So… in the nonstop sitcom that is my life (minus the laugh track and the ability to change the channel quickly) I currently am with out electricity at home for an extended period of time. This means no internet as well. Which is definitely not the first time I have encountered a long period of no internet since moving here due to my many apartment moves.
But you get to profit from these experiences with my list of suggestions for: If you are traveling in Paris or live in Paris and need that sweet sweet internets.
Free Internet in Paris
That’s a keyword phrase for ya!
- Libraries – You do not have to be a resident to enjoy the perks of libraries. Not only can you get a library card without live in Paris but also there is free good internet access, desks, serenity, power outlets and the ability to brag you were in the library all day. If possible, always check the opening hours as they can vary (usually closed sundays and mondays and open afternoons only during the summer).
- Library Locations (in French)
- Parks and other Public Places- You heard it. Free wifi in the what seems to be most the public parks in Paris plus some other spots. No power outlets but lots of basking in the grass like a vrai Parisian.
- Parks such as: Buttes Chaumont, Parc de Belleville and Tour de Saint Jacques – Full Park Listing Here (in French)
- Listing of all Free Wifi Spots and Instructions thanks to the Marie Here (English)
- McDonalds – Okay, not free as you SHOULD purchase something but you can always sneak in there and show it to the man if need be. I hate to admit it but McDonalds has saved my life as a traveler several times. Toilets, food, cheap coffee (actually not too bad espresso in Paris), a rare power outlet and internet is nice.
- Apple Stores – Rumor has it offer free internet and computer use… if you can squeeze your way into one. They are always crowded so no porn perusing!
Free (with purchase) Internet in Paris
- Some Cafés – You gotta keep an eye out but some cafés and brassieries advertise free wifi (usually posted on a small sticker on their door) like my favorite café L’Assassin in the 11ème. Be sure to buy something though! Also power outlets will not always be available. If you are only going to buy a drink, be sure not to sit at a table with dish settings as to not raise their ire. The best perk if you come there enough you may reach the coveted “regular” status.
- Starbucks – Depending on the branch, you need to use a code on your receipt to activate an hour or more internet use. Power outlets sometimes are available. While not as common as in the US, you also can find Starbucks in Paris, mostly in the center of the city a.k.a. the business arrondissements/quarters.
- FreeWifi and Other Citywide Wifi Telecom Providers - FreeWifi is not free. It is woefully/trick-fully the name of a company. You in fact need to have an account or a very nice friend with an account, BUT if you can score one, these providers do give city/country wide wireless codes with most telecom accounts. Let’s say you actually live in Paris but are awaiting or internet carrier to hook things up, ask them what your citywide Wifi login details are to get a jump on things. In fact that is how I am typing/saving this article. right. now.
You can also connect to their services “SFR”, “Orange”, “FreeWifi”, etc and see if you have the ability to buy a day pass.
- Internet Cafés – All around the city you can find internet cafés with computer/internet booths, usually indicated by a neon glowing @. In addition there is the chain called Mlik which is open 24/7. These places are also useful if you need to print, fax, scan something (paperworrrrkkkk?) or call someone. I tend to price shop (walk and look at the menus of several I pass) before I decide who to patronize as prices will vary.
- Coffee Shops with Work Stations or Internet Access – I do not know many but I do see them starting to pop up, like Craft. There is sometimes a minimum order or fee, such as, 9EUR at Craft.
- Coworking Spaces – Coworking spaces or labs are where you can collaborate with other professionals or work on your own personal projects privately at a big person desk or on a cool person comfy couch. They include places like Super Belleville, La Mutinerie and La Tank, La Cantina and La Rouche. Some do require a pre-application or monthly signup. While others you can rent hourly or use the space for free during certain periods and networking events.
- You can find a list of coworking spaces on the TechList for Paris – here.
Rewind a bit… why does Sheila have no electricity?
So in my recent move to a new apartment I messed up in signing up for electricity. They shut it off August 1st… and the first appointment we could make because our neighborhood/arrondisement’s office is on vacation is August 16th. No joke. August in Paris is the worse.
Let’s take this as a learning lesson. When you move into an apartment you have two months to change it to your name after the old tenant has cancelled it and be sure to VALIDATE our contract. I messed up the steps and did not reply to a text that was sent to me to validate the contract (EDF is the carrier), hence the shut off.
C’est la vie. - S