Tips on Meeting People in Paris

women having coffee in paris

Last Update January 7, 2016

Paris is one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world. For tourists visiting the city it is nothing short of romantic and gastronomical. It´s a travelers delight in every other sense when it comes to the rich history, sights and activities to see and do! Now if you´re like me and have had the great opportunity to be transplanted in this lovely ‘City of Lights’ as an expat the feeling of appreciation for the city never fades, but the feeling of loneliness can increase when it comes to meeting and making French or let’s say Parisian friends.

ten belles paris after attacks 2015

Not wanting to be stereotypical, but I’ve found – and this was recently echoed to me over coffee with an American friend along the canal St. Martin – it´s kind of hard breaking in with Parisians, forming genuine friendships, especially with the one and only group you already know such as your coworkers. After living here for more than 6 years I have many stories of this ‘alien’ feeling in cheeseland. I´ve made friends from 3 different companies, my son´s playtime at the park, waiting lines at private sales.

Recently I received this comment on the blog from Chritsine :

Hey, love the blog, just discovered it. how about a new section on meeting people in Paris? making friends? I got here last October, with my job, and have not met too many people since. My colleagues are all French and going out with them seems to be off limits for some reason. I’d appreciate some advice on this. thanks!!

You can see the original post here

Thanks Christine for asking a question that we can share with other readers who might be experiencing the same frustration here in Paris. I’ve been there!

My first advice is to stop trying to be friends with all your coworkers – it may happen or it never will, unless they want it to. Depending on your office culture, size of the company or the age of your coworkers you’ll be better off trying to get a connection with just one person in the office that perhaps has similar interest like you, or hates the same coworker or boss (as bad as this might sound!). Don’t expect your coworkers to care about how you´re settling into their country and culture, they´re probably way too busy planning the next sortie/gathering with their group of friends they´ve known since childhood or college.

Even non-Parisian French folks will tell you how ´difficult` Parisians can be about forming new friendships. So you see even other French people will feel like outsiders too!

Here are some things to do:
Learn French – people will want to talk to you if they feel comfortable speaking to you in their own language. Look into classes with the Mairie or Alliance Francaise or find a chatting partner on craigslist.

Do the stuff you love – Sign yourself up for a Meet-Up or Facebook group, activities with people with similar passions transcends language and cultural borders. For example Yoga folks love to hang out with other yogis, or if you love reggae find a Paris reggae groups on Facebook and go to a couple events.

Inititate an Event – It can be an afterwork picnic along the Seine in the summer-time or a drink at a bar near the office. Just do it, they may say no, you may only have one person showing up from the office, but it’s a start: Initiative can go a long way.

Many young companies such as start-ups are more dynamic and international minded so they wont think it weird to do somethings Americans and have Karaoke night at Cocorans (my old web company has this and it was a great opportunity for all the international folks to mingle and come together over drinks and music with the french guys).

Find the Expats – If all of this fails, do what most of us expats do. Just hang with a group of other expats! This is a sure way to meet many interesting people not just french and also the French folks you´ll meet here who hang with these people are often more open minded. see meet-up Also there is a strong likelihood that there is some Facebook group of your countrymen like “Americans in Paris”.

 

Here are some places you’ll be sure to meet more “open” Frenchies and Expats

1. Bar Ourq – There is a Pimms event almost every Saturday in the summer time by Anna and the Pimms Girls. Outside of Bar Ourq is right in front of the canal , the crowd is always equal parts french and foreigners and there is always good music and things to snack on and people are not afraid to talk to each other and mingle inside the bar.

2. Chez Jeanette – More of a hipsters hangout now than before but the good thing about Chez Jeanette is that the waitstaff is friendly and the mix of younger and older Parisian locals and short-term Parisians make for always an interesting mix. Also along Rue Fb St.Denis there are many other places to discover to have a drink and eat like Maui 7, Paris New York burgers, and

3. Open Mic Poetry at Chat Noir – Spoken word Paris is a great place to go and listen to artist read from their ongoing works of fiction or poetry or music performances for free. You can share your work as well. Sign up to perform when you get there and there is a 30 minutes break in between where people mingle upstairs around the bar for a drink or two. Run by David from the bookshop English Shakespeare & Co

4. Yoga in the Marais – Doing yoga here is nice because it’s a small space and the instructor speaks both French and English and afterwards people usually hang around to talk to each other.

5. Fragments, Cafe Lomi or Kooka Boora – on any given day these cafes are cool to grab a great cup of jo and meet interesting people who often break from the work they do around their computers. The list of coffee shops has increased since 2013, new ones are Lockwood, Le Peloton, The Broken Arm, and Loustic… see the rest here. 

