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Younger set mingles at a café bar

Late-night jazz club

Dancers at the legendary cabaret, Le Moulin Rouge

Traditional cabaret, Au Lapin Agile

Romantic dinner on a Seine bateau mouche

Paris Opéra Garnier

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Nightlife in Paris - the City of Light

 

Paris is one of the world's greatest capitals of culture and most nights there's something for everyone happening around the city. Because Parisians love to dine well and don't like rushing their dinners, the city's after dinner, late-night scene is particularly good. Bars and clubs are regularly open until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 5 or 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Music - the international language


Paris theatres and cinemas are always busy, but, unless your French speaking skills are excellent, they can be difficult for visitors. Luckily, everyone understands music and there's plenty of it to enjoy.


Eclectic music venues often combine a bar, a café restaurant and nightclubs in one establishment that offers an alternating "agenda" of indie rock, DJ sets, mellow jazz, French crooners, African and South American music on different nights. Le New Morning in the Porte-Saint-Denis district is a well-established venue for sophisticated international jazz and world music. Another old favourite is Le Duc des Lombards, a jazz club and restaurant in 1st arrondissement. Le Carmen, in Pigalle, occupies a mansion that was once home to Georges Bizet. It's arranged in various comfortable salons and features new French bands and trendy DJs. At Le China, you can enjoy a gourmet Chinese meal before descending to a downstairs bar for everything from jazz to folk to burlesque cabaret. And one of the most unusual music venues - where you can also dine and drink - is La Dame de Canton, a genuine Chinese junk that spent 10 years at sea, visiting 40 different countries, before sailing to Paris and mooring on the Seine.


Classical Culture


Paris has two opera houses. The Palais Garnier, usually called Opéra Garnier or simply Opéra de Paris, is an elaborate opera house built in the mid-19th century and now used mostly for ballet and operetta. It is one of the most famous opera houses in the world and arguably the most beautiful. Even if you aren't a fan of European opera and ballet, a daytime tour of this magnificent building is eye-popping. The Opéra Bastille, built in the 1980s, is a huge, modern hangar of an opera house where major productions involving huge and elaborate sets can be staged.


Traditional Cabaret


Most people have heard of Le Moulin Rouge, the gigantic nightclub featuring variety entertainment - and scantily clad showgirls - that inspired artist Toulouse Lautrec and that has been around since the 19th century. Today it is packed with tourists and its shows are pretty clichéd, but they are professional and entertaining. A classier version of the same sort of entertainment is the Lido with its statuesque dancers and audience of socialites and jet setters. Au Lapin Agile, in a tiny pink cottage at the top of Montmartre, is popular with Parisians. This is the place to go to hear French cabaret singers, in the style of Edith Piaf, suffer for their art.