Paris Drinking Guide

Paris is the capital of bars, where you would find the hippest bars in the world. Each of Paris’ 20 arrondissements (districts) has its own fair share of bars, cafés, and taverns, but there are some areas where nightlife and afternoon-life are concentrated, like the Bastille. In Paris, the bars open very late.

Here is your guide where to go when drinking around Paris.

The Marais – This area boasts a large number of trendier new bars mostly in the 4th district and to a lesser extent the 3rd with a few old charmers tossed in the mix. A number of bars and restaurants in the Marais have a decidedly gay crowd, but are usually friendly to straights as well. Other bars seem to be more specifically aimed at up-and-coming heterosexual singles.

Bastille – A very active nightlife zone is just to the northeast of Place de Bastille, which centered around Rue de Lappe, Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and Rue de Charonne in the 11th. Many of the bars paris drinkclosest to Bastille have an American feel, both north (Hip-hop and R & B) and south (Latin music), as well as a couple of Australian-theme bars mixed in. as you continue up Rue de Charonne, the cafés have a more traditionally French but grungy feel.

Latin Quarter – The “Quartier Latin”–as well as between Place Odeon and the Seine—is where you should go for the nouvelle vague style, student, and intellectual atmosphere of Paris in the 60s and 70s. The neighborhood is also home of many small artsy cinemas showing non-mainstream films and classics. For a complete movie schedule, grab a copy of “Pariscope” at a newsstand.

Rue Mouffetard – The area in the 5th arrondissement on the south side of the hill topped by the Panthéon has a little bit of everything for the nighthawk, from the classy cafés of Place de la Contrescarpe to an Inrish-American dive bar just down the way to a hip, nearly hidden jazz café at the bottom of the hill.

Châtelet – This area in the 1st deserves some special attention, especially at its jazz clubs on Rue des Lombards.

Montmartre – You would find a number of cozy cafés and other drinking establishments all around the Butte de Montmartre in the 18th. Check out Rue des Abesses near the Metro station of the same name.

Oberkampf-Ménilmontant – If you are wondering where to find the hip crowd, they usually hang-out at grungy-hip bars all along Rue Oberkampf in the 11th, and stretching well into the 20th up the hill on Rue de Ménilmontant.

Dames-Batignolles – The northern end of the 17th around Rue de Dames and Rue de Batignolles is another good place to find the grungy-hip crowd. It is very near Montmartre.

Port de Tolbiac – This previously deserted stretch of the river Seine in the 13th was reborn as a center for nightlife—as well as Sunday afternoon-life—when an electronic music cooperative opened the Bat-O-Far. Now there are a number of boats moored along the same area, including a boat with a Caribbean theme, and one with an Indian restaurant.

Saint Germain de Prés – A classic Parisian hang-out place, this area boasts two of the most famous cafés in the world: Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, both catering to the tourists and the upper-class people who can afford the high prices. This part of the 6th is where the Parisien café scence really started, and there still are hundreds of places to pull up to a table, order a gass, and discuss intellectual conversations deep into the evening.

Other clubs – There are also several prominent nightclubs in Paris that are away from the said clusters, like Folie Pigalle at Place Pigalle, Rex Club, Cabaret at Palais Royal), and Maison Blanche.

The code – Dress the part. Torn clothing and sneaker are not accepted in most clubs in Paris. The better you look, the most likely you would get past the random decisions of club bouncers. Also, remember that it is more difficult to enter bars if you only come with your male friends. Try to always have an equal male to female ratio.

 
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