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Paris: 10 Safety Tips for Female Solo Travelers in Paris

I have been getting a lot of requests for suggestions in Paris and I know a few female travelers who will be taking their first solo trip this Spring. I wanted to give a few tips that I would give to my best girlfriend’s to stay safe in the city of lights. When I am talking about safety I am referring to keeping your belongings and you safe. Paris is a safe place don’t get me wrong but I do go into a different way of thinking the minute I touch down because I am now carrying a camera/lenses, my passport, and my wallet. All very important valuables. I keep everything all zipped up in my bag for safe keeping.

1. Common sense: DO NOT drink too much. I know the wine is good and cheap but it lowers your inhibitions. You can drop/lose your cell phone, keys, or loose your wallet

2. If you rent an apartment there will be a keypad upon entering the building with a passcode. Please remember this passcode as quickly as possible. If you are traveling alone or in groups, do not pull out your keys until you are safely inside! Once you get inside to push the door securely behind you. You don’t want anyone pushing the door and entering without access. The doors close slowly and sometimes don’t latch immediately.


10 safety tips for solo female travelers in paris everyday parisian


paris france green door

3. Beware of the pickpockets. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. You may be approached to sign a paper and they ask if you speak English. Please be polite and move away as quickly as possible. It’s a scam and they may try to steal your belongings. They may also approach you when you are dining at a restaurant. If your cell phone is on the table they will place the clipboard on top of the phone and when you ask them to leave they will take your phone at the same time. So please keep your cell phone in your zipped bag. This one by Cuyana I have taken around the world and LOVE it. 

4. Check your hotel has a standard safe. I know this sounds odd, but I go crazy when I can’t fit my laptop in the safe. Not every European hotel has a standard safe size so if it’s important to take a look before booking. I travel for work and having a safe place to store my hard drive and laptop is essential for peace of mind. Here is my list of favorite boutique hotels in Paris which I have all tested and trust for safety.

5. Riding the Metro: First off DO NOT purchase tickets from anyone other than from an authorized ticket vendor or machine. DO NOT smile or make eye contact with men on the metro. If you smile they will take it as an invitation. I have been followed off enough times to know that this is not a good move. Read a book or look out the window. Play it safe. Keep your belongings zipped up in your bag. I always keep extra metro tickets in my wallet. When I pay for dinner, I grab one and stick it in my jean pocket so I don’t have to open my wallet in the metro.


paris Metro 10 Safety Tips For Female Solo Travelers in Paris

6. I keep most of my belongings at the apartment or in the hotel safe. I bring only what is necessary with me. I will put some euros in a small wallet and one credit card with me. If for some reason my purse is taken I don’t loose everything. I really like these wallets from Cuyana or any small wallet will do. They have one and two euro coins so you might end up with a lot more change than you are used to. This wallet from Nordstrom would work well too.



10 safety tips for solo female travelers in paris

7. Visiting the ATM. Beware of your surroundings and if possible bring a friend with you to stand guard. I say this in the nicest way. One day on a Sunday in the Marais on a busy street I stopped by an ATM to grab euros before heading to Italy. I put in my card and literally right before I put in the code I was surrounded by three pickpockets. One covered the screen with a paper so I couldn’t see and the two others were in my blind spots. I screamed SO loud they ran. I was very lucky I hadn’t entered my pin or they would have taken everything.

If you are alone, you can go inside to an ATM in a bank that is more secure. There will be security guards at the entrance during business hours. You can use the ATM here for the safest transaction. 

8. Travel with a bag that has a zip. I chose this top zipper bag from Cuyana that I love and it fits everything when I travel. I also have used a Longchamp and it works well too. You want to keep your bag zipped and close to you at all times. I will put the zipper closest to my underarm so I can keep an eye on it facing out at all times. It seems simple but it works! 



longchamp top zip tote everyday parisian safety tips

9. When riding the RER/Train from the airport keep an eye on your luggage and keep it with you. You are sleep deprived and it makes you a little groggy. I have seen things taken quickly when people aren’t paying attention. You wouldn’t want to start your trip off on a bad note.Keep belongings safe and secure and away. This means keep your phone away when riding the train. Do not put valuables in your back pocket or coat pocket. I have been with someone who was followed off the train and their phone was stolen out of their pocket. 