6. Go for a drink at La Chambre Noir – especially on a tuesday night when my pal Mardi is the chef. You’ll feel right at home in this cosy wine bar.

 

It can be an overwhelming feeling being in a new city, I’d love to meet you for coffee and share the city with you through my eyes, rant, laugh and share my love of Paris. On weekends I’m most often at one of my fave coffee shops you can email me at [email protected] to meet here!

If anyone else would like to add some tips and their own experiences in the comments please share with us!When a student is buried under tons of assignments, it is not easy to get out, a student have tons of important and useful knowledge, which can be practically applied in the workplace. Term papers writing are basically the platform on which you build your future.

When a student is buried under tons of assignments, it is not easy to get out, a student have tons of important and useful knowledge, which can be practically applied in the workplace. are basically the platform on which you build your future.

12 Comments

  • Reply April 8, 2015

    Jane

    Hi! A good tip that I share with you is TripMeeters. You can meet easily people, locals, internationals, and discover Paris making new friends! Cheers! http://www.tripmeeters.com

  • Reply June 8, 2015

    Albert Blankson

    Am Albert from UK, got to Paris last month and life here seems not how I thought. Its hard to make French friends.

    • Reply June 9, 2015

      yanique

      Hi Albert, How long are you here for? have you tried Meetups? Tinder? I’ll write a post on the best places to meet /make french friends.

  • Reply June 13, 2015

    Jharna

    I am an Indian, and quite a communicative person. Here is Paris, I find it really hard and disheartening that how much ever I try to strike a conversation with my French co workers during lunch, I fail.
    They happily chat with each other in French, leaving me isolated who struggles to understand one single word from their conversation.

  • Reply September 20, 2015

    Sid

    Thanks for some great ideas , I am in paris for a couple of months and looking to meet some cool people to hangout with. I am lucky to have a few french co workers who spent time in the US so its easy for me to get along with them, but with others I do have the language barrier.

    I realized the best way to get around this to learn some french and join some french english meetups or events, let see how that goes.

    • Reply September 21, 2015

      yanique

      Hi Sid! Yes, Meet ups and language buddies do work and it helps if just in the beginning.

      • Reply September 21, 2015

        Sid

        Hi Yanique,

        Yup going to two events this week. I am trying the tripmeeters website , seems pretty good.Other than that there are couch surfing events , but it seems like the CS community is not that active here , but hey every place is different and that’s the charm of it.

        Btw love you blog I have actually been reading it since I got here and using all the good info on bars and places to see :).

  • Reply May 29, 2016

    Anthony

    I have lived in Paris for around 8 months, and have not met even one French person (except random people in bars, supermarkets etc) except for business during all this time..! Fortunately I am moving soon to Spain, where people smile at you if you are foreign and actually want to find out about you and your culture. My French is not that great, yet even Parisians who speak English seem to see foreigners as lower status to themselves. Happy to be leaving soon..!

    • Reply May 30, 2016

      yanique

      Hahaha! I feel you Anthony, it certainly isnt easy. And I agree the Spanish (in Barcelona) are a lot warmer, but not sure if it’s easier to make friends there though. Send us a little note from there to let us know how it’s going. Thanks for stopping by the blog ! 🙂

    • Reply October 4, 2016

      Kristine

      🙁 I am currently in France and facing the same situation. They aren’t really the bunch whom you can get to know and get close to… I’ve been here for a year and I haven’t felt the least accepted. It does get a little lonely at times. Makes me wonder the reason for being here!

  • Reply January 2, 2017

    Melissa

    I have been living Paris already almost 1 year .. I went to the school and took french courses … what I felt since living in Paris it was very though, and it was hard to make any friends and communication with french peoples . Most of the times I’m just lost and being ignored by french peoples . They are very proud about their language..so they didn’t want to speak any other languages to people’s sometimes.
    Well I do understand for them and I starting to learn french since in here it’s very very important to be able to speak French. ..it’s not so easy and fast to learn and understand how to speak French. It’s true what was Kristine said . Been living in france for a year it’s not enough to feel be accepted by french peoples .. maybe some people yes . But I just saying normally for foreigners who end up living in Paris they get the feeling lonely in times n feeling homesick .. that’s what I felt all at times ………. 🙁

  • Reply January 19, 2017

    stefen willis

    I’m working though my divorce and am ready to meet new people in Paris. The info here got me started and I’m trying online dating. http://www.singleinparis.com

Leave a Reply