Where to Party in Paris: The Best of Paris Nightlife

At the age of 22, I spent a glorious petite année in Paris. I truly had the time of my life which may have had something to do with Paris’ fantastic bar and club scene.

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So when Momondo asked me to become a ‘local ambassador’ for Paris and share my favorite local haunts I thought there was no time like the present to finally share my favorite after-dark spots!

I find tourists often overlook Paris’ nightlife- which, it turns out, is on par with many other European capitals.

Rather than recommend specific bars, I want to highlight Paris’ top nightlife districts. And just for the record I’m more a fan of late-night bars than clubs, and I normally head to places where you don’t have to pay cover. (Yep, I was the quintessential broke au pair. No shame.)

So without further ado, I give you all of my favorite places to party in Paris.

Grands Boulevards

How to get there: (Boulevard Poissonnière, metro stop Grand Boulevards)

Grands Boulevards is a hopping 9th arrondissement neighborhood with many large, multi-level bars and clubs lining Boulevard Poissonnière in Paris’ (a large percentage happen to be Irish pubs, for some unknown reason). Grands Boulevards is a great place to meet both expats and locals, and due to the proximity of all the clubs it’s easy to bar-hop there.

Tip- if you’re in Grands Boulevards during the day there are many beautiful 19th century arcades around such as Passage Jouffroy and La Galerie Vivienne.

Favorite spots: O’Sullivans, Café Oz, Truskel, Corcoran’s

Oberkampf

How to get there: (Rue Oberkampf, metro stop Parmentier or Oberkampf)

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Oberkampf is my absolute favorite place in Paris for a night out. It’s filled with trendy, mid-size bars big enough to dance in but intimate enough you can always find your friends. From top hits pop music at Café Charbon to sultry, jazz-dancing at L’Alimentation Générale, Oberkampf has a range of late-night dance spots frequented by a more mature crowd than Bastille or Grands Boulevards.

Personal favorites: Café Charbon, L’Alimentation Générale, UFO Bar

Bastille

How to get there: (Rue de Lappe, metro stop Bastille or Ledru-Rollin)

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Looking for a rowdy, early-twenty something party scene? Welcome to Bastille. On the Rue de Lappe the music is loud, the drinks are strong and the crowd is young, boisterous and slightly douchey. If you steer clear of Rue de Lappe you can find more grown-up spots like Barrio Latino- but be warned, the drinks are obscenely over-priced!

Personal favorites: Café de L’Industrie, Barrio Latino, Le Bazar Egyptien (good for smoking hookah)

The Seine 

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During the warmer months, the Seine is the ideal place to pre-game, socialize and practice your French. While I wouldn’t spend the entire night there, I would definitely head there around 10 p.m. with a few bottles of cider and a whole bunch of friends. Head to the quay near Notre Dame- it’s always bustling!

Important tips for going out in Paris:

The metro closes at 2 p.m. best it’s best to get there around 1:30 a.m., some lines close earlier than others. You can also take the Noctilien, Paris’ night bus.

Parisians dress fairly sharp when they go out but you still don’t need six-inch stilettos. (I used to wear booties or black suede boots- no dancing ’til dawn in painful heels for me!)

Pre-drink hard. In Paris drinks are expensive, at around eight euros a cocktail. They add up quickly!

Don’t feel ashamed if you indulge in a late-night Nutella sandwich… (It happens to the best of us.)

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or a hangover-curing McDonalds feast the next morning.

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On a final note this is basically the French version of my friends and I on a night out in Paris:

Where are your favorite places to party in Paris?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

10 thoughts on “Where to Party in Paris: The Best of Paris Nightlife”

  1. This post is so timely – I’m thinking of spending my 30th birthday in Paris. I’ll be in Europe at the time, so why not make the trip, right? Oberkampf sounds like my kind of place. Thanks for this post, I’m totally bookmarking it for later travel planning.

  2. Great post :) I remember one awesome night out – I think it was on Grands Boulevards? (lots of cobbled streets, definitely wouldn’t have worked with heels!!) You were travelling around France with your mum and sister then. And drinks did cost a small fortune!

  3. I’ll have to save this post for my next visit to Paris! I’ve been twice but it never seems like enough time to do everything I want to. Now I’ll have to add some of these to my ever growing Paris to do list!

  4. What a practical guide! I wish I could understand what they’re saying in the video but it’s funny :) I went out some in Paris, but was couchsurfing and the host had house parties which helped my budget. When we did go out, it was very expensive but not sure were we went!

  5. I’m excited to see the famous tourist sites in Paris, but I’m even more excited to experience the Paris nightlife. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience on the best of Paris nightlife. It’s good to know that Parisians dress up a bit more when they go out and that the metro closes at 2 a.m. I’ll try and visit some the places you suggested!

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