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If you’ve found this blog post then you are most likely asking yourself; ‘Is Paris a safe city?’ ‘Is Paris safe for tourists?’ and looking for tips on how you can keep yourself safe during your time in the city of love.
It will come as no surprise to most that whilst Paris is famed for its romantic aura, there are certainly some aspects of the city that can put tourists off from visiting.
In this post, you will find tips to keep you safe whilst visiting Paris, information on safety for travelling to Paris as a female and as a solo traveller as well as tips based on our personal experience during our time in Paris.
Table of Contents
Areas to avoid in Paris
No matter where you visit in the world, there are areas that you should visit with caution and areas that you should avoid. Paris is no different in that respect and there are certainly some areas that are safer than others.
Some of the areas to avoid in Paris do actually have popular tourist hotspots. With this in mind, you can still visit these areas but it is recommended to proceed with caution.
Ways that you can do this is if you’re visiting with your partner, friends or family then you will most likely be fine to visit these areas during the day.
If you’re travelling alone then these are definitely areas to avoid in Paris, especially at night. In order to still explore the popular tourist attractions safely, consider joining a group tour instead. This way you will still get to explore but you will be much safer in a group setting than by going alone.
If you are planning to visit some of these areas in Paris to avoid then we would recommend taking extra precautions and reading our Paris safety tips below.
You might already know a little bit about the Montmartre area without even realising it. Ever heard of the Moulin Rouge? Well, Montmartre is where you will find this infamous cabaret show.
Even though it is considered a dangerous area in Paris, it is still one of the most popular tourist destinations. From visiting the Sacre-Coeur, the wall of love to the incredible food around Montmartre, there are plenty of things to do.
However, there are some reasons why you should be extra cautious around this area. Montmartre at night can be a little overwhelming and you need to be very aware of your surroundings.
Pickpockets can be quite common in Europe and Paris is no exception to that. Whilst you’re exploring around Montmarte, keep your wits about you and watch out for pickpockets.
Whilst we wouldn’t necessarily say to avoid visiting Montmartre, we would say that you need to keep your safety at the forefront of your mind. There are a lot of tourist scams in Europe too so research popular scams in this area so that you know what to look out for.
As tourist scams and pickpocketing can happen in any city, this doesn’t mean that you should not take a trip to Montmartre. All we are saying is to be vigilant and look after yourself.
If you’re travelling on your own then it would be best to visit Montmartre during the day or with a group of people if you’ve made some friends during your solo trip.
Close to Montmartre, you will find Pigalle, otherwise known as the Red Light district of Paris. Some feel that this is an unsafe area and in some respects, it can be.
This is considered quite a touristy area of Paris so you will find lots of other tourists around too. With that in mind, there will also be people looking to prey on tourists.
You will be fine exploring around this area but try not to stay too long. If you’re a solo traveller, especially a female solo traveller, then you need to be cautious and keep your wits about you. There can be quite a few drunk people around so you may want to keep your distance from this and any trouble it may bring.
BEST GROUP TOURS IN MONTMARTRE:
- Discover Paris: Hidden Montmartre Tour
- Montmartre Hill Sweet & Savoury French Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour
- Montmartre Walking Tour: Paris’ Best Art, Culture & Food
In our opinion, Stalingrad can be a very dangerous area of Paris and it is best for tourists to avoid.
Homelessness is very common around Stalingrad which absolutely breaks our hearts to see. We have large sympathy for these people and the situation that has made them homeless. Homelessness doesn’t necessarily make an area unsafe but there have been many reports of incidents occurring such as arguments or scuffles. Due to this, we would recommend avoiding Stalingrad. If you’re a female travelling on your own, this is not an area you’d want to wander around alone, especially at night.
Homelessness absolutely isn’t the main reason why we suggest to avoid Stalingrad in Paris. It is also well-know to be a common area for drug-trafficking, robberies, scams and general crime.
For anyone that is planning to visit Paris, Stalingrad is certainly not the best place to stay even if it does seem like it might be a cheap option. No matter where you’re travelling, always keep your safety as the biggest priority and don’t take any unnecessary risks.
3. Gare du Nord
It may sound crazy to have Gare du Nord on our places to avoid list especially as the main train station for Paris lies in this area.
However, that is the main reason why it has made this list! As there are a lot of travellers and tourists coming in and out of this area, it makes it a prime spot for anyone that is looking to target someone for pickpocketing or a scam.
It is still safe to visit here so don’t unnecessarily avoid Gare du Nord train station because of this. Keep your wits about you and eyes on everyone around you. You don’t know what people’s intentions are. If someone approaches you and it doesn’t feel right, walk away.
