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Is Paris Safe for Solo Female Travelers? Safety Guide 2024.

Travels On Point Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Yes! Paris is still safe for solo female travelers. I have traveled to Paris many times in the past 30 years and almost always by myself.

Travelers may be wondering about safety considering recent protests and civil unrest. France is still safe for travelers, while keeping in mind being cautious in large crowded public venues.

See the info below and a link to the US State Department Travel Advisory for up to date information:

  • 👉 In a nutshell: Paris is still generally safe but also a little gritty and there are areas, like most large cities, with pickpockets and scams targeting tourists. There are a few areas where it is unwise to go at night.  In addition, you should avoid protest areas and pay extra attention in large crowded areas.

👉 US State Department Travel Advisory for France: “Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity. ” To read more go here.

My Experience and Expertise Traveling Alone in Paris

I have visited Paris six times for a total of six weeks as a woman traveling solo almost every time:  in my 20s, 30s and recently in my 50s. I visited the famous sights and walked all over, discovering hidden gems.

I lived a year in France as a college student in Brittany, travelled to Paris often by myself and have returned many times since

Those are my happy feet in the photo getting some sun last November along the Seine 😊

My feet at the Seine River

Before we get to this in-depth guide with tips, scams and places to avoid, I want to share a short personal story about travel in Paris with some lessons learned to help you:

👒 Personal Story: In all my years of travel to Paris, the only times I had any issues were these:

1. Catcalls and verbal harassment from some North African men in the early 90s. I was in my 20s and my girlfriends and I ignored them. We were never approached closely and did not feel in danger.

  • 👉 Ignoring this kind of behavior is the key!  If you giggle or talk to them or become angry and talk back, they will continue.

2. A cheeky pickpocket! I was with my father on an escalator when a man bumped into him.   A few seconds later, the man ran back up the stairs and gave my dad his wallet BACK to him!  It was empty!  It was empty because we had taken all the money out and put it in my money belt.  The thief was grinning, like telling us “Ha you got me!” 

  • 👉 The lesson here is don’t carry a wallet or your phone in your back pocket.

Is Paris Safe For Solo Female Travelers?

The famous Seine River in Paris

There is little violent or serious crime in Paris virtually none in tourist areas. 

However, you need to use common sense, just like any large city in Europe or north America.

Is it safe to travel to Paris as a woman alone?

Absolutely! Paris is safe for a woman traveling alone!  I have spent many weeks total in solo trips to Paris.

Most of the tourist areas are safe during the day and even at night with a couple of exceptions: (Pigalle and Bois de Bologne and the train stations…see the TIPS below).

Still, you must watch your purse/money and don’t leave it sitting on a chair outside or on the ground in an outdoor cafe away from you.    

Is Paris safe at night for a woman?

Yes, in most of the tourist areas Paris is safe at night for a woman.

People are out at night in Paris:  the city is alive with people eating in outdoor restaurants and walking. Like any city, there are areas that are sketchy at night, which are listed below in detail the TIPS section (Pigalle, Train Stations, Bois de Bologne).

Ask at your hotel or lodging if it is safe to walk around that area at night if you have any doubts or just as general rule of thumb.

Tips For Women Traveling Alone In Paris

Woman standing alone in Paris near Eiffel Tower

#1: Be aware of your surroundings, leave if you see the following:

NOTE: It is unlikely you will run in these signs unless you are wandering away from the major tourist areas and stumble upon a sketchy area.

Signs you are in a sketchy/potentially dangerous area and should leave:

  • There are no women or children or families. If there are only men outside, this is a red flag.
  • Rundown buildings, broken glass, trash, lots of homeless people.   

#2: Wear your purse across your body.

I use a small purse and wear it ACROSS THE BODY. Keep your hand on it all the time. 

Why?  It’s difficult for someone to grab it and run when it is across your body instead of on one shoulder…plus your hand is holding on to it.  ESPECIALLY IN THE METRO AND CROWDS! 

