10 Places to Make Friends Easily in Paris
Making friends in Paris can be daunting. The French are a beautiful people, but the language barrier can be a bit of a challenge for visitors from out of town therefore making it considerably harder to form connections.
Technically all of Paris is a suitable place to make friends. Depending on your temperament, the queue to get into the Eiffel Tower could be the prefect place to meet your new mates.
For others, forming friendships while traveling is slightly less natural. You’re displaced, you may not speak the language and you have no idea where you’re going; friends aren’t exactly top of the list in your day-to-day survival.
I’ll give you the advice I wish I’d gotten much sooner in Paris: it is far more enjoyable when shared with someone. Friends, lovers or family… Paris is a place where you want someone present to witness you experiencing the city, and you witnessing them. After all, it is the city of love.
Roaming the city alone is perfectly doable and highly enjoyable at that! But sometimes its nice to have someone to text to meet you at the nearest street bistro for a glass of wine as the sun descends over the Seine.
To get you on your way, here are the ten best places to make friends easily in Paris.
1. Hostels in Paris
Probably the most obvious option of the lot, hostel culture is notorious for being the best place to make friends fast! The reason being that the people at the hostels are just like you; solo, free and in search of adventure.
Most hostels offer communal areas in addition to the rooms that they rent out. In these communal spaces guests meet, mingle and interact day in and day out. Some hostels are even centered around partying, meaning you won’t have to try very hard to find drinking buddies.
In Paris there are hostels available all around the city. They are affordable and usually well located or at the very least near a main metro station.
In terms of being near the more social scenes I’d recommend finding one in one of the following areas: Bastille, Oberkampf, Saint-Germain-des-Prés or The Latin Quarter. A hostel in any of these areas will have you forging friendships in no time!
2. Bike Tours in Paris
Not many people take note of the many bike tours on offer as well. What’s more, nor do they consider this to be the perfect place to meet like-minded individuals and potential friends.
A biking tour requires companionship, small talk and a basic interest in the sport at the very least. You’ll be surprised how many people walk away from these excursions with new friends.
Fat Tire Tours and Boutique Bike Tours are two of the better names in the business. You can easily apply to join their various tour options by visiting their websites or you can find bike tour in Paris on Viator's website.
Before the tour, you’ll meet with fellow riders at a central meeting point where you can mingle amongst yourselves until it’s time to ride. Afterwards riders often head to a nearby cafe or restaurant for a drink and snack post-ride through the arrondissements.
3. Music Concerts in Paris
The music scene in Paris is booming. It is a place that brings together both tourist and locals into a melting pot usually in the form of a concert hall or music venue. Here, spirits are high and connections are formed by the minute, between the bars, dance floor and lest I mention restrooms.
My favorite place to catch a big concert is defiantly the Olympia Music Hall over in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. The venue is one of the more significant ones in Paris and hosts the bigger names of artists that come to the city.
I’ve only seen a few shows here, but I found the space one of the easiest places in Paris to meet people. For starters, you already have the same taste in music — so the worst is over.
Aside from Olympia Hall there are many other venues to catch impressive performances. The La Cigale is another favorite of mine along with the Paris Opera that also holds musical gatherings.
Tickets can be bought online in advance for all of these venues, or at the box office just before the shows (provided they aren’t sold out).
4. Free Guided Walking Tours in Paris
As mentioned earlier, the streets of Paris are alive with free guided walking tours going back and forth from all ends of the city.
Walking the city is the best way to experience the best of what Paris has to offer. It also happens to be one of the best ways to meet new people.
The pace of the walking tours tends to be glacial; this gives ample time to chat amongst your group and make connections where possible. Most people walk away from these walking tours with at the very least a list of recommendations to do around the city from a fellow walker.
You can customize these tours to accommodate the routes you’d prefer to take. Or you can join one of the prearranged ones with already organized walking routes (Read more about Discover walking tours).
5. Wine Tours in Paris
Sometimes making friends in Paris requires one to actually get out of Paris for the day. A wine tour is the perfect day trip out of the city, and requires little preparation on your part other than signing up for said tour.
The wine lands of France are extensive. France is known for making some of the best wines in the world. France is also home to the well known Champagne region that supplies the world’s bubbly.
