Paris

You haven't seen the City of Lights until you've seen the city at night. Throngs pour into popular streets, filling the air with the melody of engaged conversation and clinking glasses. This is when locals 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. They tend to frequent the same places once they've found spots they like: it could be a wine bar, a corner café, a hip music club, or, more and more, a chic cocktail bar in an out-of-the-way neighborhood. 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 also love to bar-hop, and the energy shifts throughout the evening, so be prepared to follow the crowds.

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  • 1. Au Lapin Agile

    Montmartre

    An authentic survivor from the 19th century, Au Lapin Agile considers itself the doyen of cabarets. Founded in 1860, it inhabits the same modest house...

    An authentic survivor from the 19th century, Au Lapin Agile considers itself the doyen of cabarets. Founded in 1860, it inhabits the same modest house that was a favorite subject of painter Maurice Utrillo. It became the home-away-from-home for Braque, Modigliani, Apollinaire, and Picasso—who once paid for a meal with one of his paintings, then promptly exited and painted another that he named after this place. There are no topless dancers; this is a genuine French cabaret with songs, poetry, and humor (in French) in a publike setting. Entry—with one drink included—is €35, and it's cash only at the door (online prepayment by credit card is available).

    22 rue des Saules, Paris, Île-de-France, 75018, France
    01–46–06–85–87
  • 2. Bar Botaniste

    Eiffel Tower

    This most opulent of bars offers 15 scintillating cocktails crafted with herbal elixirs, fresh fruits, flower essences, and exotic nectars in honor of Prince Roland...

    This most opulent of bars offers 15 scintillating cocktails crafted with herbal elixirs, fresh fruits, flower essences, and exotic nectars in honor of Prince Roland Bonaparte, a passionate botanist and the first owner of the mansion that became the Shangri-La Hotel. The cocktail menu changes every two months—all the better to keep ingredients fresh and seasonal.

    10 av. d'Iéna, Paris, Île-de-France, 75116, France
    01–53–67–19–98
  • 3. Bar Hemingway & the Ritz Bar

    Louvre

    Literature lovers, cocktail connoisseurs, and other drink-swilling devotees flock to these two iconic bars within the Ritz Hotel. A $400 million renovation happily didn't alter...

    Literature lovers, cocktail connoisseurs, and other drink-swilling devotees flock to these two iconic bars within the Ritz Hotel. A $400 million renovation happily didn't alter the chill vibe or the wood-paneled, club-chair decor of tiny Bar Hemingway, where mixologist mainstay and twice-named "Best Head Barman in the World" Colin Field will fix you a bespoke cocktail. Try the Serendipity, the bar's most popular drink, combining Champagne with Calvados and mint. Across the elegant corridor, the more spacious Ritz Bar's 2021 renovation paved the way for an astrologically themed experience. In a style evoking Belle Époque Paris, the space's circular bar is topped by a monumental lantern whose projection of stars and constellations begins each evening at 5:30 exactly. Signature cocktails continue the zodiac theme, with creations for each astrological sign, as well as a menu of spirits, wines, and shared small plates. Electro music from French DJs Polo and Pan was specifically created for the space.

    15 pl. Vendôme, Paris, Île-de-France, 75001, France
    01–43–16–33–74
  • 4. Bar Josephine

    St-Germain-des-Prés

    Inside the magnificent, historic Hôtel Lutetia, Bar Josephine has been restored beyond its former glory. The vast Art Nouveau frescoed ceiling, wrought-iron balcony, and colorful,...

    Inside the magnificent, historic Hôtel Lutetia, Bar Josephine has been restored beyond its former glory. The vast Art Nouveau frescoed ceiling, wrought-iron balcony, and colorful, carefully selected spirits—all lit by abundant natural light coming through the vast window facing Boulevard Raspail—make this beautiful space the place to see and be seen. There is live piano music from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm most evenings.

    45 bd. Raspail, Paris, Île-de-France, 75006, France
    01–49–54–46–00
  • 5. Bonhomie

    Grands Boulevards

    This cocktail bar does a highly successful three in three—drinks, food, and ambience—a feat not to be taken lightly. What's more, the high-quality drinks include...

    This cocktail bar does a highly successful three in three—drinks, food, and ambience—a feat not to be taken lightly. What's more, the high-quality drinks include sourced coffees, tasty craft cocktails, and small-producer wines; basically anything your finicky heart desires. A menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes is great for lunch, dinner, or sharing over cocktails or a glass of wine, and the café's late-morning and late-evening hours are a big plus in this neighborhood.

