Best Things to Do in Paris at Night: A Guide for Night Owls

I’ve written several guides about Paris, but most of them are about day trips and exploring places, especially when the sun is up! Now, I share with you how stunning this city can be after the sun sets.

Here are some of our best things to do in Paris at night, along with tips to guide you before and during your night stroll.

Is Paris Lively at Night?

Notre Dame Cathedral at night

Absolutely, Paris is incredibly lively at night! The City of Light truly lives up to its name, offering a vibrant array of activities after dark. After the illumination of the Eiffel Tower, Paris continued to enhance its nighttime beauty.

From enchanting Seine River cruises with illuminated landmarks to exhilarating cabaret shows at iconic venues like the Moulin Rouge, there’s a magical atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Paris at night promises unforgettable memories that will make your trip truly special.

Chatelet tower

But is Paris at night only for people who love walking tours? We have more activities for Paris at night for you to consider before planning your trip.

15 Best Things to Do in Paris at Night

Wondering what to do in Paris at night? As much as we love roaming at night, Paris beams with romance from the stunning views of lights. Here are some of our favorite things to do at night in Paris:

See the Spectacle of the Eiffel Tower at Night in Paris

Eiffel Tower at night

The Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of Paris, is a must-visit attraction at night. As the clock strikes each hour after sunset, the tower lights up with thousands of sparkling lights, creating a mesmerizing display visible from miles away.

The tradition of illuminating the Eiffel Tower began in 1985, and it continues to awe visitors to this day.

To avoid long lines and secure your spot, I recommend booking skip-the-line tickets with guide in advance for the elevator to the top.

Built-in 1889 as the entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally intended to be a temporary structure. However, it quickly became an iconic symbol of Paris and was saved from demolition.

Read our Eiffel Tower travel guide to know more tips!

Experience Art Under the Skies at Louvre Museum in Paris at Night

Louvre Museum in Paris at night

A visit to the Louvre Museum, a treasure trove of art and history, is even more magical at night. The museum’s stunning facade is beautifully illuminated, providing a captivating backdrop for a peaceful stroll through the courtyard.

The Louvre houses over 38,000 timeless masterpieces, including the enigmatic Mona Lisa. To skip the long lines and immerse yourself in art, consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets, which are approximately 17 euros.

Museo del Louvre, Selfi Vero con la Mona Lisa

The Louvre was originally a medieval fortress built in the 12th century and later transformed into a royal palace. It became a public museum in 1793, showcasing the French monarchy’s vast art collection.

Appreciate the Symbol of Resilience of the Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, bears witness to centuries of Parisian history. Despite the devastating fire in 2019, the cathedral still stands strong, symbolizing resilience and hope.

River view of the notre dame in paris at night

At night, the cathedral is gracefully lit up, allowing for a serene and reflective walk around the square.

Construction of Notre Dame began in 1163 and took over 200 years to complete. The cathedral’s Gothic architecture and stunning rose windows have made it an enduring symbol of French heritage.

Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” published in 1831, helped raise awareness about the cathedral’s significance and led to its restoration in the 19th century.

Explore the Basilica on the Hilltop at Night: the Sacré-Cœur

Paris Sacre Coeur

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica perched atop Montmartre Hill offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Paris.

Its pristine white facade glows ethereally at night, attracting both locals and tourists alike. To reach the top, you can climb the stairs or take a funicular.

A guided tour inside the basilica is a great way to learn about its history and architecture. Tickets for the guided tour start at around 29 euros. Also, you can go on your own, and the entrance is free.

The construction of Sacré-Cœur began in 1875 as a tribute to the French victims of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune.

The basilica’s design combines Romanesque and Byzantine elements, and its iconic white travertine stone is self-cleansing, ensuring its brilliance through the years.

Immerse in Artistic Oasis with the Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay, housed in a former railway station, is home to a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. At night, visiting the museum‘s exterior is beautifully illuminated, offering a serene ambiance.

Skip-the-line tickets for the Musée d’Orsay are approximately 16 euros and grant you access to the galleries without the wait.

The Musée d’Orsay was originally built as a railway station for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It served as a station until 1939 and was later slated for demolition. It was eventually transformed into an art museum.

Visit the Opulent Opera House of Palais Garnier

The Palais Garnier, a stunning example of Beaux-Arts architecture, is the historic opera house of Paris. Its facade dazzles under the night sky, inviting visitors to experience the grandeur of the performing arts.

Palaise Garnier in Paris at sunset

Take a guided tour to explore the opulent interiors and learn about the famous Phantom of the Opera, whose story is connected to this iconic venue. Entry tickets for the tour are around 15 euros.

The Palais Garnier, also known as the Paris Opera, opened its doors in 1875. It was designed by Charles Garnier and reflects the opulence and grandeur of the Second Empire.

The opera house’s grand staircase and chandelier famously inspired Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Get Enchanted with the Panoramic Views from the Montparnasse Tower

For an unparalleled view of Paris at night, head to the Montparnasse Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the city. The observation deck on the 56th floor offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the twinkling city lights.

Aerial view of Paris at night from Montparnasse Tower

To make the experience even more enjoyable, you can grab a drink at the rooftop bar while admiring the enchanting scenery. Tickets for the observation deck start at around 21 euros.

Opened in 1973, the Montparnasse Tower was initially met with controversy due to its modern design contrasting with Paris’s historical architecture.

However, it has become an important part of the city’s skyline, offering visitors stunning views of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

Join a Spooky Adventure at the Catacombs of Paris at Night in Paris

Step into the eerie underground world of the Catacombs of Paris, where the remains of over six million people rest in peace. At night, the catacombs are dimly lit, creating an atmospheric and spine-chilling experience.

