Take a walk down the rue Saint Honoré or the Champs-Elysées and any tourist can understand why Paris is one of the world’s most expensive cities. The high cost of living, however, doesn’t hamper nightlife even for the most budget-conscious Parisian.
Like good bread and wine, affordable nights out are abundant if you know where to look. Here are some of our favorite spots for a Cheapo night out:
Music on the waterfront…
10 Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 75019
Overlooking the northern stretch of Paris’s canal, the restaurant 25 Est is known mostly for its large terrace and live music. Happy hour ends around 8 PM, but drinks are not expensive even at normal prices (pints of Stella are €5). Considering the waterside view and local bands, it’s a good deal.
BYOB with a view…
Pont des Arts
Spanning the Seine between the Institut de France and the Louvre
While picnics along the Seine disappear with the setting summer sun, one spot still retains its outdoor atmosphere. The Pont des Arts, the bridge linking the domed Institut de France with the Louvre, is a great “BYOB” experience, weather permitting. Artists hang art and locals break out their guitars, creating the biggest party spanning the Seine. Of course, if it’s raining or too cold, opt for an indoor venue. However, the Pont des Arts is a refreshingly affordable evening with a view throughout the summer and into the late fall.
Late night wine tastings…
6 Rue Dupuis, 75003
“Wine bar” meets “street party” at The Barav, a cozy bar in the ever-hipper Upper Marais. The street is filled with new eateries and bars with clients spilling out into the streets. The Barav’s hip staff pair glasses of wine (€4) with delicious charcuterie or cheese platters (between €6 and €12). A summer concert series at the adjacent town hall keeps live music pumping during summer months.
Corner bistrot concert hall…
10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010
When you spot the overweight mini Dachshund, you know you’ve made it to Chez Adel. A block away from the trendy Canal St-Martin, this tiny neighborhood bar serves up cheap but tasty food and drinks late into the night, and the Dachshund will be glad to pick up any scraps you leave behind. Local musicians, from jazz and zydeco to an Edith Piaf character who serenades tables, bring the place to life. If jazz is your thing, check out our post about one of our favorite Paris jazz lounges.
Cheap and dingy, but still Paris…
46 rue des Lombards, 75001
If a dive bar is more your scene, Paris certainly isn’t lacking. In the Chatelet neighborhood there are plenty of bars geared towards tourists, students, and “happy hour” enthusiasts. The Hideout, with its €2 happy hour, is a little hole in the wall aimed to please bargain hunters. You get what you pay for—a dingy bar, elbow to elbow with other patrons. Its location, however, next to the largest transportation hub in the city center, guarantees a good time with a wild mix of locals and visitors in search of cheap beer.
Looking for gay nightlife? Read our guide to Paris’ gay bars (for the boys).