The northern areas of Paris are not particularly known for their wild party culture, but there are some hidden gems I want to share. Certainly, the mainstream club culture in the parisian suburbs is quite managable and the “Periph” doesn’t offer the quantity of bars and clubs like Paris centre – but you should absolutely try a night out at the following hot spots.
If you’re looking for some quality time, here you go for my very personal list of favourite locations to spend a night out in the North of Paris: Pigalle, Saint-Ouen, Aubervilliers and Nanterre offer you some fine electronic music, concerts of all sizes and trendy bars.
Nightlife in Pigalle
It might not look like it at first sight, but this is a quite hip bar. It’s perfect to squeeze in for an aperitif and just right to stay until all night. Happy hour’s always, including some yummy snacks. The furniture comes right out of the flea market and a huge chandelier is giving the beautiful space just the right light.
This kind of “brasserie” is very much a style leader, attracting all kinds of people from in-the-know tourists to fashionable Parisians. It has also a small seating area outside. The busy bar comes with some DJ decks, so count on good music at the weekends. Then you can easliy stay into the early hours, but it’s actually the most handy pre-club rendezvous to party in northern Paris. Therefore it’s no surprise that this bar is also the landmark for all spectators of the shows at the “Divan du Monde” that is located just opposite.
La Fourmi – 74 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris
After a drink in the seriously cool Fourmi on the opposite of the road, you can simply pop over to the Divan. The venue offers some one-off parties but also a bunch of regular events. The area upstairs specialised in VJ events. Downstairs, you can dive into the heat of dub, reggae, funk and world music club nights.
Le Divan – 75 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris
“The machine of the Moulin Rouge” is a three-floor venue that unites a comfy bar, a top club and a fancy live scene.
First: The bar “Le Bar à Bulles” is one of the most charming locations to grab a drink in Pigalle, especially outside on the green terrace. Second: If it’s about dancing, the main club is calling: The bouncing Central. The main hall hosts a wide range of concerts and club nights. This venue is a quite precious piece of party culture and offers one of the major dancefloor in the parisian nightlife. So – unsurprinsingly – nearly all big names of the electronic music scene were already performing at this venue: Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier, Four Tet, Moodymann, Marcel Dettmann, Modeselektor, Diplo, Paul Kalkbrenner, Peaches, Skrillex, James Holden …YOU NAME ‘EM! They played it all.
And if you can’t take the heat inside the central machine, just jump back on the terrace to get some fresh air or switch the floor… as it remains: La Chaufferie. Last but not least, the concert hall is hosting established and new talents. It used to be the Moulin Rouge’s boiler room. There even remain some old pipes but here it’s usually all about the acts. Since its makeover, the new Alice in Wonderland-style decor is quite the special glimpse that was added to make this a perfect location.
La Machine – 90 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris
Subculture in Saint-Ouen and Aubervilliers
The beautiful piece of community called “Mains d’Œuvres” is just perfect in its cultural diversity: The project was born from the desire to transmit the joy of creation betweet each other and to feel and create our society together. Here you surely will find the time and space to explore innovative artistic forms: Exhibitions, concerts, shows and of course… Parties.
Mains d’Œuvres – 1 Rue Charles Garnier, 93400 Saint-Ouen
But there is more …
At the crossroad of Paris, Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers you will find: La Station. This venue is a convivial, festive and kind of an event-laboratory. The musical scene is based on the remains of a disused coal station. The ephemeral ambiance of this industrial zone is a perfect example for urban subculture in northern Paris. It ambiance lies somewhere between festival scene and open air club. During summer season the open air events of La Station are an absolute must-try.
To find this treasure planted at the edge of a ring road, let me give you a little help: If you come from the tram stop Porte d’Aubervilliers, walk towards the ring road. Once the périphérique has been crossed, head towards the red signs (Raboni et Loxam) and take the small path on your left. Destination reached when you here music.
La Station – 29 Avenue de la Porte d’Aubervilliers, 75018 Paris
Open Air clubbing in Nanterre
Placed on former wasteland, La Ferme du Bonheur is a cultural community and an urban farm. It’s a space for reflection on Man and Earth, a place of research, experimentation and action. Here, the chance are good to experience the fundamental links between agriculture, culture and social life. So, this urban farm practices culture and arts in any imaginable form: theater, music, dance, plastic arts, cinema and so on. But its activities and reflections also concern urban planning, agriculture, ecology or social action. Time to cheers to that!
Thus, there are some beautiful open air parties: Well known to the students of the neighbouring university, the Ferme du Bonheur is a pleasant space of freedom in the excess of reality. This is the spirit of a meltingpot like Paris Hauts-de-Seine. And somewhow it’s perfection.
The group Electro d’Bal invites during the summer season regularly to join parties during daytime, usually from 4 pm to midnight. For some sunny hours, this magical place will make you forget any trouble. The programming, however, is not less exciting than the lineup of traditional clubs in Paris. A short selection: Katapult, La Mamie’s or the excellent Kiblind magazine recently organized some events. A tiny paradise that is living from precious evenings and chunky music. ❤
La Ferme – 220 Avenue de la République, 92000 Nanterre
This was not enough? For more recent party updates check our Facebook Page!