An evening in Paris – 4 ideas to make it sparkle

Posted on 7th May 2019. In European Weekends, France, Romantic.


PARIS, France – You’ve arrived by Eurostar to a wintery City of Light. It’ll be getting dark in a few hours so you just want a quiet evening in Paris; to get to know it a little better before you explore properly tomorrow.

Here then, to help, is how I spent my first afternoon and evening in Paris. Be warned, as it starts to get dark you will be perfectly safe, but your heart – it won’t be…


View towards Notre Dame in Paris

Take in the extraordinary gothic wonders

In English, Notre Dame de Paris translates to ‘Our Lady of Paris’. And when you get inside, it’s no surprise why she holds such appeal. Colour rains down from the impressive stain-glass windows whilst, overhead, the eye-watering high-vaulted central nave almost touches heaven.


Prestige Saint-Germain-des-Près is near Notre Dame

Statue de Charlemagne outside Notre Dame Paris

group of people outside Notre Dame looking up

Silence sign in Notre Dame Cathedral

Candles flickering in Notre Dame Paris

Stain glass window in the shadows in Notre Dame

Statues inside Notre Dame with stain glass window

Candelabra lit inside Notre Dame Paris

Gates in Notre Dame casting beautiful shadows

Inside of Notre Dame Cathedral at night


It’s free entry into Notre-Dame up until 6:45pm on a weekday and you can easily spend 2 hours marvelling at its stain-glass wonders. Remember to head around the back of Notre-Dame to see Jean Ravy’s spectacular flying buttresses.

Getting to Notre-Dame: From Gare du Nord, take the metro to St. Michael Notre-Dame (it’s the blue line – line 2).


A beautiful stain glass window in Notre Dame Cathedral


Rest up with vin chaud and famous bells

When the sky deepens to a navy night, head across the road from Notre-Dame to one of the cafés (there are plenty to choose from) and grab a vin chaud (hot wine) to warm your November cockles and ogle Notre-Dame’s chimières (gargoyles).




vin chaud in paris!

Drinking hot wine outside Notre Dame

the side of Notre Dame at night

Outside Notre Dame at night


Don’t drink too fast, you have to stick around for the tolling of the Notre-Dame bells – on the hour, every hour.

Best place to hear them: The Parvis Notre-Dame (the main square in front of the cathedral); it twinkles with visitors and kissing couples when the bells peal.


The empty square outside notre dame at night

Looking up at a lit Notre Dame at night - front view


Your wish is my command: Listen to Notre-Dame’s bells now


One of the towers of Notre Dame lit up at night

Wet cobbles outside Notre Dame at night

A plaque inside Notre Dame cathedral at night

Take a walk and spend a night outside the museum 

Head across the Pont Notre-Dame and meander along the Seine. Walk towards the Quai Des Tuileries and the Musée du Louvre.

It’s a fair way – about 20 minutes or so, but the Seine at night, with its lights and laughter bouncing off the water, makes the journey absolutely worthwhile.




By the Seine at night


When you reach Musée du Louvre I challenge you not to gasp – this former palace is architectural porn for a Renaissance-lover.

And in the dark the buildings are even more impressive; shadows cover courtyards and creep down columns, whilst couples whisper sweet nothings into the nuit.


Night at the Louvre Gallery

the ouside of the Louvre Gallery at night

statue outside louvre gallery at night


Say ‘bonne nuit’ with a jazzy bellini

As the hours grower later, Paris sparkles even brighter. But if you’re aching for your bed head for a quiet nightcap: make your way across the Pont Royal and down the Quai Voltaire towards the Pont Neuf.

Just opposite this bridge, you’ll find a handful of St-Germain-des-Prés’s bars, bustling with locals and tourists alike.

For a soothing spot try the Selective Art Kafe on 9, rue Dauphine.


inside the Art Kafe in Paris

the inside of Art Kafe in Paris


This French gallery come piano bar serves delicious Italian food and wicked bellinis. It also comes with a side of seriously mellow atmosphere.

Be warned: the drinks aren’t cheap but, if you’re only having one, it’s ideal for bidding your first day in Paris “au revoir”.


Enjoying the hospitality at Art Kafe Paris

Art Kafe in Paris

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