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 | Cabaret

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

  • 2. Ballroom du Beef Club

    Louvre | Bars/Pubs

    Unmarked black door, basement setting, pressed-tin ceilings, atmospheric lighting—did someone say "speakeasy"? All this and luscious libations...Read More

  • 3. Candelaria

    Marais Quarter | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 4. Concrete

    Bastille | Live Music

    On a barge moored in the Seine, superhip Concrete is one of Paris's preeminent hard-core dance venues and a trailblazer on the techno scene...Read More

  • 5. Crazy Horse

    Champs-Élysées | Cabaret

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

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  • 6. Delaville Café

    Grands Boulevards | Bars/Pubs

    With its huge, heated sidewalk terrace, Belle Époque mosaic-tile bar, graffitied walls, and swishy lounge, Delaville Café boasts a funky ambience...Read More

  • 7. Dirty Dick

    Montmartre | Bars/Pubs

    An updated version of the classic tiki lounge, this stylish option in the hip Pigalle neighborhood comes complete with lurid lighting, life...Read More

  • 8. Experimental Cocktail Club

    Louvre | Bars/Pubs

    Fashioned as a speakeasy on a tiny brick-paved street, the Experimental Cocktail Club seems like it should be lighted by gas lamps. The show...Read More

  • 9. Glass

    Montmartre | Bars/Pubs

    Masquerading as a dive in Pigalle's rapidly gentrifying red-light district, this dark, candlelighted space is actually a shrine to urban cool...Read More

  • 10. Le Bar Botaniste

    Champs-Élysées | Bars/Pubs

    The Shangri-La Hotel's opulent bar, inspired by eccentric botanist Prince Roland Bonapart (nephew to Napoleon), serves up a dazzling menu of...Read More

  • 11. Le Bar du Bristol

    Champs-Élysées | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 12. Le Mary Celeste

    Marais Quarter | Bars/Pubs

    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...Read More

  • 13. New Morning

    Grands Boulevards | Live Music

    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. ...Read More

  • 14. Saint James Club Paris

    Champs-Élysées | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 15. Sherry Butt

    Marais Quarter | Bars/Pubs

    On a quiet street close to the Bastille, Sherry Butt's relaxed loftlike atmosphere, imaginative drinks, whiskey flights, and tasty bar menu...Read More

  • 16. Zig Zag

    Champs-Élysées | Live Music

    With a state-of-the-art sound system, a glam location, and a riotous dance floor with room for 1,200 revelers, Zig Zag is hugely popular. Join...Read More

  • 17. 3W Kafé

    Marais Quarter | Bars/Pubs

    3W, as in "Women With Women," is a pillar of the Paris lesbian scene. ...Read More

  • 18. Alcazar

    St-Germain-des-Prés | Bars/Pubs

    Sir Terence Conran's makeover of a 17th-century Parisian jeu de paume court features a stylish mezzanine-level bar under a greenhouse-glass...Read More

  • 19. Andy Wahloo

    Marais Quarter | Bars/Pubs

    With a hip crowd and an Andy Warhol–meets- Casablanca decor, here you can relax on oversize paint-can stools beneath high-kitsch silk-screened...Read More

  • 20. Apicius

    Champs-Élysées | Bars/Pubs

    Mere steps from the Champs-Élysées, Apicius offers sublime elegance. Wander through the luxe front garden and château restaurant to the sleekly...Read More

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