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How to enjoy Paris as a solo traveller

It’s known as ‘the city of love’ but Paris has just as much to offer a solo traveller.

Visit a bookshop

Indulge in some literary tourism

Indulge in some literary tourism

Long queues for most Parisian museums mean that solo travellers will appreciate the distraction of a good book. Visitors and locals alike heap adoration on the quaint yet chaotic Shakespeare and Company bookshop, but it’s worth venturing beyond the Left Bank to expand your reading list.

Librairie Galignani was the first English bookshop in continental Europe and it retains all its 19th-century charm. Travellers looking for a broad selection should head over to the multi-story Violette and Co. in the 11th arrondissement while non-fiction lovers must pay a visit to La Hune.

If you prefer to travel lightly, the literary-themed boutique hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres features a well-stocked library.

Embrace café culture

The Place du Tertre in Montmartre

The Place du Tertre in Montmartre

The Parisian café culture of tiny tables cluttering the pavement is ideally suited to the solo traveller. Order a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and spend an afternoon people watching from one of the bistros that dot the narrow 5th and 6th arrondissement streets.

If you prefer a view while you dine, head up to the main square in Montmartre – the Place du Tertre – or book a room with a balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Résidence Charles Floquet are a set of elegant, airy apartments less than 50 metres from the tower.

Go for a wander

The ever-popular Tuileries Garden

The ever-popular Tuileries Garden

Paris has a wonderful mix of grand, formal parks and serene, secret gardens. Tuileries Garden is still a great place to meet people and admire the nearby landmarks, even centuries after it was officially opened to the public. Parc de Belleville offers panoramic views of the city and is a 15-minute walk from the much more secluded Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.

Visiting on your own also makes it a lot easier to take on gigantic museums and galleries such as The Louvre. Rather than worrying about keeping track of your companions, you can roam free or visit the multi-level Musée Rodin and let yourself get lost in the Sculpture Garden.

Once you’re all walked out, retire to Le A, a centrally-located hotel with its own collection of artworks that you can admire while sipping a restorative cocktail in the 19th-century bar.

Watch a film

Visit the birthplace of cinema

Visit the birthplace of cinema

Cinema was invented in Paris and two centuries later the tradition is still alive with multiplexes, art house cinemas and open air film screenings across the city.
History fans will love the eclectic mix of films on show at Cinéma du Panthéon (Paris’ oldest cinema), documentary lovers should head for the Cinéma le Chef and the Grand Rex is always screening the latest blockbusters.

If you’re on the lookout for something a little unusual, the Studio Galande is famous for showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show twice a week, including audience singalongs. The free screenings at Parc de la Villette open air cinema run throughout the summer and the Le 123 Sébastopol hotel has suites themed around different cinematic legends.