What separates traveller from tourist? Well, we prefer to linger in one place for longer; to get to know a city and its rhythms. Francophiles also long to delve deeper into the lifestyle and culture of their favourite country – too much is never enough.
Soon enough, you might find yourself beginning to reach that coveted tipping point: when traveller becomes local, and the experience becomes more than just a happy game of make-believe.
At MyFrenchLife™, it’s something upon which we often wax lyrical. To greet your boulangère by name; to exchange pleasant conversation with a neighbour – or at least for the clerk at the local supermarché to give you an unusually friendly “Bonjoo-ur” at the check-out when he recognises your face.
As with all dreams, however, they do not come cheap. In this case, travel can be the most expensive dream of all. But of course, we’re savvy. We save where we need to by using services like Nomador for house-sitting, and making the most of the sharing economy in travel whenever possible.
And because Francophiles rarely let anything stand in the way of their dreams, we’ve decided to leverage the revolution in remote working to finance our next stay in France.
Perhaps you’re lucky (or determined) enough to have twisted your boss’s arm into allowing your working holiday. Maybe you’re travelling to la ville lumière on business as well as pleasure? Or have you made the big switch to roaming entrepreneur, remote worker or freelancer?
Alors, the next step is to find an office. Or perhaps you’re simply looking for a convenient place to post travel photos and respond to that ever-growing inbox over a cup of coffee…
Put your laptop in your handbag, and let the city of Paris become your office. Here are our top spots for working in Paris!
Café Craft – remote working for gourmands
If you like a day’s work to come with great coffee and food, try Café Craft.
We can safely say that their flat whites are spot on, and the apricot and basil cake, brownies and baguettes also come highly commended. So, if you’re kind the worker who needs constant refuelling, Craft could be your optimum office spot.
Patrons pay either for time or consumption – we always opt for consumption, obviously.
24 rue des Vinaigres, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent
Anticafé – remote working for compulsive snackers
Though the culinary and coffee options aren’t as good as Craft, the ambience, facilities and two great locations of Anticafé more than make up for this. Their original outpost on the rue du Beaubourg in the 10th is always a hive of activity, while the wide windows on their rue du Rivoli location make the space light and comfortable to work in.
When you arrive at Anticafé, one of the staff will provide you with a card to count the hours you stay, which you’ll then hand back at before you leave. Consumption is unlimited, which is a huge drawcard if you’re a compulsive snacker or tea-drinker.
79 rue Quincampoix, 75003
10 rue de Richelieu, 75001
Métro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre
Coworkshop – good vibes & comfortable couches
Speak to anyone who’s worked at Coworkshop on rue des Vinaigres near the Canal St Martin, and chances are they’ll tell you how much they loved the ambience at Coworkshop. There’s something about the way the light filters in off the street into the open entrance that makes it magic for creativity and getting things done.
If it’s free, make a bee-line straight to the couch next to the front door – when it comes to views, it’s our favourite seat for working in all of Paris. This friendly coworking space charges by the hour and will treat you to a free cup of coffee or tea.
29 rue des Vinaigres, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent
Laptop-friendly cafés in Paris
We’re firmly of the opinion that it’s rude to linger too long in a café, using up wifi and only ordering un café express. The sure-fire way to make friends and keep your favourite café-cum-office space is to only stay for an hour at most. It’s also been shown that working for an hour at a time and then changing your surroundings can do wonders for productivity and creativity.
At the top of our list of favourite working-friendly cafés are Coutume Instituuti in the 5th; and Café Coutume in the 7th. Instituuti is light and open, while Coutume is more cosy – and populated by many other laptop-owners, so you won’t feel out of place.
Another option on the avenue Bosquet in the 7th is Kozy Paris. The space is especially designed for longer than usual café stays, and the cookies are to die for.
Institut Finlandais, 60 rue des Ecoles, 75005
Métro: Cluny – La Sorbonne
47 rue de Babylone, 75007
79 Avenue Bosquet, 75007
Métro: École Militaire
Coworking spaces in Paris
The best place for coworking on the fly is definitely Numa on rue de Caire, in the 3rd arrondissement. The bottom floor is walk-in, with free wifi and a café. Alternately, if you are a member of a coworking space in another city, you may be able to use the first floor coworking space for a couple of days under the Coworking Visa agreement.
Alternately, many coworking spaces will be happy to host you for a day in order to try out the space. Try the hip, ramshackle Mutinerie in the 11th, or our favourite: the professional and refined Solleiles in the 2nd.
39 rue du Caire, 75002
Métro: Sentier, Réaumur-Sebastopol.
A final word on living the dream…
Making the switch to remote working might be a daunting proposition, but it’s also a very exciting one. It offers freedom, and so much possibility! Nomador have some fantastic guides to remote working on their blog: what it is, and how to make the most of it.
House-sitting is also a great way to live a local while travelling, and when you’re working remote, it’s important to have a comfortable, homely place to come home to at the end of a long day. And it’s always nice to get a little work done in bed or on the couch too, but unlike a hotel or even a rented apartment, a home is more comfortable – after all, it’s made for living, not just passing through.
Have we missed your favourite spot for working in Paris? Share it with us in the comments below!
Proud partner of Nomador.
1-5. © Hannah Duke.
6. Numa, via Foursquare.
7. Coworkshop, via Coworkingdesign.