Paris – My third stop during my travels through Europe! This time I`m going to talk about my French experience and introduce you to coach surfing. I`ll show you how to organize a free stay overnight in Paris.
We all know: Paris – a beautiful city with glamour and glitter- BUT, very expensive. What about saving some money on living and rather spending the money at some excellent shopping stores?
Have a look at the platform: https://couch.yfu-is.org/sign . This is a website former students, travelers, alumni, host families, volunteers and staff of the organization YFU can use. People all over the world join this platform and members are able to find hosts in all kind of places. If you didn`t travel with YFU you can use another coach surfing platform which ist able to be accessed by everyone. Find the link here: https://www.couchsurfing.com/#how-it-works .Easy to use – check it out! You can live at someone’s house for free and in return you can invite them to your place.
Tipp: It`s always nice to return a favor when you are staying at someone’s house for free. Ask them about a shared dinner where you cook a traditional meal of your home country. People always love that.
This kind of living is a beautiful way to find a place to stay with locals and make new friends! This is not about money- it`s about taking, giving and sharing experiences.
When we were looking for a place to sleep in Paris, we had a look at the map on the website and found two wonderful families who invited us to live with them.
The first place we stayed at was called “Aulnay-sous-Bois”. A French village close to downtown Paris. Vernonique, the mother of two cool French students was super friendly and open minded. She loved to speak English with us and was really hospitable. Staying at her place felt like home. We met up with her daughter who was around our age and cooked some super delicious French Pasta together.
Tipp: We learned: no matter what time or what meal- every meal in France goes with French baguette. So don’t forget to bring baguette!
After two days we moved to another Family to a place a bit further from Paris called: “Champagne”. As the name implies the living area was absolutely beautiful. Small white houses lining up next to each other with lots of greenery and small French cafés and shops beside. The family itself was super friendly. They lived in a big wooden house with a pool and beautiful art decoration inside. A dream!
Most of the time while we were staying at their house we hung out with a guy called Baptiste. A lovely student our age, who showed us around and made us the best French crêpe I ever had in my life. French crêpe with ham, cheese and an egg on top. So easy but so delicious! Besides we did some French cheese tasting with wine and hand made cheese from the market in their town.
He went with us to a small city called “I’Isle Adam”. One of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen! This place was absolutely stunning but not touristic at all! It is the partner city of Marbach, Germany. This small city is full of history and lovely decoration. Along the river there are houses of art nouveau with pure green gardens leading to avenues, and heaps of various restaurants and bars to enjoy the scenery. They also have their own beach, right in front of the river, with sand to chill. I swear this is the place to be!
The family’s place itself was about 40 minutes ride to Paris. We made a good friend while staying there and I can only recommend you guys to live with locals and other young people as much as possible.
I hope I could inspire some of you guys to try this kind of sleepover experience. If you have any questions or issues regarding Coach surfing or Paris do not hesitate to ask me.
A second part about my favorite spots in Paris beside all the tourist attractions is coming up soon.
Lots of love,