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Dusk & Dawn: 22 Exciting Things To Do In Paris For The Night Owl - Updated 2020

Dusk & Dawn: 22 Exciting Things To Do In Paris For The Night Owl
Brenda
Brenda
Updated

Ah, Paris. The city of light and love, renowned for its quaint, romantic charm and iconic landmarks, from the towering lattices of the Eiffel Tower to the mysterious Mona Lisa. As lovely and enchanting as this city may appear, many shun visiting it due to the throngs of other visitors they may have to contend with. Little do they know of the magic that awaits once night falls – being a treasure trove of history, food and architecture, Paris is blooming with endless experiences. Of course, this all depends on whether one looks in the right places; something that’s pretty much a hassle to do, which is why we’ve done it for you!

Whether you’re looking to return to your accommodations by a curfew or spend the whole night exploring Paris, we’ve come up with a list of 22 best things to do at night – scenic, historical, artistic, culinary and many more – to enjoy an unforgettable night out in Paris.

Before 7pm

1. Chase the sun at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Arc de Triomphe 01-08-2013 n44
Source: Photo by user Siren-Com used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You may not know this, but a long line of Paris’s most memorable monuments lies in a straight line known as the Axe Historique, or Historical Axis. A path due west, it not only makes sights like the Louvre Museum, Luxor Obelisk, and Arc de Triomphe easily navigable, it also follows the sun’s trajectory; meaning that on certain days of the year, one can look down the Avenue des Champs Élysées to catch a once-in-a-lifetime sunset between the pillars of the Arc de Triomphe! This scenic spectacle only occurs on certain days in May and August, so make sure to plan your trip in advance!

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Address: Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Website

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2. Explore the infamous Catacombs of Paris

Delve into the dark underbelly of the City of Light in the Catacombs of Paris. Defined by winding corridors and wall upon wall of bones, this grisly attraction is not for the faint-hearted – both figuratively and literally. Descend a series of steps into the chilly catacombs, where a guide will walk you through different ossuaries and introduce the history behind this graveyard.

Note that due to the nature of the catacombs, there may be restrictions on certain visitors. Read more on these restrictions here.

Catacombs of Paris

Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 10am–8:30pm (Tues to Sun); closed on Mondays. Last admission at 7:30pm.

Duration: 45 min

Contact: +33 1 43 22 47 63

Website Admission Fees

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Before 8pm

3. Gaze upon a 360º view of Paris from Printemps Rooftop Terrace

Paris 9 - Printemps view (2)
Source: Photo by user Selbymay used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Perhaps one of the reasons why Paris is so enchanting is that hidden gems and best-kept secrets are near ubiquitous! A testament to this lies in the Printemps Rooftop Terrace, just one of many magical places where one can admire panoramic 360º views of the city beyond. The best part? It’s absolutely free!

This terrace can only be reached by a narrow escalator, so note that it has limited disabled and pram access.

Printemps Rooftop Terrace

Address: 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 9:35am–8pm (Mon to Wed, Fri, Sat), 9:35am–8:45pm (Thurs), 11am–7pm (Sun)

Contact: +33 1 42 82 50 00

Website

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4. Catch a street performance near Notre-Dame Cathedral

Paris Street Performer
Source: Photo by user Larry Johnson used under CC BY 2.0

With its historic interiors and sweeping tower vistas, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is undoubtedly one of Paris’s principal must-visits. Even beyond its closing times, there’s still lots to see in the vicinity! Drop by the Notre-Dame Cathedral after dark for spectacular street performances, from classic mimes to daring fire performers. Even though most of these street shows are free to watch, leaving a tip is appreciated – these are, after all, some of the people who make Paris beautiful.

Notre-Dame de Paris

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Price: Notre Dame Cathedral – Free; Performances – Free to watch, though an ample tip would be appreciated.

Opening Hours: 7:45am–6:45pm (Mon to Fri); 7:45am–7:15pm (Sat & Sun)

Contact: + 33 (0) 1 42 34 56 10

Website

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5. Early evening romantic La Marina dinner cruise (68 USD)

dusk & dawn: 22 exciting things to do in paris for the night owl | early evening romantic la marina dinner cruise
Source: Headout

If you want to enjoy the beautiful and picturesque surrounding of charming Paris easily and with no crowd getting your way, why not take a relaxing evening cruise on the Seine River? From the boat, you can see the Louvre in its entirety, admire the glass dome of the Grand Palais known to be the largest in Europe, stand in awe as you pass Musee d'Orsay’s (a railway station turned into a museum) magnificent architecture and illuminated facade, get spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower, set your eyes on the stained glass windows of the Notre Dame Cathedral, pass through the most beautiful bridges, and many more. The package includes a delightful three-course meal with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to choose from, and a glass of wine/champagne prepared with an authentic French poise. There’s no better way to spend an evening in Paris!

