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Theatres and music venues in Bastille

Beyond the imposing Opéra venue, the Bastille live scene is full of mini theatres and lively jazz and rock clubs

© Olivia Rutherford

The Bastille Opéra which looms imposingly over the Bastille roundabout is one of the best theatrical venues in the capital and far outsizes anything else in the area. But that’s not to say there isn’t much else to discover: cosy jazz clubs, rock bars and smaller theatres abound. See below for our pick of the best.

The best theatre and music venues in Bastille

La Loge


In a hidden courtyard (reminiscent of Swiss chalets) off rue de Charonne, the 100-seater La Loge offers performances that merge theatre, dance and music.  Every summer, the “Summer of Loge” festival invites eight theatre companies for performances, followed by post-show festivities that have previously included pyjama parties and concerts. The rest of the year, from Tuesday to Thursday, there are two shows a night, at 7pm and at 9pm...

11th arrondissement

La Mécanique Ondulatoire


The Bastille area is well known as a haunt of rock fans, and La Mécanique Ondulatoire [the wave machine] is a fantastic bazaar of retro souvenirs and vintage furniture spread over two floors. On the ground floor, a stunning wall of every imaginable alcohol gives you an idea of the well-priced cocktails concocted here. Downstairs, there are DJs and rock, ska, punk and metal gigs (even on Sundays, sometimes)...


Opéra Bastille

It is never going to be a beautiful building, but when the restoration of the falling fascia tiles is completed, it may at least become a safe one. The unfinished salle modulable, the unflattering acoustics and the miles of corridors combine to create an atmosphere more akin to an airport than an opera house, but the standard of performance is what matters and the Bastille looks set for some exciting evenings under new director Nicolas Joel...

12th arrondissement

Ateliers de Charonne


This spanking new jazz club is the place to see the rising stars of gypsy jazz (jazz manouche). If you want to grab a good spot near the front of the stage, reserve for dinner and the show...

11th arrondissement

Le Motel


Squirreled away in an alleyway near the Bastille, Le Motel is the ideal hangout for fans of hip electro-pop-rock. The very friendly staff serve explosive cocktails like the Vodka-Tatin (apple and cinnamon flavoured, like the tart), the Joe (vodka and watermelon) or the Leon des Bois (vodka, lime, strawberry and mint), and the cheese and charcuterie boards are half price during happy hour (6pm-9pm)...




The China is a chic Asian bar-restaurant and gig venue whose exotic décor seems inspired by a 1930s Shanghai colonial club. With padded leather Chesterfield sofas, red walls, dark wood panelling and a black and white checkerboard floor, the shadowy warmth of this lounge is in the best tradition of a British gentleman’s club. Behind a splendid chrome counter, discreet staff prepare distinguished cocktails, like the Hemingway...

Eastern Paris