11 things to see and do in Paris by night

Paris by night is a totally different city and this version is well worth seeing. The illuminated Eiffel Tower, the bars, the atmosphere, the night tours... it's an experience not to be missed.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

11 things to see and do in Paris by night

Île de la Cité by night | ©Falcon® Photography

We often plan what we're going to do during the day on our travels but then the night comes and sadly we call it a day. If you identify with this and your next adventure will be in Paris you're in luck, because here's the definitive guide to make the most of every moment of your trip and not waste the nights in one of the cities that shines the most when the sun goes down, and that's why they call it the city of light!

1. Take a night cruise on the Seine to see Paris illuminated

Day Cruise| ©jlfaurie
Day Cruise| ©jlfaurie

Taking a boat trip in Paris is always a good idea, but what better way to see the city lit up than at night? Few things can compare to enjoying a pleasant stroll while seeing the Eiffel Tower illuminated or monuments such as the spectacular Pont Alexandre III, one of the most beautiful in the French capital.

These cruises last between 40 minutes and an hour, but there are different options to choose "extras" such as a combined visit to the Eiffel Tower plus the cruise or a spectacular dinner on board the boat while enjoying the views that you can book by clicking on the button below:

Book a cruise on the Seine

2. Visit the Eiffel Tower by night

Paris by night| ©Luciano Teixeira
Paris by night| ©Luciano Teixeira

If Paris's most emblematic monument surprises by daylight, at night it is a real spectacle. This colossal tower, which was built in 1889, is illuminated at night by more than 300 light bulbs and can be seen in different ways, although you can't leave Paris without seeing it at night.

The night visit to the Eiffel Tower will allow you to watch the sunset from one of the strategic points of the city and you will also be able to see numerous monuments such as the Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Trocadero Gardens or the Dome of the Invalides among many others, without a doubt a worthwhile experience.

The last visit is at 22:30, but access depends on the season and public holidays, so I recommend you book your ticket in advance to avoid surprises and make sure you can make this great experience. Of course, it is only available during the summer season.

Here you have the link to know all the possibilities that exist to climb the Eiffel Tower.

Book tickets for the Eiffel Tower

3. See a show at the iconic Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge| ©Vadin Sadovski
Moulin Rouge| ©Vadin Sadovski

The setting for cabarets and even a famous film, the Moulin Rouge is another must-see during your visit to Paris. Inaugurated in 1889 during the famous "Belle Époque", this place has been for many years a social and even cultural and economic landmark in the French capital.

Countless celebrities have graced its stages, from Liza Minelli to Frank Sinatra, and during the shows you can enjoy a large group of artists including jugglers, dancers, tightrope walkers and over a thousand costumes!

The Moulin Rouge is located in the Montmartre district and is very easy to find, but here's an article on how to get to the Moulin Rouge so you don't get lost, and if you're still curious to know more, here's all the information about the Moulin Rouge show.

Book tickets for Moulin Rouge with dinner and transport

4.Experience the Parisian cabaret spectacular

Show dancer| ©Roderick Eime
Show dancer| ©Roderick Eime

If you've already enjoyed the Moulin Rouge and want to see other cabaret shows around Paris, you can enjoy cheaper shows that will still give you the chance to experience the magic of the Parisian nightlife.

Crazy Horse Paris

This is one of the city's most famous cabaret clubs where you can enjoy the 'Tottally Crazy' show, a set of hilarious acts celebrating the legendary club's 65th anniversary. Tickets for the Cabaret Horse Paris will give you an unforgettable time with champagne or even aperitifs for the full experience.

Cabaret Paradis Latin

A theatre reconstructed by Gustave Eiffel himself in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris awaits you to experience a cabaret show in a unique setting. With tickets to Cabaret Paradis Latin you will enjoy a performance in which lust, humour and poetry come together to leave you wanting more. And of course, when you choose your tickets you can add dinner and drinks to the show.

