Steeped in history and home to high fashion and haute cuisine, Paris is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world to visit. Little wonder then, that it also plays host to some of Europe’s most memorable bars and cafés.
From secret speakeasies to lavish hotel lounges, the City of Light has a little something for everyone. Follow us as we check out some of the best bars in Paris.
EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB
Founded in 2007, ECC was the first in a new wave of Parisian cocktail bars created by Romee de Goriainoff and Pierre-Charles Cros.
With an empire that now includes Beef Club, Fish Club, Prescription Cocktail Club and Curio Parlour, their first speakeasy joint is widely considered to be their best.
ECC is dark and intimate, with a hidden location down an unassuming alleyway. Plush velvet curtains shield the spot from prying eyes, while expert mixologists craft bespoke cocktails for a hip young crowd.
HARRY’S NEW YORK BAR
Said to be the birthplace of classic cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and French 76, Harry’s New York Bar is a Parisian landmark.
First opened in 1911, it was frequented in its prewar years by such literary giants as Hemingway, Sartre and F. Scott Fitzgerald. An American in Paris is said to have been composed in its underground piano bar.
Nowadays, the Opéra-based bar is a tourist hotspot, but it still serves up a mean cocktail and features a range of almost 300 whiskies.
LE BAR, FOUR SEASONS GEORGE V
A Parisian classic, this bar is a place to contemplate life in style over a cognac-infused cocktail.
It’s as impressive as the rest of the Four Seasons George V, with glittering chandeliers, red velvet chairs and the elaborate flower arrangements for which the chain is known.
Not only that – Le Bar also features a tempting ‘snack’ menu, which includes canapés, petit-fours and a George V blue lobster club sandwich.
LE BAR DU PLAZA ATHÈNÈE
Tucked inside a luxurious ‘palace’ hotel, Le Bar du Plaza Athénée is a swanky yet elegant hideaway where an exclusive clientele meets for high-end cocktails in chic surroundings.
This quintessentially Parisian cocktail bar plunges guests into a distinctive and dreamlike atmosphere.
Soothing ambient music and blue lighting mark the Blue Hours, the early evenings at Le Bar when an upscale clientele meets for relaxing drinks. After 10pm, the glass bar begins to glow with vivid red light to mark the Red Hours, with a DJ five nights per week.
THE KLEBER BAR, THE PENINSULA
Situated inside the new Peninsula Hotel, Le Bar Kléber is a beautifully restored salon dating back to La Belle Époque.
High ceilings combine with oak panelling and gold leafing at this spectacular spot, where the agreement that ended the Vietnam War was signed in 1973.
Set to become a favorite with the Parisien elite, the historical bar also features an outdoor terrace with a glass and steel canopy that faces out onto tree-lined Avenue Kléber.
Based in the hip Château d’Eau area, Le Coq is reminiscent of an effortlessly trendy cocktail bar in the East Village.
Co-owned by London mixologist Tony Conigliaro, it is dimly lit and decorated with 70s art, while the likes of Serge Gainsbourg and Fela Kuti grace a playlist of period sounds.
The draw here is a small but impressively curated list of molecular cocktails, featuring everything from native cognacs to liqueur d’ambrette, while the crowd is as cool as Paris gets.
BAR 228, LE MEURICE
The epitome of hotel lounge elegance, Le Meurice’s Bar 228 has been home to bartender extraordinaire William Oliveri for 35 years.
A reimagining of the library at Le Meurice, it features dark wooden panelling, comfy leather armchairs and three imposing Lavalley murals.
The bar has a long history as a favored drinking spot of visiting Brits and the clubby feel creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while still retaining the hotel’s innate French sophistication.
LE GARDE ROBE
One of the city’s hidden gems, Le Garde Robe is a wine bar with a difference: most of the labels here come from biodynamic French vineyards.
Located in the 1st arrondissement, it’s a small and intimate venue that offers expert wine knowledge, friendly service, and fabulous charcuterie and cheese boards to complement your carefully chosen bottles.