With 10 million inhabitants Paris is a very big city. A really big city. But a situation a bit paradoxical is waiting for you: Maybe you will meet nobody during your trip. It's not that nobody is gonna reply to you if you are lost in the street or if you ask which metro ticket to buy but it will be difficult to have a real conversation by chance, this soulful exchange which allows you to discover the other and a little bit about his life.
I have the chance to travel regularly and it is true that certain places make conversation easy: bars, clubs, waiting lines, tourist offices, tourist buses, areas where expatriates meet etc.
But it exists in Paris some special ways to meet Parisians and why not make some new friends?
"Parisien d'un jour"
It's a association of Parisians who love their capital and help you discover their district: good adresses, restaurants, cultural places and more. They can be students, retired people or community activists. The 160 members offer you a little of their time and allow to live for a few hours just like a real Parisian. All these activities are free and must be reserved 2 weeks in advance on www.greeters.paris
An useful tip: they are very happy to accompany handicapped people particularly those who need to move around on a wheelchair.
"La Cave de l'Os à Moëlle"
This restaurant nothing like any other is located in the 15th district of Paris towards the Eiffel Tower. It functions on the principle of communal table: you are seated next to other clients around big wooden tables and it's a help yourself buffet (25 EUR). It will be difficult not to have a conversation with your neighbors around a good bottle of wine! The cuisine is 100% French homemade with quality products. Last time I went there was a menu of salad, black pudding, veal ragout, codfish brandade, an excellent cheese dish and delicious deserts.
181 rue Lourmel, 75015 PARIS, 01 45 57 28 28, metro Lourmel.
Open every day except Mondays from 12 to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm.
More information: osamoelle-restaurant.com
As well as proposing the rent of more than 50 000 apartments in Paris Airbnb allows travellers to share an activity done by a real Parisian. These experiences are more than a simple visit because there is a personal implication of each participant: we teach you how to make beer in a urban brewery, discover spots of street art with an art critic and how to roast cocoa beans. Personally I propose an experience for sweet tooth: learn how to make crepes with a chef in one of the best creperies in Paris.
Groups are usually small (less than 10 people) and rates depend on the experience chosen.
Plus d'infos : www.airbnb.fr/experiences/
"Meetup" et "On Va Sortir"
"Meetup" in a community present all over the world which proposes meetings in real life. Its advantage is to be very multicultural but the activities often consist of drinking alcohol, doing selfies between people proud to be "expats" and "internationals". For more authentic meeting look at these evenings: www.tripmeeters.com
Last but not least if you speak a little French you must sign out for paris.onvasortir.com The members propose each day hundreds of free visits in absolutely all domains (sports, culture, tourism, food). A must to meet dynamic Parisians who are delighted to share their leisure time.
What do you need more to discover France?