Paris is often considered a city that always sleeps. However, ULIP students would argue that this is not the case. Paris is a hub of activity in the evenings. There are loads of different areas in Paris packed full of bars and clubs. On this page you can find some of the most popular areas and the best places to check out. We have also tried to lay down some basic ground rules when venturing out at night in Paris. This page is courtesy of Parlons, the ULIP newspaper.
• Have some ID with you, just in case... • You can wear trainers and whatever clothes you like, unless you’re going somewhere really smart • Bouncers (videurs) are unlikely to let you in if you’re a group of more guys than girls • If a bouncer says that you or a friend is ‘fatigué’, it means you’re too drunk • Never get in an unlicenced taxi, or accept a lift from a “friendly” parisian—especially if you are drunk, and/or a girl, and/or alone • Many places will ask to look in your bag or pat you down (boys) so best leave any weapons at home.
A hub of activity where the French kids (and the Spaniards) hang out, most of the fun seems to take place around rue de la Roquette and rue de Lappe. It's not the cheapest of areas, but you can take advantage of the numerous happy hours. You'll find food, cocktails, gigs and more in this area and it's very well served by public transport—including night buses. The tiny Objectif Lune has nice cocktails and cheap-ish beers, and you can enjoy a 2-4-1 happy hour drink around a bath, sink or a car at the quirky Trucmush, while, if you're hungry, get yourself a tasty jacket potato at any hour of the day from Patati Patata. One thing's for sure: at Bastille, you'll definitely find somewhere to go, no matter how big your group of friends.
Objectif Lune 19 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Patati Patata 51 rue de Lappe, 75011 Trucmush 5 passage Thière, 7501
Don't do it. Just don't. Unless you really want to be mugged or molested. Okay, I'm exaggerating (a little), but Châtelet is definitely one of the best places to be sleazed on. Yes, my English accent is charmant and, if you say so, I'm beautiful and you love me, but do you think I can't see through this? Or that you're the first to try this on? Leave me alone with my friends please. There are some hidden gems once you get past the Café Oz, Hideout or O'Sullivan's style bars that plague the area. 3 Escales, for example, is where you can get happy hour drinks until 11pm and chicha for 10€ all in a moorish palace setting, Le Beho also has happy hour until 11, though the atmosphere is somewhat more sterile and you can get tapas and sangria from Les Piétons. Châtelet is also one of the easiest places to get a nightbus from, or a taxi if you need to make a quick get-away.
Aux 3 Escales 12 rue Quincampoix, 75004 Le Beho 8 place Saint-Opportune, 75001 Les Piétons 8 rue des Lombards, 7500
Le Marais is a peculiar place: it is both the Jewish and gay quartier and thus the Marais nowadays is pretty much the only place to go out for drinks and dance if you want to go gay clubbing in Paris and get great falafel. It's always good to start a night at Banana Café, which is definitely worth a visit during happy hour, where you can get very tipsy on strong vodka cocktails for just 4€. Once finished there, move on to Freedj, a predominantly male bar, where girls are allowed in on early nights and week nights. It has very cheesy music, free entry and a free vestiaire, which sweetens the pill when you spend 4€ on a half pint. There are also several clubs, including Les Bains Douches, one of the first and definitely one of the most famous in Paris. It’s expensive to get in (15€ with a drink), but with its three floors and chic clientele, it is definitely worth a trip. Musically, it is one of the best in the area, with each floor catering to different tastes and a good bet if you’re going out in a mixed group of gay and straight people. Le Tango is a great club, but it's best to go after 11pm if you're single to avoid the couples' dance earlier on. Music is pretty mainstream, but they do dedicate three or four songs every hour to Latin music and Latin dancing, which is fun, and very popular. Don’t arrive too late as it’s very popular, and once it reaches capacity it works on a one in one out basis, so you could be stuck in a queue for a very long time. Finally, if you do want to go to a straight bar in the Marais, you should try out the The Lizard Lounge, an Irish bar where you will find lots of English speakers. The ambiance is relaxed and friendly and it also serves food.