Exploring around Gare du Nord late at night can be sketchy at times but keep yourself to yourself and you will be okay. Avoid wearing any expensive items such as a camera dangling around your neck or anything that specifically pinpoints you as a tourist.
Similar to the other locations we’ve mentioned, it is worth taking extra precautions around Barbès-Rochechouart.
Don’t enter any unmarked taxis and as a general rule of thumb, take a photo of the license plate before you enter any taxis. It sounds like it might be over the top but it is better to be safe than sorry as they say.
We would recommend not walking through this area late at night if possible and in particular if you’re a solo traveller. Similar to Gare du Nord, if someone approaches you and it doesn’t feel right then walk away. Always trust your gut instincts.
It is also a known area for drug-trafficking too so it is worth avoiding this area if you can help it. The same can be said for Château-Rouge and Château d’Eau which hold a similar reputation.
There are some incredible markets for you to explore around this area which is what mostly draws in travellers. They are absolutely wonderful to visit and during the day you will mostly be fine as long as you’re cautious. However, it is best to wander around this area in a group or on a tour where possible.
Paris Metro Is it Safe?
When you’re exploring around Paris, one of the best ways to get around is by using the metro. However, the top question that must be on your mind is; ‘Is it safe to use the metro in Paris?’
We used the metro the whole time we were in Paris and we didn’t experience any issues. However, that is not to say that there are not any issues with the metro in Paris.
If you’re a solo traveller then it is worth being extra cautious using the metro in Paris.
During the day, you will find that the metro is extremely busy and this can be one of the most vulnerable times for you as a traveller. When the metro is busy, this is often an opportune moment for pickpockets. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times and hold onto your bags at the front of your body.
You will find that there are sometimes people walking through the carriages asking for money. Generally speaking, if you just don’t respond, you will be left alone.
If you’re travelling on the metro late at night then you may find some sketchy characters lurking around especially during certain stations. The best thing to do is to try and avoid doing the metro late at night on your own and stick with other travellers or your group.
However, this is not always possible so ensure that you take precautions and research where you’re going in advance. Keep your belongings in your eyesight and do not engage with anyone. People may have good intentions but you don’t always know that so it’s best to avoid contact to keep yourself safe.
We used the metro frequently and didn’t have any issues but travelling as a couple is very different to travelling solo. The worst issues we had on the metro was purely how busy it was and so it made you feel insecure with your belongings.
Is Paris Safe to Travel Alone?
The short answer to ‘is Paris safe to travel alone? Is yes. However, there is a lot more that comes with that answer.
Sure, there are some spots in Paris that are considered unsafe or dangerous. However, if you go to Paris fully prepared and have taken heed of our safety tips, you should be absolutely fine.
With the right safety precautions, you will be able to easily explore Paris and enjoy the sights. If you want to travel solo, some areas can be considered unsafe as we mentioned in the first part of this post. If you’re planning to explore some of these areas and don’t feel safe doing this alone then it might be worth either going on a guided tour or meeting people at your hostel to travel with.
One of the biggest threats that Paris poses is that it is renown for pickpockets. Taking the right precautions with this will ensure you smooth travels throughout Paris.
We don’t say any of this to scare you but we would rather be honest so that you’re prepared for your trip to Paris.
Is Paris Safe for Women?
No matter where you are visiting in the world, whether that is your hometown or abroad, everywhere poses some risks with crime, pickpocketing and for women.
Paris is no exception and there are some areas that can be considered more dangerous. With that in mind, it is worth taking the usual precautions that you would travelling as a female.
In particular, if you are planning to enjoy some of Paris’ nightlife then keep an eye on your drinks at all times. This is the same advice that we would give no matter where you’re travelling.
Generally speaking, Paris is a very safe destination to visit for women both in groups and solo. Ensure that you are careful if you’re out late at night and where possible walk with friends or take group tours.
You will have an absolutely wonderful time exploring Paris as a woman. It is one of the best cities to be your best independent self and feel empowered.
Tips on How to be safe in Paris
1. Research areas that are considered safe and areas to avoid
If you read the start of this post and didn’t jump straight here then you will have seen that we’ve mentioned some areas that would be best to avoid. With that in mind, most of these locations are safe to explore during the day and are generally considered unsafe at night.
Do your due diligence and ensure that you’re aware of any unrest or protests that may be going on during your trip. Ensure that you also check into the level of crime in these areas especially when it comes down to choosing where you’re going to stay too.
2 .Be mindful around tourist hotspots
They’re called tourist hotspots for a reason so you’re going to most likely want to visit some of these areas. However, that does also mean that they are hotspots for people that want to prey on tourists.
You will find that where the popular tourist attractions are there will be people looking to pickpocket or scam you. Keep yourself safe by being aware of these areas and being wary of your surroundings.
