Parisian Living

The Best Terraces in Paris for an Apéro

by Lily Heise

When the weather is nice in Paris, the only place Parisians want to be is en terrasse. The city has hundreds of terraces, however, some stand out above the rest. We previously shared Paris’ best rooftop bars, and here is a selection of our favorite (mostly) ground-level hangouts across the capital, from picturesque locations along the Seine to other truly unique settings.

One of our favorite terraces in Paris along the River Seine in summer.
Top Image: La Dame du Canton/ Above: Maison Maison

Maison Maison

It’s hard to beat the Right Bank Seine placement of this bar-restaurant along the Parc Rives de Seine. Bask in the late afternoon sunshine—glass of natural wine or craft beer in hand—with the backdrop of the Pont Neuf, the tip of Île de la Cité and the Pont des Arts. If you time your departure right, you can walk along the Seine towards the twinkling Eiffel Tower.

Water level at 16 Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris

Maison Maison terrace in Paris is a top spot for drinks on the River Seine (left) as well as healthy snacks like these quinoa rolls (right).
Maison Maison

Loulou

With nothing blocking its perspective over the Tuileries Garden, the fashionable restaurant of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has one of the sunniest terraces in all of Paris. So delightful, your afternoon apéro might morph into a chic dinner under the stars.

107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

The Rosa Bonheur boat is a bar on the River Seine in Paris, which is usually heaving with locals who come for the cocktails and the atmosphere.
Rosa Bonheur sur Seine

Rosa Bonheur sur Seine

The most reasonably priced of the terraces along Les Berges on le Port des Invalides, this Seine outpost of Rosa Bonheur is bustling most evenings and weekends with a hip Parisian crowd. Grab a bottle of rosé, some tapenade, a seat on their communal picnic tables and you’ll be perfectly placed for the sun setting behind the glittering Pont Alexandre III bridge.

Port des Invalides, Quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris

Ground Control is one of our favorite terraces in Paris in summer as it has a large outdoor space with potted olive trees and plenty of food options.
Ground Control

Ground Control

This former pop-up venue has become a permanent fixture of the east end of Paris and features what could be the largest terrace in the whole city—albeit a non-conventional one. Occupying old buildings of the SNCF train company, its outdoor seating includes a disused city bus, a train car, and vintage transit seats. If hunger calls, you can order great pizzas and a variety of street food at the stands inside.

La Dame du Canton on the River Seine is a lively bar with plenty of seating that's open into the night.
La Dame du Canton

La Dame de Canton

All year round you can get a drink on the upper deck of this authentic Chinese ship moored at the foot of the Bibliothèque Nationale in the 13th arrondissement, however, in summer this spills out onto the quai. From May to September this vast space features cool beach vibe seating as well as concerts, DJ sets, and other lively outdoor events.

Port de la Gare, 75013 Paris

Le Lieu Secret bar in Paris comes with a pretty outdoor terrace with a conservatory for colder days.
Le Lieu Secret

Le Lieu Secret

Formerly called L’Entrepot, this historic cultural venue—home to a cinema, concert space and café—was opened in 1975 in an old warehouse (entrepot in French). Last year it was renamed and refurbished, including its wonderful secret courtyard terrace, a peaceful oasis for lunch or a drink in southern Paris.

7 Rue Francis de Pressensé, 75014 Paris

Bar à Bulles

Possibly one of the most unique terraces in Paris, this more “local” hangout section of the Moulin Rouge is reached via a hidden passageway next to the world-famous cabaret. Open during the week from 6pm, but all afternoon on weekends, you can take in the sunshine sipping good-value drinks in its rooftop garden or enter the world of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! on the terrace behind the legendary red windmill.

90, bvd de Clichy, 75018 Paris 

Au Petit Montmartre in Paris is one of those tiny cafés where locals love to sit outside on the terrace to enjoy the sunshine.
Au Petit Montmartre – Ali Postma

Au Petit Montmartre

Set back from the street on Place des Abbesses, this tiny café makes up for its size with its large terrace. With sunshine most of the afternoon, it’s the perfect no-fuss terrace for un petit café or apéro in Montmartre.

16 Place des Abbesses, 75018 Paris

Le Hasard Ludique

For a more alternative outdoor drink in the 18th district, venture over to this eclectic venue located above and next to the tracks of the defunct Petite Ceinture rail line. Enjoy a pint of Parisian brewery beer on its long line seating next to the old tracks before extending your stay over a workshop, a meal prepared by the refugee chefs, or live music in the concert hall.

128, avenue de Saint-Ouen, 75018 Paris

Pavillon Puebla in the Buttes Chaumont park does great cocktails and has a large outdoor space.
Pavillon Puebla – Agence Photo Skiss

Café Chéri(e)

This large west-facing terrace is the perfect place to start, and perhaps finish, your night off in the Belleville area. The low-key hip crowd is firmly camped out on the terrace, yet some drift inside for some dancing on weekend nights.

44 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Paris

Pavillon Puebla bar in Paris is perfect for summer as it does spritz cocktails (left) and has a large outdoor terrace (right).
Pavillon Puebla

Pavillon Puebla

You can bypass the crowds at uber-popular Rosa Bonheur by making your way to this lesser-known and somewhat chicer café from the team behind Le Perchoir, found on the other side of the Buttes-Chaumont park. Nestled on a ledge within the trees, the faux grass-laden terrace has social wooden bench seating as well as intimate tables pour deux. Come early if you want to score one of these on Friday and Saturday nights, when a fun vibe picks up over the course of the evening.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Avenue Darcel, 75019 Paris

Moncoeur in Belleville, Paris is also a go-to terrace in summer because of the views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
Moncoeur Belleville – Ali Postma

Moncœur Belleville

Save for rooftops, few terraces can boast such an impressive panorama over Paris than this bar in the heights of the Parc de Belleville. Perfectly emblematic of the chill, artsy vibe the neighborhood, you can rub shoulders with the locals all the while enjoying a sunset view of Eiffel Tower.

1 Rue des Envierges, 75020 Paris

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Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation, or long term, rental in Paris, Italy, France or elsewhere in Europe.


Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

4 comments on “The Best Terraces in Paris for an Apéro

Would be great if some of these were non-smoking.

It would. It’s frustrating for non-smokers that the terraces are, mostly, all smoking.

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