you can see a lot of gorgeous street art in paris

Is Paris Safe for Solo Female Travellers? My Honest Opinion

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Paris is a destination that dazzles many solo travelers. I mean, who doesn’t dream of visiting Paris with a baguette in one hand and a high-end shopping bag in the other? 

However, I’ve been a travel writer for quite a few years, so I’m always sharing stories with others. I’ve actually heard multiple travelers claim they were “disappointed” after their visit to Paris. I’ve even had people ask me “is Paris safe for solo female travellers?” because they’re so concerned.

Their reasons varied. A lot of people built Paris up in their heads too much. As for others, they thought the city was dirty and underwhelming. Others felt like Paris was too expensive. I’ve even heard lots of complaints about dog poop (which seems to, at least, have gotten better since my last trip) littering every street corner.

And I completely understand!

When you place a destination on a high pedestal, expectations are impossible to reach. Paris is a city of dreams a lot like New York, so it’s easy to idolize it, but at the same time, you want to avoid disappointment.

I mean, a solo trip to Paris is expensive! You want to feel happy and full of wonder rather than burn out and miserable.

And most importantly, you want to feel safe in Paris. Solo travel and safety always go hand in hand. 

amazing views of paris for free

Is Paris Safe for Solo Female Travel?

Paris is safe for a big city. But what about for traveling alone? That’s a trickier question to address.

As much as I want to say that Paris is 100% safe for solo female travel, honesty has always been my best policy. In my opinion, Paris can be safe for solo travel if you’re prepared to explore a big city and don’t go jumping into your trip with “rose-colored glasses,” believing every stranger on the street is your friend who wants to protect you.

Paris is undoubtedly a beautiful city, but reality is different. Some areas are … rough. You will see homeless people, including children, on the street (which is heartbreaking). Tourists are targeted by scams at the big sites, such as Basilica of Sacré Coeur, and some scammers will not take “no” for an answer, which is scary. And street harassment happens.

Paris is a popular travel destination. As a city, it’s one of a kind. But I don’t think Paris is an easy destination for everyone.

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seeing the gorgeous clock in the musee d'orsay

Yet Paris isn’t unsafe, either. Violent crime against tourists is very rare, after all, in spite of many (rather creative) scams. I feel safer in a lot of neighborhoods in Paris than I do at home.

However, Paris’s rough edges are enough to take solo travelers aback and even frighten them off.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Paris if it’s your first trip traveling overseas, unless you speak French or have a deep interest in French culture. It’s essential to have some “travel practice” under your belt, so you’re aware of scams and other tricks, and also feel more confident about exploring a strange new place alone.

You want to know the solo travel basics. This is even more important if you’ve never lived in a bigger city.

the pastries in paris are truly unreal

Experienced solo travelers will love Paris, though. Love. 

What I personally fell in love with about Paris is that you don’t need a jam-packed itinerary to have a wonderful vacation. You can wander into a cafe, eat a leisurely meal, go for a bit of shopping, and then end the day with a glass of wine. You feel like you’ve done a lot without doing a lot if that makes sense. 

I also think Paris is a great choice for older solo travelers with life experience and more disposable income. Paris is fun on a budget, sure, but it’s even better with extra money.

I know that was a long-winded answer to the question “is Paris safe for solo female travellers?”, so I’ll get into more specific tips for Paris now to make your trip magical.

enjoying a view of the Eiffel tower in paris
Paris is Safe for Solo Female Travellers if You Wear Comfortable Clothing.

Paris Solo Travel Safety Tips

Alright, time to talk safety!

I wanted to share a couple solo travel safety tips for Paris after visiting multiple times. If it is your first trip to Paris, you will want to take some additional precautions, but at the same time, I don’t want you to lose sleep over safety either.

Paris ought to be fun and using a bit of common sense goes a long way here – like any other city in the world.

street art in paris is everywhere

Avoid Protests & Stay Aware of Strikes

Well. One of the biggest French stereotypes are that they enjoy protesting and striking. Demonstrations can affect your travel plans and cause major stress. 

As a solo traveler, you are the only person who is looking out for you. So stay informed.

If you see any protests in Paris, mind your own business and go to another area. A lot of protests are peaceful in nature, but always have the possibility of turning violent, and the last thing you want is to get hurt in a protest in a foreign country all by yourself. 

Furthermore, transportation strikes are meant to cause as much disruption as possible. Sometimes you can’t avoid strikes messing up your plans, but if you’re able to learn about a strike in advance (definitely check the news), then do whatever possible to make other arrangements to the airport or train station. 

A lot of credit card companies have travel insurance policies now, so check in with them to see if they cover disruptions due to strike action.

exploring montmartre at night can be safe

Be Cautious at Night 

You will want to exercise additional caution at night. Duh, right?

