Best Things to Do in Paris

February 23, 2023
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There’s no shortage of things to do when in Paris. 

From catching a cabaret show at Moulin Rouge to going for a midnight swim at Piscine Pontoise, these are the must-try nightlife activities you have to experience.

Here’s your essential guide to the best things to do when the sun goes down in Paris.

Catch a cabaret show at the famous Moulin Rouge

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© @lemoulinrougeofficiel / Facebook

The mother of all cabaret shows, Moulin Rouge is synonymous with French femininity, glamor, and Parisian chic. 

Located in the cobblestoned Montmartre, Moulin Rouge’s iconic red mill shelters an atmospheric theater, a Belle Epoque decor, and some dramatic shows. Expect nothing but a vibrant spectacle of dance, drama, and music because that’s what Moulin Rouge’s cabaret is all about. 

From glitter-soaked costumes to can-can choreographies, Moulin Rouge puts on the kind of performances that makes you understand what the joie vivre stands for. 

Since those cabaret shows are some of the most sought-after things to do in Paris, do some pre-planning and booking.

Experience Pigalle’s hedonistic vibes

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© Christian Mueller / Shutterstock

Naughty but nice, Pigalle is the French version of Amsterdam’s Red Light District with more baguettes and a lovey-dovey vibe. 

Besides the gorgeous residential houses, Pigalle oozes a sex-positive vibe with adult shops, seedy bars, and strip clubs monopolizing its streets. The Parisian quartier makes a fascinating stroll, but not because of the neon-lit streets and hip-decorated cafes. 

Window shopping in Pigalle is one of the best things you can do in Paris – you don’t see dozens of Tour Eiffel-shaped dildos on one street every day.

Hop on a Seine night cruise

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© pisaphotography / Shutterstock

There is no better way to see Paris’ nighttime grandeur than on a Seine cruise. Often overlooked, night cruises in the City of Love for things to do in Paris – especially when you want to stuff as many attractions as possible within 36 hours. 

Depending on the cruise you hop on, the checkpoints might differ – but Eiffel Tower, Hotel de Ville, and Notre Dame are staples. Should we also mention that champagne glasses, chef delicacies, and finger-licking desserts are part of the picture?

Take a dip in Piscine Pontoise

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© ParisSharing / Wikimedia Commons

Be it a summer day or mid-winter, the art-deco Piscine Pontoise is the go-to spot for a pre-dinner swim.

Heated and open year-round until midnight, the indoor pool is one of the most peculiar – yet oddly satisfying – things that you can do in Paris. It might be because of the vintage decor that makes you feel like you’re swimming inside the Palace of Versailles. 

Registered as a historical monument, Piscine Pontoise welcomes athletes, swimmers, and tourists looking for a midnight dip.

Shop ‘til you drop on Champs-Elysées

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© zxvisual / Shutterstock

Your Paris experience is complete with a shopping tour of the iconic Champs-Elysees.

While most tourists shun the fashion avenue because most shops tend to be high-end – Dior, Chanel, and everything that most would label unaffordable – the French version of Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive has something for everyone. Mass market stores like Zara, Nike, and Yves Rocher are also part of the avenue. 

Most shops close after 10 PM, which gives you plenty of time to swing from one tree to another and take coffee breaks in between, as the boulevard is filled with boutique cafes.

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