Paris At Night

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Paris has a reputation as the city of love thanks to its cobbled streets, stunning architecture, fine food and wine and inspiring works of art. Paris at night could, however, be even more associated with its nickname thanks to the wealth of activities available for couples, friends, families and even sole travellers to fall in love with.

Paris is also the city of lights, from quaint and old-fashioned street lamps to the famed Eiffel Tower light show. Music from cafes and bars drifts down the street as you look for a local brasserie or French wine bar. Here are 20 things to do in Paris at night to inspire you to head out of your hotel room on an evening and explore this magical city.

20 Things To Do In Paris

Paris At Night

1- Watch The Eiffel Tower Light Show

eiffel tower paris at night couple kissing
Kissing with the Eiffel Tower in Paris at night is a thing to do for romantics.

The Eiffel Tower is the city’s most popular attraction, with thousands of tourists a day flocking to this iron structure for the chance to see and, of course, climb the tower.

However, at night, when the crowds have gone, head back to the tower for a magical evening.

The Eiffel Tower is covered in 336 yellow bulbs, which light the whole structure up. The bulbs were added to the tower in 1985.

A spotlight spins and shines brightly into the night sky from the top of the tower, making sure the Eiffel Tower stands out like a beacon from far and wide.

The Eiffel Tower is at Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France.

2- Walk Along The Seine

paris night
A walk by the river is one of the relaxing things to do in Paris at night.

The Seine is the river that winds its way through Paris, and during the day, boats of excited tourists seek a glimpse from the water of some of Paris’Paris’ most famous landmarks.

At night the river is much calmer, save for the occasional evening cruise boat.

Along the Seine are pathways that allow you to zigzag your way across Paris’Paris’ lifeblood via its spectacular bridges, which will all be lit up.

Look out for the older style lamps on certain bridges.

Flower sellers will often be found along the Seine at night, selling roses to lovers or light-up toys to children.

The Seine runs through Paris.

3- Take An Evening River Cruise

pictures of paris at night river cruise
A river cruise is a lovely way to see Paris at night.

To get another perspective of the city, book onto one of Paris’ many evening river cruises.

The cruises that sail gently along the Seine include traditional tourism cruises taking in all the sights Paris offers, family-friendly dinner cruises, and a more gourmet experience restaurant boat.

One of the attractions of cruising at night is the beautiful buildings in Paris are lit up like something out of a fairyland.

River cruises along the Seine depart from numerous locations.

4- Watch A Dazzling Cabaret Show

You cannot visit Paris without seeing a cabaret show.

From the famed Moulin Rouge with its bright red windmill outside to newer venues, there truly is a cabaret show for everyone.

A cabaret is an evening of music, entertainment and food. Traditionally a cabaret in Paris is accompanied by a glass of champagne.

The shows often consist of dancers in dazzling costumes, often featuring feathers and sequins and songs to accompany them.

Two of the most famous cabarets today are Moulin Rouge and Lido de Paris.

Moulin Rouge is at 82 Bd de Clichy, 75018. Lido de Paris is at 116 Av. des Champs-Elysées, 75008.

5- Explore The Louvre at Night

Louvre paris france at night
Seeing the pyramid at the Louvre is one of the top things to do at night in Paris.

Despite its thousands of visitors each day, not many art lovers know about the opportunity to visit the Louvre at night.

Aside from seeing its centuries-old palatial walls lit up in a warm orange glow contrasting to the bold glass pyramid, visitors can enter the Louvre for a unique evening experience.

Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum opens its doors for exclusive tours.

The tours tend to begin with a talk on the museum’s history before moving through some of its most famous galleries, including Greek and Italian art and a stop to admire artwork from French Masters.

The Louvre is at Rue de Rivoli, 75001.

6- Dance Beside The Seine

From early June to mid-September, the banks of the Seine come to life with dancers and musicians.

Along the riverbanks, dance instructors set up areas for seasoned professionals to show their skills to admiring crowds, and in the evenings, the dance floors are open to everyone.

Some dance floors offer introductory lessons in the tango and waltz, while others welcome couples onto the floor with music playing various songs to dance to.

With the addition of a picnic, dancing on the Seine will be an evening you will never forget.

