Paris at night: lighting, sights and must-see tips

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

Paris at night: lighting, sights and must-see tips

View of the Eiffel Tower at night | ©Egie Aroa

We often plan what we want to do during the day on our trips, but then night comes and we sadly call it a day. If you identify with this and your next adventure will be in Paris, you are in luck, because here I leave you 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 is why they call it the city of light!

1 A night cruise on the Seine to see Paris illuminated

Cruise on the Seine| ©josefrancisco salgado

A boat trip in Paris is always a good idea, but what better way than to do it at night and see the city illuminated? Few things compare to a pleasant walk with the illuminated Eiffel Tower or monuments like the spectacular Pont Alexandre III, one of the most beautiful of the French capital.

These cruises last between 40 minutes and an hour, but there are different options from which you can choose “extras”, such as. B. A combined tour of the Eiffel Tower with the cruise, or a spectacular dinner aboard the ship while enjoying the view.

2 Visit the Eiffel Tower at night

The Eiffel Tower at night| ©Paul Gaudriault

The Paris landmark is already impressive in daylight, but at night it’s a true spectacle. This colossal tower, built in 1889, is illuminated at night by more than 300 light bulbs and can be visited in a variety of ways, although you can’t leave Paris without seeing it at night.

The night visit to the Eiffel Tower allows you to watch the sunset from one of the most strategic points of the city. You can also visit numerous sights such as Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, Trocadero Gardens or the Invalides Cathedral – undoubtedly a worthwhile experience.

Last viewing is at 10:30pm, but access depends on time of year and holidays. So I recommend you to book your ticket in advance to avoid surprises and make sure you can take advantage of this great experience.

Here you have the link to find out all the possibilities to climb the Eiffel Tower.

3 Attend a show at the famous Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge| ©Vadin Sadovski

The Moulin Rouge, scene of cabarets and even a famous movie, is another must-see during your visit to Paris. Inaugurated in 1889 during the famous “Belle epoque”, it has been for many years a social and even cultural and economic reference point in the capital of France.

Countless celebrities have performed on stage here, from Liza Minelli to Frank Sinatra, and during the shows you can experience a large group of artists, including jugglers, dancers, tightrope walkers and over a thousand costumes!

The Moulin Rouge is located in the Montmartre neighborhood and is very easy to find. To make sure you don’t get lost, here is an article on how to get to the Moulin Rouge, and if you want to know more, here is all the information about the Moulin Rouge show.

4 nights visit to the Louvre Museum

Facade of the Louvre Museum at night| ©Lonni Besancon

The Louvre is a jewel among French and European museums, so a visit to the Louvre is a must on your trip to Paris. 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 6pm. This amazing museum opens its doors to all who wish to visit until 9:45 p.m.

The biggest advantage of this time slot is undoubtedly that it’s less crowded, so it’s much easier to enjoy the Louvre’s best works, which this museum houses, than at any other time. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, the artificial light that illuminates the works of art does not affect the quality of the visit, since most of the rooms do not have natural lighting, even in daylight.

Since the nightly tours end at 9:45 p.m., hopefully you’ve already gotten a taste for it. So if you have no idea where to go, here’s a list of the best restaurants near the Louvre.

5 Visit the Opera Garnier

The Opera Garnier| ©Helen Simonsson

The building that inspired the famous play “The Phantom of the Opera” is not to be missed during your visit. When visiting the interiors, you can admire the luxury and sumptuous decoration typical of the most stately buildings of the time, most of which are decorated with gold leaf and spectacular mosaics.

There are two ways to visit the inside of the opera house, one is by taking a guided tour and the other is by attending a theater performance. If you choose the first option, I recommend choosing the last show in the afternoon, as the visit is likely to be less crowded then, you can enjoy the majestic building at night and have the rest of the day for other activities that are more rewarding during daylight hours.

If you’d rather see a live performance, you can buy your tickets on the Opera Garnier’s official website.

6. Enjoy a jazz concert in the Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter| ©ParisSien

Paris is one of the most jazz-heavy cities in Europe, so if you like jazz, you’re in luck. In the Latin Quarter (Latin Quarter of Paris) in the south of the Île de la Cite, you will find many places to enjoy music and a great atmosphere.

So, if you feel like spending an incredible evening with great live music in one of the most characteristic neighborhoods of the French capital, here are a few suggestions:

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel

Le Petit Journal Saint Michel is a cozy club very close to the Jardin du Luxembourg that takes the spectator back to the 1950s, a charming place where you can also have dinner during the concert.

Caveau de la Huchette

Le Caveau de la Huchette is a classic among Parisian jazz clubs. The atmosphere here is spectacular, with many people dancing and an audience of all ages. However, you should keep in mind that it is such a famous venue, visited not only by Parisians, but also by many tourists.

