Nightlife in Paris: Best Bars, Pubs, and Nightclubs (2020)
Photo by Nicole De Khors

Nightlife in Paris: Best Bars, Pubs, and Nightclubs (2020)

Paris is packed with bars and nightclubs, which makes sense since this is the City of Lights. But sometimes, too much of a choice makes for a confusing decision. If you are looking for a casual night out, a pub crawl, or a big night at a club, this guide will give an overview of the best areas for nightlife in Paris. We will look at everything from the wine bars and nightclubs, to the rooftop bars and penichés that locals and tourists alike are flocking to.

Many of these places start off as restaurants in the early evening and then convert into nightclubs as the night wears on. I’ve tried to highlight the ones that serve food, and the ones that do not. In most bars, you will be able to order a plate of charcuterie and cheese with baguette, if you are hungry. (Nightclubs, however, will only open around 11:30pm and not offer food.)

Visiting Paris for the first time: If you are visiting Paris for the first time, you may wish to squeeze in an activity such as seeing the Eiffel tower at night before you hit the Paris night scene. For tips on what is available, check out my article for amazing things to do in an evening in Paris.

Most of the Paris Metro shuts down at 1am on weekdays and 2am on weeknights (and the suburban RER trains shut down even earlier). And Taxis and Ubers are not always available. So you will see a lot of locals time their departure to catch the last metro home (on average about 45 minutes before closing time).

You could also grab a bike (Velib) home, but I don’t encourage this if you are not familiar with Parisian traffic without a helmet, especially after having a few drinks!

Your other alternative is to have a “nuit blanche” which is to party all night, and catch the first metro home in the morning (around 6am).

Nuit Blanche

Translates to “white night”, meaning a big night out on the town, where you only make it home the next morning.

In general, each arrondissement has its own vibe. The Rive Droite (right bank) and East end are filled with hip young Parisians, while the West end is more upscale and luxurious. And then there are the student’ bars on Rive Gauche. So much choice, so little time.

1. Le Marais

Le Marais

Le Marais has come a long way since its days as a swam (Marais means swamp in french). Today it is filled with wine bars, pubs, and restaurants that it is quite hard to narrow it down. One of the top areas for nightlife in Paris, it also has a vibrant gay community in the area, so there are also plenty of gay bars nightclubs in the area.

Most of these places are quite small and don’t take reservations, so I would recommend walking around Rue Quincampoix and its surrounding streets to see where you can find a table.

Rooftop Bar in the Marais

  • Le Pechoir Marais (from top of the BHV building, beautiful views of Hotel de Ville and the rest of Paris).

Wine Bars and Cocktails Lounges in the Marais

  • Le Komptoir27 Rue Quincampoix, 75004 Paris
  • Le Piment Café (small traditional French bar) – 15 Rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris
  • The Brklyn (good for cocktails) – 58 rue Quincampoix, 75004, Paris 
  • Candelaria (Mexican taqueria and cocktail bar specializing in agave spirits) – 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
  • Lizard Lounge (American vibe. With DJ and dancing in the basement after 9 on weekends.) – 18 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris
  • Sherry Butt (whiskey and artisanal cocktails) – 20 Rue Beautreillis,75004 Paris

LGBT and Gay bars in the Marais

  • Freedj (club on 2 levels) – 35 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris
  • Le Tango (a bal musette playing greatest hits) – 13 Rue au Maire, 75003 Paris
  • L’Enchanteur (on 2 levels, with karaoke, bills itself as the friendliest place in the Marais) – 15 Rue Michel-le-Comte, 75003 Paris

☞ READ MORE: The French Woman: Style tips for visiting Paris

2. Chatelet

Right next to Marais (on the other side of Boulevard de Sébastopol), is Chatelet metro Station where there are plenty of bars, pubs, and other nightlife. The area has been pedestrianized, so if you are into pub crawls this is a good place to go.

There are a lot of pubs around here showing sports on TV, so if there is a big football or rugby game on that you are keen to watch, head over to this area.

Rooftop Restaurant and bar around Chatelet

  • Kong (high-end restaurant and bar) – 1 Rue du Pont Neuf, 75001 Paris

Top Bars and Pubs around Chatelet

  • Le Workshop (formerly L’Atelier. Big bar but go early to get a table.) – 173 rue saint martin, 75003 Paris
  • Cafe Oz (Aussie vibe. Usually shows sporting events during World Cup, etc.) – 18 rue St Denis, 75001 Paris 

Nightclubs around Chatelet

  • VIP Room (upscale) – 188 bis Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
  • The LABO Bar Club Paris (good happy hour) – 37 Rue des Lombards, Paris, Île-de-France, 75001, France
  • Buddha Bar (upscale restaurant and bar) – 8-12 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris
  • Le Mona Lisa (speakeasy style) – 47 Rue Berger, 75001 Paris

3. Latin Quarter

With several universities in the 5th arrondissement like La Sorbonne and Jussieu, there are several student pubs and bars on Rue Mouffetard and around. However, given that the 5th arrondissement is quite an expensive area in Paris, there are several bars and restaurants for “grownups” as well.

Place Contrescape has several restaurants with terrasses where you can begin your night with an apéro, and then move on from there. Something for everyone.

4. Near Champs Elysées and Eiffel Tower

Sign Champs Elysée

If you are looking for luxury and a more sophisticated clientele, you cannot go wrong with the bars and restaurants on the West end. Dress appropriately and bring your wallet.

