A successful night out in Paris involves more than just looking up the nearest club, cover charges and closing times. In fact, nightlife in Paris requires a nuanced understanding of each venue’s clientele, dress code and atmosphere. This edition of our nightlife in Paris series proposes a selection of club and concert venues with equal amounts of swagger and fantasy. While some of these spots have become the darlings of the Paris nightlife scene, we’ve avoided the run-of-the-mill powerhouses that dominate other reviews. Two things to remember before heading out in Paris: dress to impress and avoid long lines by arriving before midnight.
47, rue Berger, in the 1st Arrondissement. 01 40 13 12 12.
Open Tues–Sat, 8 p.m.–6 a.m.
A maze of salons, bars, and alcoves the Chacha Club, along with some other recent pop-ups, has reintroduced some branchitude into the fairly dodgy les Halles area. The chic, vintage decor (which outshines the service) draws throngs of young, swanky Parisians. Chacha’s generaliste lineup tends to be heavy on the R & B, even hip-hop, and the DJs can be quite sharp.
A Lively Mix
105, rue du Faubourg du Temple, in the 10th Arrondissement. 01 42 02 20 52.
You don’t have to dance (or know) the java to have a blast at this Belleville venue. With plebeian roots dating back to the early 20th century, la Java continues to serve as a gathering place for young Parisians of all backgrounds, hosting everything from concerts to dance parties and comedy shows. Over its long history, this venue has welcomed performers ranging from Edith Piaf to Margaret Cho.
200, quai de Valmy, in the 10th Arrondissement. 01 40 34 02 48.
An indie jack-of-all-trades, Point Ephémère hosts a wide range of events, from art exhibitions to concerts. The multifarious schedule has included idols of queer culture, such as the Brooklyn rapper Le1f, as well as celebrated alternative pop bands, such as the XX. If the quirky agenda doesn’t do it for you, the venue’s waterfront location on the übercool canal Saint-Martin certainly will!
18, rue du Faubourg du Temple, in the 11th Arrondissement. 01 40 21 38 14.
Favela Chic, a Brazilian club masquerading as a restaurant/bar by day, has been bringing some much-needed disorder to Parisian nightlife. Tables are cleared promptly after the last dinner service, around 11 p.m., to accommodate a night of tabletop samba and funky. The colorful clientele makes for an ambience with a nutty pulse, where judging is out and dancing is in.
54, rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, in the 9th Arrondissement. 01 45 26 64 64.
From the group that brought us le Baron, this former lesbian cabaret flaunts a surprisingly unfussy vibe in comparison with its high-impact sister club. While it’s still somewhat selective, Chez Moune invites all who look the (devastatingly fashionable) part. Once inside, the dapper deco, with a red vintage velvety feel, sets the stage for a night of trendy, electro-popish tunes.
In the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 2, avenue des Cascades, in the 19th Arrondissement. 01 42 00 00 45.
Open Wed–Sun, noon–midnight.
Photo via minutebuzz.com.
If you’re not quite committed to painting the town but still itching to get some dancing in, then Rosa Bonheur offers the perfect solution. In the middle of the Buttes Chaumont, this green retreat gets very funky by the time most clubs haven’t even opened their doors. A lovely view of Paris, reasonable prices and fun tracks (often throwbacks to the 1970s and ’80s) create a lethally fabulous experience that lasts until midnight, and not a minute longer.