Paris After Dark: Things to Do at Night in Paris

June 5, 2011

It’s called the City of Light, and for good reason. At night, Paris glows from the tip of the Eiffel Tower to the waters of the Seine. If you're planning a trip to Paris, know that some of the most memorable experiences of Paris can be had after the sun sets. Here are a few suggestions of things to do at night in Paris.

Cruise the Seine

The Seine River runs right along side many of Paris' famous and historic buildings, which are beautifully lit at night. An evening cruise down the Seine offers a fantastic way to see these sights.In addition to the architecture, you'll get a close up view of the 37 bridges, many of which are also historic landmarks. Most boat rides feature a commentary about the sights as you pass them and some rides provide dinner and wine.  

Take a Tour of the City of Light

On a relaxing Guided Tour of the City at Night by motorcoach, see the sights illuminated in all of their glory. The tour passes Place de la Concorde Square, Place Vendome, the opera house, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Trocadero, Invalides, Notre Dame Cathedral and Place du Chatelet.  

See a Show at the Moulin Rouge
Metro: Pigalle

The Moulin Rouge show features sequins, feathers, and the French Cancan performed at the world's most famous cabaret. In addition to the show, you can opt for a three-course gourmet dinner including dessert and wine.  

Tango by the Seine in ParisGo Tango Dancing
Metro: Jussieu

At Quai Saint-Bernard, on the left bank of the Seine, people of all ages and nationalities gather for tango dancing in the open air during the summer. It's free and all are welcome. The truly adventurous can take the tango lesson offered in the early evening.  Then, around 8 pm, tango virtuosos join in for dancing until midnight. But if dancing is not your thing, it’s perfectly OK just to sit and watch.  

See an Opera or Ballet at the Paris Opera
Metro: Opera or Bastille

The Paris Opera presents its stunning seasons of opera and ballet at the Palais Garnier and the Opera Bastille. The Palais Garnier is the city's opulent opera house of Phantom of the Opera fame. The Opera Bastille is a modern building of glass and steel built in the 80s.  

Eiffel Tower SparklesSee the Eiffel Tower Light Up
Metro: École Militaire or Trocadero

At night, the Eiffel Tower literally sparkles with thousands of lights. You can get a great view from the vast lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower called Champ de Mars or at Trocadero.  

Linger in a Café

Other than the Eiffel Tower, the café is perhaps the most enduring symbol of Paris.  With over 12,000 cafés, it's easy to see why. Many of the cafés are formal and offer fine dining, while others are casual places to sit and people watch. A few notable ones include: Le Procope, Paris' oldest café established in 1686 and frequented by Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Benjamin Franklin; Café de Flore a famous stomping ground of Karl Lagerfeld; and Les Deux Magots, a former host to Hemingway, Sartre and Picasso. Keep in mind that waiters rarely provide the bill without being asked because you're expected to linger for a while to talk.  

See also:
Map of Paris Sights & Attractions »

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