Paris has its fair share of super fancy, expensive bars. However, when living there for five months, I managed to scope out the underground, lesser-known bars in the city of love. Here, the cocktails are marginally cheaper, but the atmosphere is buzzing and exciting, as you tend to be surrounded by in-the-know Parisians.
Experimental Cocktail Club
This is probably the most famous bar on this list, however I’ve found that many people aren’t aware that there is an Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris (there’s one in London, and in a couple of other cities). This bar is a speakeasy style, and they make cocktails to measure, so you can tell the barman what your favourite flavours/ingredients are and they will rustle something up that you’re sure to love. The crowd here is far less student-y than many other bars in Paris, which makes it feel more chic, however the atmosphere retains its relaxing, chilled-out vibe.
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris
Le Perchoir Marais
I ended up visiting this bar quite a few times during my stint in Paris. Whenever anyone came to visit me, I would end up taking them here as I think Le Perchoir offers some of the most incredible views of the city, including the breath-taking Eiffel Tower. The interior is reminiscent of an après-ski bar, making it feel really cosy. Bear in mind that it gets incredibly busy towards the end of the week and on weekends, so be prepared to queue. However, it’s worth it for the views you’ll encounter once you get in! Also, it is a little hidden off a side-street, and the entrance is through the BHV, so if you’re confused, don’t worry – you’re in the right place!
33 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
This is another speakeasy style small bar, which is fronted as a taco restaurant. It is really funky and their cocktails are incredibly well thought-out.
52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
This was another of my go-to bars in Paris, as it is really large so, even when it’s incredibly busy, there will be somewhere for you to sit/stand, and it isn’t ridiculously expensive. The only potential downside of this night-time spot is that it gets really hot in the summer. However, it’s a great place to head to if you’re going as a big group and want space to chat in small groups. You have to go through an unmarked door to get in, but there will be someone outside who ushers you through – it all adds to the atmosphere!
80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
Little Red Door
I only managed to go to this bar a couple of times as I discovered it at the very end of my Paris stint, but it’s a really cool bar. It is speakeasy style again, but the menu is really original: it is just pieces of art, with little description of what the cocktail actually is, meaning you’re totally surprised when you get it. But don’t let that put you off – the cocktails are incredible, and the alcohol is fantastic quality.
60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
This is another really original idea – the bar is speakeasy style and is set in the back of a building that appears like a launderette. The only thing giving it away is the queue you’ll encounter if you decide to head here on a weekend. It could fail and just feel gimmicky, but the atmosphere inside is really buzzy and fun – mostly locals who know their way around Paris, making you feel more secure in your cool bar choice.
30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris
I hope this list helps you with your itinerary for your Parisian trip – let me know if you have any other recommendations that I haven’t mentioned!