Paris is frequently referred to as one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is well-known for its café culture, fashion, wine and art. It is perhaps less well-known for its diverse nightlife scene that extends far beyond the stereotypical vision of drinking wine in a little, backstreet restaurant until the early hours.
Home to the Moulin Rouge, Montmartre is universally known as the art hub of Paris, with characters such as Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and other famous bohemian characters residing and drawing their inspiration from the area. In more modern times, however, whilst still maintaining its artistic reputation, it is known as one of Paris’ biggest nightclub districts. Le Chinon on the corner of Rue Burq is a fantastic café that serves great omelets, nice cocktails and good wine for a considerably smaller price than some of its counter parts.
Top club: Le Divan du Monde is probably one of the best nightclubs and music venues in the whole of Paris. Fans of electro, rock, indie and even hip-hop will instantly fall in love with this place. The drinks are also very reasonable.
Top tip: Avoid the bars and cafes right near the Sacré Coeur as they are likely to be double the price and much busier than those just a few minutes’ walk down the hill.
“The Most Beautiful Avenue in the World”, the Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. With the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde situated nearby, you can indulge in a little sightseeing before heading to some of the luxury outlets or the endless restaurants along the avenue.
Top restaurant: Ziti sits just off the main street, instantly giving it a calmer feel than many of the restaurants along the Champs- Élysées itself. With a very reasonable set menu, a great steak and comfortable outdoor and indoor seating, this is the perfect place for a relaxing meal.
Top tip: Make sure to look around before settling on a restaurant. Most of the eateries have set menu deals in place, whilst some others may charge dramatically more for a very similar meal.
The Oberkampf district has been ‘the place to be’ for almost two decades and is very much the favourite haunt of the Parisian in-crowd. Hipsters from all over Europe and further beyond will instantly feel at home amongst the kooky bars and quaint cafes – definitely the place to go if you look for something a little different when it comes to nightlife.
Top bar: L’Alimentation Générale is a fantastic bar come music venue that is filled to the rafters with kitsch furnishings and delightful home-made knickknacks. With unusual cocktails and a great selection of beer, open-mic nights, live bands and DJ sets you will experience all that makes Paris’ nightlife unique.
Top tip: Take advantage of the cheap happy hours and the close proximity of all the bars – perfect for a bar crawl.
Where To Stay in Paris
Hotel Bonsejour is a very reasonably priced, simple hotel in the heart of Montmartre – a great place for young couples, backpackers and those on a smaller budget.
Marais’s Bon Nuit Paris offers you the chance to stay in fantastic old stone house, one of very few left of its kind. It is a family business right down to the home-made honey at breakfast and the daily city tours courtesy of the owner’s granddaughter.