The City of Lights is a city that enjoys a lot of up-all-night action. Even venues that appear to be quiet, tucked in corners for enjoying your morning tea or coffee, can turn lively with a discotheque beat in the evening. Paris offers everything from Latin Salsa to the electronic scene, blazing with light shows and edgy new sounds. You can cater more easily to your music tastes by becoming familiar with the different neighbourhoods. The various arrondissements carry their own flavour. The atmosphere at Paris nightclubs are markedly different than the free-wheeling style of London life. Cover charges can be high, dress codes strict and the bouncers can be downright unpleasant. However, there are some splendid areas you may wish to try out to round out your Paris experience.
If your feet want to dance to the trendiest techno music and your eyes want to be dazzled by the stage lights, you’ll find your favourite venues within Central Paris and along the Champs Elysées. Boasting a “retrofuturistic” style, the Social Club is one of the hottest topics on the night-clubbing route. Open from Tuesday to Saturday night every week, the five hundred capacity club is located in Central Paris on the Rue Montmartre. Although it plays a variety of music, its specialty is techno, disco, electro and similar genres.
Back in the 1990's, it was considered the trendiest district in Paris, but the Oberkampf neighbourhood still rocks out some radical sound. The area itself has a traditional appeal, with narrow, winding streets and family owned establishments, as well as touristy type attractions, such as the Latin Quarter and Saint Michel. Happy hour lasts from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with cocktails going around £4 and pints for £3. The most action packed blocks are between Avenue de la République and rue Moret.
If you’re strolling down the Seine, looking for some action, your feet will naturally gravitate to Batofar. The restaurant and club rocks until all hours of the morning to the beat of rock and roll, underground hip-hop, electro, disco and techno music. Sitting on a converted barge, when your dancing feet are weary, you’ll still be moving to the rhythm while drinking in the view of Paris along the river.
Another all-night party on a boat is at the Concrete, also anchored in on the Seine. After opening in 2011, it began shaking up the evening entertainment after rumours that Paris nightlife was a dying fling. There is a wild, care-free attitude within this party scene and the feeling that Paris music scene has only just begun.
It’s only natural that the most romantic district of Paris is also one of the oldest and most discreet. The centuries-old buildings share their narrow pathways and cobble-stone streets with thoroughly modern boutiques and a variety of ethnic eateries. Broad promenades open up to avant garde performance spaces and tucked away gardens. In the centre, standing like a beacon, is the July Column, letting you know you’re definitely in Bastille.
In stark contrast to the old-world flavour of much of Bastille, is the very modern Bastille Opera House. Home to the Paris Opera, this destination marks the finest in Paris culture.
Night time in Bastille is for lovers. While music pours into the streets, and the sounds of ribald parties fill the air, couples walk hand in hand idly and sometimes stop to kiss under a flickering street lamp. The area has become somewhat congested with tourists over the last few years, but there are still plenty of little-explored areas and local hang-outs.
You don’t have to be gay to enjoy the district of Marais. There’s a get-down, funky beat that begins with the rustic, such as the L’Art Brut, with its acoustic guitars and hippy-type feel, to the suave elegance of Le Sherry Butt. If you’re in the area, be sure to drop in and visit the Andy Wahloo. Enjoy the hip atmosphere that sports the work of the King of Pop Art and relax with a mint tea before continuing on your way to some vigorous Paris nightlife.
If you begin your tour early in the evening, you can learn to tango at La Boîte à Frissons. You’ll be given lessons in the old dance hall, with a chance to demonstrate what you learned later in the evening when the full party switches into gear. It doesn’t really start heating up until after one a.m., so if you want to jangle with the local crowd, stick around. Even if you didn’t succeed in getting the tangle down, nobody will really notice once the evening turns lively.
The Latin Quarter is a short distance from Marais, and both districts reflect a time period when rock and roll was king, jazz was classic Salsa was a hot Latin beat, although many of the night clubs are trendy, and techno rules the day.
Nearly all the popular districts are heavily invested in tourism, although by poking around the arrondissements, you might find an evening scene that’s just right for you. The City of Paris is basically very safe, well-lit, with numerous venues that remain open all night. Whether your preferences are for a quieter night-life, with some soothing classical music or you prefer the latest and most modern in party entertainment, you’ll find it on the streets of Paris.
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