Paris after dark
November 2, 2018 7:42 PM   Subscribe

I will be visiting Paris in early December for work. I'll be pretty busy during the days, but should have my evenings free. I've been to Paris before and have seen most of the major sights, but looking for recommendations for unique sights that may be best seen after dark.

This will be my third trip to Paris, so I've seen many things, but this will be my first trip by myself and spending majority of sight seeing time after dark.

Any combination of the following would be ideal:
- Best seen at night
- Somewhat lesser known, likely not crowded
- Somehow involve food or wine
- Chance to meet locals who can speak english and are interested in meeting visitors
posted by quantum to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe not super unique, but going on a bateaux mouche at night takes it out of the pure tourism zone into the "really lovely" zone. Everything's lit up, the river is gorgeous and dark. It's also uncrowded. We did it between Christmas and New Year's one year, so yes, I can say that it is cold, but if you bundle up it's a fun sort of chilly beauty.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:00 PM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Palais de Tokyo is open until midnight and it empties out after 10PM. They also have a good bar, but it might be more lively than what you're looking for.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:02 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Really loved the bar Le Comptoir General (perhaps my favorite bar in the entire world even!) and the restaurant Sesame across the street is fantastic.

Also a night time boat trip is extremely wonderful.

Not sure how late the taxidermy emporium Deyrolle is open but it’s worth a visit if you have time.
posted by wowenthusiast at 8:38 PM on November 2, 2018

I was in Paris for a work trip a few years ago, and didn't get to do anything fun until after sunset as well. My wife and I walked along a Christmas market along the Champs Elysee. Yes, it's a crowd, but as no one travels two weeks before Christmas, it seemed to us to be mostly locals. We were quite happy buying mulled wine every few hundred feet and seeing the lights.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 9:31 PM on November 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Plan one night each of your weeks to visit the Louvre at night either Wednesday or Friday. Visit galleries you may not have seen before doing a slow deep dive through their beautifully lit ancient collections--Etruscan, Syrian, Egyptian. There's stunning sculpture, pottery, jewelry, with few visitors. Then have a glass of champagne--or dinner--at Cafe Marly overlooking the Louvre Pyramide before going on to dinner elsewhere

nthng the Christmas markets--not for the goods but for the sparkly atmosphere. Have some vin chaude--hot wine--or hot chocolate and see if someone has a hut serving Alsatian ham and tartiflette--a kind of super creamy mashed potato dish oozing with cheese. Plenty of locals do this. The market near St. Sulpice sometimes has this and is less crazy than some of the othrs. Outdoor cafes with heaters will be in full swing, so there are those. Bon voyage!
posted by Elsie at 3:24 AM on November 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sacré-Cœur is quite beautiful at night.
posted by ShooBoo at 4:43 AM on November 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Not that unknown, but if you go up the Tour Montparnasse around/after sunset, you can see the lights come on all over Paris, plus the (slightly tacky) light show on the Tour Eiffel.
posted by basalganglia at 4:44 AM on November 3, 2018

I so agree with Elsie’s recommendation to visit the Louvre at night if you can. I have been to the Louvre several times and my night visit was by far the most memorable and special!
posted by imalaowai at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2018

I asked a friend who happens to offer writing tours/workshops around Paris (where she’s from). Her suggestions below! MeMail for her contact info.


Places where to drink or eat

- La Rhumerie, in Saint-Germain-des-près : drinking some Ti' Punch and tasting marvelous Plantain bananas :)

- Finishing some work at the Belleval Hotel, (Paris 8, near Gare Saint-Lazare). There is a beautiful bar/restaurant/terrasse, and few people, perfect place to work peacefully.

- Having a cheap beer at La Main Rouge (in Belleville district).

-Eating at the new huge & trendy restaurant La Felicita, near Station F (a famous start-up incubator), in Paris 13 (Metro Station Bibliothèque François Mitterand L14)

- Drinking a glass of wine on the rooftop of the Printemps in Boulevard Haussman (open until 8pm I think)


-Wandering on rue Drevet in Montmartre, and accidentally discovering the Petit Théâtre du Bonheur ("Small Theater of Happiness").
During the evening, if there are some seats available, they will probably tell you to come inside to enjoy the show or the concert. See

- See a movie at the Cinémathèque Française and/or visit the Museum : there is currently a Jean Renoir retrospective and a Sergio Leone retrospective/exhibition.
They haven't yet published the schedule for December. Great place and lots of great movies and events there. Website :

- Exhibition: Zao-Wou KI L'espace du silence.(Chinese French painter)
Very famous exhibition at the Modern Art Museum (Open late on Thursday, until 10 pm )
Website :


- Paris 14 : Roller Skating on a Friday night (departure in front of the Montparnasse train station, from 10 pm to 1am ) :D
posted by vert canard at 1:06 AM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pari Roller is supposed to be great but my friend in Paris warns that it is "quite fast". So I wouldn't do it thinking I was going to have a fun, easy skate.
posted by wnissen at 2:21 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

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