11 things to see and do in Paris by night

Paris at night is a totally different city and this version is well worth seeing. The illuminated Eiffel Tower, the bars, the atmosphere, the night tours... are an experience not to be missed.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

11 things to see and do in Paris by night

Ile de la Cité by night | ©Falcon® Photography

We often plan what we are going to do during the day in our travels but the night comes and sadly we give up our day. If you feel identified with this and your next adventure will be in Paris you are in luck, because here I leave you the definitive guide to make the most of every moment of your trip and not waste the nights in one of the cities that shines the most when the sun goes down, and that's why they call it the city of light!

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1. Take a night cruise on the Seine River to see Paris illuminated by lights

Day Cruise| ©jlfaurie
Day Cruise| ©jlfaurie

Taking a boat ride in Paris is always a good idea, but what better than doing it at night to see the city illuminated? And few things can compare to enjoy a nice walk watching the illuminated Eiffel Tower or monuments like the spectacular Pont Alexandre III, one of the most beautiful of the French capital.

These cruises last between 40 minutes and an hour, but there are different options from which to choose "extras" as a combined visit combined visit to the Eiffel Tower plus the ride on the cruise or a spectacular dinner on board the boat while enjoying the views that you can book in the button that I leave you below:

Book a cruise on the Seine

2. Visit the Eiffel Tower by night

Paris by night| ©Luciano Teixeira
Paris by night| ©Luciano Teixeira

If in daylight the most emblematic monument of Paris surprises, at night it is a spectacle. This colossal tower, which was built in 1889, at night is illuminated with more than 300 bulbs can be seen in different ways, but you can not leave Paris without accessing it at night.

The night visit to the Eiffel Tower will allow you to watch the sunset from one of the strategic points of the city and you can also see many monuments such as the Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Trocadero Gardens or the Dome of the Invalides among many others, certainly an experience that will be worthwhile.

The last visit is at 22:30, but access depends on the season and holidays, so I recommend booking your ticket in advance to avoid surprises and make sure you can make this great plan. Of course, it is only available in summer season.

Here is the link to learn about all the possibilities that exist to climb the Eiffel Tower.

Book tickets for the Eiffel Tower

3. Attend a show at the iconic Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge| ©Vadin Sadovski
Moulin Rouge| ©Vadin Sadovski

Stage of cabarets and even of a famous movie, the Moulin Rouge is another must-see during your visit to Paris. Inaugurated in 1889 during the famous "Belle Époque", this place has been for many years a place of reference in social and even cultural and economic aspects in the capital of France.

A countless number of famous characters have passed through its tables, from Liza Minelli to Frank Sinatra, and during the shows you can enjoy a large group of artists including jugglers, dancers, tightrope walkers and more than a thousand dresses!

The Moulin Rouge is located in the Montmartre district and is very easy to find, but here we leave you this article on how to get to the Moulin Rouge so you don't get lost, and if you want to know more, here you have all the information about the Moulin Rouge show.

Book tickets for the Moulin Rouge with dinner and transport

4.Live the spectacular Parisian cabaret

Show dancer| ©Roderick Eime
Show dancer| ©Roderick Eime

If you have already enjoyed the Moulin Rouge and want to know other cabaret shows throughout Paris you can enjoy cheaper shows that will make you experience the magic of the Parisian nightlife.

Crazy Horse Paris

This is one of the most famous cabaret clubs in the city where you can enjoy the show "Tottally Crazy", a set of hilarious acts celebrating the 65th anniversary of the legendary club. The tickets for the Cabaret Horse Paris will make you spend an unforgettable time that you can also accompany with champagne or even appetizers for a complete experience.

Cabaret Paradis Latin

A theater rebuilt by Gustave Eiffel himself in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris awaits you to experience a cabaret show in a unique setting. With tickets to Cabaret Paradis Latin you will enjoy a performance in which lust, humor and poetry come together to leave you wanting more. And how could it be otherwise, when selecting the tickets you can add dinner and drinks to the show.

