peniche paris

Head to Petit Bain in summer to take full advantage of the marvelous rooftop terrace. (Photo: Thierry Guillaume)


Party on Paris’ Best Floating Bars

There’s no shortage of chic bars and charming cafés in France’s capital, but come summer, the best place to party in Paris is on a péniche. These traditional barges, moored along the Seine, spring to life when the weather gets warm, as their rooftop terraces fill with Parisians sipping cocktails, catching live concerts and dancing till dawn — all while enjoying panoramic city views.

Here are five of the best boat bars to check out now.

Mademoiselle Mouche

With the Eiffel Tower and the Alma Bridge on one side of the péniche and the Alexander III Bridge on the other, the views alone would be enough of a reason to head to Mademoiselle Mouche.

But this rooftop terrace atop the Bateaux-Mouches barge is so much more: a flower-filled garden oasis replete with a manmade lawn where you can soak up amazing sunsets while sipping handcrafted cocktails.

Lounge on an outdoor sofa or deck chair and choose from the Roaring ’20s–inspired cocktail menu, whose drinks (priced at 13 euro) feature exotic names like the Courtesan and the Pompadour.

If it gets too warm, pop into the air-conditioned interior to cool off. Live music and DJ sets take place all summer long and on weekends, Mademoiselle Mouche also hosts a daytime brunch. Open May through mid-October.

Péniche Marcounet

Though this floating wine bar and concert venue is open year-round, the summertime terrace is the best reason to visit this historic 1920s barge moored near Notre-Dame. The sprawling outdoor space was created with the environment in mind, complete with environmentally sensitive plants, natural wines served in eco-friendly glasses and a tapas-style menu that includes locally sourced products.

peniche paris
Sip the day — and night — away on Péniche Marcounet. (Photo: Courtesy of Péniche Marcounet)

It’s open from morning until midnight, but be sure to arrive early for the evening concerts, which are often free and usually feature jazz or swing music; check the website for the full program.

If you’re nearby on a weekend, hit up the popular Sunday Music Brunch, with several set menus of breakfast favorites — eggs, smoked salmon, freshly baked pastries — accompanied by live music. Terrace open May through October, weather permitting.

Péniche Concrete

If you fancy dancing the night (and wee hours) away to electronic, techno and house music spun by top French and international DJs, this floating club is one of the city’s premier nightlife spots.

Open nonstop Friday to Sunday (and the occasional Wednesday), the trilevel barge hosts multiple dance areas inside, but in warm weather, the party spills out onto the massive 4,300-square-foot rooftop deck.

Dress to impress, dance all night and stay to watch the sun rise over the nearby Charles de Gaulle Bridge. The terrace is open weather permitting.

Petit Bain

The restaurant, bar and 450-seat concert hall of this trilevel barge operate year-round, but you’ll want to head here in summer to take full advantage of the marvelous rooftop terrace.

peniche paris
Sip a drink with friends and soak in the views. (Photo: Thierry Guillaume)

Everything from vegetables to aquatic plants grows in this bohemian garden paradise, which also functions as a bar and small concert venue. Kick back and listen to DJs spinning indie pop, or to a live jazz trio, while taking in views of the towering Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand.

The low-key ambience and affordable drink prices make Petit Bain a hit with young, hip locals. The terrace is open weather permitting.


A combination restaurant, bar and concert venue, this swanky spot is always buzzing thanks to its central location near the Port des Invalides.

The barge’s open-air rooftop is open no matter the season, but in summer the terrace is especially coveted thanks to its sunny tables with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais and the Alexander III Bridge.

While the seats circling the perimeter offer the best views, a shaded central area offers respite from the sun. You can pair your cocktails with excellent Mediterranean small bites. The terrace is open year-round.