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. Dirty Lemon

    Charonne

    When Palestinian chef Ruba Khoury (a veteran of several Michelin-starred kitchens) struck out on her own, she surprised everyone by opening a cocktail bar, "made...Read More

  • 2. Banana Café

    Louvre

    This Les Halles mainstay open from 11 am until dawn draws a trendy crowd and offers a fully renovated piano bar in the cellar, where...Read More

  • 3. Café Cox

    Marais Quarter

    “Le Cox" is a prime gay pickup joint that's known for its live DJ sets. Its extended Sunday happy hour—from 6 pm to 2 am—is...Read More

  • 4. Chez Michou

    Montmartre

    Although the always-decked-out-in-blue owner, Michou, passed away in early 2020, the over-the-top show dances on. It features performers on stage in extravagant drag, with high...Read More

  • 5. Duplex Bar

    Louvre

    Young tortured-artist types flock to this low-key club—one of the oldest gay bars in the city—to enjoy the frequent art exhibitions, alternative music, and mood-inspiring...Read More

  • 6. Open Café

    Marais Quarter

    Drawing everyone from suits to punks, this spot is less of a hookup spot than neighboring Café Cox. Relaxed and always packed, it has a...Read More

  • 7. Raidd Bar

    Marais Quarter

    The ever-popular Raidd has a dark downstairs bar and potent drinks. The men are hot, and so is the steamy shower show presented after 11...Read More

  • 8. So What!

    Marais Quarter

    This happening lesbian bar in the heart of the gay district welcomes all comers (including small groups of men). The DJ in the tiny basement...Read More

  • 9. Club 18

    Louvre | Dance Clubs

    This elegant spot (the oldest gay club in Paris) takes gay pride to the heart of the Louvre district on the weekends. Club 18 boasts a well...Read More

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