paris has lovely buildings that are elegant

Solo Travel in Paris: Everything You Need to Know

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Solo travel in Paris is a bucket list trip for many people. I mean, one of my travel fantasies has been to rent a small apartment in the Marais or Montmartre, go to the local market early in the morning for fresh produce (and a baguette!), visit world-class art museums, shop at fashion-forward boutiques, and so much more! 

However, despite that enticing thought, Paris isn’t a cheap trip. It’s one of the most visited cities in the world, and your money won’t exactly go far here.

So, you need to come to Paris with a plan as a solo traveler. Your time and money are valuable, and as someone whose visited Paris alone herself, I hope that I’m able to help you plan an epic journey to the City of Lights.

solo travel in paris and loving the great views
Paris is Safe for Solo Female Travellers if You Wear Comfortable Clothing.

Solo Travel in Paris: My Experiences

As someone who took French classes in school, I’ve always wanted to experience solo travel in Paris. I envisioned myself at cabaret shows on Saturday nights, or at museums wearing adorable outfits that I found in a boutique earlier in the day. 

All in all, my first solo trip to Paris was amazing and undoubtedly, the city itself was absolutely gorgeous and very romantic, and the attractions, such as the Louvre, were out of this world, but I also faced some significant challenges. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of scammers or cat-callers in Paris, nor did I stay in the greatest area for solo female travelers *cough* Gare du Nord *cough*.

exploring the marais on my own
Cool Street Art in the Marais.

On my second trip to Paris, I had a much more sophisticated experience. I stayed in Saint Germain, which is a classy and safe neighborhood, and instead of running all over the city to the big tourist sites, I took my time immersing myself into different neighborhoods.

I felt way more at home in Paris.

I completely understand how solo travelers want to see and do everything on their trip to France. However, at the end of the day, I respectfully disagree. Instead I think a “slow paced” trip to Paris is a wonderful way for solo travelers to gain their confidence and truly enjoy the city at the same time. Paris is a wonderful place to just be.

gorgeous paris skyline view in france

Should You Travel Alone to Paris?

My annoying answer to this question is it depends.

Paris is a city of contrasts. Avenues are elegant, packed with Michelin star restaurants and high-end fashion boutiques, and yet you’ll also see trash and litter, homelessness, and dog poop. 

For a lot of people, Paris doesn’t exactly fit into the advertisements sold to them in travel magazines and on Instagram. Their disappointment is palpable in complaints made on social media and Reddit.

And honestly, I think that’s a little unfair. Paris is a city. A big city. 

So, whether or not you should travel alone to Paris depends on your personality and expectations. For example, if you grew up in New York City and know how to stay aware of your surroundings, then Paris is perfect for you.

On the other hand, if you’ve never traveled solo or grew up in a small town where residents kept their doors unlocked, then I’d recommending trying an “easier” city in Europe such as solo travel to Edinburgh or solo travel to Dublin

wandering outside the Louvre in paris

New Solo Travelers

As much as I love Paris, I’m not 100% sure I would recommend it as a first solo trip. I actually went to Paris alone in my 20s, and at the time, I had only ever done one solo trip to Scotland on a guided tour.

To say I was unprepared is an understatement, haha. Honestly, my smartest move was visiting Paris in November when crowds were low and manageable, haha.

However, if you speak French or love French culture, then Paris could be an excellent choice for you. Speaking even a couple words of French is a major asset. The locals are a million times nicer, even if you just say “bonjour” upon entering a shop, and you’re less likely to be targeted by petty scams aimed at tourists.

Traveling alone for the first time is a steep learning curve. You want to be prepared in advance.

striking a pose in front of the statue of liberty
Me Having WAY Too Much Fun at the Statue of Liberty.

Experienced Solo Travelers

I highly recommend Paris for experienced solo travelers. You won’t be taken in by scams as easily, nor will you feel the urge to hit all the major tourist attractions in one go. 

As an experienced solo traveler, I loved just exploring all the adorable side streets in Paris and talking to people in local shops, as well as taking my time drinking coffee in cafes. I never felt like I was in any rush, which is one of the reasons that I loved Paris so much.

Furthermore, in my humble opinion, experienced solo travelers are used to big cities, and aren’t as readily put off by the societal challenges present in bigger metropolitan areas. Savvy travelers will find Paris vibrant, diverse, and fascinating, while at the same time, know how to protect themselves and their belongings. 

