Night / Party

Places to party

Rock, hip-hop, techno, house, electro, select, alt, jazz, musicals and more. Here’s a quick look at a few places and parties that just can’t be missed

For the past several years, the Greater Paris party scene has been lit! A breath of fresh air has swept through Ile-de-France with the coming of age of a new generation of partygoers who have adopted the capital and its surroundings as their favorite playground. You’ll find festive events in clubs, public parks and gardens, and unexpected venues like abandoned factories. The musical palette on offer is just as diverse, with electro—particularly techno and house—leading the charge. Here’s a quick look at a few places and parties that just can’t be missed. Rock, electro, select, alt, jazz, French chanson, musicals and more—something’s bound to suit your fancy.

New venues

© Ian Riveira

The club scene is always on the move, and new venues are constantly opening all over Greater Paris. Read on for a quick survey of the places to be after dark.

There are clubs like Sacré (2nd arrondissement), which replaced The Social Club and whose name is a nod to the Pasolini film; La Favela Chic (11th arrondissement), le Balajo (11th arrondissement), Les Étoiles (10th arrondissement), Wanderlust (13th arrondissement) and its dancefloors, Café Oz Rooftop (13th arrondissement)...

The effervescent club scene has even led to urban renewal in many neighborhoods. Parc de la Villette, with its well known places like Cabaret Sauvage and Trabendo, has a new lease on life thanks to the opening of a unique place: À la Folie (19th arrondissement), which is a café, a restaurant, and on some nights a club.

Along the Seine in the 13th arrondissement, several barges, like Petit Bain, open their holds or decks to club-goers. And for those who prefer an alt ambiance, don’t miss the French cabaret Divan du Monde - Madame Arthur (18th arrondissement), or the iconoclastic La Station, located in the former Gare des Mines train station at Porte d’Aubervilliers (18th arrondissement) and managed by the MU collective, which organizes parties, projections and performances there during the spring and summer.

In the mood for electro?

© Unsplash Daniel Robert

You’re in luck: Greater Paris is home to a number of enticing events, with international artists invited to perform each week : La Machine du Moulin Rouge (18th arrondissement), Badaboum (11th arrondissement), Le Gibus (11th arrondissement), Glazart (19th arrondissement) and the unrivalled Paris leader: Rex Club (2nd arrondissement)...
If you’re more one for small, intimate places, Le Klub (1st arrondissement) and Le Serpent à Plume (3rd arrondissement) will be right up your alley! In addition to the vibrant club scene, Greater Paris is home to more and more techno raves held in unusual venues and organized by collectives like La Mamie's, Sentaku, Raw, Hors Sol, Kumquat, Yoyaku, Dissidance or 767. They most often set up in areas outside the city, where they’re free to get loud!

Jazz in Paris

© Eric LAIGNEL

As one of the world’s jazz capitals, Paris is full of places to enjoy the genre. Make sure to drop in at legendary clubs like Le Petit Journal Saint-Michel (5th arrondissement), Le Caveau de la Huchette (5th arrondissement), Péniche Le Marcounet (5th arrondissement) and Le Duc des Lombards (1st arrondissement), one of the capital’s jazz meccas. There are also the celebrated concert cafés to enjoy, such as Café Laurent (6th arrondissement), which was the place to be in 1950s Saint-Germain-des Prés: Boris Vian used to play here. There are also full-service restaurants with live music, like La Bellevilloise (20th arrondissement) and its famous Sunday jazz brunch. Also worth a mention: River Café in Issy-les-Moulineaux, with its floating concerts on the Seine; Le Triton, a non-profit community restaurant in Les Lilas, which features a jazz-rich concert lineup; and La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues, located in a former burlap sack factory in Pantin.

Rock on

You’ll find all the different rock genres playing in a wide selection of Parisian bars and clubs. Indie, punk, garage, new wave, hard, metal and more are in the spotlight almost every night—and the concert venues sometimes turn into dancefloors once the live music is over. Le Gibus (11th arrondissement) is must-visit in the category.

Music in Greater Paris

© Mélanie Van Leeuwen via Unsplash

Something for everyone. Electro, rock and jazz are just the tip of the iceberg—every style of music has its own schedule of events in Greater Paris. There’s live music playing somewhere every night in Ile-de-France, so you’re bound to find something that suits your fancy: French chanson, world music, hip-hop and so much more. Concert halls, bars and cultural institutions put on a rich and varied schedule of events year-round, featuring international musicians, French artists and bright new talents. We’ll name just a few of the capital’s legendary stages, to whet your appetite: Le Bataclan and Le Café de la Danse in the 11th arrondissement, Le Casino de Paris (9th arrondissement), La Cigale (18th arrondissement), La Maroquinerie (20th arrondissement) and L’Européen (17th arrondissement). For other venues with live music, you can start with: Le Pop-Up du Label (12th arrondissement), L’Olympic Café (18th arrondissement), Lou Pascalou (20th arrondissement), Grand Bouillon in Aubervilliers, Café La Pêche in Montreuil, Canal 93 in Bobigny and La Halle Roublot in Fontenay-sous-Bois. Check each venue’s Facebook page for the nightly lineup.

