Nightlife & the Arts in Paris

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Paris Nightlife

You haven't seen Paris until you've seen the city at night. Throngs fill popular streets and the air fills with the melody of French conversation and the clinking of glasses. This is when Parisians let down their hair and reveal their true bonhomie, laughing and dancing, flirting and talking. Parisians love to savor life together: they dine out, drink endless espressos, offer innumerable toasts, and are often so reluctant to separate that they party all night.

Parisians go out weekends and weeknights, late and early. And they tend to frequent the same places once they've found spots they like: it could be a wine bar, corner café, or hip music club, and you can often find a welcoming "the gang's all here" atmosphere. A wise way to spend an evening is to pick an area in a neighborhood that interests you, then give yourself time to browse. Parisians love to bar-hop, and the energy shifts throughout the evening, so be prepared to follow the crowds all night.

Nightlife hot spots are scattered throughout the city, with each neighborhood offering a unique vibe. If you prefer clinking drinks with models and celebrities, check out the Champs-Élysées or St-Germain-des-Prés areas, but be prepared to shell out beaucoup bucks and stare down surly bouncers. Easygoing, bohemian-chic revelers can be found in the northeastern districts like Canal St-Martin and Belleville, while students tend to pour into the Bastille and the Quartier Latin. Gays and party-hearty types can nail a wild time nearly every night in the Marais. The Grands Boulevards and Rue Montorgueil, just north of Les Halles, are party central for young professionals and the fashion crowd, and the Pigalle/Montmartre area is always hopping with plenty of theaters, cabarets, bars, and concert venues. Warmer months draw the adventurous to floating clubs and bars moored along the Seine from Bercy to the Eiffel Tower.

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