It’s Friday night in Paris
Tammy is studying Business and Management and French at the University of Manchester, and is on her year abroad in Paris as an Erasmus student at Université-Paris Sorbonne IV, while working part time in Market Research. Here are her top tips for bar hopping, clubbing, dancing and cabaret in Paris, the City of Light...
As a newly arrived year abroad student, we may find ourselves worrying about making friends, adapting to a foreign uni teaching style, exams and coursework, finding safe and well-priced accommodation, getting passed French bureaucracy by opening a bank account, getting a French mobile phone and phone number, a travel card and a student card, but not to be overshadowed, one of our biggest concerns post-move is without a doubt the quest to discover all that is Paris nightlife!
Indeed you may be searching for live music or a place to lounge and chat, you may be aching to jump up and dance or even fancy trying a spot of French karaoke, but the age-old question still remains of where to begin?
Paris Bouge is a great website and mobile phone app, for iPhone and Android, that I would suggest as a good starting point. You can search for different club nights, festivals or concerts that cater to your music tastes by clicking on each of these categories on their website. Or alternatively, consult their agenda for the date that you wish to go out and you will be provided with a list of different events taking place that night, the style, the price (some are free!) and the location.
Paris nightlife can also be divided according to area. For example, if you enjoy bar hopping, Oberkampf will appeal to you. Situated in the east of Paris, its atmosphere is very relaxed, even alternative and more bohemian than what you may expect of the great capital. I’d recommend Café Charbon or 411 for a bit of a dance. Chez Justine and Club UFO are also busy and popular places.
Not far from Oberkampf is the renowned and thriving Bastille. The vibrant Rue de Lappe attracts a young crowd with the string of clubs and bars that it has to offer. Blasting loud music on a Friday and Saturday night and often with the promise of free entry, here I’d recommend Reservoir and Café Iguana (15, rue de la Roquette).
In the north of Paris is the area of Montmartre, home to the famous Moulin Rouge, or otherwise known to the locals as La Machine. La Machine is a massive venue. It holds a variety of club nights as well as the pricier, but legendary cabaret shows, including electro, house and 90’s night! And in nearby Pigalle, there are many more bars. Le Glass features a range of unusual and innovative cocktails on its menu and Dirty Dick sits just across the road with a fun, tropical vibe and Hawaiian tiki décor. Both tend to get busy very quickly, so best to go early!
I hope that this post has given you some great ideas on where you can go to relax and let your hair down in Paris! Keep an eye on the next post for spots you can find along the Champs Elysées, Grands Boulevards and Opéra, and don’t forget to check out my own blog to learn even more!