Book tickets for the Cabaret Paradis Latin

5. Visit the Louvre at nightfall

Façade of the Louvre Museum by Night| ©Lonni Besançon
Façade of the Louvre Museum by Night| ©Lonni Besançon

The Louvre is a jewel among French and European museums, so a visit to the Louvre is a must on your trip to Paris. However, although the Louvre Museum is usually open from 9am to 6pm, there are two days a week when the rest of the museums and tourist activities close at around 6pm, this incredible museum opens its doors to anyone who wants to visit it until 9:45pm.

Undoubtedly, the biggest advantage of this time slot is that it is less crow ded, so enjoying the best works of the Louvre that this museum houses will be a much easier task than at any other time. Also, contrary to popular belief, the artificial light to illuminate the works of art does not detract from the quality of the visit, as even during daylight hours most of the rooms are not naturally lit, so there will be no difference.

As night visits end at 21:45, you will hopefully have started to get the munchies by then. If so, and you have no idea where to go, here's a list of the best places to eat near the Louvre.

Book tickets for the Louvre

6. Visit the Opéra Garnier

The Opéra Garnier| ©Helen Simonsson
The Opéra Garnier| ©Helen Simonsson

The building that inspired the famous play "The Phantom of the Opera" should not be left out of your visit. During the tour of its interiors you will be able to see the luxury and ostentatious decoration typical of the most stately buildings of the period, largely adorned with gold leaf and spectacular mosaics.

There are two ways to see the inside of the Opera House, one is by taking a guided tour and the other is by attending a performance of a play. If you choose the first option, my recommendation is to choose the last performance of the afternoon, as the visit will probably be less crowded, you will enjoy the majestic building at night and you will have had the rest of the day to do other activities that are more worthwhile in the daylight.

Book a guided tour of the Opéra Garnier

7. Take a night bus tour

Night Tourist Bus| ©TourScanner
Night Tourist Bus| ©TourScanner

Sightseeing buses are always a good idea, because in about half an hour you can see almost all the major sights of the city, and it's also a good way to rest your feet while you continue sightseeing.

Most of these tours usually take place during the day, but there are cities like Paris that are well worth seeing illuminated. If it's not too cold, taking a nighttime ride on a panoramic bus while enjoying the sights of the city of light is a plan that won't disappoint.

For more information, here's everything you need to know about the best sightseeing buses in Paris so you can choose your best option.

Book a night bus tour of Paris

8. Enjoy a Jazz concert in the Latin Quarter

Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis
Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis

Paris is one of the most jazz-heavy cities in Europe, so if you like jazz you're in for a treat. In the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter of Paris), located in the south of the Ìle de la Cité, you'll find plenty of places to enjoy the music and a great atmosphere.

So if you like the idea of spending an incredible evening with great live music in one of the French capital's most characterful neighbourhoods, here are a few suggestions:

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel is a cosy club located very close to the Luxembourg Gardens, it transports the spectator to the 50's, a charming place where you can also enjoy dinner during the concert.

Le Caveau de la Huchette

Le Caveau de la Huchette is a classic among Parisian jazz clubs. The atmosphere here is spectacular, with lots of people dancing and audiences of all ages. However, you should bear in mind that as it is such a well-known venue, there will be many tourists as well as Parisians.

The Caveau des Oubliettes

Le Caveau des Oubliettes is a small jazz bar and also a great place if you're in the mood for live music and best of all, you 'll have the opportunity to go out on stage and show off your skills every Wednesday for soul, every Thursday for jazz and every Sunday for blues.

Aux Trois Mailletz

Another trip back in time, the atmosphere and energy of Aux Trois Mailletz is definitely worth seeing. It's open until the early hours of the morning and you can also enjoy dinner while you watch the show.

Book a tour of the Latin Quarter

9. Taste Parisian gastronomy in the best bistros

Ratatouille dish| ©amirali mirhashemian
Ratatouille dish| ©amirali mirhashemian

Paris is undoubtedly one of the gastronomic capitals of Europe, but it is also one of those places where, when it comes to eating, there is so much to choose from that you might end up making a mistake.

