If you want to party in Paris, I am here to help. Since it’s only been a few weeks that I’ve stayed here, consider this a beginners guide and one that I will undoubtedly continue to add on to. Warning though, the music scene, somewhat laughably, is about five years behind the United states.
To start off, Paris is special in the way that it is not necessarily organized by districts the way most American cities function. Most often in the U.S., within the major cities there are a few neighborhoods that are just known for their certain restaurants, bars and clubs, and are usually quite close to their downtowns. Paris, on the other hand, is divided by 20 arrondissements which are essentially neighborhoods each harboring distinct vibes to them. What I have found so beautifully fun is the fact that within pretty much all of these arrondissements, you can find dancing bars, clubs and streets filled with outdoor cafes serving the arrondissement but filled with Parisians from all over.
If you want to chill at a bar, you can pretty much find any cafe towards the evening that is filled with outdoor seating within almost all arrondissements. Belleville, the Latin quarter, and the area around the Republique station will give you hundreds of options for just enjoying a night out and are reminiscent of a Brooklyn vibe to me. Ultimately, the vibes of sitting, smoking and buying a few cocktails runs throughout the city.
Personally, I have loved the bars in Rue Oberkampf, Le marais, and the Latin quarter for holding a young crowd chilling outdoors and vibing in mass. Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis, Rue Princess, and Rue de La Huchette have all had energetic party scenes with cheap drinks, nearby kebab grub places and an authentic Paris nightlife vibe. Rue Princess has so many clubs and dancing bars in close proximity to each other, that the partying goes onto the street. Chatting up people and bouncing from club to club was my personal highlight. Rue de la Huchette gives off a great bar-hopping vibe but more on the young elitist side when it comes to getting into places and buying drinks. Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis felt grungy and kind of a free-for-all towards the later hours of the night. Regardless, show up after 11:30 p.m. and expect a great time. As always, disappointingly, guys will pretty much only get in if you have clout with the venue or are showing up with girls.
Le Marais, giving off very much Soho vibes, is filled with bars with great happy hours in your classical cobblestone European setup. This neighborhood also holds the majority of gay nightlife inclusive for everyone. If you’re looking to enjoy a few drinks and a smoke outdoors surrounded by groups upon groups of younger people, head to the Canal Saint Martin. Starting from 6 p.m., this canal is filled with people with their own personal bottles, and speakers sitting down by the seine. Similarly, during midday the strip of grass towards the middle of the luxembourg garden gives off The Great Lawn in Central Park vibes serving as an after class get together area.
I have still yet to visit hotspots in Belleville and Menilmontant nearby where I live, head to hookah clubs found throughout the city, or visit the more arab and black nightlife scenes. Overall, I have found the party scene in Paris to be exceptionally more fun, inclusive and less chaotic than in the United States. People are more moderate with drinking, more concerned with dancing and vibing and the fact that there are so many bar-filled streets in all the arrondissements makes chilling at the local spots far more energetic than the dingy local pubs I’d never go to in New York.