Paris Venues That Are Sure to Help You Get Your Groove On
By Paige Donner
Paris Local Expert
Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than dancing. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. When you want that feeling, head to some of the best dance clubs in Paris. Top DJs get the energy moving, and your fellow clubbers ensure that there's plenty to see along the way. To follow the beautiful people, head to Le Baron; for a Parisian dancing-under-the-stars experience, give Wanderlust a try. Either way, 10Best will make sure you know the best places to dance in Paris.
If you're the type that likes to try out a few venues during a night-out, you'll want to check out a few of the clubs listed that are within walking distance of one another. Taxis can often be hard to find late at night in the city and the Métro stops running between midnight and 1am. The areas around South Pigalle (SoPi), Grands Boulevards and Champs-Elysées all have clubs within close proximity of eachother. For an exclusive grouping, you can check out the White Room, then head around the corner to Le Baron and once finished there walk the 10 minutes to Pont Alexandre III, the bridge flanked by the beautiful golden angels, where Le Showcase is hidden - in plain sight - underneath. Many Parisiennes (that's the feminine version of the word) bring a pair of flats with them as they make their clubbing rounds. And, of course, you can always hop on a Velib'.
A newer spot that anchors the Left Bank, Wanderlust is the expansive terrace bar and club that perches atop the Cit� de la Mode et du Design. It's worth finding your way over to this Quai d'Austerlitz complex that houses a fashion museum, cool caf�s and shops below, and this restaurant-bar-terrace-club up on its top floor. There is also N�ba, up here on the rooftop of Les Docks, offering open-air dance music. Wanderlust is run by the same team that runs Silencio, the David Lynch imagined club and Social Club, both hot venues in their own right. The dance club part of the programming happens only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11pm onwards and goes until 6am. The terrace overlooking the Seine, as the building was constructed right along the Seine, is a magnificent 1600M2, the size of a small factory. Music is electro, new disco, house.
Their tag line is "all day parties" and they're not kidding. They get started in the morning and go until past midnight. And when the international DJs stop in to spin their sets, they often go until 7 a.m. earning this place the well-deserved reputation of an after-hours club, too. This location, near the Gare de Lyon, makes it an easy afterhours destination when coming from Les Docks across the river. The crowd here skews toward young and also international. International DJs of repute have taken to this venue already like ducks to a barge and it has rapidly become the trendy, edgy spot in town and the place to hang until 7 in the morning, just about when they re-open for the all-day party.
The décor here at this originally-named bar, one of the newer in the capital, is a scene straight out of From Dusk 'Til Dawn, the movie by Quentin Tarantino. The French have an ongoing infatuation with all things Tarantino and this happening club now ranks as one of them. The smoking room is a big draw for the well-heeled Parisian youth who have latched onto the New York club vibe here, as is the tequila bar and the pool table. More of a Rock-n-Roll club and bar than a frou-frou club, the big moosehead hanging on the wall and the pinball machines scattered around the lounge area complete the picture. (01 45 62 50 23)
For the adventurous there is a new pop-up club called the Tunnel Club. The reason you need a sense of adventure to explore this venue is because it's installed in the old chalk quarries south of Paris. To find their scheduled dates of events it's best to check their facebook page. You can take the Métro to the end of the line to get close and after that, well, let your sense of fun and adventure (and maybe a taxi, too) lead the way. And while I wouldn't call this a rave place (SO 90's!) I would call it a pop-up club that appeals to the youthful set who like to Party like it's 1999.
