With my summertime earnings gradually dwindling, my frequenting of upmarket cocktail bars, sipping dry martinis alongside the French fashion elite, has had to take a backseat. Actually let’s face it, walking past Zara every day and living in an area where a minuscule espresso is around the €3 mark, my earnings didn’t quite make it past September. But all the same, Paris is a hotspot of hipster student bars, internationally themed nightclubs and cosy little cafés and yes – profound words to many St Andrews students – but sometimes, cheap can be cheerful!
Anyone that has ever lived in Paris as a student will know this wine cave like the back of their hand. Located down a small alley and little known to tourists, Chez George is THE place to be any (or every) night of the week night. Slightly overpriced glasses of wine, sing-a-longs in Hebrew and top banter… just polish up on your French first! Metro: Mabillon
Unlike Chez Georges, Café Oz could not be better known to tourists, and therein lies its charm! Spend your night dancing along to Pitbull in Spanish, whilst Canadians and Brazilians mingle around you. Australian themed and with a reputation for great music, a night at Café Oz is one to remember! And… they’re all over the city! Metro(s): Denfert Rochereau, Grands Boulevards, Blanche
Slightly classier and more suited to the Number 40 crowd is Footsie, named after the FTSE London Stock Exchange. Drink prices change according to the ‘market’ or the drink consumption in the bar…bring a group of friends on a quiet night and encourage them to drink so you can indulge in the odd tipple for next to nothing: economics in action?! Metro: Opéra
For a lazy soirée listening to some great jazz and blues with a fabulous 5€ mojito in hand (the best in the city according to, well, me) head to Culture Rapide in the upcoming Belleville area of Paris. Metro: Belleville
Sadly I might have to claim that the library is my 5th favourite student hang-out in Paris, but, in case that’s not your cup of tea/glass of wine, take any main Boulevard in Paris and head off on any (illuminated!) side street and you’re sure to find a cosy little wine cave or café perfect for a rendezvous with friends over that best of French produce, wine!
And with that the books are again calling… or is that just the ringing in my head from the incessant beats of Café Oz? Pay me later Mr DJ, or maybe just let us win the Ashes?