Paris! A city of romance! A city of light! Ah…Paris!
Paris is known for its glamorous nightlife. It is home of the swankiest nightclubs of Europe, thanks to the areas long history of creative intellectual and artistic innovation.
An easy way to find out what is going on in Paris, is to pick up a copy of Pariscope on arrival. This magazine lists all the events in the French capital and many events are free.
Definitely not the city of big super clubs but a city with lot a lot of small bars and music venues, ranging from beautiful belle époque cafés and cellar dives to converted factories, barges and even a bridge. The bars might close at 2 am, but a diverse club scene keeps Paris alive and kicking long into the night.
Bar-restaurant / Café-brasserie
Many places mutate from traditional café-brasserie by day to pulsing electro beats bar by night. Among the best are the grungy chic De La Ville Café (34 boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle, 9th; www.delavillecafe.com), with pavement terrace, a splendidly decadent interior recalling its old brothel past and a modern chillout section. The Rex Club across the boulevard and Pigalle’s La Fourmi (74 rue des Martyrs, 18th) both have a laid back drinking atmosphere. Pre-club rendezvous are best in Le Divan du Monde, La Perle (78 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 3rd) is a seemingly ordinary corner café, and the Marais’s indisputed hipster haunt of the moment (10 Rue des Haudriettes, 75003 Paris 3rd).
You can also visit Le Sans Souci (65 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 9th) and Le Mansart bar (1 rue Mansart, 9th ) just in front of Le Carmen (Le Carmen, 22 rue de Douai ,9th/ Metro: Pigalle).
Here are your top 5 hottest Parisian small & exclusive night clubs.
CHEZ RASPOUTINE – www.raspoutine.org
This ex-bordello and cabaret has entirely been designed by Erté and turned into a Russian-themed restaurant and nightclub, located just off the Champs-Elysées. It’s the place for being a tsar in Paris. For the first part of the evening, it is a restaurant, but after 11pm and weekends, time to music by the capital’s best Djs.
NB: Raspoutine was the chic underground den of Catherine Deneuve, Serge Gainsbourg and Franck Sinatra. Chez Raspoutine is listed as historical monument.
L’ARC – www.larc-paris.com
The Arc is a trendy restaurant, tupper club, bar, and VIP boite. The night club is located downstairs in a sexy environment with a beautiful crowd. Be prepared to spend money, this is Paris at one of the worlds hottest and most exclusive night club Hard to get into!
NB: L’Arc is a night passage for everyone from Rafael Nadal to Jay-Z and Beyonce and L’Arc is located just across the street from the famed Arc de Triomph, the monument from which this establishment takes its name.
LE BARON – www.clublebaron.com
Created by André Saraiva (graffiti artist and creator of the infamous Mr. A), Le Baron is an old hostess bar off the Champs-Elysées transformed into a place to attract the flamboyant Parisians to its electrifying dance floor. DJs that play everything from Electro and House through to uber-danceable classics from the 70’s and 80’s. Le Baron is world-renowned for being super-exclusive. it does operate on an ultra-strict door policy.
NB: Be on the guest list in fact, the hairier and more unkempt the better.
CHACHA CLUB – www.chachaclub.fr
The unique interior décor and style of Chacha Club makes in stand apart from other Parisian nightclubs. The contemporary artwork of renowned French and international artists adorning the club makes one feel as if you have entered a hub of artists. The club : A warren of rooms beyond the cavernous bar/dance hall includes several small salons, a bathroom with an enormous glistening tub.
NB for those seeking a bit of calm you can escape into the in-house recording studio, fumoir, or the passcode-restricted bedroom.
LE SCOPITONE (or Scop Club) – www.lescopclub.com
The famous “Paris-Paris” now has became Scopitone. The « Scop club » provide a mix up of parties and concerts. The room is quite small, but you really enjoy these indescribable energies. The club attracts an international crowd of street-smart hipsters and fans of indie rock coming to see The Kooks and Junior Boys who have played in the past.
