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France nightlife

French nightlife keeps its own time, adapting worldwide fashions in unpredictable ways. Celebrity discos like Le Baron, for example, have kept the spirit of Studio 54 alive from the 1980s until today, while the celebrity DJs of more recent years have brought world music to upscale clubs. No matter what your taste, there's a range of user-friendly options, depending on how late you want to stay up and the thickness of your wallet. Be prepared to dress up and keep your voice down: The only stumbling, shouting people you're likely to see on a night out are other tourists.

Want to bypass doormen and cover charges? Head to one of the country's increasingly popular wine bars after dinner (or don't leave the dinner table at all—small neighborhood cafés are the perfect place to linger over another bottle of Sancerre). The only catch is that the more relaxed nightlife options tend to shut their doors by 11 pm (or midnight at the latest). From then on, it's music that defines French nightlife in the form of performance venues and dance clubs, and you'll generally have to pay a premium for it. The jazz scene in France is still extremely active, with clubs catering to everyone from poor students to high rollers. Hot Paris dance clubs feature international DJs and extremely selective door policies (on the other hand, those doors stay open until 5 am).

Cities outside Paris tend to shut down earlier (with the exception of a student-oriented club or two). However, the Champagne-swilling nightclubs that line the Côte d'Azur from Antibes to St. Tropez give the capital city a run for its nightlife money. Down south, mounting bar tabs seem immaterial to the yacht owners and nubile young yacht-bait they attract. Something to avoid throughout France: the "Irish pub" phenomenon, where expatriates of every nationality surround you in advanced (and loud) states of inebriation.

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La Guinguette de L'Île du Martin-Pêcheur, Champigny-sur-Marne

Les guinguettes, dance hall-restaurants along the Marne, have been in existence since the 18th century, immortalized by Renoir in his paintings of frothy...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
L'ôdace, Nice, France

This multilevel club is a big stop on the international DJ circuit. That means, of course, velvet ropes and a stiff entry fee (usually about $28).The name is a...more

see the Côte d'Azur guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Amour, Paris

Tucked on a quiet street close to Pigalle, just off the bobo-chic Rue des Martyrs, this hotel bar (and the hotel itself) takes the red-light district as its...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Hemingway Bar, Paris

The library-paneled and pouffy-chaired Hemingway is tucked away at the back of the Ritz and widely considered the best place to get a cocktail in Paris. Its top...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Gay and Lesbian Nightlife in Paris

Queen is still the mother ship of gay nightlife in Paris, a giant dance palace on the Champs Elysées that feels like you've walked straight into a disco...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Experimental Cocktail Club, Paris

Those who seek shall find: Only a gold plaque on an unobtrusive facade off the bustling pedestrian Rue Montorgueil will confirm that you've arrived at the...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Curio Parlor, Paris

Inconspicuous on the outside—look for the stuffed raccoon in the window—this latter-day speakeasy and cabinet of curiosities is the brainchild of the...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Chez Jeannette, Paris

Not long ago, this corner bar and café on gentrifying Rue Faubourg St. Denis felt like an outtake from a Jean-Paul Belmondo film, with dingy red...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Café Le Senequier, St. Tropez

This café overlooking the port is a major hub for many locals. Customers might come by three times in a day—in the morning for a coffee with the...more

see the St. Tropez guide
Editors' Pick
Batofar, Paris

Housed in a restored bateau-feu—a boat used to patrol waters after dark—tethered to the Left Bank of the Seine near the Bibliothèque...more

see the Paris guide
Editors' Pick
Results 21-30 of 35  | previous   1 2 3 4 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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