Although people think Paris is mostly made for engagement trips and romantic getaways, I think that this is one of the cities worth visiting alone. So if you have a chance to come to Paris solo, I will give you tips on how to enjoy your trip and how to stay safe in the City of Lights.
How to visit Paris alone and find people to hang out with?
If you want to come to Paris but your friends are busy, you can always find people that are already in the capital of France. There are hundreds expat groups where you can find buddies. I usually use a meetup website. You have plenty of groups to pick – people visiting museums, organizing language exchange etc. Whatever suits you.
If you want to party with someone, you can check InterNations. People from all over the world meet for parties, enjoy cinema together and you will have no problems finding friendly expats in Paris.
In 2010, when I traveled alone to Mexico, I spend the best vacation of my life partly because I met two amazing Austrian girls. It was a pure luck – we had Spanish classes together. Today you don’t need so much luck – just a special app 🙂
There is a special app for traveling girls called Bumble BFF. Thanks to this app (also called “tinder for girls”), you can find women travelers to hang out with and visit Paris together. How can we not love technology…?
Can I eat alone in Paris?
I know that many people don’t like to travel alone, because it’s very stressful for them to eat out alone. I blame “Friends” for this obsession!
You should know that in France eating out alone is a normal thing. You will see many people having lunch alone – in the company of a newspaper, a book or their phone (I prefer a book, but you are free to do whatever you want) .
You can eat alone in Parisian restaurants and no-one will judge you! It just means you are enjoying your own company.
How to visit Paris alone and be safe on the street?
I always enjoy walking alone around Paris, but I need to warn you that this is not a fairy-land city – and yes, thieves target tourists all the time.
You should always wear your bag in front of you (on your belly), and be especially vigilant when in the crowd. Remember that even in museums there are thieves “dressed up” as tourists.) Don’t take plenty of cash with you while visiting – have around 30 euro on you and always try to pay with your credit card. When leaving a hotel room, always use a safe for your jewelry and other belongings. If you room has no safe, ask for help in the reception. I sometimes use my luggage as a safe.
How to visit Paris alone and be safe in the metro?
I hate taking metro in Paris, because the fact of being underground makes me feel uncomfortable. I would rather walk for 30 minutes than take the metro. But of course – you don’t always have a choice, especially when coming from the airport. Remember to keep your bag in front of you and be very vigilant. Don’t keep your phone in your hand, because thieves sometimes grab it and run away. Keep your luggage close to you.
How to visit Paris alone and not be bothered on the streets?
When coming to Paris alone, you must be aware that men on the streets will try to speak to you. Apparently in Paris everyone is looking for love (or at least a one night stand…) I hate being harassed on the street, but after a few years of walking alone in Paris, I know how to avoid annoying situations.
First of all, I always wear earphones – just like Parisian girls do. I don’t even listen to the music, I just use them to cut the possibility of a verbal contact with me.
I also always wear sunglasses that cover my eyes, so no one can make eye contact with me. Well, not when it rains and not in the metro, obviously. But it really helps to avoid unwanted contact.
When harassed, never answer in French – especially if you don’t know the language so well. You will just give the possibility of a conversation. I usually use English, when I am really annoyed I scream in Polish. This language can be scary for some people 🙂
Some guys are so motivated that they will try to speak to you no matter if you wear sunglasses and earphones. I just don’t react or I say very loud “not interested.” They get the message. Don’t try to be polite – they will take it as a weakness.
Shopping in Paris and staying safe
If you go to Paris you go shopping. After all, you are in the world capital of fashion! Just remember that thieves never sleep and they target not only you, but your shopping bags as well.
The most famous attack was of course the robbery of Kim Kardashian. But also normal tourists are being victims of crime…
Once I saw a crying American tourists – someone grabbed her shopping bag at the moment she left Cartier boutique. Another time, I was enjoying my coffee in Ladureé, and a thief entered the restaurant and left with a Gucci shopping bag of one of the clients…
Be always vigilant. On the street, in the restaurant, in museums, wherever you are.
Partying in Paris and staying safe
I am the last person who would judge a victim of abuse, but when I travel alone, I am always very careful with alcohol. Two glasses of wine are OK, but don’t get hammered – just saying. Alcohol makes you more vulnerable and unfortunately the world is full of people that would take advantage of you…
Few last words…
By writing this article I didn’t want to say that Paris is a dangerous city (a Gotham City alike.) I just wanted to warn you that you will not visit a fairy-land, but a normal place, where you have decent people and unfortunately also thieves… Everyone can enjoy Paris. I just think it’s better to be aware of the danger and vigilant than coming back home without a wallet and with bad memories…
Have you you already traveled alone? How do you enjoy your solo-trips? I would love to hear your stories!
P.S. If you would like to visit Occitanie read my post about this beautiful French region.