NB: A venue with an open-door policy. Check the logo maybe Beethoven appears to you.
On the other hand, there are a bunch of real clubs, with entrance fees, all over Paris.
LE REX CLUB – www.rexclub.com
Since 1995, the Rex has been the first club in France to devote its program to electronic music, depending on the day you go there. If you go on Saturday, it’s all about partying. If you go on Friday, it’s a mix of people; there are students, workers and teens. If you go on Thursday, you can be sure all the people will be there for the music and the DJ will do their best in their sets to express their own personality and sense of party.
So, expect to come across a whole range of styles (crazy techno-heads, rastafarians, rockers, etc) – it’s quite incredible to find a bar like this in Paris; it makes a bit of a change. Dress as you want, smart or not, it’s not important.
NB: They have the best sound system in Paris!
LE DJOON – www.djoon.com
A New York inspired loft-style bar and restaurant at the foot of a modern office block. Djoon is ‘the dancers’ club and the most soulful club in Paris. A fun diversion from the normally cramped clubs. Djoon receive famous french and international DJs like: Norman Jay, DJ Deep, Jovonn, Mr V, Greg Gauthier, Sven Love and Osunlade. You cannot find this atmosphere elsewhere in Paris.
NB: This is not the place to stand around. Look for the striking glass-and-steel façade.
LE CAB – www.lecab.fr
Designed in 2003 by Ora, Le Cab, for Cabaret, is the chic and stylish late-night club and lounge. The Cab is a club with a futuristic basement labyrinth complete with tropical fish. Corian walls and large mirrors reflect ever-changing colors on the main dance floor, surrounding it are white leather-lined for added intimacy. But, be careful as you need to be dressed up to get pass the door staff and be prepared to spend alot of money for the drinks.
NB: Also a restaurant which is quite good as well. The club is situated right in front of the Louvre.
VIP ROOM – www.viproom.fr
Recently moved to the old Scala discothèque, the club is a real mix of all Parisian nightlife clubs. The unique atmosphere, the trendy music, the excellent service and the opportunity to meet celebrities from all over the world made the clubs the most prestigious place for a great night out. You will find an italian restaurant, ‘Gioia’, serving food until 5am at weekends. The Legendary nightclub maintains its exclusivity and VIP reputation from an all-new Paris location.
NB: Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to dance next to a celebrity – if you’re not in, you’re out!
LE SHOWCASE – www.showcase.fr
Le Showcase is notorious for its historically unique location and unprecedented architecture. An amazing place, a bar/nightclub by night, inside old boat hangars, but in the morning it becomes a fairly disconcerting brunch lounge, under the very pretty Alexandre III bridge. With lots of arches; from the cave-like stone walls to the moodily lit central bar and crowded dance floor, you can really tell that you are under a bridge.
NB: You can see the eiffel tower from the second exit if you go for a smoke.
BATOFAR – www.batofar.org
The ‘night club on the boat’ ! Just off the “Bibliothèque Nationale de France” (near Bercy), Le Batofar is one of the trendiest nightclubs of Paris. A splendid place on the shores of La Seine, where you can eat, drink and dance. The Batofar really has a non commercial program. You can discover Djs and music that you won’t hear anywhere else, also renowned DJ-driven after-hours dance parties.
NB: Arrive on the boat early, as capacity fills quickly.
SOCIAL CLUB – www.parissocialclub.com
Formerly known as Triptyque, Social Club opened in 2008 for the nu-rave generation as a basement club. Its interiors are a “retrofuturist” style, painted completely black with strategically placed neon lights and small stage area. The Social Clubs reputation is for hosting the best DJs in the city. If you’re open to different music and want to learn more about the local DJ and music scene, the Social Club is the place to go.
NB: The club is housed in the same building that used to print George Clemenceau’s L’Aurore newspaper.
In conclusion, the night life in Paris is incredibly fun. So next time you are planing a trip to Paris, leave a night or two in your schedule available to party!