The Caveau des Oubliettes

Le Caveau des Oubliettes is a small jazz bar and a great place if you are in the mood for live music. And the best is that every Wednesday for Soul, every Thursday for Jazz and every Sunday for Blues you can be on stage yourself and show your skills.

Aux Trois Mailletz

Another trip back in time: the atmosphere and energy of the Aux Trois Mailletz are definitely worth a visit. It’s open until the wee hours of the morning, and you can also enjoy dinner while watching the show.

7 Go to the cinema to see a movie

Film screening| ©Erik Witsoe

Parisians are generally very film literate, and a visit to the cinema not only entertains them, but also teaches them a lot about art and culture.

While it’s true that ideally you should know the language to get the most out of the experience, there are occasions when foreign films are shown in their original version, so French is not an obstacle.

There are thousands of cinemas where you can see a good movie, but I recommend you to go to a classic cinema like La Filmothèque, which is very famous in Paris, where classic movies are shown and film festivals are held regularly. This place has two different movie theaters and is located in the Latin Quarter.

However, if you want to see the latest movies, you can go to one of the many Parisian cinemas that offer the latest programming, such as z. B. the UGC Cine Cite les Halles, the MK2 Beaubourg, the UGC Montparnasse or Le Grand Rex and many others.

8 Enjoy the Parisian gastronomy

Dish with ratatouille| ©amirali mirhashemian

Paris is undoubtedly one of the gastronomic capitals of Europe, but it is also one of the places where the choice of food is so wide that you could make a mistake.

In my opinion, the best time to enjoy these meals is in the evening, as you can then take more time and enjoy the experience more, without rushing and without having to interrupt sightseeing. So here are the must-try French dishes and the best places to eat in Paris.

Foie gras

This delicacy is nothing more than duck or goose liver pate and is usually spread on a piece of bread or accompanied by another dish. A star in French gastronomy, with a strong and delicious flavor that you can’t miss. One of the best restaurants for foie gras in Paris is Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie.


This French dish, also made famous by the Disney movie of the same name, is traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, eggplant and zucchini, although chefs sometimes vary some of these ingredients or add others to give the dish a personal touch. It can also be eaten as a main dish or as a side dish with meat dishes. Ratatouille is a good vegetarian alternative, it is delicious and it is best eaten in the Montmartre district.

Fondues, raclettes and French cheese

France is known for its wide variety of cheeses, and in Paris you can find cheese stores on almost every street corner. But if you’re a cheese lover, you can’t leave Paris without trying a fondue or a raclette, both techniques that involve melting cheese to accompany other dishes. If your mouth is already watering, I recommend Le Chalet Savoyard restaurant, where you will experience a true spectacle for your taste buds.

Sweets and pastries

Even if you’ve heard a lot about French pastries, you won’t realize how delicious they are until you actually taste them. Macarons, croissants, crepes, pain au chocolat, chocolates. Paris is a sweet tooth’s paradise, and to enjoy these sweet treats, I recommend Cafe Pouchkine and Mère de Famille, an incredible 200-year-old patisserie where you can choose from more than 1.200 sweets to choose from. And if you want to try crêpes, here’s a list of the best crêperies in Paris.

9 Take an evening bus tour

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 take place during the day, but there are also cities like Paris that are worth lighting up. If it is not too cold, a night ride in a panoramic bus, enjoying the sights of the City of Light, is a plan that will not disappoint you.

Here is everything you need to know about the best sightseeing buses in Paris so you can make the best choice.

10 Enjoy a night out in Paris

The fiesta| ©MaurIcio Mascaro

When you think of nightlife, the first thing that comes to mind is a nightclub. That’s why this one is a must in our guide to nighttime things to do in Paris.

The truth is that in a big city there are many places to go out and celebrate. Le Marais, for example, has been a very hip neighborhood lately, and Bastille is also popular with students. However, if you are looking for a more exclusive atmosphere, the Champs Elysees is the place to be, although you should keep in mind that access to these places is not so easy, as they don’t let everyone in. Anyway, here is my selection so you can see the best options:

La Feline

Alternative atmosphere and perfect for rockers. La Feline is located at 6 rue Victor Letalle and hosts live concerts, DJ sessions and other events every week.

Le Balajo

Ideal for Latin music lovers, as they dedicate each day to a different musical genre and also offer salsa and bachata classes. If you like to dance, Le Balajo might be the place for you. It is located at Rue de Lappe 9.

Le Duplex

This place is ideal for a younger crowd as it’s known for its university atmosphere, and if the nightclub isn’t enough, there’s also a bowling alley and restaurant. Le Duplex is located at Avenue Foch 2bis.

Le Carmen

It opened in 1875 and is worth a visit for that reason alone. Located at 34 rue Duperre, its spectacular decorations that exude luxury and sensuality will transport you to another time. At Le Carmen you can enjoy small live concerts, DJ sessions and shows.

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