An Introvert's Guide to Paris

Onze Bar Interior | © Onze Bar
Onze Bar Interior | © Onze Bar
Sometimes the hassle of queues and hustle of city life just gets too much, and we need some quality alone time. Whether you’re an introvert by nature or just feel like escaping the crowds for an hour or so, here’s our pick of some of the top places in Paris to enjoy being an introvert.

For the bookworm

This incredible bookstore has been welcoming “tumbleweeds” (bohemian poets and writers) for decades, making it the perfect spot for the book-loving introvert to ponder. There are armchairs and benches with soft-seating throughout the bookstore, actively inviting you to pick up a book and sit down in solitary literary heaven.

Shakespeare and Company Wikimedia Commons

There’s a resident cat mooching around in case you get lonely, often with the sound of someone playing the live piano in the background, and a host of evenings workshops, readings and author talks to keep you busy until late.

Shakespeare and Company Wikimedia Commons

For the nature lover

After you’ve enjoyed reading a few books in Shakespeare and Company, and feel like you need a breath of fresh air, then if you turn just around the corner you’ll step into a small and secluded hidden green park. It’s a great spot to stare in wonder at the Notre Dame Cathedral, without the hassle of busy crowds or queues.

Square Rene Viviani Wikimedia Commons

You can hide beneath the shade of the trees, lounge on the grass or sit by the monument in the middle or on the stone steps – there are plenty of secluded corners to explore. Usually, there’s free public wifi on offer here too.

Square Rene Viviani Wikimedia Commons

For the coffee lover

Onze Bar is an incredibly quirky bar set in the 11th district of Paris, whose oddly mis-matched and multicoloured interior design is perfect for those introverted souls who just feel out of place in mainstream spaces. Expect to find strange objects hanging from the walls like handbags, random chandeliers and huge ornate mirrors, as well as enormous theatrical-like furniture to sink into as you sip your drink – unique and mismatched.

Onze Bar Interior © Onze Bar

With invigorating alcoholic cocktails that start at just €6, creamy hot chocolate at €3.50, and espresso at an incredible €1, price-wise you can’t complain either.

Onze Bar Interior © Onze Bar

For the food lover

Le Caminito Cabaret is a quirky space whose vibrant colours and charm make eating lunch or dinner alone as an introvert seem much less drab. It’s a down to earth place with no pretensions and an impressive selection of fresh food and drink on offer. What’s more is that the canteen set-up is brought to life by upbeat live music and ambience, all for a relatively cheap price tag. They have two chefs who are cousins and eager to cook traditional French foods as well as burgers and world food. There’ll be no strange glances cast if you decide to come here alone.

Le Caminito Cabaret Courtesy of Le Caminito Cabaret

For the history lover

Les Arènes de Lutèce is an ancient Roman arena hidden in the 5th Arrondissement of Paris, and is a great way to get immersed in the history of Paris without the hassle of huge queues at museums. In many ways, you get immersed even deeper. Once hosting epic gladiatorial combats before a 15,000 strong audience, the arena is now half-concealed by a few modern apartment buildings, meaning that it’s a quiet space away from the crowds (perfect for an introvert).

Arènes de Lutèce © ctj71081/Flickr

There are very few traces of the Gallo-Roman era in Paris besides this and what remains of the thermal baths at Musée de Cluny, making it a unique must-see that most people don’t know about.

Arènes de Lutèce Wikimedia Commons