Need More Help for Your Solo Trip?

Check out my custom itinerary planning services for readers. I’ll do all the research and together, we’ll create an itinerary that works for you and your adventures in Europe.

enjoying a relaxing afternoon along the seine river

Reasons to Travel Alone to Paris

Still excited to travel to Paris alone? Fantastic! I truly love Paris, and wish I could live there for a month or two to truly dive deep into the city. 

As a traveler, here are some reasons why Paris makes a fantastic solo trip in Europe.

paris has plenty of delicious crepes

Cafe Culture

Outdoor cafes are perfect for people-watching. You’ll also see plenty of other people relaxing and eating alone, particularly at lunch, so you won’t stand out. 

As a solo traveler, I always get nervous eating alone and wonder whether or not anyone is judging me for it. However, Paris’s famous cafe-culture is very solo diner friendly. You’re more than welcome to sit at a table for one and enjoy a lovely lunch, as you read a book or people-watch. 

What’s especially lovely is that you’re able to enjoy some quiet time in the midst of a buzzing city. I loved eating at Parisian cafes. And like I said, I feel super awkward eating alone. Not here, friends.

Solo Traveling Foodies will have more fun in Paris than an excitable kid in Disney World. The food is exquisite. Even simple ingredients, such as bread and cheese, will blow your mind.

love stories is a shop in paris
Exploring The Marais in Paris.

Neighborhood Exploration 

Paris is comprised of so many different wonderful neighborhoods. Picking a neighborhood or two each day to wander and enjoy is probably my number one tip for visiting Paris. 

Here are some of my favorite areas for solo travelers in Paris:

  • Le Marais: This is one of the most popular areas in all of Paris for good reason. It’s a shopper’s paradise that has plenty of beauty stores, clothing boutiques, galleries where you can buy special gifts that are only available in Paris. There is also a lively nightlife scene if you’re looking for a bit of partying in Paris. 
  • Saint Germain: I stayed here on my second trip to Paris and highly recommend it. I loved the upscale atmosphere, and felt safe at all hours of the day and night. It’s very easy to walk to the Latin Quarter and the Seine River. 
  • Montmartre: Another popular neighborhood that’s beloved by tourists. You’ll have incredible views of the city, and truly feel like you’re in “postcard” Paris. Do your research ahead of time if you plan to stay here, because while most of Montmartre is safe, other parts border some rougher areas.

Immerse yourself in the neighborhoods to feel more at “home” in Paris.

solo travel in paris tip: go to all the bookshops

Perfect for Introverts

Solo travelers who are introverts will love Paris. For instance, Parisians are very respectful of personal space. They respect solitude and will not try and force you into random conversations. French culture, in general, is more former than American culture, so it’s easier and more acceptable to “keep to yourself” in Paris.

Furthermore, Paris has a ton of beautiful parks and gardens that are perfect for visiting with a journal, bottle of wine, a fresh baguette, and fruit. It’s easy to have your own private picnic (if the weather allows).

Along with the cafe culture and galleries, Paris is one of a kind for introverts who love to travel alone.

paris gorgeous department store

Shopping Without Judgement 

Okay, I definitely go “over board” when I shop. Sometimes I don’t want to be judged for buying every cool print to hang up inside my apartment, okay? Or another tote from an independent bookstore. 

Paris is obviously a shoppers’ paradise, and as a solo traveler, you’re allowed to shop as much as your heart desires without disapproving looks. Have fun in the world’s renowned fashion capital. 

As for specific recommendations, Galeries Lafayette is one of the most beautiful department stores that I’ve ever visited in my life, and you’ll definitely want to see the panoramic rooftop view before you leave with all your bags. 

Ultimately, it’s impossible to be bored as a solo traveler in Paris with all the shopping at your fingertips. 

falling in love with paris pastries.
Who Could Say “No?” To These Pastries?

Trip of Dreams

Paris is a dream trip. I think even if I visit a million times, I will still smile and squeal when I see the Eiffel Tower, and walk by the glass pyramid at the Louvre. No matter what, you’ll feel as though you’re the main character of a romance or indie film on a solo trip to Paris. 

