24 Hours Paris: Guide to Paris by Night

24 Hours Paris: Guide to Paris by Night
Paris. City of Light. Of lovers. Of art. And for many visitors to this world-famous destination, torturous jet lag, too. When time zones and lack of sleep wreak havoc on your natural rhythms and you find yourself up at 4am or still wide awake at midnight, don’t head for the hotel bar or stare at telly. Get out there and see what Paris has to offer, no matter the hour. So set that flash on your camera and get started on your Paris break! 12 a.m. Midnight Movies Get your fill of film at the midnight hour at Le Champo Cinéma, 51, rue des Écoles, Paris 5th, where you can watch not just one but three movies – and have breakfast, too! Choose from two concurrent programmes at this art-house cinema, founded in 1938 in an old bookstore. Then slide into the crimson-red chairs and away to fantasy until morning. Late-Night Philosophy Want to get existential? A favourite of Sartre and Beauvoir, at Café de Flore , 172, boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6th, you can sit yourself down in the same seats as the great thinkers. The Art Deco interior hasn’t changed since World War II and while the fare isn’t cheap or particularly remarkable, it’s worth a venture in to soak up the past. If you can, get a seat on the terrace and ponder the meaning of life as the world goes by. 1 a.m. Balls Up If the kids can’t sleep, take them to Le Bowling Mouffetard, 73, rue Mouffetard, Paris 5th, where you can throw some balls around in the eight bowling lanes until the early hours. Join in the theme nights, from Carnaval to Beaujolais, for extra fun. And if bowling’s not your thing, you can always hit the billiards table. Best of Both Worlds Fashioned after his two popular bars in New York, native Parisian Hervé Rousseau finally brought his champagne-bar concept home. Flûte l’Étoile , 19, rue de l’Étoile, Paris 17th, combines New York glamour with the refined elegance of Paris—in other words, cocktails with champagne. Couples can cuddle in the curtained booths or groove out in the open to live jazz each Wednesday. Grab your drink from either side of the pond, straddle the time zones, and enjoy the pleasant mix of two very different cultures. 2 a.m. Be Selective It’s full of tourists now, but from the early to mid-twentieth century Le Select, 99, boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 6th, was the place for artists to eat, sleep (waiters were told not to wake them) and argue. Opened in 1925, the café was a favourite of Henry Miller, who wrote about it in The Tropic of Cancer. Hemingway and Picasso were regulars, too. It was the first café in Montparnasse to stay open all night, and even today you can still visit in the wee hours. Dance on Deck For more than ten years, big red boat Batofar, 11, quai François-Mauriac, Paris 13th, has been home to some of Paris’ best after-hours parties. With DJs spinning everything from experimental to techno, you can join the crowd on the dance floor or hang around in one of the suspended hammocks on deck. Just watch where you spin or you might end up in the drink! 3 a.m. For Whom the Bell Tolls If it’s your stomach that’s making alarming noises, head to La Cloche D’Or, 3 Rue Mansart, Paris 9th, to tide you over ‘til morning. Once a hang-out for Edith Piaf, Cocteau and Kessel, it remains a draw for nearby Moulin Rouge dancers and actors, with Depeche Mode spotted, too. Grab a seat on one of the three floors, warm your hands by the fire and feast on the filling fare from foie gras to steak tartar. Board the Bus Missed the last métro? Hop aboard night-bus service Noctilien to get back to your bed. With over 40 routes, the service runs through many Paris hotspots and suburbs, connecting to most major transport hubs. From around 12:30 am to 5:30 am (depending on the route), a single ticket costs €1.60. Watch the city lights flash by as your head begins to nod. 4 a.m. Champ Champers See the Eiffel Tower sparkle and sip some bubbly at Parc Champ de Mars (75007). One of the largest parks in Paris, it was originally used by the École Militaire for military drills. Today, it features winding paths, ponds and lots of benches to gaze upon its greatest feature: the Eiffel Tower. With no gates – and therefore no closing time – it’s a great place to see the Tower light up, no matter the hour. Listen for the cry of the tawny owl at night; this park is one of the few places where the elusive bird can be found. Hit the Wall Blink and you might miss it: a leg, a torso and a man’s head coming out of a wall. Tucked away in the winding streets of Montmartre (Place Marcel-Aymé ; corner of Allée des Brouillards and Rue Norvins, Paris 18th, this sculpture – Le Passe-Muraille (or Walker through Walls, in English) – depicts one of writer Marcel Aymé’s most well-known characters, a man who uses his newfound talent for less than altruistic means. A nearby resident until his death in 1967, Aymé was interested in the dark side of the human character. Pause for a second and ponder what you’d do with superpowers. 5 a.m. À la Mondrian For a true tequila sunrise or a drink before bed, head to Le Mondrian, 148, boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6th. Serving cocktails around the clock, it’s a cosy place to duck into if you’re craving something less polished than the usual Saint Germain fare. If you don’t want to greet the sun with a hangover, grab one of their famous milkshakes and start off with some carbs instead. Market with the…
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