In Paris, every district has its own crowd: whether you’re wandering around the 3rd or 16th arrondissements you’ll find that each quartier has its own style and state of mind. The same goes for the city’s nightlife as Paris abounds in entertainment venues and an extraordinary array of clubs and events for night owls. Whether you’re a bobo (bourgeois bohemian), hippie-chic, hipster or a fan of rock’n’roll, you’ll find a music style and playlist just for you!
For those who enjoy a touch of nostalgia, the city’s legendary clubs have recently enjoyed a new lease on life in the French capital. Although Le Palace no long hosts shows these days, Les Bains Douches reopened its doors in March 2015, bolstered by a concert hall, restaurant and a hotel with a chic, bohemian feel. Thankfully, the famous swimming baths remain in place, retaining their New Wave nostalgia from the likes of Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, and the late Prince and David Bowie.
If you find yourself strolling in or around SoPi (otherwise known as South Pigalle), make a beeline for the Bus Palladium, a legendary rock’n’roll venue which has previously been frequented by the likes of Salvador Dali and the Beatles.
What’s In? What’s Out?
Both a legend and an institution in equal measure, the Rex Club has always energised the dance crowd in the basement of the cinema of the same name. Following on from the disco era, and then indie music, the Rex became a big name in techno from the 90s onwards, driven by the arrival on the scene of DJ Laurent Garnier. Here you won’t find a VIP area, just a 100% focus on music and one of the world’s very best sound systems.
With a completely different style, and one that is trendy and more select, Chez Raspoutine has been one of the capital’s hottest addresses over the past few years. Popular with the jet set and habitués of the city’s exclusive golden triangle in the 8th arrondissement, this former Russian cabaret has preserved its plush red velvet Baroque feel. Meanwhile, its neighbour Le Madam always guarantees a frenetic atmosphere with its playlist focusing on house, rock and electro.
And if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, head to ShowCase, a former boathouse beneath the Alexandre III bridge, and Nüba, with its extraordinary terrace on the roof of the Cité de la Mode alongthe Seine.
When music and the arts come together
Over the past few years the City of Light has also been at the forefront of alternative concepts that bring together music and the visual arts. The pioneering music venue Glazart in the La Villette district has played a key role in this with its space dedicated to contemporary creativity in the widest sense, while just a few Métro stops away, La Bellevilloise, a diverse venue in Paris’ popular 20th arrondissement, is a hub for a liberal, arty crowd.
If you’re not one for the dance floor, an exhibition is perhaps more your thing. Several museums offer late-night opening such as the Fondation Cartier (on Tuesdays) and the Fondation Louis Vuitton (weekends). The Palais de Tokyo is also open until midnight daily except Tuesday. Not forgetting the Yoyo, in the basement of the Palais de Tokyo, which hosts evening events featuring often unusual and unexpected performances.
Only in summer…
Just as gastronomy respects the seasons, the same can be said of night owls. During the summer, the search is on for the best terrace where you can make the most of the season’s fine weather. As a result, a whole host of temporary venues spring up like Paris mushrooms around the city, although you’ll need plenty of patience as you certainly won’t be alone! At the top of the list, the Perchoir is one that is almost a rite of passage, and with venues in the Ménilmontant district near the Père Lachaise cemetery or on the roof of the BHV store in the Marais, all you need to do is choose the district that best suits your mood.
Returning to the Seine, why not stop at one of the trendy or more relaxed guingette-style barges moored along its banks? Then head up to the minimalist-style Monsieur Bleu bar at the Palais de Tokyo opposite the Eiffel Tower where on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings a DJ belts out the sounds to the It crowd until 2am. Such is the atmosphere you can almost imagine that you’re in Saint-Tropez. Make the most of the late summer nights here - you can always sleep things off tomorrow!