The City of Light might have first earned its title for its prominence during the Age of Enlightenment, but with its dazzling nighttime illuminations, there are few nicknames more appropriate. Paris was the first city in Europe to introduce streetlamps on its central boulevard, Champs-Elysées, back in 1828, and today, as the sun sets over the French capital, the city transforms, with hundreds of its landmark buildings, bridges and walkways dramatically lit up.
The evening hours make an atmospheric time for sightseeing and a Paris Illuminations night tour is one of the best ways to discover the magic of Paris after dark, driving past the glittering Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and the Hôtel de Ville. You could also take a Paris-by-night walking tour, enjoying a romantic stroll beneath the golden glow of the Arc de Triomphe and posing for photos by the Louvre’s shimmering glass pyramid, or pedal around the city on a Paris night bike tour, taking in sights like the Pont des Arts, the Cite and St Louis islands and the Latin Quarter.
Of course, sightseeing isn’t the only way to experience Paris at night, so to really soak up the atmosphere, combine an Illuminations tour with a showstopping performance at the famous Moulin Rouge, a cruise along the Seine River or a romantic dinner date on the Champs-Elysee. You can also book skip-the-line tickets for the Eiffel Tower and marvel over the dazzling illuminations from Paris’ most iconic view point, which is all the more breathtaking at night.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be in Paris over the festive season, opt for a Christmas Lights tour and admire the city’s most elaborate lightshow, as the Champs-Élysées blazes with more than 150,000 lights and a further 125 streets around Paris are adorned with elaborate decorations and spectacular illuminations.