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. 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...Read More

  • 2. 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....Read More

  • 3. Caveau de la Huchette

    Latin Quarter

    One of the few surviving cellar clubs from the 1940s has the "best boppers" in the city and packs 'em in for swing dancing and...Read More

  • 4. Duc des Lombards

    Louvre

    The Duc's cozy interior and top-class jazz acts make this iconic club one of the city's most popular small venues. It's best to purchase advance...Read More

  • 5. Jazz Club Étoile

    Champs-Élysées

    This moody club at Le Méridien Hotel hosts a roster of top-billed international musicians in a classy set of rooms. Check out the Sunday afternoon...Read More

  • 6. Sunset-Sunside

    Louvre

    This two-part club hosts French and American jazz musicians: the Sunside upstairs is devoted mostly to acoustic jazz, while the Sunset downstairs features everything from...Read More

  • 7. Concrete

    Bastille

    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. The...Read More

  • 8. Showcase

    Champs-Élysées | Live Music

    Nestled under the arches of the golden Pont Alexandre III, Showcase takes the gold medal for best location. The sleekly cavernous dance space...Read More

  • 9. Zig Zag

    Champs-Élysées

    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 the...Read More

  • 10. Flèche d'Or

    Eastern Paris | Live Music

    A bastion of rock concerts and other musical performances, this venue is just across the street from Mama Shelter, in a neighborhood some like...Read More

  • 11. Le Petit Journal Montparnasse

    Montparnasse | Live Music

    This venerable club has long attracted the greats in French and international jazz, with a focus on big band music. Dinner is served from 8...Read More

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