Book tickets for the Cabaret Paradis Latin

5. Visit the Louvre museum at nightfall

Façade of the Louvre Museum by night| ©Lonni Besançon
Façade of the Louvre Museum by night| ©Lonni Besançon

The Louvre Museum is a jewel among French and European museums, so a visit is a must on your trip to Paris. However, although the opening hours of the Louvre Museum are usually from 9 am to 6 pm, there are two days a week when, when the rest of the museums and tourist activities close around 6 pm, this incredible museum opens its doors to anyone who wants to visit it until 21:45 pm.

Undoubtedly, the biggest advantage of this schedule is that there is a smaller influx of people so enjoy the best works of the Louvre Museum that this museum houses will be a much easier task than in any other schedule. In addition, contrary to what one tends to think, the artificial light to illuminate the art pieces does not detract any quality to the visit, since even in the daytime most rooms do not have natural lighting, so there will be no difference.

As night visits end at 21:45, hopefully at that time you have started to itch, if so and you have no idea where to go, here's a list of the best places to eat near the Louvre

Book tickets for the Louvre

6. Visit the Opera Garnier

The Opera Garnier| ©Helen Simonsson
The Opera Garnier| ©Helen Simonsson

The building that inspired the famous play "The Phantom of the Opera" can not be left behind in your visits. During the tour you can make through its interiors you can see the luxury and ostentatious decoration of the most stately buildings of the time, largely adorned with gold leaf and spectacular mosaics.

There are two ways to see the Opera inside, one is through a guided tour and the other is by attending the performance of a play. If you choose the first option, my recommendation is to choose the last performance of the afternoon, as the visit will probably be less crowded, you will enjoy the majestic building at night and you will have had the rest of the day to do other activities that are more worth doing in the daylight.

Book a guided tour of the Opera Garnier

7. Take a night bus tour

Night Tourist Bus| ©TourScanner
Night Tourist Bus| ©TourScanner

Sightseeing buses are always a good idea, because in a ride of about half an hour you can see almost all the most important monuments of the city, and it's also a good way to rest your feet while still sightseeing.

Most of these excursions usually take place during the day, but there are cities like Paris that are well worth seeing illuminated. If it's not too cold, taking a night ride on a panoramic bus while enjoying the views of the city of light is a plan that surely will not disappoint you.

If you want more information, here's everything you need to know about the best tour buses in Paris to choose your best option.

Book a night bus tour in Paris

8. Enjoy a Jazz concert in the Latin Quarter

Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis
Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis

Paris is one of the European cities where most jazz is heard, so if you like this musical genre you are in luck. In the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter of Paris), located in the south of the Ìle de la Cité, you will find plenty of places to enjoy the music and a great atmosphere.

So if you like the idea of spending an incredible evening with good live music in one of the neighborhoods with more personality of the French capital, here are some suggestions:

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel is a cozy club located very close to the Luxembourg Gardens, transports the viewer to the 50's, a charming place where you can also enjoy dinner during the concert.

Le Caveau de la Huchette

Le Caveau de la H uchette is a classic among the jazz clubs in Paris. The atmosphere here is spectacular, there are many people who are encouraged to dance and audiences of all ages. Even so, you should keep in mind that as it is such a well-known place, apart from Parisians there will also be many tourists.

The Caveau des Oubliettes

Le Caveau des Oubliettes is a small jazz bar and also a perfect place if you want to enjoy live music and best of all, you will have the opportunity to go on stage yourself to show your skills as an artist every Wednesday soul, Thursday jazz and Sunday blues.

Aux Trois Mailletz

Undoubtedly another trip back in time, the climate and energy that Aux Trois Mailletz gives off is a sight to behold. It is open until the wee hours of the morning and you can also enjoy dinner while watching the show.

Book a tour of the Latin Quarter

9. Taste the Parisian gastronomy in the best bistrots

Dish of Ratatouille| ©amirali mirhashemian
Dish of Ratatouille| ©amirali mirhashemian

Paris is undoubtedly one of the gastronomic capitals of Europe, but also one of those places where, when it comes to eating, there is so much to choose from that we may end up making a mistake.