    22 rue d'Enghien, Paris, Île-de-France, 75010, France
    07–64–30–39–68
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  • 6. Café Laurent

    St-Germain-des-Prés

    Bookcases on the wall and the glossy central piano recall this jazz bar's earlier incarnation as the Café Tabou, when Paris's postwar artists and intellectuals...

    Bookcases on the wall and the glossy central piano recall this jazz bar's earlier incarnation as the Café Tabou, when Paris's postwar artists and intellectuals argued and partied the night away to the strains of New York jazz. Nowadays, the plush seating and low lights still draw a crowd of die-hard jazz lovers. Just note that there's no live music on Saturday.

    33 rue Dauphine, Paris, Île-de-France, 75006, France
    01–43–29–03–33
  • 7. Candelaria

    Marais Quarter

    Steamy Candelaria is a taquería by day and a cocktail lounge by night. The tang of tequila hangs in the air at this hip hideaway,...

    Steamy Candelaria is a taquería by day and a cocktail lounge by night. The tang of tequila hangs in the air at this hip hideaway, where deftly crafted drinks are poured for a contented crowd.

    52 rue de Saintonge, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    01–42–74–41–28
  • 8. Crazy Horse

    Champs-Élysées

    This world-renowned cabaret has elevated the striptease to an art form. Founded in 1951, it's famous for gorgeous dancers and naughty routines characterized by lots...

    This world-renowned cabaret has elevated the striptease to an art form. Founded in 1951, it's famous for gorgeous dancers and naughty routines characterized by lots of humor and very little clothing. What garments there are have been dazzlingly designed by the likes of Louboutin and Alaïa and shed by top divas (including Dita Von Teese). Reserved seats for the show start at €115.

    12 av. George V, Paris, Île-de-France, 75008, France
    01–47–23–32–32
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  • 9. Dirty Dick

    Montmartre

    An updated version of the classic tiki lounge, this stylish option in the hip South Pigalle (SoPi) neighborhood comes complete with lurid lighting, life-size totems,...

    An updated version of the classic tiki lounge, this stylish option in the hip South Pigalle (SoPi) neighborhood comes complete with lurid lighting, life-size totems, and retro rattan furniture. All the exotic drinks you'd expect at a Polynesian beach hut (or '60s motel lounge) are here—including fruity cocktails, a range of rums, and punch bowls with names like Amazombie.

    10 rue Frochot, Paris, Île-de-France, 75009, France
    01–48–78–74–58
  • 10. Experimental Cocktail Club

    Louvre

    Fashioned as a speakeasy on a tiny brick-paved street, this was one of the first bars to bring the cocktail revolution to Paris. Colorful, innovative,...

    Fashioned as a speakeasy on a tiny brick-paved street, this was one of the first bars to bring the cocktail revolution to Paris. Colorful, innovative, and ever-changing drinks are mixed with aplomb by friendly (and attractive) bartenders. By 11 pm, the bar is always packed with a mix of locals, professionals, and fashionistas.

    37 rue St-Sauveur, Paris, Île-de-France, 75002, France
    01–45–08–88–09
  • 11. Jacques' Bar

    Grands Boulevards

    Tucked away beyond a cobbled courtyard and up a winding back stairway, this cozy (only 24 seats) bar achieves an intimate, parloresque ambience thanks to...

    Tucked away beyond a cobbled courtyard and up a winding back stairway, this cozy (only 24 seats) bar achieves an intimate, parloresque ambience thanks to floral chintz wallpaper, plush armchairs and poufs, and Asian rugs. For a hotel bar it has well-priced Moroccan-inspired cocktails and small plates, making settling in for the evening a tempting option. Considering the Hoxton Hotel's other bustling spaces, this is a nice little getaway. It gets crowded, so arrive early.

    30–32 rue du Sentier, Paris, Île-de-France, 75002, France
    01–85–65–75–01
  • 12. Le Bar Botaniste

    Champs-Élysées

    The Shangri-La Hotel's opulent bar, inspired by eccentric botanist Prince Roland Bonaparte (nephew to Napoléon), serves up a dazzling menu of imaginative cocktails spiked with...

    The Shangri-La Hotel's opulent bar, inspired by eccentric botanist Prince Roland Bonaparte (nephew to Napoléon), serves up a dazzling menu of imaginative cocktails spiked with plant and flower essences and fruit nectars.

    10 av. d'Iéna, Paris, Île-de-France, 75016, France
    01–53–67–19–98
  • 13. Le Bar du Bristol

    Champs-Élysées

    Apparently not satisfied with its usual rich and powerful clientele, this tony spot is now vying for the impossibly hip, too. Along with enticing cocktails...

