When it comes to the cornerstones of Parisian life, the evening aperitif is as quintessential as croissants and couture. Ending the day with a social drink akin to the American happy hour acts as a daily transition from work to play.
While nearly every street has a café with outdoor seating, the city’s long evenings (the sun sets around 10 p.m. in the summer months) means your apéro can be a multi-hour affair — all the more reason to find the best outdoor settings to soak in the scenery.
Le Joy at Hôtel Le Fouquet’s Paris
Hôtel Le Fouquet’s Paris’ prime location on Avenue George V just off the Champs-Élysées hides an inner secret: the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s verdant sanctuary of Le Joy, a sunny terrace tucked within the bistro that silences the traffic and tourists outside.
Add to the undercover feeling by ordering the Charly’s Angel, which pairs Belvedere vodka with fresh lemon verbena, lime and vanilla syrup.
While you don’t need an excuse to take a stroll inside Paris’ lush Buttes Chaumont Park, a visit to Rosa Bonheur is always a good one. The green and white guinguette (an 18th-century-style alfresco tavern) promises a bucolic outdoor setting, bohemian conviviality and the chance to spot Parisian “bobos” (bourgeois bohemians) in their natural environment.
Another version of the popular apéro spot, called Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine, operates on a barge anchored to the left bank of the Seine and is equally as intriguing.
The Grande Mosquée
If you prefer your apéros alcohol free, the Salon de Thé at the elaborate Grand Mosquée offers a wholly unique experience within Paris. The mosque, located in the Fifth Arrondissement, features a hammam, gift shop and charming private courtyard. Tall trees shade the blue mosaic tabletops and Moorish architecture, and servers provide endless cups of mint tea, Turkish coffee and sticky North African pastries.
Loulou at Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Situated within the heart of the Palais du Louvre, Loulou allows you to combine your appreciation of fine art with the love of a good cocktail. The glamorous, 200-seat terrace offers Instagram-worthy views of the Jardin des Tuileries, the famed Louvre Pyramid and even the Eiffel Tower, and the drink menu is as inventive as the location.
Loulou is ideal for post-museum visits or a break from high-end shopping on nearby Rue de Rivoli.
L’Hotel du Collectionneur’s Summer Terrace
L’Hotel du Collectionneur is well known as one of the city’s art deco gems, but its other claim to fame is housing the largest open-air hotel garden in the city. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property boasts an Andalusian-style terrace filled with exotic vegetation, meticulously maintained topiaries and colorful flowers — and yes, that’s a fountain you hear trickling in the background.
Take in these stunning surroundings while sipping on one of the bar’s creative cocktails. Heat things up with a Tierra Del Fuego (chili-infused gin, orange liqueur and bell pepper syrup) or cool it down with a Koala (vodka, eucalyptus syrup, lime juice and cucumber).