Paris at Night Time: How to Spend a Perfect Evening in Paris

The sparkling lights, the Parisian bars come to life, music fills the air and lovers stroll along the Seine hand in hand, we can only be describing Paris at night time.

While many travellers retreat to their hotels for the evening, it is a true shame to miss out on the magic that an Evening in Paris has to offer.

From late night dinners, to partying the night away at the Moulin Rouge to sipping on Champagne as you gaze up at the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, Paris at night has so much to offer.

No matter whether you have a planned a 3 days in Paris Itinerary, a month or you’re making a quick stop for 24 hours, make sure you get out and enjoy the Parisian night life.

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The Best Things to do in Paris at Night Time

Paris is filled with unique things to do and every corner you turn presents with the perfect Instagram moment. No trip to Paris is complete without exploring the city at night time. Keep reading to find the best things to do in Paris at night.

Psss…. don’t forget to check out my post on The Best Things to do in Paris and the best hotels in Paris with the views of the Eiffel Tower.

If you think I’m missing something that MUST be included on this list, let me know in the comments below.

Take in a show at the Moulin Rouge

Soumya, Travel, Books, Food

The moulin rouge lit up in Paris at night time

There are so many things to do during an evening in Paris. But the must thing you must do as an adult is visit a cabaret show at night time. And what better than the 125+ year old Moulin Rouge show in Paris.

This cabaret building is characterized by the big red windmill on the outside and some swanky red décor on the inside. Taking a photo with the iconic windmill at night is something that all tourists do. But if you do get a chance, please do attend one of the shows as well. 

The current resident show is the Feerie, with many performances for around 2 hours, you can simply purchase a regular ticket or you can go all out and purchase a ticket including dinner. We decided to go in between an buy our ticket including a bottle of champagne (shared between two), it was amazing sitting watching the world famous show while sipping on French Champagne.

The most famous out of this is the Cancan dance. Also prepared to be wooed by some exotic performances complete with snakes and other animals too. Prepare to be thrilled by tales from around the world in the form of some lively dances, some with full frontal nudity, waist upwards.

Attire is smart casual but most people dress up to go to Moulin Rouge. Remember sneakers and shorts are not allowed. Also, photographs are strictly banned once you are in the performance hall.

Moulin Rouge is located in the Montmarte district or the 18th arrondissement and can be easily reached by Metro or a cab from other parts of Paris. Since the shows usually end quite late night in the night, it is suggested that you hire a cab on the way back. It is just 2.5 km away from the 1st arrondissement where many of the city’s posh hotels are.”

Climb the Eiffel Tower

Elisa, World in Paris

The Eiffel Tower lit up in Paris at night time

The Eiffel Tower is one of Paris’ most iconic buildings. Located on the Seine’s Left Bank in the 7th district of Paris, the Eiffel Tower was completed on 31 March 1889, on the occasion of the third World’s Fair organized in Paris. Designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, hence the name, the tower’s shape is famous worldwide.

A climb up to the Eiffel Tower is one of the top things to do in Paris, but it is lovely at night when all the landmarks are lit up in Paris at night. From here, you can admire Champs de Mars and Les Invalides’ stunning dome, the Seine River and its bridges, and the (already) iconic shape of Foundation Louis Vuitton.

There are different tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower, and the price depends on how high you want to climb (second floor only or up to the summit) and if you want to climb the first part with or without a lift. The tickets are on sale three months in advance, so we recommend booking as soon as you know the dates.

Apart from the night views, the visit to the tower is interesting. There are information and interactive panels with the history of its construction and some curious facts. Complete your Eiffel Tower experience with a sunset drink in the champagne bar, a gourmet meal in one of the tower’s restaurants or with a cruise on the Seine River.

Have a drink in front of Sacre-Coeur

Dominika, Sunday In Wonderland

Sacre-Coeur at night

If you’re dreaming of spending some time like a real Parisian, you should definitely spend an evening in Paris like many young citizens of this city do. Have a drink in the open space with an incredible view. And one of the best places to do so is the green lawn in front of Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

This majestic temple is located on a hill from where you can get one of the best Paris views. From there you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset above the city and see many of the most important buildings from a new perspective.

In the beginning, it might feel weird to have a drink in front of a church. But many Parisians used to come to this place with their dates and friends to spend some valuable time together in the open air. And admire the view of their beloved city. Sometimes you can even meet people selling beer or wine on-site. But feel free to bring your favorite bottle of French wine. Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon are perfect for a lovely evening picnic. They are also good ideas for original gifts from France.

You can easily reach Sacré-Cœur Basilica from the metro station Anvers. Two streets from there, if you’re not feeling like climbing the hill, you can take a funicular trip to your final destination.

Here’s a little safety tip: in the area, there might be some famous Paris scammers chasing tourists. People wrapping a bracelet around your wrist by surprise and demanding money, or collecting survey signatures “for a good cause” and then demanding money as well, in a very unpleasant and aggressive way. But just remember to repeat a firm “no” and act like a local and they will leave you alone.