Catacombs of Paris

To explore this unique attraction, it’s best to book a audio guided tour in advance, which costs approximately 30 euros and includes skip-the-line access.

You can read our Catacombs of Paris guide for more tips!

The Catacombs were created in the late 18th century when Parisian cemeteries became overcrowded. The remains of people were transferred into the underground tunnels, which had previously served as limestone quarries.

The catacombs now serve as a haunting yet fascinating historical attraction.

Experience Romance in the Air at Sunset in Paris

Eiffel Tower at night

Watching the sunset in Paris is a truly romantic experience. Head to the Seine River and take a boat tour or climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower to witness the city bathed in a warm orange glow. The view is simply breathtaking and will leave you with unforgettable memories.

The concept of the romantic “City of Lights” has its roots in the 19th century when Paris became one of the first cities to install street lighting. Gas lamps adorned the streets, creating a romantic ambiance that still captivates visitors today.

Dine in A Gastronomic Delight at Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Paris is a culinary paradise, and what better way to indulge in its gastronomy than at a Michelin-starred restaurant? Treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at renowned establishments like Guy Savoy, Le Jules Verne, or Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée.

Remember to make a reservation in advance, and be prepared to spend a bit more for this exquisite culinary journey.

For affordable dining, head to the Le Comptoir Général, L’As du Fallafel, and Chez Gladines. The prior is a quirky bar serving African dishes while having an overall laid-back atmosphere.

where to eat in paris on a budget - du Fallafel

L’As du Fallafel is one of the most famous go-to restaurants in Paris, so the lines are usually long. They are famous for the falafel sandwich that costs around 6 euros.

But if you want a hearty basque menu, dine at Chez Gladines. They serve cassoulet and duck confit at reasonable prices.

Listen to the Melodic Beauty of a Classical Concert

Paris is a hub of cultural excellence, and catching a classical concert at the Opéra Bastille or the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is a treat for music enthusiasts. From Mozart to Beethoven, the city offers performances by world-class musicians.

Dress elegantly for the occasion, check the schedule, and secure your tickets early for an unforgettable evening of musical magic.

Watch the Legendary Cabaret of the Moulin Rouge

Step into the glamorous world of the Moulin Rouge, a legendary cabaret that has been entertaining audiences since 1889.

Book your tickets in advance for this dazzling show featuring talented dancers, singers, and acrobats in stunning costumes.

Moulin Rouge Paris at night

Dance the Night Away at Paris Nightclubs

Paris has a vibrant nightlife scene with a variety of nightclubs catering to different tastes and styles. Dance the night away at famous spots like Bus Palladium or explore the trendy clubs in the Marais district. Remember to dress to impress, as some clubs have strict dress codes.

Hop on a Paris pub crawl for drinks and club entries!

Relax and Chat at the Rooftop Bars and Wine Bars

Enjoy a more relaxed evening at one of Paris’s rooftop bars with stunning views of iconic landmarks. Alternatively, explore the city’s wine bars and indulge in the finest French wines.

Le Baron Rouge and La Cave des Papilles are just a few options where you can sample excellent wines without breaking the bank.

Bonus Tip: To truly immerse yourself in the nocturnal charm of Paris, consider joining a walking tour through historic districts like Montmartre, Le Marais, or the Latin Quarter.

Tips for an Unforgettable Paris at Night Experience

Before embarking on the best things to do at night in Paris, read some of our tips and have the most enchanting night!

  • Dress to Impress: When exploring the city of haute couture, dressing elegantly is not just reserved for a night at the opera. Parisians take pride in their fashion sense, and adding a touch of chic style to your evening attire will help you feel like a local. Pack base layers for cold nights too!
Paris Fashion Week Grand Palais
  • Stay Connected with Internet SIM: To stay connected and share your magical Parisian moments, consider getting an Internet SIM card. These convenient cards provide you with access to mobile data, making it easy to navigate the city, check out restaurant reviews, and share your photos on social media.
  • Flights to Paris: Before you embark on your nighttime escapades in Paris, you’ll need to plan your journey to the City of Lights. Be sure to check for deals and book your flight well in advance to secure the best fares.
  • Booking the Perfect Hotel: As you plan your nights in Paris, finding the ideal accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Consider factors like location, proximity to public transportation, and nearby attractions when choosing your hotel. Booking in advance ensures you have a place that fits your preferences and budget.
hotel balzac Paris
  • Enjoy a Post-Dinner Stroll along the Seine: After a delectable dinner, take a leisurely romantic evening walk along the banks of the Seine River. This is an ideal time to capture stunning photos of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral, all aglow in the city’s nighttime splendor.
  • Plan Your Museum Visits in Advance: To make the most of your time in Paris and avoid long lines, plan your visits to museums and attractions in advance. Famous landmarks like the Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower can get crowded, so booking skip-the-line tickets or getting a museum pass is a smart choice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Paris at Night

Is the Paris Metro Open 24 Hours?

No, the Paris Metro doesn’t run 24 hours, but it’s open until around 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on weekends. Get to know more about transportation in Paris here.

visit versailles from paris - metro subway sign in paris

What Time Does the Eiffel Tower Light Up?

The Eiffel Tower lights up at sunset and sparkles every hour for five minutes from 8 PM until 11 PM due to save energy. But before these lasted months, the sparkles were until 1AM.

What Time Do Bars Shut in Pars?

Most bars in Paris close around 2 AM, but some trendy spots may stay open later.

Montmartre at night

Is It Safe to Walk in Paris at Night?

Generally, walking in Paris at night is safe, but it’s best to stay in well-lit areas and avoid dark alleys. Use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.

Plan Your Trip to Paris

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