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The ten best summer terraces in Paris

These ten brilliant outdoor terraces provide the ideal location to while away the summer evenings in Paris

À La Folie © Pascal Montary

Paris Plages is well known for lining the Seine with sand and deckchairs during the summer months, but there are plenty of other permanent venues across the capital that come into their own when the sun comes up. Sure, Paris is by no means short of bar terraces, but it can be hard to avoid the crowds in the warmer weather. So that’s why we’ve come up with a list of the top ten best non-touristy spots to enjoy a drink or two in the open air from June through to September (or maybe even October, if you’re lucky).

Recommended: Paris’s best parks and gardens

The 10 most idyllic outdoor bars in Paris

Café Odilon

Move northwards from the busier Jaures area of the Canal de l’Ourcq, and you’ll find a calm little spot where you can enjoy an idyllic view of the Quai de la Marne. Café Odilon opened its doors at the end of April 2016, just in time for the summer, during which customers will be able to enjoy a generously ratio-ed spritz (or two) in the neo-vintage interior and bask in the sunshine that pours through the large bay windows...

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19th arrondissement

La Sardine

Critics' choice

Never was a bar more aptly named: this quaint café-resto, tucked away on place Sainte-Marthe, gets extremely packed. Expect to get fairly intimate with your fellow patrons here, rubbing arms with your neighbours and unavoidably eavesdropping on their conversations. La Sardine’s popularity has something to do with its location on Place Sainte-Marthe, Belleville’s answer to a village square, with a relaxing, tree-shaded terrace and hardly any passing traffic...

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10th arrondissement

Restaurant Edgar

Critics' choice

Paris’s ‘Little Egypt’, a tiny area outlined by the Rue d’Alexandrie, the Passage du Caire and the Rue du Nil, has a new centre of gravity: the restaurant at the Hôtel Edgar, with its big terrace looking out over a shady square. Here, you can catch some sun over briskly-served drinks, including cocktails. Inside, by some sleight of hand, designer Guillaume Rouget has turned the former textiles workshop into a swanky, hedonistic refuge...

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Bonne nouvelle

À la Folie

This gigantic fire-engine red bar with its huge terrace fits in well with the rest of the Parc de la Villette’s gaudy architecture. Set between imposing trees in the 19th arrondissement park, this colourful enormo-bar exudes a trendy atmosphere redolent of a Berlin beer garden, but drinks prices are unfortunately Paris standard (€6.50 a pint, €7 after 10pm). Still, the excellent tapas (€4-€12) and kebabs (€8-€18) go down much better than a sticky late-night currywurst...

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19th arrondissement

Le Relais de la Butte

This charming hotel-restaurant with its menu of expensive terroir dishes isn’t really designed for the average Parisian, but more for tourists avid for a bit of Montmartre glamour. The venue obviously uses its privileged location to put up the prices: right at the top of the Montmartre hill, its big terrace with 20 or so tables is next to a narrow paved street, facing a boundless view of northern Paris and the suburbs...

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Montmartre

Café Charlot

Critics' choice

The Café Charlot is one of the most lovely old-school cafés in the Marais, thanks to its magnificent old-fashioned bakery shop front with intact wrought iron and its retro ambiance, which has seduced the local hipsters who come to sun themselves on its lovely terrace on the corner just opposite the Enfants Rouges market. Inside, large round leather benches match the old fashioned counter, while wooden paneling and wine bottles in perfect alignment give it an authentic air...

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The Marais

SUNSET

A large heated terrace, an immense, sociable bar space and a cosy backroom make SUNSET a buzzing and versatile hangout, perfect for a date or a birthday party. Behind the bar, friendly staff put together a wide range of original cocktails like the house Red Sunset (vodka, brut champagne, peach and grapefruit bitters, peach liqueur, lime, fresh mint), which is beautifully fragrant and fruity. The wine list is short yet very carefully curated, and features quite a few organic bottles...

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Aux Folies

Critics' choice

A Belleville drinker’s institution, never empty of local youth imbibing black coffee with their afternoon papers or kicking off the evening with an aperitif or five. The Folies is named after an 18th-century watering hole at the gates of Paris, in then then-rural quarter of Courtille, famous for the annual debauches of the city carnival. Today, the outlook is a little less bucolic – the rows of vines have been replaced by winding streets, but the area still packs a distinct buzz...

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Belleville

Au Général Beuret

Critics' choice

Tucked away on a lovely square in the 15th, Au Général Beuret shines with all the proud distinction of the 19th-century brigadeer it's named after. Quite literally: upon entering, your eyes will be momentarily dazzled by the gleaming neon-lined bar. Once they've adjusted, you'll discern a bustling brasserie decked out in superhero décor and abuzz with friendly locals...

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15th arrondissement

Le Carillon

Critics' choice

A run-down, rustic aesthetic rules in this canal-side café-bar. Simple wooden tables sit alongside dilapidated sofas, on which a cool crowd sit tapping away on their MacBooks in the day and sipping cocktails in the evening. The relaxed vibe, carried by smooth jazz on the stereo – and sometimes live jazz in the evenings – all stays on the right side of insufferably hipster, preserving much of the character of a charming old watering hole...

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Canal Saint Martin

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