Several locations along the Seine offer dance floors and classes, including Paris by the Seine Dance at 2 Quai Saint-Bernard, 75005.

7- Head To A Literary Salon

Famous writers in history spent time in Paris at one point or another during their lives.

These literary geniuses would while away the hours in bars and cafes looking for their next story.

Bringing this atmosphere into the 21st century is La Belle Hortense, a bookshop and cafe.

This cafe can offer a peaceful retreat to relax with a glass of wine and a good book or a bustling location for literary lovers to discuss and debate some of the most important volumes of our time.

La Belle Hortense is at 31 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004.

8- Experience The Opera

Opera Garnier at night
Going to the opera is one of the things to tick off your Paris night bucket list.

For an immersive, creative and cultural experience, head to one of Pairs’Pairs’ opera houses.

The most famous is Opera de Paris’ Palais Garnier.

The building itself is more than enough to wonder at during the day; however, at night, its lavish interiors filled with velvet and gold welcome visitors for an evening of the arts.

Tours are available both day and at night; a well-timed visit will also allow the chance to see an opera performed in this grand hall.

Palais Garnier is at Scribe and Auber streets, 75009.

9- Find A Secret Night Garden In Montmartre

One of the fascinating things about a city break is finding somewhere off the beaten track to explore and often known only by the locals.

Hidden down a private passageway in the labyrinth-like streets of Montmartre is Hotel Particulier.

This hotel offers visitors a breath of fresh air in its countryside oasis nestled in the city’s beating heart.

The hotel is set within the grounds of a 19th-century family residence and offers green lawns, fragrant flowers and trees to relax under.

Visit at night for a peaceful glow from the fairy lights and a carefully crafted cocktail from the hotel’s underground bar.

Hotel Particulier is at Pavillon D, 23, avenue Junot, Montmartre.

10- Drink At A Speakeasy

Every major city seems to have a speakeasy, a hidden bar behind a more inconspicuous facade, and Paris is no different.

Taking this 1920s American vibe and adding a few French flourishes is Moonshiner.

Moonshiner lies at the back of an 11th-century building that currently houses a pizzeria.

Step into its cold store to be wrapped in cosy candlelight and to sip on masterfully made cocktails.

Those who order the bars specialist cocktail, the Vieux Carré, are also allowed to have a go at cracking the bar’s safe.

If you get the combination right, the bottles inside are yours to keep.

Moonshiner is at Rue Sedaine, Roquette, 75011.

11- Ride The Ferris Wheel At Concorde

night in paris ferris wheel and fountain
The Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde is an attraction to ride in Paris during the night.

Paris has many spectacular viewing points dotted across the city, offering panoramic views over the French capital.

For something a little different and more immersive, head to the Ferris wheel at Concorde.

The Ferris wheel is at the Tuileries Gardens entrance, which is also lit up with delicate fairy lights at night.

As the wheel is open until midnight, it provides the perfect opportunity to see all of the city’s lights and some of its most sights while gently moving.

For some of the best views, visit at sunset to see the colours of the sky change the view of the city below.

The Ferris wheel is at Place de la Concorde.

12- View The Skyline From A Rooftop Bar

paris at night eiffel tower two glasses of champagne
Drinking champagne in a rooftop bar is a chilled thing to do in Paris at night.

What better way to take in the beauty the most romantic city in the world has to offer than by admiring the skyline as the sunsets with a glass of champagne!

Paris has many excellent rooftop bars, all claiming to have the city’s best bartender and the city’s best view.

Rooftop bars in Paris tend to have a laidback vibe, where locals go for casual drinks with friends before dinner or colleagues after work.

They are rarely crowded and offer a pleasant atmosphere to sip your drink and relax in.

Visit Mama Shelter, designed by Phillipe Starck, for trendy drinks in a cosy yet cool atmosphere, or head to Le Perchoir for a luxury setting frequented by the fashion crowd.

Mama Shelter is at 109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020. Le Perchoir is at 14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011.

13- Dine In A Traditional Brasserie

paris streets at night
Paris’ streets at night are vibrant.

The world’s most romantic city also has some of the best chefs.

For genuinely authentic Parisian food, head to one of the many brasseries dotted across the city.

