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Traveling Solo in Paris

 

The Journeywoman Network welcomes Karen Fawcett -- an American travel journalist who has been in love with Paris since the age of 13. As an adult she’s made her dream come true and now divides her time between Paris and the home she and her husband enjoy in Provence. Karen is the savvy President of Bonjour Paris, a highly informative website and newsletter. She writes...



 

Singles traveling to Paris have nothing to worry about. Paris is a great destination for everyone. Families, couples and yes, even a woman traveling solo.

French life is not solely à deux (couples only). As a matter of fact, many people report that they have had some of their best adventures while on French soil. Just being able to walk the city and drop into a café (and there is one on practically every Paris block) is a great luxury.

Coffee, newspaper and a chat...

One can stand at the bar and order a petit crème (coffee with steaming hot milk) and not feel like an interloper. C'est tout a fait normale (usual), and, depending on the café and the time of day, one is often able to strike up a conversation. The idea that the French don't like Americans is ludicrous. Maybe some would prefer to stick to their own. But others are dying to speak English. I have made more than one acquaintance while reading the International Herald Tribune. As a matter of fact, there is a regular group which gravitates to La Coupole (102, Blvd. du Montparnasse, Paris 75014) to scan the morning newspapers since a vrai café (espresso) costs little more than the selection of papers the restaurant stocks for its patrons. coffee

One does not have to stand to meet people. Head to the Café Flore (172 Bv. St. Germaine) or Deux Magots (170 Bv. St. Germaine) and invariably you will find a lot of singles who would like to make contact. One knows immediately who they are. Many are habitués (regulars) but these two "literary" (and very expensive) cafes attract tourists from throughout the world. Some of them are delighted to join up with others to explore a bit of Paris or simply take a walk.


Sushi, wine and music in the park...

waiterSushi bars are a good way to meet single diners. The new "in" sushi hangout is Lo Sushi (8, rue de Berri 75008) Designed by French designer Andree Putman, it has a Tokyo-syle revolving sushi bar where diners help themselves. The decor is better than the sushi, but the restaurant is a very big hit! Solo travellers should also consider popping into a wine bar where people have the same taste preferences or share a sense of sipping adventure. Try woman-friendly Juveniles (47 rue de Richelieu, 75001). Coffee Parisien (4 rue Princesse 75006) is another place where one can "eat American" at the bar and probably meet others suffering a chili or burger attack! Food and wine in France tend to be a universal bond. Take note -- the action starts about 9 pm here and the weekend brunches attract tout Paris.

There are numerous reports of people meeting while strolling through parks and gardens. My favorite pick would be the Luxembourg Garden. During the summer season, there are late afternoon concerts which attract singles. Sitting on the edge of the fountain and renting a tiny sail boat (try not to have it capsize too many times) is an easy way to invite a pleasant chat.


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