Here's a bubble you won't want to pop... Pop-up club La Bulle is a dream come true for techno lovers. Handmade by a crafty group of party animals, this hypnotising plastic bubble shows up every now and again in different locations around Paris. The venue’s ever-growing following of Facebook friends await the next announcement with baited breath, and more and more big names are looking to hire out the playful venue. Exciting and unique, La Bulle is a crazy space whose explosive house and techno nights vanish as quickly as they show up.
La Scène Bastille has been done up and re-launched by the same group behind the Panic Room bar, and is now the Badaboum. Inside there’s a fashionably simple retro-industrial look, a new sound system that makes the light-strewn ceiling shake, a restaurant and cocktail/tapas bar open to all from 7pm, and a secret room upstairs with a bachelor pad allure. Altogether, the Badaboum has succeeded in giving new life to the space. We like the reasonable prices, the high-class ambiance, and the intimate, intense gigs in the 350-person concert space, its stage almost at crowd level. Nights kick off with gigs from emerging pop-rock artists, then comes clubbing with a good range of French and international techno DJs.
If you want to party through the night and into the day, then head to Concrete. Once every two weeks, the boat is open on Friday and Saturday nights, and on alternate weekends is open from 7am on a Sunday until 2am the next morning. Dress well as the bouncers are a little picky and the usual crowd is dressed to the nines. People go to Concrete for a sensational night of dancing to world-famous techno artists or emerging Parisian DJs: this spot has something of Berlin about it – and we like it.
Spreading its wicker chairs across a cute riverside terrace located beneath the Pont Alexandre III, Faust's outdoor bar jostles with its neighbours Le Flow and En Attendant Rosa for the attention of the moneyed and trendy. It’s a rather high-end affair: champagne, rosé and fashionable dress are the order of the day, even if the diner-inspired cuisine won’t set you back too much (€12 for a cheeseburger with coleslaw; less for a side salad or cheesecake).Inside, things get even fancier. A restaurant, a nightclub and a performance space jostle for your money in an impressive 700-metre-square venue. The brainchild of Iranian businessman Addy Bakhtiar, who also set up Showcase just across the river, Faust offers a bit of everything: fashion shows, gigs, educational programmes, conferences and club nights are all hosted. It's all rather classy and errs on the side of the mainstream. Hip hop and electro fill the club, whose walls are composed of pixellated tiles that light up in time with the beat. The restaurant, meanwhile, is an ever-so-slightly soulless brasserie that serves up quality steaks, seafood and cocktails at dear prices.On balance, Faust is a promising venue in an attractive setting. With Bakhtiar's backing, we hope it can transcend the hype to become something truly special.
Although you’ll find Eko down the rue Saint-Fiacre, at Paris’s very centre, the experience at hand is anything but French. Parisian events team Blank took over the (ex-synagogue, ex-data centre) venue in October 2014, bringing the venue to life in its latest Japanese transfiguration. Playing crowd-pleasing house music or techno, Eko combines a saké bar, karaoke cabins and a series of felted neon lights, creating an ambiance similar to what you might expect to find on a night out in Tokyo.
If summer is the season of raves in parks and (faux-)beach parties, winter is a time for trendy clubs with slamming sound systems. Which is where Monseigneur comes in. Situated between Place de Clichy and Gare Saint-Lazare, this venue comes housed in a converted Russian cabaret from the ’30s that fits up to 400 fashionably clad ravers. Its stated mission? To host 'warm, ultra-festive events'. What that means in practice is a satisfying programme of house, techno, disco and hip hop nights, with the added bonus of cheapish drinks. Make sure to pay a visit before winter is out.
Can’t find the younger crowd in the Marais? It must be a Saturday when the Doctor Love party is in full swing. Located in the Club Haussmann, the monthly party is the it place among trendy and generally attractive twenty to thirtysomethings from all over the world, with a healthy mix of French, English and many other European languages floating around. Though trendy, the party’s organiser Mylène, a doctor by day, tries successfully to make the place feel like home, taking photos of attendees while making the rounds. She’s also the one who chooses the theme and often extravagant décor for each individualized soirée. The spacious dance floor is overlooked by a balcony, with bars on both floors. House and pop music blare through the speakers, but it’s easy enough to carry on a conversation upstairs. The dance floor (and coat check) get crowded by 1am, so get there early if you’re not on a list and prepare for a bit of queuing. Need more reason to arrive early? Entry before 12.30am is €15, €20 after, but always with a drink included. You’ll need at least one if you’re going to be dancing until 6AM.