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Whereas nightlife in Pau always centered around Le Triangle, an area in the town center that's flanked by the rue Emile Garet, rue Lespy, and rue Castetnau, in very recent years it's been augmented with a rash of openings along boulevard des Pyrénées near the place Clemenceau. The best of the newcomers include Le Winfield, 20 bd. des Pyrénées (tel. 05-59-27-80-60), a rustic, sudsy, Australia-inspired pub that's arguably the best pickup joint in town. Outfitted with road signs from the Outback and warning signs not to kill the kangaroos, it charges no entrance fee and a beer costs around 3.50€.

Within the borders of Le Triangle you'll find another two-fisted contender, Le Garage Bar & Buttery (tel. 05-59-83-75-17; www.legaragebar.com). Set within the echoing premises of what was conceived in the 1930s as an auto repair shop, it retains many of its original industrial-looking fixtures, plus a collection of antique traffic lights, road signs, mopeds hanging from chains in the ceiling, and vintage auto-related nostalgia. Most people come here just for the bar, but if you want food, platters cost 6.50€ to 13€ and include such items as English-style fish and chips, American-inspired burgers, and all-French versions of bavette de boeuf with garlic sauce and french fries. There are also fixed-price menus priced at 10€ and salads. It's open Monday to Friday noon to 1:30am, Saturday and Sunday 3pm and 1:30am.

The best of the town's two leading discos is El Barrio Libre (tel. 05-59-81-14-43; www.elbarriolibre.com), which occupies a somewhat banal-looking shopping center (Le Centre Commercial Quartier Libre) in the suburb of Lescar, about 8km (4 3/4 miles) south of Pau's historic core. Here, a sometimes raucous sports-oriented crowd of 20-somethings moves restlessly between the metallic, high-tech interior and a large outdoor terrace every Wednesday to Sunday from 10pm till at least 3am. There's a cover charge of 11€ per person, although good-looking women sometimes manage to squeak in for free. Its most viable competitor is within Pau's Le Triangle, L'Esprit, 11 place du Foirail (tel. 06-75-38-59-99), where bright lights flash above a shadowy dance floor that's flanked with a busy bar patronized by usually attractive 20- to 30-somethings from Pau and the surrounding farmlands and factory towns. Entrance, depending on the night of the week, ranges from free to 11€. It's open Wednesday to Saturday beginning around 10pm, getting busy at around 11pm. Both El Barrio Libre and L'Esprit rock and roll till around 5am, depending on business.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.