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How to Ride the Metro like a Parisian

May 8, 2020

Alright, so the metro can be a dangerous and frightening place to most travelers, which is understandable because it’s a contained space filled with strangers. However, the ride doesn’t have to be scary! With the right precautions, most thieves give up at the sight of a complicated challenge.

Here is a list of tips and tricks to not becoming targeted on the Paris metro.

  1. Don’t bring attention to yourself

Surprisingly, the volume of speech is cultural and the French are not typically very loud in their casual conversation. If you speak tend to speak loudly, trying to get quieter will help you remain under the radar and avoid potential outside listeners hearing your whereabouts.

  1. Be aware of crowds

When the open seating area in front of the entrance becomes crowded, the seated individuals there must stand up so more travelers can enter. Make sure you can still see out the window for your metro stop and promptly say, “pardon!” and fellow Parisian travelers will move out of the way.

  1. Keep a hand on your personal possessions at all times.

This may seem obvious, but always keep one hand on the opening of your bag or backpack so you potentially feel thieving hands. This even works when the metro is crowded. Also pay attention to your phone! When listening to music, your headphones are signaling to thieves the exact location of your phone. Keep a hand firmly on your phone if it is out of your bag.

  1. Never leave a bag alone!

In Europe, the panic and sometimes legal procedure around abandoned bags. While studying abroad, a fellow student somehow forgot their backpack in a station and when she returned, she got an eye-full of the scene it caused.

  1. The train doors

At every stop, make sure that when the doors are opening you have a tight grip on all of your belongings. It has been known to be a prime opportunity for thieves to snatch your phone or bag and be safely out of your reach on the other side of the shut doors once they close again.

Thank you for reading this tips and tricks to riding the Paris metro! Don’t be too paranoid and let it mess with you fun, if you stay aware of these things you should have no problems.