After dark, Paris becomes a different world. Bars remain open until 2 a.m., though there are a few that keep serving patrons well into the morning hours. For most night owls, however, it’s the all-night clubs that draw them out into the streets on weekends. While the club scene in the City of Light is hardly as notorious as that of London or Berlin, say, there are still plenty of luxe addresses where you can rub shoulders with Parisians, on or off the dance floor. Pigalle is the most hectic after-dark neighbourhood: a high concentration of bars and clubs that draw a young and energetic crowd. Head there after sundown and follow a throng of locals to find favorite nighttime haunts. Of course, the other arrondissements offer revelers top spots, too—as long as you know where to look. These five favorite Parisian nightclubs are a cross-section of established clubs and newbies on the scene, of sophisticated bars and darker, neon-lit lounges or intimate basement clubs for the all-night fêtes.
A recent addition to the Paris nightclub roster, out by Bastille, is segmented into three sections: an upstairs “secret room,” decorated like an apartment with vintage furniture; a club with an excellent sound system, a ceiling criss-crossed by electric beams, and a great live program. Come early for a cocktail and tapas at the bar, open from 7 p.m. until late every day except Monday.
Part of the Cité de la Mode et du Design complex, on the river in the 13th, Nüba occupies most of the top floor and commands panoramic views over the Seine. As well as its huge terrace, decorated like a summer beach club (with its colorful picnic tables and iconic burger truck) there’s also a bunker-style indoor space. Order from a slate-stone menu or snack on Belgian fries from the new La Frite food truck.
In the 1970’s the Saints Pères saw everyone from Orson Welles to Gina Lollobrigida, Boris Vian to the King of Jordan pass through its doors. This mythic St. Germain club was recently reopened in 2013. Pass through its storied doors (well-dressed, of course) to find cozy little rooms and a burlesque performance on the top floor.