In my opinion, the best time to taste these meals is in the evening, as you can spend more time on it and you will enjoy the experience more, without rushing and without having to interrupt the sightseeing, so here I show you the French foods that you can not miss and the best places to eat in Paris.

Foie Gras

This delicacy is nothing more than duck or goose liver pate and is usually spread on a piece of bread or accompanying another dish. A star food in French gastronomy, with a strong and delicious flavor that you can not miss. One of the best places to eat foie gras in Paris is Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie.

Ratatouille

This French dish, also famous for the Disney movie with the same name, has according to the traditional recipe, tomato, onion, eggplant and zucchini, although sometimes cooks vary some of these ingredients or add others to give it their personal touch. It can also be eaten as a main dish or as a side dish with meat dishes. Ratatouille is a good vegetarian option, it is delicious and the best place to eat it is in the Montmartre district.

Fondues, raclettes and French cheeses

France is known for its great variety of cheeses and in Paris you can find cheese shops on almost every corner. But if you are a fan of cheese you can't leave Paris without trying a fondue or a raclette, both are techniques in which cheese is melted to accompany other foods. If you are already salivating, I recommend the restaurant Le Chalet Savoyard where you will enjoy a whole show for your sense of taste.

Sweets and Pastries

Although you may have heard wonders about French pastries, you won't be aware of how delicious they are until you actually try them. Macarons, croissants, crêpes, pain au chocolat, praline... Paris is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth and to enjoy these sweet treats I recommend Café Pouchkine and Mère de Famille, an incredible pastry shop with more than 200 years where you can choose from more than 1200 sweets. And if what you want is to try the crêpes, here is a list of the best creperies in Paris.

Book the tour of pastry shops in Paris

10. Go see a movie at the cinema

Cinema Function| ©Erik Witsoe
Cinema Function| ©Erik Witsoe

Parisians, in general, have a lot of film culture, and going to see movies not only entertains them, but they also learn a lot about art and culture.

It is true that ideally you should know the language to make the most of this experience, however, there are times when foreign films are screened in original version and in this way French would not be an impediment.

There are thousands of movie theaters where you can enjoy a good movie, however my recommendation is to go to a classic cinema like La Filmothèque, well known in Paris, where classic films are screened and also film festivals are held frequently. This place has two different theaters and is located in the Latin Quarter.

Still, if you want to see the latest releases, you can go to one of the many cinemas in Paris with the latest proposals such as the UGC Cine Cité les Halles, the MK2 Beaubourg, the UGC Montparnasse or Le Grand Rex among many others.

11. Enjoy a night out in Paris

Partying| ©Maurício Mascaro
Partying| ©Maurício Mascaro

If you think of enjoying the night the first thing that usually comes to mind is a nightclub, so this plan could not miss in our guide on what to do in Paris at night.

The truth is that being a big city there are many places from which you can choose to party. For example, Le Marais neighborhood is a very fashionable area lately and the Bastille area is also very popular among university students, although if you are looking for a more exclusive atmosphere, the Champs Elysees will be your place, although you should keep in mind that access to the sites is not so easy, as they do not let anyone in. In any case, here is my selection for you to see the best options:

La Féline

Alternative atmosphere and perfect for rockers. La Féline is located at Rue Victor Letalle 6, and offers live concerts, DJ sessions and other shows every week.

Le Balajo

Ideal for Latin music lovers, as they dedicate each day to a different musical genre and also offer salsa and bachata classes. If you like to dance, Le Balajo may be your perfect plan. It is located at Rue de Lappe 9.

Le Duplex

This place is perfect for young people, as it is known for its university atmosphere and if the disco is not enough, the place also has a bowling alley and a restaurant. Le Duplex is located at Avenue Foch 2bis.

Le Carmen

Opened in 1875, this place is worth a visit if only to see it. It is located at 34 Rue Duperré and its spectacular decorations that evoke luxury and sensuality will transport you to another era. At Le Carmen you can enjoy small live concerts, DJ sessions and shows.