Midterm season is reaching its end, and all Sciences Pistes know the struggle that after multiple stressful weeks preparing for exams (or, if we’re being honest, it’s more like multiple frantic two-day, Red Bull-fueled cram sessions) it’s the highest pleasure to walk out of a stuffy amphitheatre knowing that, despite a not-so-small possibility of our average being ruined, we are ready to relax and partake in all the fun we’ve missed out on. But while an immediate post-exam decompression of drinks and fries (always with the sauce algérienne) at St Mau’s is more than enough to reset for some, it’s likely that if you’re reading this article, you’re looking for something more. You’re probably looking to really let go, and for you, a chill Rémois weekend simply doesn’t suffice. Luckily, the French capital is just around the corner, and going from a city of 200.000 to a city of 2.000.000 promises a much greater possibility in your quest for a truly fulfilling night. The Sundial Press, in collaboration with Sciences Po’s resident techno music association SoundSystem, thus presents you with an all-encompassing, dusk-till-dawn guide to Paris nightlife.
Before the Parisian adventure commences, it’s first necessary to chart out the rough guidelines of your trip. While it’s certainly possible to stay in the city for a whole weekend, or even over the entirety of fall break, such a vacation would necessarily require additional planning, plus a lot of money spent on booking hotels. After an arduous two weeks of hunching over your laptop and far too much money spent stress-eating kebabs, you’re probably looking for something easy to plan which won’t require you to pay to sleep anywhere besides your Reims apartment. In this spirit, a one-night adventure will fit the bill. Sure, you might feel like a zombie on your morning journey back, but it’s all part of the fun–especially knowing that you don’t have anything important to wake up to.
Figuring out transportation to and from Paris, then, is very straightforward. There are two options to get from Reims to Paris: the TGV train or the bus. Train journeys are much faster and oftentimes easier to access from your home, but are more expensive: without any discounts, they can reach up to 60-65€ round-trip. To economise, especially if you take the TGV relatively often, we recommend getting either the Carte Avantage Jeune (a one-time 49€ purchase, valid for a year, which automatically subtracts 30% off your ticket price) or the Max Jeune subscription (79€ per month, unlimited train journeys with no booking cost). Both of these services deliver hefty savings if you go to Paris and back at least twice a month. The other option is to take a bus, either through BlaBlaCar or FlixBus, departing from the Champagne-Ardenne TGV station. It’s much cheaper than taking the train (around 8-10€ one way) and has a greater frequency of departure times, but we must note that it leaves from a very inconvenient location outside of central Reims. It also takes longer: a 2-hour drive which drops you off at Bercy bus station in the 12th arrondissement, lacking many metro connections, instead of a 45-minute train whose arrival point at Gare de l’Est is exceedingly well-connected. The optimal choice given such trade-offs depends on the person; however, both are viable.
Once you’re on the train or bus of your choice, the last remaining variable to sort out is where exactly you’ll go to indulge your post-exam hedonism. We’ll split the possible options you have into two: special events and general clubs. Special events are held by certain clubs or venues to host a particular party or DJ. For these, you shouldn’t just show up, but instead purchase tickets beforehand using certain apps like RA, Shotgun, or DICE. Easy to set up, these are a surefire way to enter a club with minimal chance of being turned away, and often are cheaper than the cover charge of a regular club. One warning: not all apps will show every event, so when searching for your preferred spot, make sure you check all three to prevent any missed chances.
If your search for the next big artist to see comes up empty, fear not, for Paris’s general club scene can be just as fulfilling in your quest for an unforgettable post-midterm night. There are some established venues, but you don’t want to be like all the other basic 1As showing up at Duplex or Pachamama, letting the bouncers extort you out of a 30€ cover charge (and God forbid you’re unceremoniously turned away if you can’t pay it in cash). You instead opt for places such as Badaboum, Nexus, Wanderlust, T7, or Silencio, which offer a much more vibrant music scene without any of those overplayed TikTok staples you’d hear at more touristy venues. Every type of music can be found here, from techno to Afrobeats to reggaetón, depending on the club and the night. Each club, as well, has a distinct ambiance reflected in its building design. For example, Wanderlust is perfect for warmer nights in the late spring through early fall due to its expansive terrace overlooking the Seine; Badaboum, on the other hand, excels in creating an intimate atmosphere centred around its DJ booth. And what’s more, these clubs will often sell tickets on the aforementioned apps, meaning that while you might have to wait, at least you can rest assured that, unlike all those other shivering Parisians behind you in the queue, you’ll easily get invited in by the bouncers.
So, as you arrive in the city with your tickets booked–including the morning train or bus back to Reims which you’ll basically be sleepwalking to–we at the Sundial Press hope that this guide was helpful in your search for an evening which more than makes up for all the library hours you’ve put in over the last month. Happy clubbing!