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


    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...Read More

  • 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...Read More

  • 3. Bar Hemingway & the Ritz Bar


    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...Read More

  • 4. Bar Josephine


    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,...Read More

  • 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...Read More

  • 6. Café Laurent


    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

  • 7. Calbar


    This off-the-beaten-path watering hole, where the drinks are so good, the music so cool, and the atmosphere so right, is a big draw for a...Read More

  • 8. 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,...Read More

  • 9. Combat


    The three skilled mixologists at this streamlined cocktail bar have earned serious accolades in Paris's cocktail scene for their fresh, original, and artful creations....Read More

  • 10. CopperBay

    Canal St-Martin

    This sleek and chic cocktail bar's nautical theme extends to its lustrous wood bar and bright, generous spaces where no one has to fight for...Read More

  • 11. Crazy Horse


    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...Read More

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  • 12. Dirty Dick


    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,...Read More

  • 13. Dirty Lemon


    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

  • 14. Experimental Cocktail Club

    Grands Boulevards

    The bar that launched the Paris cocktail scene a dozen years ago remains a Paris favorite among the cocktail cognoscenti, who know this shadowy, raw-brick-and-half-timbered...Read More

  • 15. Experimental Cocktail Club


    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,...Read More

  • 16. Gravity Bar

    Canal St-Martin

    On a street crammed with hip restaurants and bars, you'll find the area's best craft cocktails here, concocted with unusual house-made ingredients. An excellent dining...Read More

  • 17. 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...Read More

  • 18. Kouto

    Grands Boulevards

    At this cozy lounge, decorated with the owners' grandfathers' old knives (get it, couteau?), partners Marie and Chirine Cabaret-Besenval share their passion for the overlooked...Read More

  • 19. La Commune


    This lively cocktail bar is a favorite watering hole among the cocktail cognoscenti and local hipsters. The design is a mix of high-low (think concrete, marble,...Read More

  • 20. Le Bar Botaniste


    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...Read More

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