If you want to enjoy Paris at night, the best time to visit this place is just before the sunset. You will then get a perfect beginning of the evening. And seeing the city filled with lights from such a distance is a wonderful experience. After a nice drink outside, you can visit the Montmartre district, which is just behind the corner. And there continue your evening in Paris in one of the romantic bohemian restaurants.

Visit a family run restaurant

Abigail, I’m Going on an Adventure

A meal surrounded by bread and wine on the table at Le Bizetro

Paris, the city of love is world known for its romance novels, exquisite fashion, unbeatable wines and delicious cheese boards. It’s a majestic city with many wonderful surprises to unearth, especially those which tantalise the tastebuds.

French cooking revered for its fancy preparations and delicate flavours can’t be missed when visiting Paris. So it goes to say that the perfect evening in Paris begins with an exploration of what France is most famous for – its food!

There’s no better place to enjoy the culinary journey of the French cuisine than visiting Le Bizetro; a small, family-run restaurant in the heart of Paris. A stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe and Tour Eiffel sits this hidden treasure serving the most authentic French food. Indulge in traditional favourites such as duck a l’orange and steak tartare while having your meal paired with the most delicious bottle of red, kindly chosen by the friendly staff. This no hassle, rustic restaurant is always full so reservations are suggested with a late night booking for the best memories. 

Le Bizetro can be found at 6 Rue Georges Bizet, nestled between the charming 19th-century quintessential Parisian architecture and quiet back-streets of Paris. In life, sometimes simplicity is best!

Enjoy a meal at Balagan

Anna, No Space in my Passport

One of the most exciting places to visit in Paris at night is definitely Balagan. It is a restaurant like no other, where waiters party with you, sometimes even harder than you. It is by far the best place to go especially if you are celebrating a special occasion in Paris!

The best time to visit Balagan is on a Friday or Saturday night. This is when the vibe is at its peak, and you will be guaranteed to have fun here. If you really want to go all out, you can get a special dessert where the waiters will come and dance at your table while feeding you the food! The whole restaurant of course joins in too. 

Don’t be surprised if a waiter brings you shots and takes them with you. It is absolutely normal in this place!

To book it, make sure to e-mail as they do not accept bookings online or over the phone. 
The restaurant is very centrally located next to Jardins des Tuileries and can be easily accessed by metro, Tuileries being the closest metro station. 

La Maison Favart is the best boutique hotel near here. It is located at a walking distance away from 3 metro stations, in a very chic and prestigious area. You also get a very knowledgeable concierge who can give you advice about visiting any locations or book restaurants for you too. 

See the dark side of Paris and visit the Catacombs

Sarah, Life Part 2 and Beyond

The skulls at the catacombs in Paris

When thinking about how to spend an evening in Paris, visiting the Paris Catacombs may not be the first place that springs to mind. Yet, it’s the largest underground necropolis in the world and provides a fascinating insight into Paris’ history. Literally, beneath the streets of this great city are the remains of more than six million people.

Visiting in the evening adds to the eerie ambience plus bonus, it’s a lot less crowded to see in the evenings.

To enter the catacombs, it’s necessary to reserve your spot in advance as only a limited number of visitors are allowed in at any time. And if possible, try to avoid visiting on the weekend. If visiting Paris out of season, it may be possible to find a slot and book a ticket on the day at a reduced rate.

Do note that there are 243 steps to negotiate to enter and exit the catacombs, and there is no lift. Once inside, one follows a 1.5-kilometre circuit, and the points where you enter and exit are not the same.

The average temperature down there is around 14°C, so consider bringing a light jacket and allow yourself at least an hour to 90 minutes to explore the catacombs. 
The easiest way to reach the Paris Catacombs is by metro. The nearest metro stop is Denfert-Rochereau, and then a very short walk that’s clearly signposted.

After your visit, there are many restaurants in the vicinity to suit all tastes and budgets.
Looking for a place to stay near the Paris Catacombs, consider the Hotel Montparnasse Alesia.

Enjoy the view from Terrace of Galeries Lafayette

Phil, JOURNICATION Travel Blog

A view over Paris at night time from Terrace of Galeries Lafayette

There are many special places to experience Paris at night. Among them, it is especially nice to experience the “City of Lights” from above and enjoy the view. A wonderful place for this is the roof terrace of the large department store Galeries Lafayette.

Especially if you have only little time or even only one day in Paris, the terrace is very good to get an overview in the city center. From here you can wonderfully admire the opera house directly opposite and see the illuminated Eiffel Tower after dark.

Good for Paris travelers on a budget: admission to the Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace is free. If you have a little more time, you can also stroll through the large department store and take a look at the merchandise of all kinds.

The best way to get to Galeries Lafayette on the Boulevard is via the metro stations Havre-Caumartin (lines 3 & 9), Opéra (lines 3, 7 & 8) and Chaussée d’Antin / La Fayette (lines 7 & 9).

A special recommendation is to visit Paris at Christmas time. The already magnificent shop windows of Galeries Lafayette are then lavishly decorated in certain mottos, and from the rooftop terrace you can see even more Christmas glow in all directions in the City of Lights.