Tourist attractions that we would recommend being mindful around include; the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre plaza, Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur.
3. Leave your valuables at home or locked away
On the topic of pickpockets, it is best to either leave your values locked away or at the hostel or hotel.
Ideally, it is best to leave them at home because if you’re out and about exploring, you will enter various different areas and you can’t always trust people’s intentions.
If you’re on the metro, keep your bag close to your chest and have a firm hold on it. It might also be worth saying that it is best to avoid having your camera wrapped around your neck whilst exploring Paris.
Having a camera around your neck or carrying around expensive equipment may be asking for trouble. This can target you as a tourist and it is best to stay as inconspicuous as possible.
4. Explore in well-lit areas
If you’re out exploring at night, ensure that you’re wandering around well-lit areas. If you’re travelling solo, it is best to be very cautious at night and avoid any areas that are not well-lit.
Unfortunately, when the sun goes down, for some reason crazy people can come out. This is the same for most places that you visit especially when drink is involved too.
Keep yourself safe and although it may sound obvious, avoid any dark alleys or areas that are not lit and you can’t see anyone approaching you.
5. Avoid public transport at night
If you are travelling in a group then generally speaking, you should be fine using public transport at night.
However, the metro in particular can be a little sketchy at night and it does attract drunk people too. As a solo female traveller, we would recommend avoiding public transport at night where possible.
6. Be wary of taxis late at night
Similar to the public transport in Paris, there are some taxi scams going around. Do not enter any taxis that are unmarked under any circumstances.
It may sound obvious to say but these scammers are very elaborate and do this professionally. Before getting into a taxi, ensure that you have checked that they are a legit taxi driver.
We would also recommend taking photos of the license plate before entering the taxi. If it is a legit taxi driver, they will have no problem with you doing this. Keep your friends updated on where you are and enable find my friends on your phone is needs be.
7. Research popular tourist scams
There are a lot of tourist scams across Europe and you’ll find that Paris is one of the biggest hubs for this.
The scams across Europe are changing frequently and they are becoming more sneaky as the days go along. Common scams that we have personally seen in Paris is where ‘charity workers’ will try to get you to sign a petition and use this to block your sight whilst they try to pickpocket you.
The scammers and pickpockets in Paris can get very aggressive so if anyone approaches you, be firm and stand your ground.
Research the different tourist scams that are common in Europe and keep yourself well informed.
Be wary of anyone that approaches you and keep your belongings in your sight all the time. Trust your gut instincts and if something doesn’t feel right then walk away.
If in doubt, threaten to call the police to settle any disputes, you can guarantee that any potential scammers will soon scarper.
8. Wear pickpocket prevention clothing
There are plenty of different pieces of clothing that you can purchase to deter pickpockets. This can include jackets with hidden pockets, money belts and securer backpacks.
You can find an array of pickpocket deterrent items on Amazon. We’ve listed some of our favourite items below:
PICKPOCKET PREVENTION CLOTHING:Pickpocket Proof Bag Anti-Theft Ankle Stash
9. Keep your drink in your eyesight at all times
Drink spiking has become more popular over the past few years and it is so dangerous it’s unreal.
Whether you’re travelling as a group or solo, it does not matter, do not let your drink out of your sight at any point. This is the same advice that we would give no matter where you are travelling.
You can also purchase some items which deter your drink being spiked or will show if your drink has been spiked too.Drink Cover Scrunchie
If you are travelling as a group, look out for each other and watch your drinks especially when anyone needs to use the bathroom. However, if you’re travelling solo, before you use the bathroom, finish your drink. If you leave your drink unattended at any point then do not return to it, you never know who may have had the opportunity to slip something in there.
10. Wear your backpack on your front
For some people that have travelled quite a few times before, this may seem like an obvious tip.
If you wear your backpack on front, this means that you have it in your sight at all times and you can see if anyone is trying to get into your belongings.
We would recommend trying to have your backpack on your front in any crowded or busy places. In particular, one of the places you NEED to wear your backpack to the front is when you’re on the metro.
The metro can get very busy and it’s really hard to know if someone is trying to get in your bag. Often on the Paris metro, you will be constantly touching people as there’s not a lot of space so it can be hard to differentiate who is close to you because they can’t help it and who is trying to get to your valuables.
11. Be friendly but firm
This goes for anyone that you come across during your travels. Often in popular tourist attractions, you will be approached by people trying to sell you things, other tourists and locals alike.
At times, the people approaching you may not have the best intentions. This is another occasion where you need to trust your gut instincts and assess the situation.
If something doesn’t feel right then be firm and friendly. You need to keep your confidence in situations like this and tell people to leave you alone if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Similar to our tip about scammers in Paris, if you are not left alone then feel free to threaten to call the police. Often this will deter anyone that is wishing you harm or harassing you.
