Nightlife in Paris: Free and Fabulous Places to Get Your Dance On
Who says that the right to boogie should come with a price tag? Turns out that even in one of the most expensive cities in the world, a cover charge isn’t a prerequisite to indulge in an evening of dancing. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of free but fabulous places (bars and boîtes, or nightclubs) to get your dance on. Our picks reflect the variety of nightlife in Paris and ensure that you can get your groove on gratuitement.
Max y Jeremy
6, rue Charles-François Dupuis, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
01 42 78 00 68. Open Mon–Sat, 7 p.m.–2 a.m.
Bienvenue to the tapas bar that gets your feet tapping. This little Franco-Spanish joint is cutely nestled into the maze of winding ruelles just south of the Temple metro stop. A stylish after-work crew mingles with dinnertime dillydalliers in this fun-size space. We recommend starting with a pitcher of the smooth but fruity sangria. It costs about 20 euros but will fill up six glasses sans problème. Otherwise, Max y Jeremy offers a pleasing, if pricy, selection of wines and cocktails, along with tapas that range from mediocre to delicious (the chorizo taking the gold). A dynamic lineup of indie-pop faves makes a trip to the basement’s jovially sticky dance floor almost inevitable.
13, rue de la Ferronnerie, in the 1st Arrondissement.
01 42 33 35 31. Open daily, 6 p.m.–6 a.m.
For one of the most oddball experiences that nightlife in Paris has to offer, head to the Banana Café, situated in the city’s epicenter. This überkitschy hub draws motley characters from the across the entire spectrum. Toast with drag queens, chat with firemen, socialize with students—the show never stops! The drinks are reasonable, there’s never a cover and it’s open until dawn on weekdays: a true party paradise. There aren’t any rules in this alternate universe save one: you must never forget to stay very open-minded.
In the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 2, avenue des Cascades,
in the 19th Arrondissement. 01 42 00 00 45.
Open Wed–Sun, noon–midnight.
It’s no surprise that Rosa Bonheur has become an established fave of Parisians, expats and savvy tourists alike. After all, this early-bird bar is among the most boogie-worthy spots in the city. Since it first sprouted on a picturesque hill of the lovely Buttes Chaumont park, it continues to harbor a go-go atmosphere, providing an ideal (and green) escape from the Parisian jour à jour. The inexpensive libations and old-school tracks set the scene for some serious swing! You’ll work up a sweat shaking your stuff, but don’t expect to dance the night away—the park closes at 10 p.m. and the bar clears out its clientele at midnight. We suggest you arrive early (around 6 or 7 p.m. on weekdays) to embark on your sensible night of revelry.
101, rue Amelot, in the 11th Arrondissement. 01 58 30 93 43.
Open Tues–Sat, 6:30 p.m.–2 a.m.
A passerby may reasonably mistake the Panic Room for just another too-cool-for-school dive bar. But its chirpy yet chill atmosphere sets it apart from the clones that clutter nightlife in Paris. Behind the shoddy facade, a young and hip clientele whose style might be described as “upscale homeless” jibes in the colorful, partly graffitied space. In fact, the benign drink prices and BYOF policy during happy hour lure hipsters by the dizaine. As the evening wears on, bar hoppers from the neighboring Zéro Zéro and Pop In peek in to join the dance party in the galactically lit basement.