Spend a night in Paris lingering at an out an outdoor Café

Denise, Chef Denise

Parisians drinking outside Cafe De Flore in Paris in the evening

One of the best ways to spend an evening in Paris is to linger at an outdoor café. All throughout the year, round tables and weaved chairs line the streets and squares in front of Paris cafes, bistros, and restaurants

While restaurants and bistros require you to dine, pretty much anything goes at a café. You can talk for hours over a single coffee or glass of wine, and no one will chase you away—making outdoor cafes a very economical source of night time entertainment.

However, if you’re looking to enjoy some traditional Parisian dishes, cafes are a great place to eat. Cafes usually serve everything from snacks to full meals and desserts. They’re also perfect for a before dinner aperitif. While restaurants and bistros don’t usually open until 7pm, cafes are usually open all day long. So, if you want to start your evening early, or have a night cap after dinner, head to a café! 

Pick a busy square or popular street and the people watching alone can be extraordinarily amusing. If you stay at the Hotel des Academies et des Art in the 6th, you can walk to many of the famous cafes in Paris like La Rotonde and Café de Flore where famous writers and artists hung out in the 1920’s. 

Visit the Opera Garnier

Ophelie, Limitless Secrets

Opera Garnier in Paris at night time

Visiting the Opera Garnier is one of the best things to do at night in Paris! You can come here to attend an opera, a ballet, or a concert of classical music. Not only will you be pleased with the show, but you will also be amazed at the architecture! This Opera house built at the end of the 19th century is probably one of the most famous ones in the world and one of the most romantic places in Paris.

You can admire its Napoleon III architecture style from the outside already, with a mix of Baroque, Classicism of Palladio, and Renaissance style. Once you are inside, the best places to take a photo are the magnificent grand staircase and the balconies over the staircase. And you cannot miss the main room named “grand foyer” with paintings on the walls and the ceiling and impressive chandeliers. It will remind you of the Palace of Versailles! Therefore, the Opera Garnier is perfect for an evening in Paris.

Make sure to book your ticket in advance if you want to see a show. Some of them are very popular and sell out fast.

You can actually visit the Opera Garnier during the day as well or combine your visit with a cruise on the river. It’s accessible every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 14 euros. If you are interested, you can also book a guided tour.
Walking around in the area of the Opera Garnier is pleasant: it’s not far from the very fancy Place Vendôme, the beautiful Tuileries Garden or the Louvre Museum. You can also treat yourself at the Café de la Paix. This café from the 19th century facing the opera Garnier is an institution in Paris.

If you are looking for a place to stay, check out the Hotel Etats Unis Opera. This 4-star hotel is ideally located near the Opera Garnier in a quiet street.

Take in the lights at the Arc de Triomphe

Noel, Travel Photo Discovery

An aerial view of the arc de triomphe in Paris at night time

One of the most stunning lit up places to visit in Paris at night time is the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of the city and the gateway to the grand boulevard of Les Champs Elysees.

Located at the Centre Place Charles de Gaule where there is also a metro stop, you can take the tunnel directly to the center area of the Arc de Triomphe and exit right below the arc itself all lit up and stunning to witness and admire and then take some gorgeous photos of the Arc and the magnificent boulevards that cross directly into the roundabout. To get one of the best views of Paris why not climb the Arc de Triomphe?

One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe was created to honor those that fought the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars with the tomb of the unknown soldier located below the monument in the vault. One of the largest Arcs of its time with a height of over 165 feet, the lit up monument is spectacular to visit at night time and illuminated from below.

With easy access taking the metro directly to the monument, you can visit the arc de Triomphe along with many other free attractions in Paris here for more inspiration to visiting the City of Lights, attractions and other famous monuments around the city.

See Paris from the water on a Seine River Cruise

Mayuri, ToSomePlaceNew

A view of Paris at night time from a Seine River Cruise

For many people, the River Seine in Paris is a well-known tourist attraction. It is one of the most romantic places to visit when in Paris. But cruising on it during night time can definitely magnify its beauty and charm.

A trip to France’s capital city means taking at least one cruise along the river that gives it life, the Seine. As with any romantic place, one can see Paris from a whole new perspective on a river cruise in Paris at night time. 

These river cruises can be booked for an hour (called the illumination cruise) or paired with a 3-course dinner meal (lasts 2.50 to 3 hours). This is definitely a must-add for any Paris itinerary. 

The romance of the French Capital starts to melt away as one cruise along under bridges and past iconic landmarks. See Paris from a whole new perspective along the Seine River, as it glides by iconic landmarks such as Notre-Dame cathedral, Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower. 

The views of each structure are enhanced at nighttime with glowing illuminations that make them even more beautiful. Celebrate the beauty and charm of Paris as you discover the city’s top attractions on a sightseeing tour like the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, which looks stunning as it lights up beautifully with sparkling illuminations against a dark blue sky while reflecting on the river’s surface. 

What do you think the best Paris night time attractions are? Let me know in the comments below

Fiona xoxo

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