5 Unmissable Midnight Strolls To Take in Paris
When approaching this subject of unmissable midnight strolls to take in Paris I was overcome with the intense notion that it would be far simpler to condense a list of places not to stroll in Paris at midnight.
Somehow in both the light of day and the dead of night, the French capital remains one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and even the most mundane of streets become the epitome of romance through which to stroll.
While in Paris you’ll come to recognize certain neighborhoods and streets from Hollywood films where actors stroll through the city, basking in all its glory. Midnight in Paris and Paris, I Love You are examples of this owing much dialogue exchange and profession of the narrative to important walks from A to B by key characters.
To recreate your own midnight in Paris (ha!) here are five unmissable strolls to take in different parts of the city.
1. Any Bank of the Seine River in Paris
The Seine River is an entity that runs right through the (almost) center of Paris. It separates the Left Bank from the Right and provides and alternate form of transportation through the city.
Not all of Paris’ arrondissement’s are touched by the Seine, but those that are reap the benefits of having this body of water so close by.
Branching off of the Seine are also canals; the Canal Saint-Martin being the most famous, and largest one, running through the north-eastern parts of the city.
No matter where you are in Paris, you are never too far from the Seine. The horseshoe shape of the river makes sure of this.
Midnight strolling along the banks of the Seine may currently be something you’ve only dreamed about thanks to the many Hollywood films that made use of this visual. The truth is the walk is just as dreamy in real life, especially if you pass through the central districts such as the 1st or 4th arrondissements (Read more about Discover walking tours).
2. The Bois de Vincennes in Paris
Situated on the far eastern boundary of the Parisian city boarders, the Bois de Vincennes is known to the locals as one of the lungs of Paris.
It is the largest public park in the city and is estimated to be double the size of New York’s Central Park — that’s big.
I recently learned that the Bois de Vincennes is open to the public 24 hours a day. This was welcome information while looking for a suitable place to go stargazing in the dead of night in Paris — the glare of the city lights makes this a difficult task, so heading further east becomes the only option.
Strolling through the Vincennes Park at midnight is a transportive experience; you could quite literally be anywhere in the world. The dense nature and quiet ambiance lets you forget you’re actually in the midst of a bustling city scape and tourist hub of the world.
3. Rue des Rosiers in Paris
The Rue des Rosiers is one of the most famous roads in Paris; it runs through the trendy neighborhood of Le Marais and is always busy.
This part of town, and road specifically, is considered the Jewish hub of Paris. The street is filled with kosher places to eat and synagogues. More than this, it is an exciting place to shop and find other interesting cuisines such as traditional Lebanese, Moroccan and Tunisian.
By day the Rue des Rosiers can be a bit of a logistical nightmare, particularly if you don’t enjoy crowds or long queues. This is a pity because the neighborhood of Le Marais is incredibly beautiful; think cobble stone roads and charming old buildings.
When I’m in the mood for a midnight stroll with just the moon I head here and bask in the complete desolation that the middle of the night brings to the Rue des Rosiers.
I won’t say the street is entirely empty, you’re almost sure to encounter a few couples or individuals doing the same thing you are — but it’s nowhere near the chaos that the light of day holds. The many free guided walking tours that go through this area are at the brunt of most of the blame!
4. The Louvre Gardens in Paris
Walking past the Louvre Museum at any time of day is a worthwhile thing to do. The garden and pavilion area directly behind the exit, however, is where you need to be at midnight.
The Louvre is another Parisian attraction that can be incredibly chaotic during daylight hours. By night, the gardens that lead one from the museum back into the rest of the 1st arrondissement can be strolled in peace — the best part being the Eiffel Tower gleaming in the distance.
It’s a breathtaking walk; there are also ample benches along the way where you can stop to take in the entirety of the view and the senses of the night.
5. Streets Up to Sacré-Cœur in Paris
This last midnight stroll was one I repeatedly said I wanted to do but never got round to it; walking the hill streets of Montmartre all the way up to the Sacré-Cœur steps to see the city skyline by night.
I finally got round to it, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve done in this city.
Paris by night is something out of a dreamworld, but it can be difficult to find places that let you view the scape so late in the evening. Places like the Montparnasse Tower and Pompidou Center close their doors once the sun sets, so getting high enough to view the skyline isn’t an option.
No need to start this stroll too far down the hill; you don’t want to be close to Pigalle as it will take a bit too long. My advice is to take the metro into the Anvers station and stroll up directly from there.