Or wear a money belt or pouch around your neck under clothing OR a backpack but make sure valuables are deep within and not easy to grab by unzipping.

#3: Don’t look like an unaware tourist with money

  • Try to blend in with the locals; don’t flash cash; watch your purse when taking photos.  
  • Thieves target wealthy looking tourists, especially ones not paying attention. Pay attention when taking photos and keep a hand on your bag/purse
  • To blend in, maybe wear a scarf or dress a bit like Parisian women: less bling and no sweatpants/yoga pants. I’ve never been targeted by pickpockets or tourist scams. I am regularly spoken to in French, not English, so I think my blending in works 😉

#4: Split up credit cards/cash

  • Travel with two or more credit cards and cash and keep some in your hotel in a safe place and some with you. 
  • Always have a photo or photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from your passport and/or leave a copy or photo with a friend/family member at home.

#5: Avoid these places at night

  • Pigalle (this is the red light district; sex workers, drug dealers, etc.) It is near the Moulin Rouge.
  • Bois de Bologne (at night drug dealers, sex workers, maybe gangs)
  • Train Stations – Gare du Nord/Gare de l’Est. Like most train stations in large cities, it is wise not to linger at night.  If you arrive here at night, don’t worry, just pay attention and don’t linger.

#6: Ask at your hotel or guesthouse!

I usually ask at my hotel or my host if the neighborhood is safe to walk alone at night when I am in a new area or if I have not visited the area in a year or more.  

Neighborhoods change and this is happening in Europe, US and Canada. I advise asking locals about the current safety status.

#7: The Bracelet Scam – How to Avoid It!

This is a common scam in tourist crowds or the metro and it can happen in a couple of ways. A man (usually) comes up and offers a string or bead bracelet and puts in on your wrist, this seems friendly, BUT they either:

  • Demand you pay for the bracelet and will try to harass you into paying or
  • While you are distracted another person will pick your backpack/purse, or
  • They will drop something near you and when you pick it up demand payment or pick your pocket. This could be any trinket..

What to do if you are approached by a scam artist?

  • 👉 Don’t engage with them or argue. Walk away.
  • 👉 Hold your purse/backpack close. Monitor your belongings.

You might also consider getting an anti-theft bag or backpack. 

Safe Places To Stay in Paris Solo

Street in Paris Eiffel Tower

I stay in any of the main tourist areas of Paris without worry.  However, if you are new to Paris and want extra feelings of security, I recommend these areas:

  • Latin Quarter
  • St. Germain des Pres
  • the Marais

What about hotels for solo female travelers?

Below are well researched and hand-picked hotels for women to feel safe in Paris: they have excellent reviews, including staff, and are in well-known tourist areas and close to attractions.

I use my years of travel experience in France and do research in both French and English to chose excellent hotels:

📍Budget Option:  Grand Hotel des Balcons (Latin Quarter) : Fantastic location in Latin Quarter and St. Germain des Pres area.  Very safe area and on a quiet street.  Highly rated especially by solo travelers.  Lovely rooms. 

📍Mid-Range Option: Hotel des Grand Ecoles (Latin Quarter): Excellent location. Unique country/garden setting, home-like feeling, excellent staff, beautiful surroundings.  Very high ratings from solo travelers.

📍Luxury Option: Hotel Recamier (St. Sulpice, St. Germain des Pres) former Bourgeois family home, elegant, unique views of St. Sulpice, discreetly nestled behind trees, award winning

Getting Around Paris Safely

As a solo traveler in Paris, I walk, take the metro and use taxis.   All of these options are very safe with the use of common sense.

Walking Around Paris

women travelers in Paris

Walking is an excellent way to see Paris! You can explore and find hidden gems.

It is safe for walking in all the major tourist areas, but you need to be aware of pickpockets and scams, especially in crowded tourist areas.

Like any city, it is possible to wander into a sketchy neighborhood, especially on the outskirts of the Montmartre area…by that I mean petty crime, not violent crime.