And like, everyone loves Paris. I don’t condone bragging, not really, but you will definitely have a lot of wonderful stories to share with friends and family once you return home. 

wandering around in paris alone

Practical Advice for Solo Travel in Paris

Last but not least, I wanted to give you a couple of practical tips for solo travel in Paris. These tips are based on my own experiences visiting Paris, and I sincerely hope that they help you jumpstart your adventure to France’s capital. 

the metro station at night can be safe for solo travelers
The Metro is the Best Way to Navigate Paris.

How to Get Around Paris

The Metro is the best way to navigate Paris. Seriously, I know sometimes subway systems are overwhelming, but if you’re visiting Paris, then you need to use the metro to easily zip from neighborhood to neighborhood. I never waited more than five minutes for the next metro car. Nor did I ever feel unsafe on the metro, even at the most crowded times of the day.

As of this posting, the metro doesn’t accept Apple pay just yet, but you’re able to purchase tickets in a variety of ways. You can buy individual point-to-point tickets, or a Navigo pass. The Navigo is a card that you can add pre-paid tickets to, so you’re not messing with the machine every time you go into the metro. This is especially useful if you’re spending more than a day or two in Paris.

Of course, if you’re exploring Paris late at night and don’t feel comfortable going back on the metro, Paris has rideshares (like Uber) available to travelers.

keep an eye out in paris at night

Safety in Paris

I have a lot to say about whether or not Paris is safe for solo female travellers. When traveling alone, safety is always a top priority for travelers, and understandably so.

Over all, Paris is pretty safe for a large city. Violent crime in the streets is quite rare, and it’s unlikely that someone will stalk and attack you as a solo traveler. I never once felt at risk of random violence in Paris. Never.

However, it’s important to exercise caution in Paris. Paris has a lot of scams and homelessness, and although things have improved, Paris has had issues with terrorism in the past. My advice is to share your itinerary with family and friends at home, and stay in touch with them.

Another good piece of advice is keeping a spare credit card hidden in your hotel room, so you’re not at risk for losing all access to money on your solo trip in Paris. 

standing outside the famous musee d'orsay

What to Pack For Solo Travel in Paris

Obviously, as a big city, you’re able to buy emergency essentials in Paris. There are pharmacies and department stories everywhere that will take care of all your needs.

However, you will want to pack these items for your solo trip to Paris. It’s always a smart idea to pack in a savvy manner.

  • Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag: If you’re concerned about pickpockets, then invest in a crossbody bag with anti-theft protection to put your mind at ease. You don’t want paranoia to ruin your solo trip to Paris.
  • Comfortable Water-resistant Shoes: You’ll walk a lot in Paris, so it’s important to keep your feet happy. You might also experience some rain in Paris depending on the time of year. I suggest packing comfortable and water-resistant shoes for when you explore the City of Lights.
  • French Phrasebook: Speaking a little French goes a long way in Paris. I suggest practicing with an app, such as Duolingo, or downloading a French language phrasebook
  • Lonely Planet Paris Guide: I still enjoy Lonely Planet Guides, even with plenty of travel blogs and social media available online, and recommend buying a physical guide to Paris or downloading a .pdf version that you’re able to save on your phone and tablet.
  • Travel Insurance: Don’t go to Paris without suitable travel insurance. I always use World Nomads Travel insurance on my trips overseas and have never had any problems!

enjoying a beautiful little cafe in paris

Where to Stay in Paris

You won’t be starving for options for visiting Paris alone. Keep in mind, though, hotels and hostels are expensive here and rooms are small. 

Don’t worry about it, though! You won’t spend much time at your accommodation anyway, haha. More importantly, you want to pick an ideal location for sightseeing. 

  • Hotel Le Saint Gregoire: This was a perfect boutique hotel located in the 6th Arrondissement. I felt very safe coming back to my hotel any time of day, and the staff were so, so, so sweet. This is an ideal choice for solo female travelers. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
  • The People Paris Marais: This social hostel is right in the heart of the Marais. This trendy neighborhood is absolutely ideal for solo travelers, and staying at a hostel frees up some money for other activities. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.

solo travel in paris tip: pause and take photos of architecture

I hope you loved reading all about solo travel in Paris. As always, I believe that you can travel to any city alone safely and happily, and I bet Paris will absolutely blow you away! Enjoy the City of Lights! I know I did!