Early evening romantic La Marina dinner cruise

Price: 68 USD

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

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Before 10pm

6. Pay your respects at the Shoah Memorial

Wall of names, Memorial of the Shoah, Paris
Source: Photo by user Ninaraas used under CC BY 4.0

If you’ve had your fix of city views for the evening, take a trip to a more solemn sight in the city. The Shoah Memorial is a Holocaust Museum in memory of the Nazi occupation of France and its victims. Step into exhibitions illustrating the atrocities and artefacts of this time before exiting to the Wall of Names, stone walls from Jerusalem carved with the names of French Holocaust victims. This museum stays open late on Thursdays, so keep your planner marked for your visit here.

Mémorial de la Shoah

Address: 17 Rue Geoffroy l'Asnier, 75004 Paris, France

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 10am–6pm (Sun to Wed, Fri); 10am–10pm (Thurs); closed on Saturdays.

Contact: +33 1 42 77 44 72

Website

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7. Appreciate art at the Louvre (15 EUR (16 USD) per person, free for visitors under 18 and [many more](http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission/admission).)

If you’re out late on a Wednesday or Friday, consider dropping by the Louvre Museum. The world’s largest museum, this landmark is a palace-turned-museum; suiting its location on the eastern end of the Axe Historique. By night, step into the museum’s galleries for a peaceful atmosphere prime for appreciating art. Marvel upon original works of legendary significance, such as the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss and many more! You may even pick up some historical knowledge while you’re here!

After the museum’s closing time, venture out into the courtyard and admire the iconic Louvre Pyramid. This illuminated lattice structure makes for gorgeous photo opportunities at night, as one captures the glowing prospect of modernity against the museum’s historical facade.

Louvre Museum

Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris, France

Price: 15 EUR (16 USD) per person, free for visitors under 18 and many more.

Opening Hours: 9am–9:45pm (Wed & Fri); 9am–6pm (Thurs, Sat to Mon); closed on Tuesdays.

Contact: +33 1 40 20 50 50

Website

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8. Taste enchantment at Nicolas Flamel’s House

You may have heard his name in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but did you know that Nicolas Flamel was a real person? Though not quite as enchanting as his character in Harry Potter, the real Flamel was a successful scribe and manuscript seller rumoured to have been an immortal alchemist. He was also the builder of his home, Paris’s oldest stone house, which has since been converted into a restaurant. Step into this elegant restaurant for an enchanting dinner of Parisian cuisine, put together with unique flavours to tantalise your taste buds!

Auberge Nicolas Flamel

Address: 51 rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris, France

Price: around 40 EUR–60 EUR (43 USD-65 USD) per person (for an entrée and main course)

Opening Hours: 12pm–2:30pm, 7pm–10:30pm daily

Contact: +33 1 42 71 77 78

Website

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9. Dine in the dark at Dans Le Noir?

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A one-of-a-kind dining experience awaits at Dans Le Noir?, a restaurant where patrons literally dine in the dark! Choose from a variety of ‘surprise’ meal packages (do notify the staff of any allergies you may have!) and navigate through your meal in pitch-black darkness. Staffed by visually-impaired workers, Dans Le Noir? is a humbling experience of what living without one of your integral sense may feel like.

Dans Le Noir?

Address: 51 Rue Quincampoix, 75004 Paris, France

Price: 45 EUR–95 EUR (49 USD-102 USD) per person, depending on package chosen.

Opening Hours: 7:30pm–11pm daily

Contact: +33 1 42 77 98 04

Website

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Before midnight

10. The Mona Lisa murder mystery game with Questo (9.99 EUR (~10.80 USD))

dusk & dawn: 22 exciting things to do in paris for the night owl | the mona lisa murder mystery game with questo
Source: Questo

For something unique and exciting, why not explore Paris through a Mystery Game Tour where you’ll play a detective in the 1880s, trying to solve the murder of Mona Lisa. What makes this excursion extra fun is that you’ll have a haunted walking tour around Paris while learning about the horror stories that have haunted these hidden and iconic places for centuries. Visit the Pont Neuf, the Triumphal Arch, Notre Dame, and more—and while you’re being in awe with all these magnificent edifices, look for some clues and evidence to crack the case! The tour is available in German, English, and French languages and children can play as long as they are accompanied by adults.