However, I’m not saying to stay in your hotel after dark. I’ve explored Paris at night alone, and it’s so awesome to see all the famous sites lit up on a beautiful evening. I always lose my mind (in the best way) whenever I see the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the dark.

You will be able to enjoy Paris at night simply by using typical common sense. My rule of thumb is a street or alley that has no people isn’t a good place for you to be either. 

If you’re uncomfortable venturing out at night, never fear! You can easily sign up for a group walking tour to see Paris’s best sites at night. For example, I loved this Montmartre Art Culture and Food Tour that you’re able to enjoy in the evening. A tour like this one is perfectly safe since you will be surrounded by other people.

As a final note, if you’re uncomfortable taking the metro back late, then definitely use a rideshare. Like other big cities, Uber is absolutely everywhere.

waiting outside shakespeare and company in paris

Don’t Skimp on Accommodation

Accommodation can make or break a solo trip in Paris. You have to thoroughly read reviews. Be ruthless. 

For a specific recommendation, I recently stayed at Hotel Le Saint Gregoire, which is a cute small hotel located in 6th. I loved this hotel so much. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and the reception was available 24 hours a day. Not to mention, the location was very close to a metro stop and felt safe during day and night. 

The rooms are also quite cozy and spacious for Paris. Space is at a premium in this city.

So definitely consider Hotel Le Saint Gregoire on your next visit to Paris! It’s a lovely hotel. 

wandering outside the Louvre in paris

Learn Some French

I can’t emphasize the importance of learning a bit of French before taking a solo trip to Paris.

As for me, I speak a little bit of French, which, again, goes a long way on a solo trip to Paris. By speaking a few words, locals instantly warmed up to me and wanted to help me.

Personally, I’ve never experienced the notorious Parisian rudeness so many others discuss on online travel groups. Are Parisians a bit more formal than Americans? Yes, for sure. However, by speaking French, these interactions are certainly a bit warmer.

Additionally, learning some French makes you less of a target in the sense that it won’t be as obvious that you are a tourist. 

So sign up for Duolingo or use a classic French phrasebook to help you navigate Paris like a pro. 

having a delicious meal at a cafe in paris

Register with the Embassy 

Registering with your embassy is a safety tip that you should take advantage of for any solo trip (I recommend this safety tip for all solo travel in Europe).

For example, as a US citizen, I use the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), so the embassy is able to email and text me with updates. 

By registering with STEP, you’ll be aware of any serious issues in the city. The State Department does a great job sending notifications to travelers.

As a side note, alerts could include warnings about terrorism. We all know that Paris has had issues with terrorist attacks in the past decade. Keep in mind that the odds of you getting caught in a terrorist attack in Paris is very, very, very, very unlikely.

Obviously, stay aware of your surroundings in crowds and if something doesn’t feel right, then leave. The STEP program ought to provide plenty of reassure as you travel in Paris alone.

solo female travel in paris is safe on busy streets like this one

Research Your Arrondissement

The Paris arrondissements divide the city into manageable sections. Whole articles have been written about the arrondissements and what ones are best for travelers.

All in all, I know that every solo traveler is different, and honestly, you won’t have too many issues in most of the arrondissements. 

On my last trip, I stayed in the 6th arrondissement near Saint Germain, and I have to say that it was the perfect option for someone looking to have a safe solo trip in Paris. There were plenty of cafes, meaning lots of hustle and bustle, and the streets were clean and well-lit. 

I’ve also heard wonderful stories about staying in the Marais, but this trendy shopping haven is a bit pricy. Areas of Montmartre are also worth researching, although it’s a bit further out and depending on your hotel’s location, you might border areas that aren’t as safe. 

In any case, read carefully about the arrondissements and choose whatever combination of budget and safety works for you.

metros in paris are fast and effective
As a solo traveler in Paris, keep your eyes peeled on the metro!

Stay Aware in the Metro

Last but not least, you want to keep a close eye on your belongings in the metro. Personally, I’ve never had problems with pickpockets or petty theft on the metro, although I’ve heard multiple stories. 

Don’t lose sleep over using the metro and furthermore, don’t avoid using it because you feel nervous. Taxis in Paris are expensive, so you don’t want to use them for every single journey, especially during the busiest times of day.

For extra peace of mind, you might want to invest in a bag that has anti-theft protections, such as this crossbody bag by Pacsafe. You don’t need to buy a special bag to have a safe solo trip in Paris, obviously, but if you feel exceptionally worried about pickpockets, then give this bag a try!

admiring notre dame from the outside

I hope this post completely answered the question of whether or not Paris is safe for solo female travellers. All in all, Paris can be safe for solo travel by doing your research, not compromising on location, and learning a little bit of French. Have a great time in Paris. With a little planning, you ought to feel safe and comfortable exploring this famous city.