Pubs have become such a part and parcel of life in Paris that you’ll have no problem finding a British pub or expat bar. The oldest one, Harry’s Bar, is straight out of New York City: it is a cosy piano bar with hundreds of whiskies to choose from. If you’re looking for the convivial atmosphere of a bar showing live sports, The Great Canadian Pub or the James Hetfeeld Irish pub will be right up your street. Conversely, the Travellers Club has the hushed atmosphere of a British gentlemen’s club, and in fact this place is reserved for men only.
Spirits from around the world have places devoted to them in Paris. To sample a wide selection of Japanese saké, head to Maison du Saké: a shop and bar adjoining a Japanese restaurant. The Moscow-style Ikra is a bar for zakouskis – Russian tapas – where you can taste culinary specialities with shots of vodka in an elegant setting. Rum fans will definitely want to check out El Rancho Dominicano, a place with lush jungle decor in the heart of Paris. And to taste liqueurs from around the world, go to Sherry Butt, where the cocktails are cosmopolitan in more than name.
Concerts and shows
Concerts, ballets, dance performances and theatre: Paris offers many opportunities to attend cultural events with an international flavour.
All year round, some museums and institutions and many cultural centres host cultural events to promote international cultures. The Institut du Monde Arabe regularly organizes concerts, shows and film screenings that highlight the creativity of the Arab world. The Philharmonie de Paris, the Seine Musicale and Maison de la Radio often invite some of the finest international orchestras and musicians to perform, and these are quite exceptional classical music events. The programming at the Maison de l’Argentine and the Maison de MAI transport spectators to South America. The Centre Mandapa showcases performing arts from around the world.
Many concert and show venues boast eclectic programming all year round, spotlighting creative talent from every continent. Some of the péniches – barges – moored along the Seine host concerts and parties with an international flavour, like the Péniche Anako, the Péniche Antipode and the Dame de Canton (a converted Chinese junk). World music also regularly features in the programming at the Cabaret Sauvage, the Elysée-Montmartre and the New-Morning. For bossa nova fans, there’s the Café-théâtre in the town of Thiais. The legendary Jazz Club Etoile also puts on concerts by world music heavyweights.
Parties and clubbing
To party the Brazilian way in Paris, head for Favela Chic, the most popular place in town to dance until daybreak to Latino beats. The Buddha Bar takes you on an amazing journey into the multifaceted musical scene of the countries around the Pacific Rim.
South American music fans take note: concerts, shows and Argentine tango lessons for beginners are regularly organized at La Casa del Tango. On Sunday evenings, the legendary bar/restaurant Barrio Latino is taken over by people dancing Puerto Rican style salsa. Every year, the Bellevilloise celebrates the Rio carnival in Paris by organizing its now-famous Avenida Brasil party. And the Diner-croisière-péniche de Joce on a barge include two exotic cabaret and dinner options: Paris-Caraïbes and Paris-Brazil.
Karaoke, that quintessentially Japanese form of entertainment, is very popular in Paris. The BAM Karaoke Box, the high-class karaoke in the Caumartin street, the Minato Bar, a Japanese cocktail bar, is a good place to belt out a song. Or you could opt for Kabe, a Korean restaurant where karaoke is also on the menu.