For the past 5 months, I was lucky enough to be living in Paris. I am helping small companies with their online presence and social media, so I can pretty much work from wherever I want. Yes, it’s pretty sweet!
I explored a lot in Paris, you can see that especially on my Instagram account. In this article, I will share with you the 6 coffee bars or co-working spaces I enjoy the most. It is no ranking. Where I go depends on my mood and what I want to get done.
I need all of these different places because I got used to working from wherever I want as an entrepreneur. To be at one place for eight hours seems simply impossible and lowers my productivity.
This coffee bar is attached to the Finnish institute. There’s often art on the windows and walls, and the room is filled with natural light. In the front of the building you can get inspired by minimalistic Finnish design. Only a few seats are reserved for laptop work, and that makes it so good. I prefer to go here in the morning. They have incredibly good coffee and they know what they’re doing. It’s a perfect boost to start your day. If you are lucky, you can even attend a free coffee degustation!
Around you, people are discussing projects, reading the newspaper, or having a casual meetup. I lost count of all the different languages I heard here. And sometimes, that motivates me.
As part of a big co-working office, nomads are welcomed in the front of the building. Particular rules are set to keep you working without worries. The first hour you pay 4 euro, the following hours 3 euro. You can pause this time whenever you want, and receive unlimited coffee and tea. As a coffee lover, I doubted a lot to mention this place. It eventually made the list because I like this place for the big start-up network they have. It almost did not make the list because the coffee is pretty much rubbish and comes in plastic cups. There’s not much talking, but since the room is big enough, you’re not afraid to start a conversation or make some phone calls. This place comes with a big community behind it. Be sure to check their website to join some events.
If you want to work very focused, come to this place. This is the place where you bent over your laptop and only look up after one hour. It’s a tiny place. There’s room for about 25 people, but you’re sitting very close to each other. This makes phone calls sometimes a bit of a problem. When 8 people around you are completely quiet, you tend to finish the phone call faster.
The paying system is a bit different here. You pay 3 euro per hour, but you can spend that money on drinks and food, including good coffee.
This place breaths activity. In the huge area on the ground floor, there’s place for about 50 people, and it’s usually packed. When you’re here, you get work done. You see dozens of others working on their start-up, and it works very encouraging to do the same. If you want to talk about ideas, brainstorm with some people, or just have some feedback, this is the place to be. The start-up community is alive and kicking in this place, much more than any other in this list. There are also a few ‘connectors’ where you can go with questions. These volunteers usually have great feedback, or they know someone else who can help you. There are tons of activities in the rest of the building, and big chance you will meet your next business partner here.
There are three Anticafes in Paris. I only went to the one next to Olympiade. It’s integrated in a university campus, which results in a younger public. There’s a lot of movement and people working together, but there is also a quiet room. Also here you pay 4 euro per hour, but you get a lot in return: Unlimited (good) coffee, thee, bread, chips, cookies and fruit. The interior design is great and they have reasonable packages per week and per month. More people are working on school assignments than their own projects, so the start-up vibe is a bit lost here.
Although I said there isn’t a ranking, this is the one I prefer the most. Arobase is a coffee bar that combines a workplace with the cosiness of home. People come here to meet each other, teach language one-on-one, read the newspaper, and work. You can choose to have a seat in the couches, high seating, or normal chairs. There’s even a cosy basement and an outside seating area in the front. There’s a very relaxed vibe here, and just enough noise to work hard and make phone calls. I admit, especially writing articles and content happens from here. There’s just something that works here.
When I’m in Paris and need to work, big chance I will be here in the late afternoon. The only minus I can mention is the fact that the beer Leffe comes in orange juice glasses. Yes, that’s important. Did I mention I’m from Belgium?
For the next year, I will be living in Prague. Some say it is the next big start-up hub in Europe. It’s a bridge between West and East Europe. They welcome start-ups without the worries of high accommodation and living costs. Well, I can tell you, this is especially true if you’re coming from Paris.
I am more than ever motivated to get to know the Czech capital and its people. This means that I’m learning the Czech language, which is quite challenging. But I hope to learn more about the culture in general and of course, do some business here.
If you’re in Prague and you want to have a chat, let’s have a coffee together!