of cars. This means that, if you’re a fan of cycling, you might want to take advantage of Paris’s many bike tours, which can offer a truly magical experience as you glide along the Seine river. Sign up for a Paris night tour through a company like Fat Tire Tours or Boutique Bike Tours. You’ll get to see Paris’s main attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Alexandre III Bridge, the Louvre Palace (and the palace gardens), the Champs Élysées, Champ de Mars, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, and Napoleon’s Tomb. If that seems like quite the workout, you might also consider signing up for an e-bike tour. Either way, this is an incredible way to explore Paris at night and see the city’s famous sites and twinkling lights.

23. Wine tasting with a professional sommelier

You could go to Paris and drink cheap, but serviceable wine every night without thinking about it. But to get the most out of your experience, you should consider signing up for a wine tasting with a sommelier to guide you through the tasting notes and history of some of France’s finest cuvées. The women-only champagne club, Delectabulles, offers a variety of tastings and workshops, where you can learn about one of France’s most prestigious exports. Or you could take a walk through history at Les Caves du Louvre, the former home of Louis XV’s sommelier. Wander through the cellars of this beautiful mansion and learn about how wine is made–and, of course, how it tastes! For more of a sit down affair, book a wine tasting at the wine bar Ô Chateau, where you can taste your way through the great wines of France.

Wine tasting in a wine cellar with chandelier.

24. Sample local brews with a beer tasting

Though Paris is known for its wine, along with French spirits like Cognac and Armagnac, the average young Parisian these days tends to prefer drinking beer. While all Paris bars will have a limited selection of beers, you can also visit a microbrewery or a craft beer bar where you will be able to sample a variety of IPAs, lagers, pale ales, and more. Try beers made in-house at the brewpub Les Cuves de Fauve, or enjoy a craft brewery tour and tasting at BAPBAP, whose name stands for “Bière Artisanale Paris.” Find yourself at the forefront of France’s budding craft beer scene, and drink like a true local in Paris.

25. Check out the Paris Catacombs

Though the Paris Catacombs are only open until 8:30 pm most nights (and closed on Monday evenings), they are one of the fun things to do in Paris at night for the spookily inclined. Explore the labyrinth under the French capital, filled with skulls and bones, the remnants of six million dead Parisians. It’s not quite the Moulin Rouge, but it’s surely one of the more unusual ways to explore Paris at night.

Things to do in Paris at night: visit the Paris catacombs under the city.

26. Take Part in a Criminal Investigation

If you’re a fan of detective stories or immersive theater, you may want to check out The Live Thriller. This interactive performance brings audience members into the fold to try and solve a violent mystery through a criminal investigation. Alongside the experience’s resident detectives, you’ll explore abandoned buildings, witness interrogations, and take part in a crime scene analysis to try and piece together the strange goings on in this Parisian plot, leading to one of several unique endings. You can sign up for a showing for 2 to 6 people, in French or English, for between 49€ and 99€ per person. The larger your group, the less the cost per person, so grab your friends and get ready for an adventurous evening.

Tips for Traveling in Paris at Night

When considering all the fantastic things to do in Paris at night, it’s important to practice safety even as you explore the city. Certain neighborhoods in Paris are definitely safer than others, especially at night. While the city center is usually quite safe and populated at night, neighborhoods like Montmartre and Barbès can be a little dicier. We’d recommend steering clear of the Sacré Cœur and the surrounding area past sunset. Belleville and Ménilmontant, while often buzzing with nightlife, have a lot of back streets that clear out after dark, which women traveling on their own may wish to avoid. Major sites like the Eiffel Tower and the streets around the Moulin Rouge can also be flooded with pickpockets, so keep your belongings close when walking around Paris at night. In general, stick to streets that are more populated, and avoid unlit park areas after dark.

Catherine Rickman is a writer, professional Francophile, and host of the Expat Horror Stories podcast. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman, or on TikTok @catinthekitchen.

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