Banana Café 13 rue de la Ferronerie, 75001 Freedj 35 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Les Bains Douches 7 rue du Bourg l'Abbé, 75003 Le Tango 7 rue au Maire, 75003 The Lizard Lounge 18 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 7500
Le Quartier Mouffetard
Le Quartier Mouffetard is situated in the bustling 5th arrondissement right next to the Panthéon. There are dozens of bars and cafés in the area spreading out from La Place de la Contrescarpe along Rue Mouffetard and towards the Panthéon. The crowd tends to be young and alcohol-fuelled, ready to make conversation with pretty much anyone they can leer on, particularly friendly to anglophones.The area has retained a traditional Parisian feel with its cobbled streets and provides an excellent opportunity to flâner around the many narrow streets and look in the shops. Le Café des Arts has the feeling of a 19th century Parisian café but with reasonable prices. The area is teeming with cheap bars aimed primarily at students, though avoid anywhere that says they are a 'student bar' as they are in fact very expensive. Good cheap alternatives include Fifth Bar (complete with Beer Pong table) and The Wall. As a tourist hot spot during the day, there are many restaurants with diverse culinary styles and cheap menu deals available all day; a personal favourite is Casa Pepe which specialises in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. If you are looking for a cheap night out with lots of young people, this is definitely an area to check out.
Le Café des Arts 3 Place de la Contrescarpe, 75005 Fifth Bar 62 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 The Wall 51 Rue Lacépède, 75005 Casa Pepe 5 Rue Mouffetard, 7500
Stepping out of the Abbesses metro into Montmartre, it's a different sight at night from at day. The masses of tourists have largely gone and the quartier buzzes with a distinctly local feel. Those who have stayed generally find somewhere to eat on the overpriced rue des Abbesses or the restaurants in Place du Tertre, but the best places to go are to be found up side-streets, slightly out of the way. Montmartre has had a reputation for being arty and bars such as La Fourmi provide a regular hang-out for a colourful crowd of artists/actors/painters/singers. Food and drink are cheap and the atmosphere is great. Further up the butte is the RendezVous des Amis, a lively bar a short walk from Sacré Coeur. Not only does it boast a good collection of board games and excellent planches, there are often live concerts and even art collections displayed on the walls. Be warned that it often gets very busy, so if you plan on enjoying a game of dames, try to get there early. On your way back down the steps to the metro at the end of the night, stop off at Chez Camille. The crowd here tends to be a little older than elsewhere, but the drinks are again cheap and as it's on the side of the hill, it provides an unusually good view out over Paris.
La Fourmi 74 rue des Martyrs, 75018 Rendez-Vous des Amis 23 rue Gabrielle, 75018 Chez Camille 8 rue Ravignan, 75018
Rue Oberkampf and the surrounding area became enormously cool a couple of years ago attracting the most beautiful and bobo crowds of young parisians, and it still enjoys a huge popularity because of its quirky bars and delicious cocktails. Lined with great bars, each with a different feel, from le Mecano Bar in an old factory, to Place Verte with its huge terrace, there's plenty of choice to keep nights out original. Unlike some of the more central areas, Oberkampf hasn't suffered from too much tourism to dilute the French crowds who flock there every night, but it can be hard to find a seat in some of the smaller places. Luckily, with Nouveau Casino offering up great times as well as endless smaller but equally lively places like l'Alimentation Générale nearby, a seat will be the last thing on your mind as you dance the night away. Prices can be pretty steep but with varying happy hours up and down the streets and some of the best cocktails in the city, it's definitely worth it.
Mecano Bar 99 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Place Verte105 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Nouveau Casino 109 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 l'Alimentation Générale 64 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
Saint Germain - St Michel
The Quartier Latin is a hotbed of students—the ones who (look like they) can afford it. That isn't to say that you won't find a good deal or a fun night out. Get cheap-ish sangria and play with the juke box at 10 Bar, listen to some free jazz (expensive drinks though) at the Americana-clad Café Universel—there's even a wooden Native American outside, get a snazzy cocktail among hundreds at the lovely but tucked away Crocodile (cheap and delicious before 10pm Monday - Thursday) with its magazine covered walls or pretend to be a pirate for the night at the galley-themed Mad Maker.
10 Bar 10 rue de l'Odéon 75006 Café Universel 267 rue Saint Jacques, 75005 Crocodile 6 Rue Royer-Collard 75005 Mad Maker 22 Rue Cujas 75005