Rooftop Bars around Champs Elysées

Bars and Restaurants near Champs Elysées

  • Verde by Yeeels (upscale bar and restaurant) – 24 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris
  • Duplex (bar, restaurant, and nightclub at Charles de Gaulle Etoile) – 2 bis Avenue Foch, 75116 Paris

Nightclubs near Champs Elysées

  • Yoyo Palais de Tokyo (large nightclub, usually with techno music) – 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
  • L’Arc Paris (upscale) – 12 Rue de Presbourg, 75016 Paris

5. Around the Seine River

View of Pont Alexandre III bridge from the Seine River Quais

With real estate at a premium along the Seine, several bars and rooftop terrasses have opened along the Seine River in Paris. Most of these bar péniches (barges) don’t move anywhere, so you can get on and off as you wish. In the summertime, they are quite packed so go early.

Rooftop bars around Quai des Seine

  • Café Oz Rooftop (Aussie vibe) – 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
  • 43 Cocktail Bar (only in summer, on top of Holiday Inn Paris Notre-Dame) – 4 Rue Danton, 75006 Paris

Bars on Peniches around the Seine River

  • En attendant Rosa (same owners as the classic Rosa Bonheur) – Port des Invalides, 75007 Paris
  • Bateau Phare (formerly the famous Batofar) – 11 quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris
  • Le Wanderlust (a bit snobby) – 32 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
  • River King (party on a boat) –108 avenue du Président Kennedy, 75016 Paris

Nightclub around the Seine River

  • Faust (upscale nightclub under the Pont Alexandre III) – Rive Gauche, Pont Alexandre III, 75007 Paris

6. Grand Boulevards and Madeleine

With plenty of Irish pubs and classic French bars in the area, there is something for every taste. There are a lot of small restaurants in this area around Rue du Faubourg du Montmartre, so wander around and see what catches your eye.

Rooftop Bar around Grand Boulevards

  • The Shed (a cocktail bar on the roof of L’Hotel des Grand Boulevards) – 17 Boulevard Poissonnière, Paris 75002

Pubs and Bars around Grand Boulevards

  • Sunset Boulevard (small traditional Parisian bar) – 26 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009 Paris
  • Bal Rock (large sports bar) – 161 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris
  • O’Sullivans (grand classic Irish pub with dance floor) – 1 Boulevard Montmartre, 75002 Paris
  • Au Fût et à Mesure (bar with different beers on tap) – 2 Rue d’Hauteville, 75010 Paris

Nightclubs around Grand Boulevards

  • Rex Club (grand classic nightclub) – 5 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75002 Paris
  • The Key (large nightclub with electronic music) – 8 Boulevard de la Madeleine 75009 Paris, France

7. Canal Saint Martin

locks on canal saint martin

There are several bars and brasseries that line Canal Saint Martin, but if you go early in the evening, you will also see a lot of locals having an apéro picnic along the quays of canal. Some of the nearby bars lend pétanque balls so that you can grab a beer while you play.

Petanque bar

  • BarOurcq (popular friendly bar for locals in the area) – 68 Quai de la Loire, Paris

Bars around Canal Saint Martin

  • Point Ephemere (artsy grand classic on the quai) – 200 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris
  • Le Comptoir Général (large bar with a hidden entrance that is a bit difficult to find for non-locals. Beautiful decor. Also does brunches) – 80 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris

8. Bastille

Bastille in Paris
Place de la Bastille, Paris

A popular area right next to the Marais, there are plenty of bars and restaurants around Bastille. Rue de Lappe has been taken over by tourists to some extent, but that makes it all the easier to order your drinks in English. The surrounding streets of Rue de la Roquette and Rue de Charonne have more traditional French bars for an apéro or dinner.

Bars around Bastille

  • Café de la Presse (large bar with a loft style) – 36 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
  • Maria Loca (Brazilian vibe) – 31 Boulevard Henri IV, Paris 75004
  • Le Lèche-Vin (traditional bistro parisian) – 13 Rue Daval, Paris 75011
  • Yellow Mad Monkey (bar and nightclub) – 8 Rue de Lappe, 75011 Paris

Nightclubs around Bastille

  • Pachamama (formerly Barrio Latino, a Latin music bar and nightclub) – 46-48 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris

9. Pigalle and Montmartre

sacre coeur cathedral in montmartre

The Quartier of Pigalle may be best known for the Moulin Rouge but there is quite a bit of other nightlife in this area of Paris as well.

Rooftop bar in Montmartre

Bars around Pigalle

Nightlife around Pigalle

  • Chez Moune (nightclub) – 54 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris
  • Bus Palladium (grand classic known as “temple of rock”, with concerts) – 6 Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009 Paris
  • La Machine du Moulin Rouge (large concert hall and nightclub) – 90 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris

10. Oberkampf and Menilmontant

This is the artsy side of Paris, where hip 30-something Parisians abound. There are several bars along Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud so you can always wander into the area and see where you feel inspired. Note, you will not run into many tourists here, so put on your best Parisian je ne sais quoi and enjoy.

Rooftop bar in Menilmontant

  • Pechoir Menilmontant (same owners and easier to get into than the Pechoir in the Marais) – 14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris

Bars and Nightclubs around Oberkampf and Menilmontant

  • Café Chéri (small bar that turns into a dancefloor) – 44 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Paris
  • La Bellevilloise (nightclub grand classic) – 19-21 rue boyer, 75020 Paris
  • L’Alimentation générale (bar with concerts) – 94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris 75011
  • L’UDO (German-inspired, go for some currywurst) – 4 Rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011 Paris
  • Le Rhum Marin (Rhum bar) –  92 rue Saint Maur, 75011 Paris
spacer

So do you know where you feel like going out tonight? Don’t forget to check out my list on what you can do earlier in the evening. Happy times!

A bientôt!

¹ Featured Image: Nicole De Khors

Did you enjoy that article? Save it for later!

Subscribe
.

Leave a Reply