10. When in doubt, grab an Uber or Taxi home. My Dad always told me to be smart when making my way home. A 10 euro Uber/Taxi ride is peace of mind to getting home safe at night. If you don’t feel comfortable walking back to your apartment or hotel alone, just stay at the restaurant or bar with someone and call a ride home. I carry all my camera equipment with me during the day and if I end the night having drinks on a terrace and it is late, I will always call for a ride home.

These tips aren’t to scare you. Paris is fairly safe you just have to be mindful and pay attention. I highly recommend traveling solo. In 2010 it changed my life and launched a business. Keep your belongings safe and your mind open to the world around you. Traveling Solo is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. You can meet new people and do exactly what you want to do on your own agenda. 


10 safety tips for solo female travelers in paris everyday parisian

This post does include affiliate links which helps contribute to my coffee and croissant research. Merci! 

P.S. Don’t miss 10 Budget Friendly Hotels in Paris and My First Timer Guide to Paris

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  1. I really wish I’d read this before my solo trip to Paris. That note about not making eye contact on the metro would’ve been really helpful, but I still had a blast! Do you have any tips for Nantes, since I have a trip there coming up soon?
    Also, I’ve just started my own blog about studying in California and Sweden (nerdycalifornian.com) if anybody wants to check it out. 🙂

    • Hi Casey,

      I am so happy to hear you had a blast! I have not been to Nantes so I can’t give you advice. Have a great trip and safe travels xo

  2. Where do you keep your passport while travelling? I heard they should always be on you to make sure you don’t lose them or have them stolen. A moneybelt would be safest, but uncomfortable and unattractive under a shirt. Do you feel comfortable keeping them in the hotel safe?

    • Hi Amanda,

      I keep it in the hotel safe, if not in the apartment I am staying in. I wouldn’t keep it with me from day to day unless I needed it. It is a good idea to have a copy in your email for safekeeping and send a copy to your family just in case. There is always a way to recover it if something happens. I hope this helps!

      Rebecca

  3. Wow, the tips you discuss and give are very interesting and very useful for me, a woman. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge about holidays. VillaKubu.com

  4. hi, Thank you for your article. I’m leaving for my first trip abroad solo Tuesday. I particularly like the example s of how I might be scammed. I’m staying in the Latin Quarter and have one excursion trip by bike at night the 2nd day. I’m a bit nervous about returning to the hotel after the boat ride? Any suggestions? I also will be riding and I hear Shorts are a no no should I wear skirts on bikes?
    I did down load Uber..which would also be a first for me. The hotel has already been helpful and told me about the "fake" taxis and to make sure they know there is a flat rate of E35. I’m taking a anti Theft Travelon cross body bag so I feel good about that.

  5. Hi – am traveling to Paris shortly to spend time there with my camera. I am a passionate street photographer. Are there any areas where you feel it would be especially good for me to visit? I will go to parks, the booksellers along the banks of the Seine, sometimes coffee shops. But am wondering where would be helpful to go early in the morning, as well as throughout the day. Crowds are not especially good for street, but there does need to be people around.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    By the way, I really enjoyed seeing the post on your Chicago apartment. It looks stunning!

    Sandy

    • Hi Sandy,

      Thank you so much!

      It just depends what you want to see. I let my eye lead me and do the best when getting lost. I think you need to see what catches your eye and follow that. The Seine is always great. Early morning to avoid crowds and people. Just be careful and keep your camera around your neck and your bag zipped!

      xo

  6. Hi, I am traveling alone like most people here. This is also my kind of my first solo trip. I wanted to know a safe neighbourhood I can stay in with reasonable hotel or hostel.

    • Hi Kruthi,

      What is your budget? I don’t know much about hostels just hotels and apartments. The center of the city is pretty safe. Feel free to email me with specific areas and I will do my best to help [email protected]

  7. thank you for this very informative post 🙂 !! I’m traveling alone to Paris on May 2nd I’m only nervous about the pick-picketers. and I know this might sound funny but I wish I had a companion to take pictures of me in this magical city hehe. okay back to business, so my question is, I’m considering hiring a car with a private driver to take me around Paris and possibly to Strasbourg, I thought it could be a good idea it’s like hitting two birds with one stone, someone to accompany me to avoid being triggered by thieves and someone to drive me around and "take pictures of me :P". could you recommend companies that offer such service? I googled and found some but the price was pretty steep ( talking about 1500 USD per day :/ )

  8. Hi Rebecca, thank you for this very informative post. I have a question that would be very much appreciated if you could help to answer. I’ll be arriving at Paris CDG airport alone (female) before meeting up with a friend in the city. I am currently considering between taking the share PariShuttle or an Uber as it is cheaper compared to the normal taxis. Which would you recommend or what do you think of the level of safety for both?