This trendy dance club in the heart of Pigalle spins to a range of musical styles (disco, rap, R&B, soul, funk). It's a great place to people-watch. This area has become known as SoPi or South Pigalle and is now nearly too trendy for the trendsters. No matter, the Bus Palladium has been here for decades and still offers a good rock-n-roll time. Its updated menu offers dishes named after famous (and infamous) song titles - Come Together, Welcome to The Jungle, With or Without You. If you're not one who's into dance clubbing, you can still enjoy this venue for its dinner and cocktails. METRO: Blanche (line 2), Pigalle (lines 2, 12), or Saint Georges (line 12) (01 45 26 80 35)
Le Showcase gets its name from its reputation of showcasing the next-big-thing in bands. This nightclub also features some of Paris' most popular DJs, usually after the band has played a few sets, that is located under the landmark beauty of a bridge, the Pont Alexandre III which crosses the Seine from Grand Palais to Invalides. The club has an underground feel with sweeping architecture, a great dance floor and constant music. It's known for showcasing live acts, both famous and just-breaking. But the dance floor gets good use every night, too, usually right up until dawn. If you're looking for a truly unique and memorable only-in-Paris venue, this is surely it. (01 45 61 25 43)
The Parisian entertainment industry is a pretty tight and clique-ish circle, and the main players tend to hang out together in the same clubs and bars. Le Baron is one of these clubs where you are guaranteed to spot some of these famous French faces from the worlds of cinema, music and arts. The nature of the business requires the existence of places where informal meetings can take place. This Parisian nightclub is one of those places where professionals can shake as many hands as necessary while indulging in a spot or two of shameless name-dropping. So, if you can't beat them: why not go and join them, or at least see if you can spot the actors from this year's Cesar's or even the Oscar-winning The Artist? (01 47 20 04 01)
The feeling here is something akin to a Russian noble's hunting lodge, with its plush red upholstery, chandeliers and exposed wood beams. Once inside, you completely forget that you're just off the Champs-�lys�es. Club's decor is listed on the inventory of historic monuments. It has gone in and out of favor with the local Parisian crowd over the decades and is currently very much back 'in'. Cocktails, club, dancing. The sound is a mix by DJ Mika. The clientele ultra-trendy and you'll find businessmen, politicians, celebrities and golden girls and boys frequenting this chic-est of Parisian nightclubs. True to its Russian roots, shots of ice-cold vodka are served all night long (until 5am). (01 47 20 02 90)
One of the classiest dance clubs in Paris is here at the top of the Théatre de Champs-Elysées, in the same venue as the Maison Blanche Restaurant. Here you'll feel like you're in Seventh Heaven on Saturdays, when the restaurant tables are cleared out at midnight and the spacious two-storey interior becomes a nightclub. The outdoor terrace on the second floor upstairs is one of the most breathtaking views onto the Eiffel Tower and the Seine in the city. Music is an eclectic mix of HipHop, Soul, Funk, Disco, Deep House. The venue draws the cr�me de la cr�me of international DJs who spin until dawn. The White Room is a super upscale nightclub. The only disappointment is that it's only open on Saturday nights. The rest of the week it's the gastronomic restaurant only. New starting this Spring is a champagne bar on their Avenue Montaigne terrace.
Le Crazy Horse
To say that Crazy Horse is like any other Las Vegas review is just not doing it justice. These dancers, this choreography and the supremely innovative lighting that accompanies each act serve to transport you to a sort of world removed far far away from the daily grind. So go ahead, treat yourself. French choreographer Philippe Decouflé created the current-running show, Désirs, and the artistic direction is by Ali Mahdavi. Both are recognized in performing arts circles as being at the top of their game. The dancers, it must be noted, too, are like curated gems. Their talent and their form represent the pinnacle of beauty and this type of performance art. (01 47 23 32 32)
About Paige Donner
Paige is a transplanted Parisian. She first arrived as a young bride in the early 90s to live in Paris, having uprooted herself from her native California. From then on it has been an on-again, off-again love affair with the City of Lights, one that has grown fonder over time. Paige hosts Paris GOODfood+wine and World of Wine for World Radio Paris. When not in Paris Paige often travels visiting French vineyards. She's also producer of Paris Food And Wine. As a journalist, Paige also writes for the NY Times,LA Times, Michelin Guide, Fodor's, Blackbook, Variety
Read more about Paige Donner here.