👉If you see any of the following, go back or find a taxi:

  • only men in the street and/or rundown buildings and/or 
  • lots of homeless and alcohol, and/or 
  • broken glass and trash then you should go back to where there are families, tourists, etc.

It’s unlikely you would run into this as a tourist in Paris, except possibly near the Pigalle area or the train stations at night.  Just pay more attention than in your well-known hometown.

Taxis & Uber

Paris has official Parian taxis, private taxis and Uber. 

Official Parisian Taxi
Official Parisian Taxi
  • Official Parisian Taxi – Recommended; professional, clean and extra helpful from my experience in 2022. Standardized fares AND a set price from both airports to any right or left bank address. They have a green or red lighted sign on top (free or taken). Book with G7 App or flag one down or at taxi stand
  • G7 App:  Good Taxi App to use for Paris: all drivers are screened; same rate at Official Parisian Taxis and you can book in advance. 
  • Private taxi – I don’t recommend because of warnings that they can cheat you with rigged meters. However, I took a private taxi from the airport and it was excellent and the same price. Use at your own risk for being cheated on the fare, but not a safety issue.
  • UBER – I think UBER is safe in Paris, but I don’t recommend it.  I was dropped multiple times and gave up trying to get a ride in 2022. I flagged a Parisian taxi and the driver said it was known Uber was unreliable. The taxi cost less than what Uber would have charged. So maybe for certain areas Uber is ok, but I would not count on it.  

Metro

metro sign Paris

I use the Metro in Paris with no problems. Use common sense, keep your purse and valuables close to you and watch them.  

I avoid using the metro alone late at night unless I know the line well and know there will be people coming back from an event for example.

Ask at your hotel or host if a particular line or station is ok at night if you need to go somewhere alone. 

FAQs: Visiting Paris

Here are some questions about Paris and my answers based on my experience and research.

Is it safe to Uber alone in Paris?

Yes, it is safe to Uber alone in Paris, but I don’t recommend it because of my experience of being dropped repeatedly by Uber in 2022.   

Uber should be safe alone in Paris because:

  • The Uber rating system works well 
  • Paris is a safe city in general and 
  • I did not find evidence of safety issues in my research.

Can you enjoy Paris alone?

woman sitting alone paris cafe

Absolutely!  I think Paris is a wonderful place to visit alone for a weekend or longer.  I actually prefer going there alone in many ways. Why?

  • You have more opportunity to meet and talk with locals and other travelers.
  • There are excellent small group specialty tours to try for a couple hours to half a day: gourmet food and wine, local cheese, hidden gems, museums, making perfume, cooking, chocolate, and more.
  • You can wander where and when you like.
  • It is easy and comfortable to eat out alone. Many tourists and locals do.  You can linger as long as you want, this is expected in France.

How can I protect myself in Paris?

The main things to be aware of are pickpockets and scammers.

  • Keep your purse close and over your shoulder
  • Always be aware of surroundings.
  • Take extra care in crowds to have a hand on your purse and no phone in your back pocket.
  • Don’t put money or purse on an outdoor chair or on the ground where someone could grab and run.
  • If children or adults approach you with bracelets or tickets or are trying to sell something it is likely a scam. Don’t engage and walk away.
  • Avoid the metro alone late at night.

Which is safer: London or Paris? 

London and Paris are both generally safe cities for tourists. 

The safety index according to recent official statistics about the same in both cities.

Summary

Woman traveler in Paris

Honestly, Paris is my muse.

I discovered it on a trip when I was 22 and walked and took the metro everywhere by myself with no problems.

If you use common sense and pay attention to your surroundings and belongings, you should have a worry-free and fabulous time in Paris!

More blogs about Paris:

Paris for a Weekend – The Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

29 Things Paris is Famous For

45 Hidden Gems in Paris to Feel Like a Local

21 Best Hotels in Paris for Character and Culture

27 Unique Experiences in Paris.