    • Hi Bel,

      I am writing a post on this soon! I typically take the shuttle as I can’t connect with Uber at the airport for some reason. Uber is safe and reliable in Paris so if you can connect that will be the easier more expensive option. The shuttle is safe and I have never had a problem. I prefer it much better over the train. You don’t have to lift your luggage 🙂

      Safe travels and bon voyage! xo
      Rebecca

  9. I visited Paris for the first time alone. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Yes, I struggled a bit trying to figure out how to buy train tickets, how to get around, etc, but ultimately, because I had no one to rely on, I learned fast. I saw and experienced Paris through my own eyes. These tips are great. I was cautious, but also found Paris to be safe and friendly. The only time I felt somewhat unsafe was in Sacre Cœur with the guys who were "selling" bracelets. But I heard about them and managed to brush them off.

  10. Great tips. Have you used the Cuyana travel wallet for passport and cards? I have been considering it. But also like a zipped wallet. Which do you prefer? Wanting a new wallet for trip. I do use a Longchamp bad as well as a Lancel crossbody purse. Thanks Kelly

  11. I love this. I spend time in Paris and I am very cautious. I feel safe most of the time; however, I have heightened awareness around the Metro and ATMs. Thank you for great advice for women travelers!

  12. I have spent a lot of time in Paris and I know the city well. Your tips are very good, thank you for sharing them! I travel extensively nationally and internationally, mostly for business and mostly alone. The two things I would add about Paris is the pickpocket issue is real, as in most major cities. I keep my wallet in an inside zipped pouch of my zipped bag and am always diligent. Except for one time when I was on a crowded Metro in the winter, had on a big coat and hadn’t put my wallet in the inside compartment. It was easy for someone to reach in and take it. And no matter where I am in the world I never hang my purse on the back of my chair or set it on a chair, especially near the sidewalk while in an outdoor cafe.
    The latest scam I’ve seen in Paris is on the Metro. I’ve ridden the Metro hundreds of times and have never been asked for my ticket when exiting the station. There were three people, one a uniformed RATP – real or posing as real. The one in uniform asked me for my ticket. I had thrown it in the trash at the last stop as it was no longer valid. When I couldn’t produce it they accused me of riding without a ticket and demanded 200 Euro. I asked if there were security cameras that would show me using my ticket when I got on, I asked to see a supervisor, all to no avail. It started to seem fishy, plus I didn’t want to lose 200 Euro, so I said I thought I knew which trash can it was in and went back toward the train. They had looked at my companion’s ticket and I thought I could pick up any ticket – there are always some that don’t make the trash can. That didn’t work, so I became really suspicious. I said I was going back to look again. We got on the next train and went a couple of stops away. When telling this story to a local the next day she said it was definitely a scam. I’ve always had my used ticket with me since then. BTW, both of these issues happened while traveling with someone else.

    • Did you find it unsafe at night? I have often walked the Seine late and I have never had a problem. But it all depends on the area.

  13. Hi, I’m also traveling alone, and abroad for the first time in November. Could you recommend a good, safe neighborhood with decently priced hotels? So far, I have a plane ticket and nothing else!

  14. Thank you for this post. I’m traveling to Paris in May – my first solo trip and my first trip abroad. I’m super excited, but nervous about what type of bag to carry around all day. I received a nice leather Madewell backpack for Christmas and it’s perfect for my camera. It has a drawstring and a flap to close it. Do you think this will be okay?

    • LaToya,

      You are going to love it! Congratulations on your first solo trip. Paris is a perfect place to start. I would stay away from backpacks. When it’s on your back you never know who is behind you and I would be paranoid when getting bumped into or riding the metro. There is no way to really keep things safe. I would recommend a bag that sits on your shoulder or even a cross body bag that can stay right by you and a zippered one would be best.