Ultimate Singles’ Guide to Paris

Written by Isabel Clift

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Whether you’re after the real thing or a quick fling, finding love in Paris is on most singles’ secret to-do lists. But where do you go to meet Parisian hotties?

Here are some cast-iron dating tips we picked up from the office’s French contingent. With great power comes great responsibility, so use them wisely…

1. Where to go for a drink

Oberkampf is popular with trendy Parisians and has established itself as one of the city’s coolest new hang-outs in recent years. Here are our top three bars…

Café Charbon

An old-style café during the day, Café Charbon turns in to a lively late-night bar at night and is popular among hot young things. The café is a great to go for dancing but not the best if you want to get to know someone a bit better as you’ll barely be able to hear yourself think once the music gets going.

109 Rue Oberkampf

Le Chat Noir

This cosy café bar attached to a design hotel is a little less raucous than Café Charbon. Comfy seats, inviting cocktails and a friendly crowd make this a great place to go to get practicing your French on a pretty/handsome Parisian!

68 Boulevard de Clichy


Always open late into the night, this is the place that everyone goes once everywhere else has closed up shop for the evening. Busy, loud and unashamedly wild, Cithéa is the perfect place to let all your inhibitions go as you dance away long into the night.

114 Rue Oberkampf

Alternatively, bar-hop along canal Saint Martin for cheap drinks, a friendly atmosphere and plenty of people in the mood for having a good time!

2. Where to go clubbing in Paris

If clubbing is more your scene, you might want to give one of these nightspots a try…

Barrio Latino

Feeling like a little slice of Old Havana, Barrio Latino plays a mix of salsa and Latin grooves. Eat at the 2nd-floor restaurant to soak up those mojitos.

46 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Social Club

Cooler than a penguin sitting on an iceberg eating a cucumber, Social Club plays dubstep, house and minimal techno. Come to (attempt to) pick up hipsters.

142 Rue Montmartre

Le Redlight

Podiums, superstar DJs, chart music and a sticky array of €3 shots make Le Redlight Paris’s ultimate shiny-floored megaclub. Arrive before 12am to get in for free.

34 Rue du Départ

3. French chat-up lines

Despite numerous books and internet sites arguing the contrary, there are no fail-proof methods to picking-up that boy or girl you’ve admired from a distance all evening. However, that doesn’t stop people trying to give advice.

Here are a few pointers which might come in handy when talking with Parisians.

For Boys

  • Using basic French phrases in conversation is no longer impressive for Parisian girls as that’s what every foreigner tries! Instead, try saying something a little more original like ‘Là où il y a une volonté, il y a un chemin’ (where there’s a will there’s a way). Better still, say something in your own language – they all speak English!
  • Make them laugh! French girls love a guy with a good sense of humour. If all else fails try telling the joke in French. This has always worked for me – not because the joke is any good but because my French is so awful they can’t help but laugh!
  • Engage in eye contact. Apparently, a bit of eye contact and a cheeky smile goes down well amongst Parisian girls, who appreciate being admired. Don’t go overboard though or they’ll think you’re a psycho!

N.B. Under no circumstances must you ever utter the phrase ‘voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir?’ This has been used countless times by hapless drunk men and never, ever gets results!

For Girls

  • Despite appearances, many Parisian men are actually quite shy. So, all the old classic moves to put them at ease are well appreciated like laughing at his jokes, smiling a lot and responding to his questions.
  • Parisian men admire girls with confidence and don’t like doing all the running, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you approaching them first or buying them a drink.
  • Unlike their female counterparts, Parisian men love girls who make the effort to try to speak to them in French. So, get brushing up on those French phrases!

4. Paris party hostels

As a singleton in Paris, you’ll want to stay somewhere fun. St. Christopher’s Inns Paris has a bar, nightclub and large communal area, plus over 300 beds – so it’s bound to get lively! With dorm beds starting at €17.93pppn, it’s not bad value for money either.

If you want to stay somewhere smaller, Village Hostel in Montmartre has a cafe/bar open til 2am and a drinks terrace with amazing views of the Sacre Coeur, just made for mingling. Dorm beds start at €19.95.

Still looking for a party pad in Paris? Check out the HostelBookers website for a full list of our cheap Paris hotels and hostels.

Thanks to icanteachyouhowtodoit, malias, komingup.com, FALHakaFaiLin, echiner1dicktay2000, riccardo.martinsPaul Beattie, zeHawk, d’n’c, christope ALARY, twoyearsinparis.com & Ed Yourton for the flickr images. Please note, all images were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.

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