Le Violon Dingue (the Crazy Violin) located in the 6th Arrondissment on rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve, was one of the first places I visited after I arrived in Paris. A friend of mine from the American Embassy told me about this place and invited me to join her and a few friends who were also going that weekend. I didn’t know very many people in Paris at the point and I certainly had no clue where to go out, so I took her up on her invitation.
At first glance, Le Violon Dingue is a small pub like any other. They have a narrow bar flanked by two large areas with tables and room for dancing should the rhythm move you. There is no entrance fee for the bar, and the drinks are reasonably priced, ranging from 5€-9€, depending on what your poison of preference happens to be. However, what sets this place apart is the secret that lies just underneath the surface…
When you first walk in from the street there will be a door immediately to your left. It is usually closed and locked until the crowd builds up. After the staff opens the basement door, you walk down a narrow spiral staircase and find yourself in an entirely different atmosphere. After exiting the cave-like entrance you spill out into a place that feels like a private club. NOTE: If you are taller, mind your head on your way through the downstairs entrance as it can be a tight squeeze and it is not fun to hit your head on a heavy stone ceiling! Le Violon basement has a similar feel to The Wellington in London, only there is no membership card needed, admission is free for women, and only 10€ for the gents.
Going to the basement club is like what party would be in Batman’s bat cave; it’s a whole other underground lair in a place that, from the outside, looks like just another Parisian bar. For me it is this duality that makes this place so worthwhile. The first part of the night is laid-back; you can sit at a booth and just hang out and share some beverages with your friends. Then in a matter of minutes you can be in a hip, underground club surrounded by other twenty-somethings. Open from Tuesday- Saturday from 20h-5h, Le Violon Dingue offers its customers a fun place to spend an evening, giving you the sensation that you are part of something that everyone else on the street is not …it’s a sexy, cool kind of feeling for the V.I.P. in all of us.
46 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve,
Paris, France 75006
01 43 25 79 93