Paris at Night: 9 Magical Places in the City of Lights

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The City of Lights shines like a diamond during the day, but you should see the liveliness of Paris at night.

After visiting Paris with my family, I went again on a girl’s trip, and it was so much fun. We walked through the streets, danced, sang, and indulged in all the city had to offer.

What to See in Paris at Night

Paris is stunning and the night vibes are dazzling and exciting. The charm of Paris at night is undeniable, as the city lights up and transforms into a magical destination.

Keep reading for ideas on what to do in Paris at night. You may want to add a few ideas to your travel itinerary.

Hôtel de Ville

hotel de ville
Hôtel de Ville

The Hôtel de Ville, with its illuminated façade, adds a touch of grandeur to the architectural landscape of Paris at night.

Hôtel De Ville is not a hotel for overnight stays. It is the city’s local administration building, which began construction in 1535.

Today, the building has multiple functions and serves as a venue for large receptions, the mayor’s office, and a visitor’s center. The building has undergone several alterations and restorations, which is a recurring theme in older Parisian structures.

And it is a beautiful example of French Renaissance Revival Architecture. At night, the mood of the edifice changes as whisps of shadows echo across the stately facade where light does not penetrate the obscure.

To Get to Hôtel De Ville, take Metro #1 or #11 to Hôtel De Ville.

Paris

Sacré-Coeur

French for Sacred Heart, Sacré-Coeur sits on the highest point of Montmartre, a large hill in the 18th arrondissement (or district).

Construction originated in 1870 and resembles a mini-Taj Majal. The church is second to Notre-Dame in popularity and visits. By day or night, it shines brightly in white because of the travertine stone.

It’s a very popular landmark, and there are interesting sites in the area. The carousel invites the kid in everyone to ride the colorful horses.

There are rows of souvenir shops to find the perfect gifts and keepsakes on the street leading to the basilica. Visitors often lounge on the stairs to take in the city views from the hill.

During hours of operation, the cost of admission to view the interior is free.

To Get to Sacré-Coeur, take Metro line #2 to Anvers, or line #12 to Abbesses or Lamarck Caulaincourt.

The Eiffel Tower

The wrought-iron latticework of the Eiffel Tower is one of the most well-recognized icons around the globe. It took two years to construct the tower, from 1887 to 1889, and served as the entrance to the World’s Fair in 1889.

The city views from the Eiffel Tower‘s three levels, above ground, are spectacular by day and even more so by night. The tower dazzles in a display of sparkling lights every hour on the hour at dusk and continues until the last show.

If you are a night owl, it may be worthing staying up for the show at 1:00 AM. It is the only one where all the lights on the tower are off, and only the sparkling lights are displayed.

To get to the Eiffel Tower, take Metro line #9 to Trocadero, line #6 to Bir-Hakeim, #8 to Ecole Militaire, or RER to Eiffel Tower.

Flame of Liberty

Did you know that the Flame of Liberty is a full-sized replica of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty in New York?

It stands about 11 feet tall and is recognized to commemorate the friendship between France and the United States. It is a 15-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

You’ll need to cross the bridge over the Seine and navigate toward the Pont d’Iena bridge and Quai Branly Street. The is also the location of the underground tunnel entrance where Princess Diana had a tragic accident. Most visitors think the city created it in her memory, and it has since become an unofficial landmark in tribute.

To Get to the Flame of Liberty, take Metro line #9 to Alma-Marceau, or RER to Pont d’Alma.

arc de triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, majestically lit up, serves as a grand entrance to the Champs-Élysées, enhancing the charm of Paris at night. More importantly, the arc represents the historic triumph of France’s military battles and victories. It also provides some of the best aerial views of the city, including the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.

When visiting the interior, an elevator will take you to the museum level (inside), you’ll need to climb another flight of stairs to reach the outdoor rooftop.

Some of the most dramatic spots on the exterior are the arched ceiling, the Roman figures and reliefs sculpted on the facade, the four pillars, and the eternal flame.

To Get to The Arc De Triumph, take Metro line #1 or RER to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile.

Champs Élysées
Champs Élysées – Credit: Rachel Taylor

Champs Élysées

Exploring Paris at night offers a unique experience, with its bustling nightlife and vibrant atmosphere. Known for luxurious shops, chic cafes, offices, parades, and the finish line of the Tour de France, the Champs-Élysées is on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Paris.

The avenue stretches 1.17 miles in length and is one of 12 routes that radiate from the Arc de Triomphe.

The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. Strolling the avenue is ideal at night for window shopping.

