6 Best Things to Do in Paris at Night That Everyone Can Enjoy

Looking for the best things to do in Paris at night? The French capital is nicknamed The City of Light for a reason. Whether you prefer to party, picnic, or go for a scenic stroll, Paris has something great on offer. Stumped for ideas beyond booking a dinner reservation?

Try creating your own DIY cocktail crawl, joining in on a Latin Quarter food tour, checking out a museum nocturne, or simply enjoying the sight of the Eiffel Tower sparkling.

If you think outside the box, there are so many ways to experience the magic of Paris by night that will please everyone.

View of the Eiffel Tower at night.
The fun in Paris doesn’t stop once the sun goes down. Photo credit: Masood Aslami

Best things to do in Paris at night: Our tried and true list

Museum nocturnes

If art is your raison d’être, the fun doesn’t have to stop at sundown. Many Paris museums offer extended hours that stretch into the evening about once a week, offering Parisians working 9-5 the chance to sate their cultural appetites without encountering the weekend hordes. For intrepid visitors, that means squeezing in another museum or two is definitely a possibility.

Which museums offer nocturne hours? Most of them, to be honest. While specific days and hours are subject to change, popular choices like the Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, the Jeu de Paume, and Palais Tokyo all offer evening hours.

Want to check if your favorite museum is offering a nocturne? Take a peek at this handy list put together by the city’s tourism office.

A hallway inside the Louvre museum, adorned with gold and paintings
Come to The Louvre after hours to experience the museum at night.


While France and wine are practically synonymous for those who drink, Paris also has a vibrant cocktail scene. Looking for inspiration beyond a generic Google search? 

Cocktail aficionado Forest Collins collates the best of the city’s drinks scene on her blog 52 Martinis. Don’t worry—if martinis aren’t your go-to order, there’s plenty of drink suggestions to go around.

Some local favorites combining interesting ambiance and bold flavors include: 

Areas like Pigalle, Le Marais, and Popincourt in the 11th make it easy to string together a couple bars without having to hop on the métro. Create your own bar crawl catering to your preferred vibe, and sample some of the city’s best mixology.

People cheering with cocktails in Paris.
Do you know about Paris’s cocktail scene? Photo credit: Drew Beamer

Live music

Music lovers will be pleased with the variety of options to listen to live music in Paris. From buskers on street corners and idyllic bridges to café gigs and concerts, there’s always music in the air. One of the most atmospheric things to do (and one of the easiest to find) is enjoy live jazz. 

Many cafés host weekly jazz bands who play multi-hour long sets. Depending on the establishment, you’ll be able to reserve for dinner or just opt for a round of drinks. 

Hotel concierges can be a great help locating local cafés with live music nights, though social media can point you in the right direction if you’re renting an apartment on your own. Don’t forget to bring a few euros in change to tip your musicians.

A man playing a piano in the middle of the park. People walk past him and watch him play live music.
Live music in Paris is around every corner. Photo credit: Josh Appel

Latin Quarter food crawl

Want to try authentic French fare without having to choose just one spot? Book your place on our Latin Quarter Food Tour. This aperitif, food, and wine tour is scheduled for apéro—the three hours after work where Parisians meet and mingle with friends and colleagues before heading home for dinner or off to a restaurant.

Booking a food tour can help broaden your palate and determine which local delicacies are worth a further in-depth exploration.

Combining tastings at family-run establishments with the history of Roman Paris and the role of restaurants in the French Revolution, this fun food tour will feed both your mind and belly. 

A group of people in Paris on a food tour.
Join us for a food crawl off the beaten-path.

Sunset picnic on the Seine

When the weather is mild, one of the best ways to pass the time in Paris is to plan a picnic on the banks of the Seine. Gathering snack supplies ahead of time offers the chance to sample iconic delicacies from specialty shops and give visitors a literal taste of the local life. 

Want to make your own planche mixte (charcuterie board)? Swing by your local fromagerie (French for cheese shop) and ask for help putting together the perfect assortment. Oenophiles will jump at the chance to uncork a bottle and discover a new favorite, while pastry fanatics are spoiled for choice.

Stake out your spot for the most aesthetic views, pack an assortment of snacks, and watch the sunset streak the skies pink behind some of Paris’s most beautiful bridges. Don’t forget to bring along a limonadier to open bottles on the go, or be prepared to make a new friend.

People sitting near the Siene having picnics and waiting for the sunset.
Picnics on the banks of the Seine are one of the best things to do in Paris, especially at sunset. Photo credit: Kamilla Isalieva

Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle

There are many interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower. For instance, did you know that after dusk, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for about five minutes at the top of the hour? If you’ve ever sighed over Reels of the glittering Eiffel Tower, catching a glimpse in real life is a must.

While it’s fairly reliable, it happens quickly so it’s good to prepare in advance so you don’t miss it. Though the best, unobstructed views are from Place du Trocadéro and the Champ des Mars, you can also catch sight of the Eiffel Tower sparkling on the horizon from rue Saint-Éleuthère (just below the Sacré Coeur), Pont Neuf, or the top of Montparnasse Tower.

In Montmartre, but in the mood for a meal with a view? Book a table at the Terrass Hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant. Set a timer, bring along a beverage for a festive toast, and count down to the top of the hour.

The Eiffel tower at sunset.
Do you think Champ des Mars has the best view of the glittering Eiffel Tower at night? Photo credit: Michael Grant

The best things to do in Paris at night are endless 

While it’s great to plan ahead, some of the magic of Paris by night lies in the serendipity of chance. Perhaps the sound of jazz trio drifting out from a terrasse will tempt you to pass a few hours sipping wine and sharing a planche or an unexpected detour will shift your intended afternoon into a night at the museum.

Don’t settle for an early night in, some of the best things to do in Paris happen at night!

Inside The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
If you know where to look, you’ll find plenty of night activities in Paris.
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About the author

Lauren Sarazen is a writer who lives in Paris, France. She graduated from Chapman University and received her MA in Literature from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. Her words have appeared in Hobart, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The London Magazine, The Washington Post, Vice, Elle, Air Mail, and more.

More by Lauren Sarazen

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