Top 10 Things To Do On Your Birthday in Paris
To turn another year older in the ever romantic city of lights, how lucky are you?
Even with little money to spend, there are multiple ways to enjoy a birthday in the French capital. Here are ten of the things my friends and I enjoy most whenever someones birthday rolls around; some free, some inexpensive and some you’ll have to budget for (but that’s okay).
1. Attend a Cabaret Show in Paris
I feel like people don’t take advantage of this experience often enough especially if they’ve been in Paris a long time. The spectacle that is cabaret is something we are fortunate to be able to witness in the very city in which it originated.
While the Moulin Rouge in the 18th arrondissement is a consistent option, it is sometimes saturated with tourism . The Crazy Horse on the Right Bank across from the Eiffel Tower is a far more local hangout and a truly impressive showcase to be part of. They are open seven days a week.
2. Spend a Night at the Theatre in Paris
If erotic cabarets aren’t so much your live performance of preference, then a night out at the regular Parisian theatre may be better suited for a birthday outing.
The Théâtre Mogador is the most beautiful theatre in the 9th arrondissement, with the Folies Bergère a close second also in the same district. The Folies Bergère is a great alternative to the erotic cabarets as it is also a musical theatre venue, without the sex and sleaze!
3. Have a Drink at Le Carmen in Paris
34 Rue Duperré
Le Carmen is situated deep inside an old mansion in the south of Pigalle. I don’t have the right words to properly convey just how transportive this space is, nor words for the incredible ambiance that the bar has created.
Like something out of a 1930s mob scene, this dimly lit piano lounge is possibly the coolest venue in all of Paris. Think fine liquor, jazz and blues, good conversation and attention to detail. The word “seduce” comes to mind.
4. Collect French Cuisine Through the Streets of Montmartre in Paris
This is a fun day excursion to do on your birthday with a friend or two. Begin at the bottom of Montmartre hill and make a point of stopping in all of the bakeries, fromageries and chocolate ateliers that catch your eye as you make your way up to the top.
Purchase something different from each one; a baguette from the first, a wheel of cheese from the next, some cranberries if you see any, a bottle of wine near the top, chocolates for dessert.
Once you’ve gathered all your goodies you should be near the summit where you can settle and indulge. Top spots for this spontaneous picnic would be: the Place du Tertre, the I Love You Wall or the grass below the Sacre Coeur.
5. Host an Airbnb Dinner Party in Paris
Sometimes we become so consumed by needing to constantly be out and about in Paris, when staying in is equally as wonderful given the right context.
For your birthday dinner, why not host a dinner party right from the comfort of your Parisian Airbnb. Attempt to cook one of the dishes you’ve been introduced to since arriving in the city and enjoy intimate time with your closest friends over French wine and canapés.
6. Venture Back to the 1920s in Paris
Nothing like a birthday to make you incredibly nostalgic; what better way to ride it out than to venture back to the 1920s in Paris?
The Hemingway Bar is housed inside of the Ritz Hotel over in the 1st arrondissement. This is my personal favorite 1920s escape room on account of there are no windows so you can lose track of time completely.
The Little Red Door in le Marais is a close second. It is a 1920s speakeasy style bar with exposed brick and dim lighting. If you arrive too late you’ll face an immense queue waiting to get in. Get there early or mention to the bouncer than you’ve aged a year and need a drink rapidement!
7. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset Over Paris
Making a point of doing both of these in one day is the best way to get the most out of your birthday time frame.
For sunrise I always recommend heading to the Trocadéro Gardens where you can see the light change behind the Eiffel Tower. It really captures the essence of Paris, you know?
As for a sunset spot, you’re best finding a rooftop terrace or viewing deck from which to perch on. The rooftop at Galeries Lafayette is free to the public and is one of the best panoramic views of the city.
8. Shoot a Polaroid Camera Around Paris
For your birthday in Paris, spoil yourself by purchasing a polaroid camera and full pack of film from any of the tech stores in the shopping districts.
Joining a free guided walking tour on the day will take you through major districts and landmarks around the city. As the day unfolds, have random people take sporadic polaroids of you in front of different sites around the city.
You can even navigate the streets yourself and stop strangers along the way when you feel a photo opportunity has presented itself. By the end of the day you’ll have a pile of at least 10 developed polaroid photographs to commemorate your birthday in the city.
9. Kick Back on the Paris Plages in Paris
If your birthday happens to fall in either July or August, you’re in luck! During these hot summer months the city of Paris constructs artificial beaches along the banks of the Seine for the public to enjoy.
The best ones are usually near the banks by the Notre Dame. The beaches are free to all, however swimming in the Seine is not permitted.
10. Take a Day Trip Out of Paris
Sometimes the best thing to do on your birthday in Paris is to venture out of Paris entirely. Taking a spontaneous day trip out to Deauville is one of the most memorable things to do while in France.
Deauville is the closest beach town to the city and is largely void of all the chaos and congestion that the city centre holds. A truly relaxing birthday that won’t cost more than a train ticket there and back.