Wouldn’t it be nice to make some French friends? If you’ve come to France with the expectation to mix and mingle with Parisians and catch up on your French, but you still don’t have any actual Parisian friends, welcome to the club.
Every foreigner has experienced this to some extent, and the reality is, it takes time for the French to warm up to you in general. It’s true that Parisians aren’t the most friendly (especially the ones who haven’t traveled), but once you break through the barrier, you’ve got a friend for life (usually, though of course nothing’s guaranteed).
Now how do you go ahead and meet a local Parisian anyway?
This is true for any newbie in any country. You have to get to know the locals in their natural habitat. At a university, you’ll be surrounded by locals and will get to mingle with them every day. No longer a student? Well, if you take a class in pottery, dance, piano, or gardening, you’re bound to sit next to someone with whom you can exchange in a casual setting. And you’ll get to learn about something you like!
If you’re not sure how to get started, try one of Urbansider’s Experiences. You’ll get to meet native and new Parisians while learning about wine, baking French pastries, or even painting handbags!
If you’re traveling with a group, grab your friends and go to a lounge or a bar. The French tend to go out in groups too, so it can be easier to chat up the Parisians at the next table if you’re not alone. And after a few cocktails, you suddenly have things in common with everyone. But, bien sûr, drink responsibly!
If you’re traveling solo, you might give Le Social Bar a try. The goal of this convivial spot is to get strangers talking, meaning that everyone who comes here is open to meeting new people and striking up conversations.
Depending on the meetup, you should be able to meet like-minded people with whom you can chat with and possibly form a lasting friendship. If you’re interested in yoga, languages, photography, or even Instagram, you’ll find Paris has plenty of meetups for you!
Whatever you do, don’t make too much of an effort, but definitely don’t stay home! Just remember this, Paris is wonderful with or without a local Parisian friend.
If you love books, then you're in for a treat in Paris! Narrowing the best shops for book lovers down to just five is a difficult task, but to help my fellow traveling bookworms, I'm sure going to give it a try, probably cheating a little as I go.