To Get to the Champs-Élysées, take Metro line #1 to George V. Line; or take Metro Line #1 or #13 to Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau.

pont alexandre bridge

Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Paris at night is a mesmerizing sight, with its illuminated landmarks and romantic ambiance. This bridge is stunning by day and breathtaking by night. It’s perfect for a romantic walk along the river. It spans across the Seine River and leads to the Grand Palais.

The style of architecture, Beaux-Arts, is richly ornate and elegant. The bridge is 20 feet high and flanked by four tall golden statues that resemble Pegasus.

There are reliefs of nymphs looking over the river with a ribbon of gold-laced garland. Stroll along the Seine and across the bridge for a romantic evening in the City of Lights.

To Get to Pont Alexandre III, take RER C (yellow), Line #8 or #13 to Invalides, or #1 to Champs-Élysées Clemenceau.

notre dame
Notre Dame Cathedral


Notre Dame

Exploring Paris at night, one can admire the architectural marvels, like Notre Dame Cathedral, which add to the captivating ambiance of the city after dark.

Construction began in 1163, and it took almost 100 years to complete. Notre Dame is a beloved symbol of Paris and sits on the Ile de la Cite, where the city of Paris originated.

It is one of the most visited attractions, and entry is free for viewing on the first floor. You’ll see how the architects beautifully arranged the large rose windows, flying buttresses, belled towers, and imposing facade.

Isn’t it interesting that King Louis IX had historic remains stored at Notre Dame? The relics include the Crown of Thorns, a nail from the Cross, and a sliver of the Cross.

Gargoyles were installed to function as rainspouts. The stone features mythical creatures, symbols, and religious figures.

In 2019, a fire associated with renovation work swallowed the oak beams that supported the roof and spire. The city plans to complete the restoration by 2024.

To Get to Notre Dame, take RER B (blue) or RER C (yellow) to St. Michel Notre-Dame, or line #4 to Cite.

Musée du Louvre

One cannot resist the allure of Paris at night, where the city comes alive with its vibrant energy and enchanting beauty. Speaking of beauty, this one is best known as the home of Leonardo DiVinci’s Mona Lisa, the Musée du Louvre is also the largest art museum in the world.

It resides in the Louvre Palace, built in the late 12th century as a fortress. Later, it was converted and used as the primary residence of French royalty.

After many extensions and enhancements, King Louis the XIV left the Louvre to reside in the Palace of Versailles. The Louvre became a storehouse to display the royal collections of art.

The building continued to undergo alterations and conversions to become the magnificent structure that houses more than 380,000 historical objects and 35,000 works of art.

To Get to The Louvre, take Metro line #1 to Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre.

FAQ about Paris at Night

Is Paris dangerous at night?

Generally, it is safe at night. As with any city, you must stay attentive and alert to your surroundings.

Is Paris beautiful at night?

Yes, the City of Lights is extremely attractive after sunset.

What can you do in Paris for free at night?

Listen to live music at Showcase, explore the neighborhoods, see historic landmarks in a different light, attend a church, stroll the seine.

Final Thoughts on What to See in Paris at Night

Witnessing the splendor of Paris at night is a must-do for any traveler, as the city unveils its true essence under the starry sky.

In addition to experiencing the breathtaking sights of Paris at night, there are numerous activities that can further enhance your visit to this enchanting city.

Immerse yourself in the culinary delights by taking a cooking class in Paris, where you can learn the secrets of French cuisine and create delectable dishes.

Another delightful experience is exploring the famous bridges that span the Seine River, such as Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf, each showcasing unique architectural beauty and offering splendid views of the city.

To indulge in the cultural richness of Paris, attending a classical performance at renowned venues like the Opéra Garnier or the Philharmonie de Paris is a must. Whether it’s an opera, ballet, or symphony, these performances transport you into the world of artistry and elegance.

By incorporating these activities into your itinerary, you can elevate your visit to Paris and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


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10 Comments

  1. Paris is so magical at night! The louve is stunning! This is a great recap of so many beautiful spots!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you for viewing, j’adore Paris!

  2. Paris is such a magical destination at night! Hotel de Ville is so stunning and of course, the Eiffel Tower! I loved this blog post. 🙂

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      I love the architecture and often wish I had a Parisian apartment. I would never leave it!

  3. Beeeeautiful Tanya! You are right, Paris at night is beautiful! I love all the lights and the reflections in the water. Your photos capture how I remember it perfectly!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you, Josy. The Pont Alexandre is my favorite!

  4. I love these! Paris at night is so magical. I especially love seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Definitely one of my favorite parts of visiting Paris.

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you, Kate. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Krystianna says:

    Great post! There really are so many awesome things to do in Paris at night. I swear the city becomes a whole new magical place once the sun goes down!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you Krystianna. I agree and can’t wait to return 🙂