Tuesday 6 July 2010

Trouvez votre Place

Paris cafes are possibly the most well-known image of the City of Light. The Paris cafe is more than a place to sip coffee, it is an institution in Paris, a magnet for tourists and a cultural phenomenon. No trip to Paris is complete without a relaxing, long sit with some fascinating people-watching at a Paris cafe. When staying in Paris for a long period of time, one must find “their” café, where you meet with friends daily for a drink.

My café was situated on rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, only a short walk from my school. When 70’s styled countertops meet 90’s styled lighting, you have Le Petit Café. It is a very small and charming little neighborhood café. Enjoy a small coffee or a tasty salad while taking part in the intellectual, social and gastronomical life of this great city. Discuss some recent art you’ve viewed at a famous museum and digest plenty of good food and drink along the way. Parisians comfortably fill ever table of the cafe during lunchtime and evenings.

Not only can you enjoy drinks during the day, but nightlife is a must! A fun atmosphere with cheap drinks is sometimes hard to find in Paris, however I managed to find a couple of places my friends and I went to regularly.

In the center of Châtelet, one of the busiest metro stops in Paris, sits an Australian pub where the locals hail from all four corners of the globe, speak English, and dance on the tables all night long. Café OZ is a friendly bar decked out in wooden decor, road signs, kangaroos and crocodiles. It’s difficult to believe you are still in Paris once you enter this relic from the down under. The wait staff is all English, the beer is Australian, and the patrons are students and young professionals from just about everywhere. Let yourself be seduced by this pleasant pub atmosphere, where you can dance on tables until dawn. Arrive early and stay late. Enjoy happy hour from 6 to 8!

The Hideout is a self-described "untraditional irish pub" providing an upbeat atmosphere and inexpensive booze. The Bastille location has 2 floors. The upstairs has ample room for lounging on comfortable couches with friends or mingling near the bar, while the basement is a meager dance party for individuals not wanting to pay an entrance fee elsewhere. The Hideout is perfect for a low-key night out with friends or as a pre-game to greater things. Due to its convenient location on the infamous Rue de Lappe in Bastille, this pub is surrounded by streets full of bars, clubs and pubs. It is possible to pop-in for a short period of time then continue on to bigger bars without ever using the metro. Another great location is located near Rue Moufftarde where you can enjoy a fondue dinner then walk in for happy hour pints till 10:00, 2 for 5 euro. Note to Americans: the bartender gives free shots to individuals celebrating their 21st birthday.

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