Feb 16th, 2023, 09:00 AM

Friday Night Festivities in Paris

By Natasha Hersman
Image credit: Natasha Hersman
These top five funky bars will help you discover the city with a never ending buzz and leave you with abs after a night full of laughter.

Even though Paris is famous for its outdoor terraces, filled with cigarette smoke and cozy heaters, there seems to be no escape from the biting cold during winter months—which makes it a challenge to enjoy those outside nights. Thus, I will be guiding you through fun activities to do at indoor bars in Paris.

The first spot I would like to discuss is called La Lucha Libre located in the lively Saint-Germain. After finishing a few drinks at dinner, I recommend arriving at this bar no earlier than ten o'clock to avoid a long queue for the main event. Upon walking into this bar, you will notice people smoking on the cul-de-sac outside the bar. Naturally, you will quickly become acquainted with this crowd after a few shots and when that crave for nicotine kicks in.

Entering the bar, a friendly gentleman will greet you and seat you at an available table. The bar is stocked with pre-made cocktail pitchers ranging from margaritas to piña coladas with the passion fruit tequila punch being a personal favorite. If you're not into all that jazz, not to worry, the bartender is happy to accommodate any preferences for cocktails or you can settle for an ice cold beer.

After having a couple of drinks upstairs the fun awaits you downstairs. It is noteworthy to sign up immediately as you walk in, especially on a weekend. The gentleman will give you a waiver to sign and then you're on your way. Now, when I attended this location and signed my life away, I walked down the charming, cement stairs to hear people cheering “ALLEZ” and “POUSSE”. After getting to the last step a huge ring with two people dressed in sumo suits were going at it before my eyes. Ding ding ding, it’s your turn now. Now, may I say this was way harder than I’d like to admit. Obviously, the suits were heavy, however my main challenge was maintaining my composure. There’s just something about letting out your anger in huge sumo suits; I was uncontrollably laughing during this time.

In the ring - La Luche Libre . Image credit: Natasha Hersman

Next up, is Chez Bouboule; perfect for pétanque addicts. If you are unsure about what pétanque is, it’s a ball game set on a sandy ground. The game begins with a ping pong ball thrown towards the center of the ground. Players have three steel balls each and the goal of the game is to throw the steel balls as close as possible to the ping pong ball. Make sure you don’t walk or stumble on the sandy ground or else French people will scream “ooh ca va pas la” translating to: “what’s wrong with you”. Strictly serious business here. However, this game allows for lots of fun and immense pressure as the French will be simultaneously supporting you and watching your every throw. Don’t mess up now!

I would like to mention this restaurant that will bring you back to your childhood called Le Refuge des Fondus. This may come across somewhat bizarre, however, this is a good tactic for a power hour as the booze will go down like juice. The restaurant came up with this silly concept as the tables consist of only two long picnic table style seating. The only way to be seated is crawling over the table which resulted in constant spillage of beverages. With wine being the obvious main concern, the solution was to put baby bottle caps on top to prevent repeating accidents. Before you conclude this to be too odd, hear me out. Of course my first thought as well is questioning who would come up with an idea like this. Nevertheless, there’s something humbling seeing your macho guy friends drinking out of a baby bottle.


La Refuge des Fondus. Image credit: Natasha Hersman

And finally, a pub crawl itinerary. Now kids, stay hydrated because a four hour crawl and a whole lot of drinking is calling your name. Your adventure begins at the Long Hop on Rue Largagne in the Latin Quarter. After at least an hour, start heading towards Monk La Taverne de Cluny on Boulevard Saint Germain. Pro tip: if you start getting the munchies, there’s a McDonalds next door perfect for your sustenance needs. After this, things start to get a bit more raucous over at the Mad Maker Pub. The bartenders are lovely but their aim is to get you drinking and test your liver more than it ever has before. Last but not least is the Pub Saint Hilaire to end the night. This pub is a classic pub where everyone sits outside, enjoys a lager and smokes rollies like the Brits intended.