    Apparently not satisfied with its usual rich and powerful clientele, this tony spot is now vying for the impossibly hip, too. Along with enticing cocktails and rarified spirits, Le Bar promises exceptional wines and tapas. Weekdays from 7 pm to 9:30 pm, it also showcases curated art videos on its behind-the-bar mirror screen. Chic Paris DJs heat up the scene between 9:30 pm and 2 am on Friday and Saturday.

    112 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, Paris, Île-de-France, 75008, France
    01–53–43–43–00
  • 14. Le Mary Celeste

    Marais Quarter

    Half-price oysters at happy hour (6–7 pm) aren't the only reason this refreshingly unpretentious cocktail bar is wildly popular. One of a trilogy of super-hip...

    Half-price oysters at happy hour (6–7 pm) aren't the only reason this refreshingly unpretentious cocktail bar is wildly popular. One of a trilogy of super-hip watering holes (including Candelaria and Glass) opened by a trio of expat restaurateurs, its craft cocktails, microbrews, natural wines, and standout tapas menu deliver the goods and then some. If you're planning to dine, reserve ahead online.

    1 rue Commines, Paris, Île-de-France, 75003, France
    No phone
  • 15. Les Ambassadeurs

    Louvre

    Located within the magnificent Hôtel de Crillon, Les Ambassadeurs is perhaps the closest you'll come to experiencing the royal treatment in a real palace—it was...

    Located within the magnificent Hôtel de Crillon, Les Ambassadeurs is perhaps the closest you'll come to experiencing the royal treatment in a real palace—it was built by order of Louis XV in 1758. Sink into one of the cozy armchairs and enjoy a coupe of Champagne from a list as long as the marble walls are high, or select one of a curated list of signature cocktails. All the right touches are preserved, including a frescoed ceiling adorned with twinkling chandeliers and gilt—lots of it. Live music accompanies your evening Tuesday through Saturday starting at 8.

    10 pl. de la Concorde, Paris, Île-de-France, France
    01–44–71–15–00
  • 16. Les Ambassadeurs

    Champs-Élysées

    Within the Crillon Hotel is this over-the-top bar that makes use of the soaring room's original 18th-century gilding, sumptuous velvet seating, glorious chandeliers, and a...

    Within the Crillon Hotel is this over-the-top bar that makes use of the soaring room's original 18th-century gilding, sumptuous velvet seating, glorious chandeliers, and a golden bar to create an atmosphere of unparalleled opulence. An eclectic cocktail list and a scintillating selection of Champagnes add to the extravagance.

    10 pl. de la Concorde, Paris, Île-de-France, 75008, France
    01–44–71–15–00
  • 17. Lockwood

    Grands Boulevards

    An unusual mix of café by day and craft cocktail bar by night, Lockwood is also a wildly popular brunch spot. Complete with a stylish...

    An unusual mix of café by day and craft cocktail bar by night, Lockwood is also a wildly popular brunch spot. Complete with a stylish interior, right down to the lively cellar bar, it has a hip, unfailingly friendly atmosphere, excellent food, and top-quality ingredients.

    73 rue d'Aboukir, Paris, Île-de-France, 72002, France
    01–77–32–97–21
  • 18. New Morning

    Grands Boulevards

    At New Morning—the premier spot for serious fans of avant-garde jazz, folk, and world music—the look is spartan, and the mood reverential....

    At New Morning—the premier spot for serious fans of avant-garde jazz, folk, and world music—the look is spartan, and the mood reverential.

    7 rue des Petites-Ecuries, Paris, Île-de-France, 75010, France
    01–45–23–51–41
  • 19. Paname Brewing Company

    Montmartre

    One of Paris's first and best microbreweries on the city's exploding brewery scene, Paname offers a dozen masterful craft beers, plus limited-time specials, and a...

    One of Paris's first and best microbreweries on the city's exploding brewery scene, Paname offers a dozen masterful craft beers, plus limited-time specials, and a fabulous terrace on a plum spot facing the Canal de la Villette.

    41 bis, quai de la Loire, Paris, Île-de-France, 75019, France
    01–40–36–43–55
  • 20. Saint James Club Paris

    Champs-Élysées

    Like a common room out of Harry Potter, the bar at the Saint James Club Paris—complete with 5,000 leather-bound volumes and a cozy fireplace—is studiously...

    Like a common room out of Harry Potter, the bar at the Saint James Club Paris—complete with 5,000 leather-bound volumes and a cozy fireplace—is studiously inviting. It's very French, and open to nonmembers only after 7 pm or during Sunday brunch. The owners are a venerable old Bordeaux family; accordingly, you'll find a respectable selection of Champagnes and wines.

    5 pl. du Chancelier Adenauer, Paris, Île-de-France, 75016, France
    01–44–05–81–81

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