Not all of the wine tours in Paris require you to leave the city for the day. There are some worthwhile tours around the central city arrondissements as well. Le Marais area is known to have a multitude of wine tours to choose from where guests gather at local bistros and wine cellars to take part in them.
Bonding over wine is one of the easiest ways to make friends in Paris. The wine culture here is one that is widely celebrated and easy to bond over. All you have to do is choose between red or white and let nature take its course.
6. Supper Club in Paris
Joining a supper club in Paris is a good idea whether you’re in need of friends or not. They are one of the most fun evenings out that you can have in the city of lights and are treasure-trove for connection making and networking.
The most famous supper club is run by Jim Haynes and takes place every Sunday evening in the 14th arrondissement. You’ll have to book your place in advance and upon arrival you’ll be expected to make a monetary donation toward the evening. €25 is the suggested amount, more or less is also appreciated.
Once in the space you’ll meet and greet people from all over Paris. You’ll dine and drink together all night long in a melting pot of conversation, laughter and activities.
Don’t be nervous to enter this space solo. You definitely won’t be the only one. Supper clubs are notorious for being the place to meet new people, make friends and even forage lovers.
Don’t limit yourself to getting into the Jim Haynes club. If this one is full there are about twenty more around the city. Some of them are even themed; requiring dress up or participation in a genre specific setting.
7. The Metro in Paris
You’ll laugh, but I’ve made some of my best Parisian friends just by sitting next to them on the metro.
At first I didn’t think anything of it. I tended to my day as I normally would and asked the stranger next to me a question of genuine curiosity. Fast forward months down the line and we are friends to this day.
The metro is a place where time is of the essence, and interactions are either genuine or not at all. The stations are distributed all across Paris’ various arrondissements. The actual stations are human hubs themselves; always things to do, art to watch or people to chat to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying harass every person in your metro car until you find one who’s in the friend market. I’m simply saying keep your whits about you and look out for opportunities to offer advice, help or kindness — you’ll be surprised how far it can go.
The best part about the metro in Paris: you’ll likely never see these people again anyway! What have you got to lose!
8. Cafes in Paris
Cafe culture is one of my favorite things about Paris. Whether people have an hour to spare or an entire day to waste it is likely they will do so in their preferred cafe somewhere in the city.
You’ll find cafes in your district just by roaming the streets until one calls your name. Alternatively you could venture to a specific one that has been noted to you via word of mouth.
I personally love heading to La Maison Rose; a gorgeous little cafe in an old pink mansion just below Montmartre Hill. This cafe is a hit or miss, some days are extremely touristy, but if you can find a quite morning to spend some time here then striking conversation with willing strangers isn’t hard.
My top cafe dwelling tip would be take a book along to read in between eating and meeting people. It gives you something to do in the awkward moments and also gives you an ‘out’ should you need to get away from someone unappealing after a few minutes.
9. Hotel Bars in Paris
Many people underestimate the power of a good hotel bar and the people that it brings tougher day by day. I always imagine being a fly on the wall in the most elaborate business hotels around Paris; where people are in town for a night or two and have nothing better to do than mingle at the bar.
What’s more, hotel bars seem to come with their own twinge of escapism. An “anything goes” ambiance because no one in the space actually knows who you really are.
The Bar Hemingway located in the Ritz Hotel in the 1st arrondissement of Paris is a world of its own. Once inside you lose all sense of time and space — suddenly you’re back in the 20s drinking whiskey on the rocks with Hemingway and Picasso themselves.
Spot the loners of the hotel bar and take it as an opportunity to introduce yourself. At worst you’ll share a drink and some banter with a stranger before heading your separate ways — there are worse ways to spend an evening in Paris.
10. Plazas in Paris
Public spaces are always preferable when meeting strangers. They ensure there are witnesses around at all times and that the space is notably safer.
All over Paris there are beautiful public squares where tourists, locals and everyone in-between spend their days lazing around.
Personally I love the Place des Vosges. The ancient buildings next to the grass areas are beautiful to be near when the sun starts to descend into golden hour.
People here are calm and open; they’re keen for a chat or a laugh and who knows, perhaps you go home with a few more friends than you arrived with… pourquoi pas?