Posted on September 1, 2010 - by solotraveler
Solo Travel in Paris – Great tips from a Francophile
Welcome to guest blogger Priscilla Pilon, author of the blog Weekend In Paris. Priscilla is a Francophile, Freelance writer and marketer who is passionate about all travel, with an emphasis on Paris. All photos courtesy of Priscilla Pilon
Solo Travel in Paris poses no problems for me, nor should it for you. Pre-planning mixed with a hint of spontaneity will combine to set the stage for a fantastic trip for one to Paris!
A must, in my opinion, is to book a hotel with breakfast included. This ensures that you will start off your day with a fabulous cup of coffee while getting mentally prepared to speak a foreign language. Practice French with the morning desk clerk, plan your routes, and seek advice from fellow map wielding travelers in the lobby who will hopefully offer insider tips for your day ahead.
Organized activities focus your day and help break the ice meeting others, making solo travel something to be embraced, not dreaded! Sign up for a session learning the history of chocolate making (tasting included) at La Maison du Chocolat, book a wine and cheese tasting at O Chateau, or head for a concert at la Cité de la musique. These experiences are great alternatives that give you the opportunity to mingle with locals and tourists alike while experiencing something nouveau.
Solo in a Group
Craving dinner companionship at the end of the day? I have never been, but hear from a very reliable friend, Stuart, that dinner at Jim Hayne’s house is quite an adventure. Strangers from all over the world show up solo or in groups and engage in repartee while dining on fabulous home-cooked food. Jim seeks a donation only to defray the cost of the meal. Anything extra reportedly gets passed along to various artistic charities. The suggested donation is 25 Euros and there is no need to bring a thing – wine included! Reservations can be made at Jim-Haynes.com. What better venue for solo travelers to not feel alone in a foreign city!
Incognito and Introspective?
More traditional ways for parties of one to tour Paris incognito or to meet other people include museums and cafés. Museums are an obvious choice because you have the option to take a guided tour to be with others or purchase headphones and go on your own if you are feeling especially introspective. Cafés and Brasseries are the preferred places to eat when solo in Paris – you will see many a Parisian dining alone outside (no matter the weather) facing the street where it’s the best people-watching in the world!
Whether traveling alone for business or choice, Paris is one of the easiest places to amuse oneself. The Joie de Vivre is infectious – go for it!
My note: This is so absolutely cool: http://www.jim-haynes.com/. I vow to do this the next time I am in Paris! I wish every city had something like this!