When you’re broke
Paris is known for it’s steep prices and low salaries, so inevitably there’ll be times when you can’t afford those 8-euro happy hour cocktails, but you still want to go out with your friends. I spent all my money on food while living in Paris (cause food beats beers anytime), so I learned to spend less on nights out.
In summer, there’s no reason to spend money on entry fees and wine served in fancy glasses. Just buy a few bottles in the nearest Carrefour and head to Canal Saint Martin for a young crowd and lots of fun. If you want spectacular views, just head to the Seine river and sit on the banks in central Paris, where you’ll be able to see many of the famous monuments.
Right now, Paris is cold and wet, so obviously you’ll have to find an indoor place to enjoy your drinks. You’ll have to head out early to enjoy Happy Hour prices, since they’re usually over by 8 pm. However, you can always go for Happy Hour before dinner, right? St. Germain de Près and around St. Michel have a lot of bars with good deals.
In the Marais, I suggest that you head to Piment Café for 3,50 euro pints all night.
When you want to dance all night
On my last night out in Paris, my friends and I went for one of those bucket list experiences and went to La Machine de Moulin Rouge, Moulin Rouges’ nightclub. The prices are high, but it’s worth it for a fun night out. Check their website to see if they have any fun events going on – we went there on a “music through time” night, where they started with music from the 20’s and continued playing music from every decade all night. It was a great experience and we had so much fun dancing on the stage and singing along to all the hits.
If you’re near the Canal Saint Martin, try Point Éphemere where there’s always a lot of cool stuff going on and lots of room for dancing.
There are also a lot of clubs around Republique and Oberkampf, where you can dance the night away.
When your ears are craving live music
Head to Chatelet to find some of the oldest (and best!) jazz bars in Paris. My favorite is Sunset/Sunside where there’s live music in the basement and cheap drinks on the terrace. What’s not to like?
For a fun, though quite touristy, experience, try Piano Bar at St. Michel. Every day a pianist and a singer performs a mix of well known hits and classic French songs. You can request songs and it’s a fun way to start a night out.