Tip: charge your phone and load up on internet/mobile data so you can actively participate in the game. Have fun!

The Mona Lisa murder mystery game with Questo

Duration: approximately 1 hour

Price: 9.99 EUR (~10.80 USD)

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11. Ascend the Eiffel Tower (17 EUR (18 USD) for adults, 14.50 EUR (16 USD) for 14 to 24 year olds, 8 EUR (9 USD) for 4 to 11 year olds and disabled individuals. Skip-the-line tickets from 36 EUR (39 USD).)

Of course, what’s a visit to Paris without visiting its main highlight? Attracting up to 7 million visitors annually, it’s no wonder the Eiffel Tower usually opens till late. Beat the crowds by buying a ‘skip-the-line’ ticket and ascend to its top observatory deck. At the zenith of this historical icon, gaze upon a sparkling view of the City of Love, and maybe share a romantic moment or two with your loved one.

Even if you’re not intent on ascending it, the Eiffel Tower offers scintillating, 5-minute long light shows on an hourly basis every evening. You may even choose to stick around the vicinity till 1am, and watch as it goes dark and retires for the night. Here are some tips for a great visit.

Eiffel Tower

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

Price: 17 EUR (18 USD) for adults, 14.50 EUR (16 USD) for 14 to 24 year olds, 8 EUR (9 USD) for 4 to 11 year olds and disabled individuals. Skip-the-line tickets from 36 EUR (39 USD).

Opening Hours: 9am–12am daily

Contact: +33 892 70 12 39

Website

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12. Catch a cabaret show at Le Moulin Rouge (from 215 USD)

Moulin-Rouge01
Source: Photo by user Selby used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Opened in 1889, Moulin Rouge which means ‘red mill’ in French, is the epitome of cabaret shows. It is the birthplace of cancan, a lively and energetic dance in which performers kick their legs in the air. Enter beneath the iconic red windmill and get ready to be mesmerised and be blown away for the next two hours. The Feerie features varied performances including one which goes through the history of Moulin Rouge. The classical show on its own is already an amazing experience: high octane and high-kicking dance performances, elaborate sparkles and beaded costumes, extravagant productions, comedy skits, side stunts, supporting acts, and ventriloquists. Enjoy all these while sipping a complimentary glass of champagne. This is a show never to be missed! A dazzling evening to crown your visit to Paris!

Moulin Rouge Show and Champagne with Transfers

Price: from 215 USD

Restrictions & Reservations

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13. More cabaret options: Crazy Horse Paris & The Lido Show (from 97 USD)

CRAZY HORSE PARIS - 5296949060
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user inazakira used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Crazy Horse Paris For cabaret enthusiasts, come down to the Le Crazy Horse Paris, the forerunner of cabarets since 1951. This temple of Parisian nightlife is centrally-located, just a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower. Spend an evening sipping a glass of champagne, in a classical-styled intimate venue with dim lighting, red velvet and plush interior decor, table seating and loungers. Watch the Totally Crazy show featuring 12 Crazy Girls with very catchy names performing precise dance routines and interpretative skits. There are over ten different scenes and performances, each with its own distinctive flair and style. It’s captivating and sensual, yet tastefully done for all adults to enjoy. Be amazed with the masterpiece of art, choreography and sophisticated lighting effects characterized by an authentic French feel.

The Lido Show Since 1946, Le Lido Paris began as a swimming complex which rightfully explains its name, taken from a beach resort in Lido Venice, Italy. It has been transformed into a go-to cabaret and nightlife spot in 1958 with the advent of the Bluebell Girls. Cladded in feathers of swans, glittering stars of Swarovski jewels, countless sequins, the stylish Bluebell Girls are known for having the longest legs in town!

Until now, the Bluebell Girls remain on the spotlight and their performances set Lido apart from other cabarets. Watch them in the Paris Merveilles show while sipping a glass of champagne. The show takes you on a top-notch tour of Paris’ awesome landmarks. Witness the spectacle in the dancing routines, the change of costumes, and stage productions from the Palace of Versailles and the Eiffel Tower, to the many viewing points in Paris. It’s never too late to for an evening of fun and sparkle. So, get booking now before the tickets run out. Click ‘Book Now’ for real-time availability.