The LGBT+ scene

The LGBT community is a driving force behind the dynamic after-dark scene in Paris. In case you’re wondering, all the places listed are, of course, straight-friendly. The atmosphere is open-minded, laid-back and incredibly festive. In addition to the classic venues in and around the Marais (like the bars Who's, Banana Café, The Labo and Bears’ Den; don’t miss Rosa Bonheur: Rosa Bonheur Buttes-Chaumont, and its little sister Rosa Bonheur sur Seine, located on the banks of the river.

Several major addresses in the Parisian nightscape also host LGBT events: Le Gibus (11th arrondissement); Le Tango (3th arrondissement), aka La Boîte à Frissons to name just a few. As for dedicated parties, there’s a plethora to choose from: La Madame Klaude Wet for Me by Barbieturix for women, Bizarre Love Triangle, Menergy, . And let’s not forget La Nuit des Follivores et des Crazyvores.

Alternative fun

Is Greater Paris the new Berlin? The alt scene is so active in the city that a documentary has been produced on the topic: Le Renouveau. Available online, the film explores the backstories of a host of new collectives based in Greater Paris. Their end-game is putting on inclusive, interactive, lighthearted, eco-friendly parties in unexpected venues (under bridges and in parks, or in art studios) throughout Ile-de-France. The list is long: La Mamie’s, Cracki, D.Ko Records, le Camion Bazar, Microclimat, Soukmachines, Pardonnez-Nous and so many more. It’s easy to find out more on their websites or Facebook pages.

While they sometimes organize parties in Parisian clubs, their most innovative events take place in non-profit community and activist venues and embrace a multidisciplinary approach to art. In Saint-Denis, Le 6B is a symbolic squat that welcomes a vibrant crowd every weekend from May through October and invites them to play, dance and discover the space’s artistic endeavors. A similar mindset drives Mains d’œuvres in Saint-Ouen, La Villa Mais d’Ici in Aubervilliers, La Ferme du bonheur in Nanterre, Anis Gras - Le lieu de l'autre in Arcueil, Le Hangar in Ivry-sur-Seine. In Vitry-sur-Seine, Gare au Théâtre, is "a manufacturer of art objects of all kinds,” and has taken up residence in a renovated former train station and features a full schedule of events, or the unmissible Kilowatt.

If you would like to learn more, Intersquat Paris is a platform designed to enable squats throughout Ile-de-France to communicate, cooperate and pool resources.

A select few

© Le Carmen

By definition, these exclusive clubs promise an evening rubbing elbows with the cream of the crop. And getting in can be difficult if you’re not a regular or even a member, like at the renowned Silencio, dreamed up by American director David Lynch. Dress code is obligatory at other places as well, including Medellin Paris (8th arrondissement), Le Carmen (9th arrondissement), Le Speakeasy (16th arrondissement), Boum Boum (8th arrondissement)... And let’s not forget the VIP nightclubs of western Paris, located around the Champs-Élysées, in the capitals 8th arrondissement: L'Arc, Le Matignon, Chez Raspoutine, Maxim’s and Le Manko.

Family-friendly and the great outdoors

© Glazart

Many venues enjoy indoor and outdoor spaces, so it’s no surprise some parties get started at noon. And, with the arrival of spring, courtyards, terraces and artificial beaches are swarming with costumed, sequined sun-seekers, often with kids in tow for a leisurely afternoon stroll. For open-air cafés, head over to Rosa Bonheur in Buttes-Chaumont Park (19th arrondissement), Rosa Bonheur sur Seine (7th arrondissement) or La Guinguette de l’île du Martin-pêcheur in Champigny-sur-Marne. Glazart, whose LaPlage is the envy of all of Paris, La Clairière and Le Chalet des Iles (in the Bois de Boulogne) all deserve a mention as well. The parks of Greater Paris also host their fair share of festivals. To keep up with the happenings, check out the websites of the venues and the collectives behind them. And don’t miss L’Été du Canal, which takes place every July and August with a rich and varied schedule of events along the Canal de l’Ourcq: party and concert cruises, walks, street dances, shows, concerts, exhibitions, urban art, water sports, family activities and more—one big party with something for everyone!