Brasseries, where the locals hang out and often dine, dish up great food for the most reasonable price, whilst tourism-led restaurants with “brasserie” in their name tend to charge high prices for sub-par food.

Traditional and hearty evening meals are served at Le Petit Canard for melt in the mouth duck confit and Relais de l’Entrecoutl’Entrecout for some of the best steak frites in the city.

Le Perit Canard is at 15 Rue Marbeuf.
Relais de l’Entrecour is at 19 rue Henry Monnier.

14- Take A Night Photography Tour

paris skyline at night
The Paris skyline at night lights up like a fairyland.

It can overload the senses when visiting a city at night, and with so much to see, taking photographs is a must.

Sadly nighttime photography often goes awry, leaving blurry, dark or overexposed images.

Head out on a night photography tour to save the heartache of lost photographs when you arrive home.

Accompanied by an expert photographer, you will have the chance to marvel at the beautiful architecture and capture photographs using the correct settings.

There are several night photography tours across the city.

15- Have A Nighttime Swim

One of the more unusual evening activities available to interested parties is swimming at midnight.

In Paris’ trendy Latin Quarter inside a 1920’s building, Piscine Pontoise is a unique swimming pool that makes the most of its Art Deco surroundings by opening the pool for evening and night swimming.

The pool is lit up in a light blue glow causing the most stunning water reflections on the cowlings.

Visitors get changed in suitably vintage changing cabins, and a nighttime soundtrack accompanies their swim.

Piscine Pontoise is at 19 Rue de Pontoise, Quartier Latin, 75005.

16- Brave A Night Catacombs Tour

The Paris catacombs were created when the cities graveyards became too full.

Unsure of how to bury their dead, the city decided to move the old bones from the graveyards and inter them under the city in a vast network of tunnels.

If exploring bone lined tunnels in the day isn’t spooky enough, visiting the catacombs at night will give you goosebumps.

Thankfully, the catacombs close at 8.30 pm, leaving the rest of your evening open to relaxation.

The bones of six million people lie in the catacombs stacked high and some are even fashioned into unusual objects.

The Catacombs is at 1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014.

17- Go Wine Tasting

dog holding french red wine and breadstick
Eating French food and drinking French wine is an excellent pastime in Paris at night.

In a country famous for exquisite wine, it would be surprising not to find a wine tasting on a list recommending evening activities.

Numerous bars in Paris will offer wine tasting boards, however, for a fully immersive experience with an expert sommelier, a formal wine tasting is a must-do.

Many wine cellars open their doors on an evening for private wine tasting sessions where you can learn about the wine, the region it came from and how it was produced.

Visit a wine cellar in the city to enquire about its wine tasting opportunities.

18- Watch A Classic Movie

Adding to the romance of the city is Paris’ love for movie theatres showing classic movies.

More than 20 cinemas in the city offer visitors the chance to see an old favourite or classic movie on the big screen, perhaps for the first time!

The interiors of these theatres tend to reflect the classic movies they play, with plush velour seats and traditional curtains blocking the screen before the showing.

Many of the theatres show the movies in their original language, so there is something for everyone.

Head to an MK2 theatre for some classic movies mixed alongside more recent releases.

19- Climb the Arc de Triomphe

paris street scene at night Avenue Champs Elysees with Arc de Triomphe at the end
This famous Paris street scene at night is of the Champs Elysees with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

Another must-visit viewpoint in Paris is the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Whilst the view from the top is undoubtedly something special during the day, there is something mesmerising about looking down the Champs Elysees at night with the car headlights, glistening shop fronts and the Eiffel Tower visible thanks to its spotlight.

Arc de Triomphe is at Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008.

20- Stroll Down Rue Montorgueil

Rue Montorgueil is a must-visit in Paris on an evening.

This bustling street comes to life when the sun sets as locals flock to its many bars, restaurants and cafes.

Traditional French bakeries on the street stay open late, so head inside and grab something flaky and sweet to eat as you explore.

Parisians eat slowly and love to enjoy the company and social experience of dining with others.

Find a traditional brasserie, sit outside if the weather permits, and watch the world stroll by as you dine on delicious local dishes and sip the finest French wines.

This is one of the things to do in Paris at night for a surprisingly low price.

For more exciting cities at night, read:

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.