Crazy Horse Paris

Price: from 97 USD

Duration: around 2 hours required.

The Lido Show with Champagne

Price: from 77 USD

Duration: around 2 hours required.

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14. Dive into Piscine Pontoise for a late night swim

Piscine Pontoise
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Zéphirine used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Looking to burn off all the calories you’ve consumed in this city? Enjoy an enthralling swim in Piscine Pontoise, a late-night swimming venue in the Latin Quarter. Dive into bright, aquamarine waters from dim decks as you take a dip, and change in one of many charming vintage cabins. This venue also holds movie screenings sometimes, so grab a float and enjoy a blockbuster masterpiece when they do!

Piscine Pontoise

Address: Le Quartier Sport, 19 Rue de Pontoise, 75005 Paris, France

Price: 11.10 EUR (12 USD) from 8pm

Opening Hours: 8:15pm–11:45pm (Mon to Fri); 8am–7pm on public holidays; regular hours vary with season.

Contact: +33 1 55 42 77 88

Website

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15. Relish a late night bite in the Latin Quarter

Up for some supper? Head over to the Latin Quarter, a district spanning Paris’s 5th and 6th arrondissements. This lively district is abuzz with youth and diversity, thanks to the many universities in the district; but more than that, it’s also home to innumerable bars and bistros!

For a bite to eat and a drink, drop by one of the area’s many cafés, such as Café le Reflet or Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris. As for fine cuisine to please the palate, Laperouse, an exclusive restaurant along the scenic Seine, is within the vicinity. Alternatively, you could go for a late-night drink at international bars such as Connelly’s Corner, an Irish pub, or Lengué, a Japanese izakaya.

Still feeling peckish after all that? Worry not – Gelati d'Alberto, an ice cream parlour specialising in gelato, is open till midnight for all your dessert needs. Relish exotic flavours such as melon and rose, sculpted into a rose atop an ice cream cone!

Café le Reflet

Address: 6 Rue Champollion, 75005 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 11am–2am (Mon to Sat); 3pm–12am (Sun)

Contact: +33 1 43 29 97 27

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Lapérouse

Address: 51 Quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 7pm–12am (Mon to Sat); closed on Sundays.

Contact: +33 1 43 26 68 04

Website

Le Procope

Address: 13 Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 11:45am–12am (Sun to Wed); 11:45am–1am (Thurs to Sat)

Contact: +33 1 40 46 79 00

Website

Gelati d'Alberto

Address: 45 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 12pm–12am daily

Contact: +33 1 77 11 44 55

Website

Connelly's Corner

Address: 12 Rue de Mirbel, 75005 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 4pm–2am (Mon to Fri); 1pm–2am (Sat & Sun)

Contact: +33 1 43 36 55 40

Facebook

Lengué

Address: 31 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 12pm–2pm, 7pm–11pm (Tues to Sun); closed on Mondays.

Contact: +33 1 46 33 75 10

Website

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16. Peruse the Palais de Tokyo

Once you’ve had your fill of historical art at the Louvre, head on over to Palais de Tokyo. Home to one of the largest centres for creation and contemporary art in Europe, Palais de Tokyo is a treasure trove of contemporary art conveying modern perspectives. Let your inner anarchist out as you appreciate these bold works of art, and wander into the night with a deep sense of contemplation.

Palais de Tokyo

Address: 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France

Price: 12 EUR (13 USD) for adults, 9 EUR (10 USD) for 18 to 26 year olds, free for those under 18.

Opening Hours: 12pm–12am (Wed to Mon); closed on Tuesdays.

Contact: +33 1 81 97 35 88

Website

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Before sunrise

17. Take a stroll around Paris

In the wee hours of the morning, Paris exudes a charm worlds away from its daytime hubbub. Silent streets accompany the quaint idyll characteristic of this city, giving way to a romantic air of mystery, mischief and unabashed indulgence. Relish and relive your youth as you dash though empty streets, stopping for a stroll every once in a while at a splendid structure or one of the many wonderfully strange things in this city. Take note of the River Seine and the 1st, 5th, 7th and 11th arrondissements, for those are the best locations to experience Paris’s wonders after dark.

