Photos of Paris by Night: A Portrait of The City of Light

One of Paris’ many names is the city of light, or La Ville Lumière. And let’s be honest, everybody knows that no other European city does romantic street scenes better than the French capital. Every night, Paris reaches its ultimate atmospheric beauty when the sun finally sets for the day. With these photos I took during many different winter seasons over the years, let’s take a moment to enjoy Paris by night.

Paris by night
Views of the Seine and Eiffel tower in the distance whilst crossing one of the bridges (Pont Notre-Dame) over to Île de la Cité.

15 Atmospheric Photos of Paris by Night

There are actually several reasons that explain how Paris managed to claim this enchanting nickname. One side of the story has to do with the philosophical revolution, which took place during the Age of Enlightenment. Many of the minds we celebrate today spent their days in Paris, exchanging thoughts with friends and foes. Indeed, in the 18th century, people started to look at life a lot differently. And it still influences our beliefs today.

Why is Paris called the City of Light?

Around the same time, another development also inspired others to call Paris the ‘City of Light’. As one of the very first cities in Europe, the streets of Paris came alive at night with another revolutionary invention: street lights. These new splashed of light and colour changed the face of the city forever. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to imagine any city in a pitch-black night, with only the flickering of a candle barely shining bright.

A couple walks on the streets of Paris by night, with a bicycle in hand.
Notre Dame in December

Frontal view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité, just after Christmas.

Memories of Nostalgic Winter Trips to Paris

I hope these impressions of what Paris looks like on a cold winter evening do this stunning city some justice. What an ageless beauty, isn’t she? Somehow, I always end up in Paris around the end of the year. It’s like I’m returning to a childhood memory, maybe to look back on another twelve months added to my mind. There is just something magnetic about Paris, and I don’t think that will ever change.

Centre Pompidou by Night

The famous Centre Georges Pompidou, which houses one of the largest public libraries and largest European museum of modern art (Musée National d’Art Moderne), among other things.

More from me about Paris:


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