In my opinion, the best time to sample these foods is in the evening, as you can spend more time there and enjoy the experience more, without rushing and without having to interrupt sightseeing, so here are the must-try French foods and the best places to eat in Paris.

Foie Gras

This delicacy is nothing more than duck or goose liver pâté and is usually spread on a piece of bread or as an accompaniment to another dish. A star food in French gastronomy, with a strong and delicious flavour that you can't miss. One of the best places to eat foie gras in Paris is Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie.


This French dish, also famous for the Disney film of the same name, is traditionally made with tomato, onion, aubergine and courgette, although sometimes chefs vary some of these ingredients or add others to give it their own personal touch. It can also be eaten as a main dish or as a side dish to meat dishes. Ratatouille is a good vegetarian option, it is delicious and the best place to eat it is in the Montmartre district.

Fondues, raclettes and French cheeses

France is known for its great variety of cheeses and in Paris you can find cheese shops on almost every street corner. But if you're a fan of cheese, you can't leave Paris without trying a fondue or a raclette, both of which are techniques in which cheese is melted to accompany other foods. If you're already salivating, I recommend the restaurant Le Chalet Savoyard where you'll enjoy a real spectacle for your sense of taste.

Sweets and pastries

Although you may have heard wonders about French pastries, you won't realise how delicious they are until you try them for real. Macarons, croissants, crêpes, pain au chocolat, praline... Paris is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth, and to enjoy these sweet treats I recommend Café Pouchkine and Mère de Famille, an incredible 200-year-old patisserie where you can choose from more than 1,200 sweets. And if you want to try crêpes, here is a list of the best crêperies in Paris.

Book your pastry tour of Paris

10. Go to the cinema for a movie

Movie night| ©Erik Witsoe
Movie night| ©Erik Witsoe

Parisians are generally very cultured cinema-goers, and going to the movies not only entertains them, but also teaches them a lot about art and culture.

It is true that ideally you should know the language to make the most of this experience, however, there are occasions when foreign films are shown in their original version and in this way French would not be an impediment.

There are thousands of cinemas where you can enjoy a good film, however my recommendation is to go to a classic cinema such as La Filmothèque, very well known in Paris, where classic films are shown and where film festivals are held frequently. This place has two different cinemas and is located in the Latin Quarter.

Still, if you're in the mood for the latest releases, you can go to one of the many cinemas in Paris with the latest offerings such as the UGC Cine Cité les Halles, the MK2 Beaubourg, the UGC Montparnasse or Le Grand Rex among many others.

11. Enjoy a night out in Paris

Party| ©Maurício Mascaro
Party| ©Maurício Mascaro

When you think of a night out, the first thing that comes to mind is a nightclub, which is why this is a must in our guide on what to do in Paris at night.

The truth is that, being a big city, there are plenty of places to choose from to go out and party. For example, Le Marais is a very fashionable area lately, and the Bastille area is also very popular among university students, although if you're looking for a more exclusive atmosphere, the Champs Elysées is the place for you, although you should keep in mind that access to the places is not so easy, as they don't let just anyone in. In any case, here is my selection so you can see the best options:

La Féline

With an alternative atmosphere and perfect for rockers. La Féline is located at Rue Victor Letalle 6, and offers live concerts, DJ sessions and other shows every week.

Le Balajo

Ideal for Latin music lovers, as each day is dedicated to a different genre of music and they also offer salsa and bachata classes. If you like dancing, Le Balajo may be the perfect place for you. Located at Rue de Lappe 9.

Le Duplex

This place is perfect for the younger crowd, as it is known for its university atmosphere and if the disco is not enough, there is also a bowling alley and a restaurant. Le Duplex is located at Avenue Foch 2bis.

Le Carmen

Opened in 1875, this place is worth a visit if only to see it. It is located at 34 Rue Duperré and its spectacular decorations that evoke luxury and sensuality will transport you to another era. At Le Carmen you can enjoy small live concerts, DJ sessions and shows.