Highlights of Late-Night Paris

Address: 1st, 5th, 7th, 11th arrondissements, Paris, France

Price: Free

Near by Food: Latin Quarter (see #13)

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18. Look out for the Luxor Obelisk

Add mysticism to your night with a visit to the Place de la Concorde, where the Luxor Obelisk stands. An extravagant gift from the former Khedive of Egypt, this relic was originally located at the entrance of Luxor Temple in Egypt. One can easily see where it once stood: With the darkness of nightfall and an absence of crowds, the Luxor Obelisk makes for an enchanting evening visit. It also stands alongside the fountains of Place de la Concorde, where actress Anne Hathaway threw her phone away in one of the final scenes of The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Luxor Obelisk

Address: Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24 hours daily

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19. Cave into a carnivorous meal at Chez Denise à La Tour de Montlhéry

P1050256 Paris Ier rue des Prouvaires à la tour de Montlhéry rwk
Source: Photo by user Mbzt used under CC BY 3.0

If you’re a meat-lover, tuck into a delicious late-night supper at Chez Denise. With near everything on their menu prepared to perfection, you’re spoilt for choice at this bistro! This humble establishment dedicates itself to meat and not much else – you won’t find pasta or anything of the like here. Unique must-tries on their menu include their free-flow fries and grilled marrow bones. Drop by on Thursday for a common favourite, their pot au feu.

Beyond the food, the classic yet rustic facade of this bistro will envelop you in an embrace of quaint cosiness. Somewhat of a community spirit lingers here, as this noisy place exudes a fun chaos as compared to Paris’s other prim-and-proper restaurants. After your meal, take time to seek out founder Denise and thank her for the scrumptious meal.

Chez Denise à La Tour de Montlhéry

Address: 5 Rue des Prouvaires, 75001 Paris, France

Price: 21 EUR–40 EUR (23 USD - 43 USD) per person

Opening Hours: 12pm–3pm, 7:30pm–5am (Mon to Fri); closed on weekends.

Contact: +33 1 42 36 21 82

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20. Crack a safe at a candlelit speakeasy

Bar Pub Cozy
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Try your luck at yet another late-night bar, Moonshiner. A candle-lit speakeasy, Moonshiner offers a wide range of alcohol and a challenge to all its customers: there’s a safe in this bar, and if you can crack it, all the bottles in it are yours. Give it a shot – who knows what you might walk away with?

Moonshiner

Address: 5 Rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 6pm–2am daily

Contact: +33 9 50 73 12 99

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21. Indulge in literary luxury at La Belle Hortense

La Belle Hortense. 31 Rue Vieille du Temple. One of my favourite joints in the whole of Paris. A wine bar baked into a book shop wrapped in a library. If you need me, I'll be the Cuban gypsy wearing a tie and a vest at the corner bar sketching in a notebo
Source: Photo by user AJ LEON used under CC BY 2.0

For the literary buff and wine connoisseur, paradise awaits. Step into La Belle Hortense, possibly the only bookshop cum wine cellar you’ll find in all of Paris. Peruse shelf upon shelf for a literary adventure of your interest, or explore the options of wine available. Sip some well-aged wine as you indulge in a literary classic, or buy a bottle or two and head on over to the next venue…

La Belle Hortense

Address: 31 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris, France

Opening Hours: 5pm–2am daily

Contact: +33 1 48 04 71 60

Website

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22. Sip some wine at the Square du Vert-Galant

Espace vert parisien
Source: Photo by user Groume used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located at the edge of the Seine, the Square du Vert-Galant makes for a great venue for a slow day picnic, or a midnight wine escape. Lounge on the grass with a loved one as you sip on some well-aged wine from La Belle Hortense, and gaze upon the city lights glistening on the Seine. You may even want to spend a night here and watch the sun rise over the city!

Square du Vert-Galant

Address: Place du Pont-Neuf, 75001 Paris, France

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24 hours daily

Website

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Paris-dise

Who says daytime is the best time? As The City of Light and Love, Paris is infinitely enchanting, enthralling and enrapturing to all who visit it. A night of fun doesn’t only lie in nightlife – look in all the right places, and you’d have stumbled upon a treasure trove. So take a night or few out to enjoy an all-encompassing experience of Paris, one you’ll never forget.

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Brenda is a vibrant individual passionate about (way too) many things. An explorer, artist and optimist at heart, she is in love with the world and the beauty it has to offer. Her travels thus far...Read more

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