Photography by Max BTL

The best live music venues in Paris, from techno to jazz

Last updated: April 5, 2024

A local DJ shares the inside track on where to experience live music in Paris, from experimental jazz clubs to all-night techno and French disco house

Over the last couple of decades, music lovers have decried Paris for turning into a museum city with clubs and venues getting squeezed out of their freshly gentrified neighbourhoods by noise averse residents and local authorities trying to upkeep the capital’s postcard image. However, Paris is still burning with nomadic events and hot spots emerging inside and out the Périphérique ring road. Nightclubs typically stay open until 5 or 6am, making Paris perfectly suited for a proper night out. For those starting early, check out one of the city’s best cocktail bars, and bed down after in one of Paris’s leading boutique hotels.

From hidden jazz bars in former railway stations to rave warehouses on the outskirts of the city, these are the best clubs and venues in Paris, and what to see when you get there.

The best live music venues in Paris | Baisér Salé jazz club
Baisér Salé jazz club

The best jazz clubs in Paris

Paris has historically nurtured jazz: great artists like Miles Davis and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins have called the city home for a time. To get into the swing of things, head to rue des Lombards just off Les Halles/ Rivoli for classic cabaret venues like the mythical Duc des Lombards or Baisér Salé. Both welcome big names from Australia to Argentina as well as local talent.

Up in the 19th arrondissement sits one of the most exciting and experimental venues to have emerged in recent years: La Gare, a converted train station on Paris’ disused Petite Ceinture (small belt) railway, where local jazz acts and established artists come to play in the station’s old hall to an intimate crowd. It is a wonderfully welcoming space, but expect to get called out for talking “louder than a whisper”. La Gare works on a pay as you feel entry system to keep its concerts as accessible as possible. If you fancy some underground experimental techno later, then head to their basement club Le Gore, which is open most nights.

The best live music venues in Paris | Point ÉphémèreThe best live music venues in Paris | Point Éphémère
Point Éphémère, situated along the canal, is a multi-use exhibition, art and music space that hosts indie nights

The best clubs in Paris

The Rex Club on Grands Boulevards has long been a Parisian fundamental. Situated under the glamorous art deco cinema Le Grand Rex, Rex Club has seen the city through the disco and new wave eras and can welcome 700 people to its dancefloor. It draws pleasantly unpretentious crowds eager to dance to their excellent soundsystem. Among the Rex’s resident DJs are electronic darlings Chloé, Ivan Smagghe and Miley Serious.

In the East, La Bellevilloise was originally a 19th-century workers’ cooperative, and today hosts concerts, club nights, film screenings and art exhibitions. The club is situated below ground and is a great place to indulge in some exciting and sweaty shape pulling at its Latin Carnaval or classics only hip hop night. Indie lovers should also check out who is playing next door at La Maroquinerie’s 495 capacity underground pit. Just mind you don’t get stuck behind one of the giant square columns that support the building if you want to see anything. Foals took this place down in 2012 – the crowd was like boiling water in a pan.

Over in Pigalle, La Machine du Moulin Rouge (next to the Moulin Rouge theatre) hosts nights ranging from hip hop heavy SSSOUND to Paris’s coolest lesbian night Wet For Me curated by Barbi(e)turix across its three dancefloors.

Point Éphémère, situated along the canal, is a multi-use exhibition, art and music space that hosts small indie nights. The low stage makes it feel as if you’re dancing directly with the artists, if they haven’t jumped into the audience already.

Up for some afrobeat or latin-flavoured rhythms to showcase your dance moves? Cabaret Sauvage is a permanent circus-shaped venue in the middle of La Villette park, replete with carved wooden pillars and theatrical drapes across the ceiling. It was voted the most inclusive venue in 2023 and hosts a huge array of genres.

Keeping to La Villette, which is a great area for music venues generally, A La Folie is a renovated fast food restaurant where a graphic neon dance floor and bar area is offset by an expansive beer garden. The venue hosts a regular drag bingo event and the revered queer techno party “Mustang”.

The best live music venues in Paris | Le Centquatre
Le Centquatre

Mixed media

Over the last decade a number of venues have risen to accommodate concerts that incorporate avant-garde exhibitions as well as voguing, ballroom and dance off events. Check out the programming at La Gaité Lyrique, an ornate 19th-century building in central Paris off boulevard Sebastopol, which ranges from Carly Rae Jepsen to drone metal trio Sunn O))). In the 19th arrondissement, multi-facetted Le Centquatre is a former municipal undertakers composed of two 270 m long canopied halls (and also listed as one of our best places to co-work in Paris for its all-day cafe and workspaces). It was turned into an art centre in 2003 with projection rooms and concert venues and welcomes 200 artists in residence. You can catch people practising their dance moves in the halls, potter around the restaurants and bookshops and attend concerts, as well as work during the day. In 2024, Le Centquatre is welcoming Les Inrocks Festival by French culture magazine Les Inrocks (formerly Les Inrockuptibles), which will feature The Libertines, Faux Real and Jaakko Eino Kalevi.

Not far from Austerlitz along the River Seine is the architecturally futuristic, neon green facade of Wanderlust, a rooftop club with an outdoor terrace that welcomes ravers, foodies and fashionistas alike. It is situated above La Cité de La Mode et du Design, and its decks are often graced by superstar DJs like Étienne de Crécy or anyone from the roster of French music label Ed Banger Records, and plays host to hip hop nights such as WHATSMYNAME. It’s big, it’s busy (arrive early or late if you don’t like queues), but worth it for a night of dancing with views of the Seine.

The best live music venues in Paris | La Mécanique Ondulatoire
Programming at La Mécanique Ondulatoire


La Mécanique Ondulatoire combines the charm of a dive bar with a good liquor selection, quirky rundown rockabilly decor and a cool cellar setting. DJs usually spin 45s with a penchant for garage rock, punk and psychobilly. Down the road, Supersonic regularly hosts free indie and rock gigs as well as fun themed nights ranging from post punk to indie sleaze. It’s the kind of place you’ll get to see Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes perform an acoustic set or watch local talent like garage rockabilly trio Howlin’ Jaws, Grunge girls Pythies or hardcore punks MSS FRNCE rock out.

The best live music venues in Paris | Kilomètre 25, an ideal spot to to get your rave on especially during the summer
Kilomètre 25. Photography by Max BTL

On the Fringes

If you venture into the suburbs, you’ll uncover hidden spots out of residential earshot yet still accessible from across the city.

La Station-Gare des Mines, another converted train station, offers indoor and outdoor raves in the summer in a warehouse-style setting. Fancy a hyper-pop hip hop night? Try out the club night Promesses, while techno night Spectrum will please the minimal ravers.

Another indoor-outdoor venue, Le Point Fort d’Aubervillier has launched a queer-friendly Dancehall night called La Créole. Staying in the Pantin region, Kilomètre 25, Le Périphérique or Dock B are also ideal spots to to get your rave on especially during the summer. Go west to the edge of the 17th arrondissement for Burning-Man-under-a-motorway vibes at Virage.

East of Paris, Montreuil’s 300 capacity Le Chinois, a former Chinese restaurant that still sports its former look, is one of the hottest spots to party from Thursday to Saturday. Club nights on offer range from vintage rock to salsa with Trap Africa events being particularly good.


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