Keep your safety at the forefront of your mind and the best way to handle situations like this is to be friendly but be firm.
12. Travel in groups where possible
This is not always possible especially if you don’t have any friends or family that like to travel. However, if you’re visiting some of the more undesirable areas in Paris then it is worth consider travelling in a group where possible.
If you are travelling on your own then there are other ways that you can do this. One way you can travel in a group is by joining a group day tour by using Viator or Get Your Guide.
Alternatively, if you’re staying at a hostel, this is a great way to meet new people and make friends. You will often find that there are other solo travellers that may feel the same as you and will want to explore together.
Lastly, reach out on groups on Facebook to see if anyone would like to explore with you. When Amy is travelling solo, she has reached out to other females on the Solo Traveller Network to see if anyone would like to meet up. This is a really supportive community and great for any girls that are feeling nervous.
13. Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas
Paris is beautiful and there are a lot of safe areas for you to explore but unfortunately, it is a very popular spot for pickpockets.
One of the worst places for you to be targeted by pickpockets is at popular tourist attractions and the metro. Be very aware of your surroundings whilst you’re wandering around Paris and keep a hand on your belongings at all times.
Even if you’re sitting at an outside cafe always keep a hand on your bag. Often Amy will loop her leg through on of her backpack straps before putting her foot down on the floor to deter pickpockets.
This is the same for leaving any valuables such as your purse, wallet or phone on the table. This is way too easy for people to grab and run before you even know what is happening.
How to Avoid Pickpockets in Paris
Pickpocket Proof Clothing
One of the best ways to deter pickpockets is to purchase clothing that has hidden pockets. This makes it much harder for pickpockets to get access to your valuables such as your money, credit cards, passport etc.Men’s Pickpocket Proof Jacket Pickpocket Proof Bag Anti-Theft Ankle Stash
Wear a Money Belt
Whilst they are not the most attractive fashion accessory, money belts are really helpful to keep your valuables secure. As they are often placed under your t-shirt, it makes it much harder for pickpockets to get to without you knowing.
Avoid Looking Like a Tourist
One of the easiest ways to be targeted is when pickpockets know that you are a tourist.
Signs that can label you as a tourist include having an expensive camera swinging around your neck or looking lost and not really aware of your surroundings. Where possible, try to avoid having a camera dangling around your neck and put the expensive equipment away.
Don’t Get Distracted
Most pickpockets tend to target people by distracting them. This can include asking for directions and using a map to block your vision or a petition that someone wants you to sign.
The more distracted you are, the easier target you can become. Keep your wits about you at all times especially if there is alcohol involved.
Don’t Trust Easily
As someone with a very trusting nature, Amy finds it difficult to put a firmer face on and not trust most people.
Whilst you’re travelling, no matter where it may be, people don’t always have the best intentions. If someone approaches you, be wary and cautious especially when it comes to giving out information.
If someone is approaching you, this may also be another ploy to pickpocket you. You never know if there might be someone behind you whilst you’re talking to another person so do not let yourself forget where you are.
Eiffel Tower Safety
There are a lot of security checks when you are planning to go to the top of the Eiffel tower. This is for everyone’s safety and in your best interest.
Whilst it may be frustrating to go through these safety checks, they are completely necessary. Be patient and if you’re not allowed to bring certain items through then there will be a reason for this.
There is no way that you won’t want to take lots of photos when you’re at the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view is absolutely stunning both during the day and at night that you will be blown away.
For your own safety and everyone else, be careful if you dangle your phone over the side to take any pictures of the view. It is too easy to drop your phone over the edge.
The last thing you want to do is to break your phone or camera of course. As well as that, it is incredibly dangerous for anyone that is at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower and may get hit by your phone or camera falling.
When you’re walking up the Eiffel Tower, it can be really busy. Take your time going up and don’t let anyone rush you too much.
You can get a little bit dizzy going up the Eiffel Tower so take it easy and take a breather where needed.
Is it safe to go to Paris? Our Verdict
Paris can be a very safe city to visit if you have done your research. Congrats! You’ve completed the first step by reading this blog post.
There are a lot of horror stories about exploring Paris but do not forget that it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
We found that Paris was very safe when we were exploring but we were travelling as a couple at the time. Keep your wits about you and always be aware of your surrounding.
It is very easy to be safe around Paris as long as you know how so keep these tips in mind when planning your trip.
The main worry that you will have is pickpockets but as long as you take the right precautions, this will be less of a stress.
Don’t forget, have the most amazing time exploring around Paris. It is such an incredible city and you will have so much fun especially as it is one of the most romantic cities for Valentine’s Day.