Paris is globally renowned as the City of Light and the City of Love with millions of people flocking every year to enjoy the French capital’s breathtaking illuminations and its romantic atmosphere. It takes its place as one of the most famous and best loved cities in the world, for the food, the art and the glittering nightlife. A visit to Paris is the trip of a lifetime and much of that is down to its enviable party scene.
In Paris, you can find every type of nightlife imaginable from secret raves to exclusive club nights to cosy Bohemian bars and cafés. The city’s streets are a riot of colour, laughter and music that will reveal hidden gems around every corner. Here we’ll explore three of the best places to party from Paris’ diverse range of music and styles.
Nouveau Casino – the underground nightclub
Since its conception in 2001, Nouveau Casino has championed both international acts and the underground music scene in Paris. It remains dedicated to showcasing a wide range of different musical tastes and talents. And for a venue that has seen performances from global superstars like Lana del Rey and M.I.A, it doesn’t shy away from featuring local, up-and-coming talent.
Located on rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement, Nouveau Casino perfectly balances the benefits of a mainstream nightclub with the attraction of a more underground venue. In the past, its stage has played host to acts such as Diplo, Nathan Fake and Nightmares on Wax but in recent years has switched it up with more of a classic club format as well as regular gigs. Last year’s schedule saw disco, funk and house nights like Feels Good alongside German techno and minimal music with guest appearances from the infamous Berliner Klub DJs.
All of this great music is delivered to the audience in a renovated 1930s cabaret venue now updated with a modern hipster twist. Contrary to the venue’s name, Nouveau Casino does not contain any table games or slot machines. However, you can always settle in to a cosy booth next door at the partner business, Café Charbon, and have table games online to your heart’s content. This companion venue is still open until the wee hours and plays a mix of electro and jazz music for a more chilled ambience.
We Are The Oracle – the secret party scene
Claiming to host “the most mysterious parties in Paris”, creative team We Are The Oracle have been putting on their secret projects in the city for over six years now. Using venues as diverse as an urban skatepark, an empty swimming pool and the famous Paris catacombs, they transform their surroundings into magical wonderlands to be explored and enjoyed by people from across the world.
Music at these events is an essential part of setting the scene for that particular party’s theme. For example, a Venetian themed event saw a four-piece band play a gentle waltz whilst party goers danced together, whereas an Arabian desert themed celebration played homage to Lawrence of Arabia with a full live orchestra playing the film score. Other events have seen school disco style DJing, live jazz bands and one-of-a-kind collaborations between musicians and dancers.
To join these mystical revellers in their next evening of entertainment, you need to sign up to their newsletter and join the society. This entitles you to receive exclusive information about upcoming themes, access a place on the coveted guest list and, eventually, be given the secret address for their latest party. Altogether a more exciting way to explore Paris by night, these parties are a great opportunity to sample a more varied cross-section of the city’s musical talent. At We Are The Oracle events, atmosphere and imagination are everything so, if you do manage to attend, be prepared to experience a rare evening that you will never forget.
Au Café de Paris – the Bohemian bar
If you’re after the classic Parisian vibe of a 19th century belle époque bar, then look no further than Au Café de Paris. Located in the same happening district as the Nouveau Casino, this gem resides within a pretty nondescript little café building on rue Oberkampf. Once inside however, you’ll discover that there is much more to this venue than first meets the eye.
The bar itself is beautifully upholstered in leather and wood, with cosy booths to encourage a relaxed, informal atmosphere. A sumptuous theatre room further inside the building hosts regular comedy shows, cabarets and live music as accompaniments to dinner. Then, downstairs, there is a basement venue with more of an underground indie feel to it where you might catch promising new rock bands as they make their way around the circuit.
Despite not being as grand as the other two places mentioned in this article, Au Café de Paris makes up for its lack of grandeur with an unbeatable atmosphere. The excitement and unpredictability of its cabaret style performances makes for an intriguing and inspiring atmosphere that harks back to those effervescently creative days of the Golden Age at the birth of the 20th century. If you’re looking for a new sound whilst in Paris, try here first for fresh new music.