To see the magical side of Paris, take to the streets after dark – there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the city by starlight.
Paris By Starlight
Paris looks particularly beautiful by starlight. It’s also the perfect city for an adventure, so if you are looking for special places to visit once darkness descends; here are some suggestions that may inspire you.
The Pompidou Centre is usually open until 9.00pm, and last entry is around 6.30pm. Immerse yourself in the works of the great impressionists, then take the glass lifts up to the gorgeous, industrial styled restaurant and time it to catch the sunset. It’s a busy venue, but worth the effort – the atmosphere is classy, fast and exciting and the view from the restaurant is breathtaking.
If you like the idea of making your way through the city at speed, you can hire a 1955-style Vespa from Left Bank Scooters - they are delivered, very conveniently to most hotels in Paris, so once your payment and insurance are in place, you’re off. Each bike can take a passenger too.
Take a walk through Montmartres’ cobbled streets. Head along the Rue des Saules to the Clos de Montmartre vineyard, which is the only vineyard left in Paris, before strolling to Sacré-Coeur for views over the city. At the bottom of the steps, make your way to Rue Yvonne le Tac and onto Rue des Abbesses, where you will find lots of late night bars that are brimming with colour and noise, not expensive, but very classy.
Boat Trips On The Seine
Take an evening boat trip along the lovely Seine. The price range is wide – at one end of the scale there are water buses, or take a trip on one of the Bar Boats for a leisurely drink. For something a bit more special, try one of the dinner cruises Bateaux Parisians cruise .
There are quite a few to choose from on the waterfront, and they all have a good reputation for safety and quality. You can watch the city float by through the glass canopy of the boat and enjoy a three course dinner with wine, music and dancing. The price of inside tables changes with the weather! For a taste of real luxury try the Don Juan II which is in a league of its own. There are 14 tables and one sitting per evening, so booking is essential. The Don Juan II leaves from Port Henri IV, with embarkation beginning at 7.45pm.
For stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, make your way to the 33rd floor of the Hotel Concorde La Fayette – it has one of the finest panoramic bars in Paris. The Tower is illuminated with fantastic images and tones. Or if you need a closer look, catch the last lift going up the Eiffel Tower at 10.30pm – and sample some fine French cuisine on the second floor of the Tower, in the Michelin-starred Jules Verne restaurant. Book at least a month in advance.
If you are still looking for things to do after 1.00pm, try La Belle Hortense bar in the Marais district – it draws in a crowd who appreciate good wine, and good literature and it’s open until 2.00am. There are books galore and if you feel like discussion the finer points of fresh literature, take yourself to bar, and you’ll be in the middle of a debate in no time. If your French requires a little work, you can always make a beeline for the back section, where you can savour a glass or two in peace.