Paris by night

by Monica Mendoza

***image1***Angie Bobby was in for the weekend and we knew there was something that we had to do.

We hopped on the Deutsche Bahn – the fast train – out of Kaiserslautern and in two hours we were in Gare de l’Est train station in Paris.

It’s just something you’ve got to see once in your life. With just an overnight bag and a Rick Steves’ book, we knew it by day, but we didn’t know Paris by night.
A tour van picked us up at our hotel and drove us around the “City of Lights.” We made our way to the Eiffel Tower and Altitude 95, a restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel − named because it’s 95 meters above sea level and offers a view of the Seine River.

We dined on rabbit pâté and quiché lorraine. And we talked about Gustave Eiffel. Did he know that when he completed the iron tower in 1889, that more than 220 million people would have visited his work of art by 2006? We drank a little vin and pondered the idea. But, not too long. We still had to discover Paris by night.

Imagine the sight, we walked out of the tower and it lit up the night. Thirty-thousand blinking lights, permanently added to the more than 1,000-foot structure in 2003.

We saw a 10 minute show under the moonlight.

Paris by night was an unbelievable trip for Angie Bobby. She never dreamed she’d be sipping hot chocolate and looking at the Arc de Triomphe by night.

“It’s the second largest triumphal arch in existence,” she said. I laughed. Her time on Wikipedia paid off. We moved on.

***image2***Next stop of the night, a cruise on the Seine River. Arm in arm we enjoyed the illuminated night view from the river − Place de la Concorde, Vendóme Square, Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame Cathedral and Trocadéro.

Paris by night. It wouldn’t be complete without making our way to the very trendy Bastille  district, where we hoped to catch a glimpse of superstar Johnny Depp, who  lives in Paris. We hit the SanZ SanS night club, where you can have a late night snack or dance the night away. This was Paris by night. And, we didn’t want to miss out on any of the life.

The next morning, we were back on that fast train.

By the way, Angie Bobby is my mom. And if you are going to see Paris by night, see it with someone you love most in your life.

Round trip train ticket from Kaiserslautern to Paris on the fast train, €75,

A bus tour of the town; bus picks you up at your hotel, €51 a person,

Illuminations tour with France Tourisme, on a double decker bus, 29 € per person. Tours from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

100-minute night tour with with a five-minute break at the    Eiffel Tower. Some packages include show at the Moulin Rouge.

Reservations at Altitude 95 are by telephone or fax only: phone, 33 (0) 1 45 55 20 04 or fax, 33 (0) 1 47 05 94 40.

The Eiffel Tower is open 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Jan. 1 to June 14 and Sept. 2 to Dec. 31. If you’re goal is the top floor, the last admittance is 10:30 p.m.

Book a variety of tours online at

Download a map of the Paris subway,