What part of town are you staying in ? And what sort of things would you like to do in the evenings – pubs, clubs…?
(And I would try to avoid Pigalle even during the daytime).
I haven’t booked anything yet, but I got a recommendation from someone on a hotel in Montmartre. But I don’t mind taking the metro in the evenings either (as long as I can get back to the hotel too :) ).
I’d rather not go to clubs & pubs alone, my French is good enough to get by but I’m not confident (nor fluent) enough to have entire conversations.
My French is also good enough to get by, and that has always been good enough for me :) Once things gets so far into a conversation, the people I’ve been talking to have always pretty much switched over to English. (I’m guessing you’re Flemmish ? How do you feel about speaking English ? It seems, from your posts, you’re at a really good level). Plus, with the Irish / Scottish / Canadian pubs, a lot of the clientele (and most of the barstaff) would be anglophone…which makes it easier (for me, at least) to strike up a conversation…I’ve heard of Coolin’s alright, I think it’s maybe the same one Alizee is talking about ? I’ve never been to it though – there are others I know better, in different parts of town, if you’re interested ?
I’ve always travelled solo to Paris, and I’ve never had any trouble going to the pub or dining solo. (For eating, The Great Canadian is my current favourite). Having said that, pretty much any cafe in the city will serve you up a great dinner….though the cafes right beside the ‘big’ tourist spots will be more expensive.
In Montmartre…Place du Tertre is surrounded by cafes, it looks pretty but they’d all be really expensive, I’m sure…there’s also Les Deux Moulins, where Amelie Poulain worked, on Rue Lepic. (It’s about 15 seconds away from the Moulin Rouge). If you’re going to be in town for Bastille Day, I’ve heard the steps of Sacre Coeur are a great spot when the fireworks go off ?
Good guess, I am Flemmish :) English is not really a problem (I work for the European HQ of a multinational and with all the different nationalities in the company it’s corporate policy to have email traffic and meetings in English, so…) but I can go to Irish pubs here too, I was looking for more ‘only in Paris’ things to do. However I haven’t been to a Canadian pub yet, I might check that one out (never had Canadian food or beer either).
I’ll probably go around the 21st of July (Belgian holiday), too late for Bastille day I’m afraid.
By the way..how well do you know Bruxelles ?
Not as well as I would like, I still get terribly lost without a map. Good friends of mine live in Brussels, they’ve taken me on long walks around town and I think it’s beautiful. I’ll be buying a guidebook myself so I can get around on my own and visit some museums over the summer (I want to get this one: http://www.momedia.nl/100procent-reisgidsen/100-brussel.html, I really like these guides, they now got it translated in English as well if you’re interested: http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Per-Cent-Brussels-Explore/dp/9057670968)