I’m still mooning over our Parisian adventure from last month, and these photos make me ridiculously happy. AHHHH FRANCE! Paris is particularly magical at night, and it’s no surprise that the City of Lights is a glittering and charming treasure trove to explore once the sun goes down. In the summer, the sun doesn’t completely set until nearly 10:30 or 11pm, but the winter means that by 5pm, you’re plunged into the night so you better the make the most of it as it can still be prime sight-seeing time. Despite that early sunset, we still managed to get the most out of each and every day. Here’s a few favorite ways to pass an evening in Paris.
MONTMARTRE IN THE GOLDEN HOUR
Start your evening at sunset (check the weather app for an approximation so you’ve got enough time to get there for the show) up on the hill at Montmartre. The view over the city is always delightful, but there’s something especially romantic about watching the sun dip over the Eiffel Tower and all those famed Parisian rooftops.
We hopped into Sacre-Coeur for a quick walk-through; it’s one of my favorite churches in Paris. The mosaic illustrations of Jesus are especially beautiful to me. I also recommend wandering the streets of this dreamy corner of Paris. Yes, it’s touristy in places, but overall it feels far less seedy than it did when I was a student here.
We had dinner in a corner cafe and we totally splurged on raclette, which was worth every last cheese-laden calorie. Perfect for a cold night, raclette involves a giant wheel of cheese, a tabletop broiler, and plenty of bread, veggies, potatoes, et al in which to slather said cheese upon.
The lovely Maison Rose at twilight.
LA GRANDE DAME HERSELF, LA TOUR EIFFEL
Of course, the Eiffel Tower is particularly magical in the evening, especially once it starts to twinkle every hour, on the hour as night falls. There’s simply nothing else like it on the planet.
MUSEE DU LOUVRE by NIGHT
My newest favorite way to visit the Louvre is to take advantage of the evening hours that only happen once per week. On Wednesdays, the museum is open til 9, and it’s a fantastic way to hit the highlights (especially if you’ve been before) with significantly lesser crowds. We loved exploring Napoleon III’s apartments – those chandeliers! – as it felt particularly awe-inspiring all lit up.
Overall the effect is moody and mysterious — don’t miss the room with the French crown jewels (or, what’s left of them).
CRUISE THE SEINE & REAL ESTALK YOUR NEXT PARISIAN APARTMENT
In all the times I’ve visited Paris, I still love taking a river boat cruise. There is no better way to see the city, and I’m partial to the nighttime one, if only for the sparkling Eiffel Tower and the bright lights of the boats shining on couples making out along the side of the river (haha). In winter, bundle up in all your things because it’s gonna be frigid along the water. It’s always in multiple languages, and it’s a great way to spend an hour.
WINDOW SHOP AVENUE MONTAIGNE & CHAMPS-ELYSEES
After your bateaux-mouches tour, you can easily walk up Avenue Montaigne and windowshop along the high end boutiques. You’ll finally arrive at the Champs-Elysees, and if you time it right, you can pop into Laduree before they close for an evening macaron treat. Bonus: no lines!