Traveling in Paris alone? The city streets are known by many as the source of love and light, but when traveling alone, it’s smart to be cautious as well. Like with any city, when you’re walking through Paris, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.
Use this helpful guide to stay safe while having fun traveling solo in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
1. Be smart with public transport
Yes, the public transport in Paris is great. There’s a train or bus available at almost any hour of the day or night.
However, after a night out, you might feel better using a ride-share app like Uber or Hitch or even a taxi. Traveling at night when you’re alone can be uncomfortable in any big city, and the night bus in Paris is no exception, so it’s worth looking into alternatives. It may be less than €10 for a comfortable ride home without the company of strangers.
If you do opt for public transport, as with all travel, keep your belongings close to you, avoid giving away signs that you’re a tourist (such as repeatedly checking a map), and keep yourself alert for changes in your surroundings.
2. Drink cautiously and responsibly
The alcohol in Paris — and Europe in general — can sometimes be much stronger than you expect because it’s different from what you’re used to at home. Even if it’s just a bottle of red wine or a can of beer from the grocery store, it can be more than 13% alcohol by volume.
If you’re traveling alone, yes, have fun and make friends on your nights out, but don’t overlook how much alcohol you’re consuming and lose your awareness of what’s going on around you.
3. Protect your luggage
Make sure to always keep an eye and a hand on the zip-up part of your luggage and purse. While you’re on the metro, the bus, walking along the streets, even in touristy areas like Place Vendôme. Especially in touristy areas like Place Vendôme. Often, those fancy, upscale places can be crowded, attracting pickpockets as a result, so it’s smart to be mindful of your surroundings and people near you. One good habit to develop is to keep your hand on your bag at all times. This will be helpful not just in Paris, but when you’re traveling in the airport and other cities as well.
Pro tip: RFID fraud is something you can easily avoid thanks to credit card covers that will secure your information from scanners designed to lift your bank card details.
4. Take precaution at outdoor ATMs
On every corner in Paris, you can find an ATM, but you may also spot a lurking looky-loo, who might be waiting for your next cash withdrawal.
When withdrawing cash, make sure to put your hand over your personal pin as you enter it. Pick up your cash and close your wallet as soon as you’re able. If you’ve ever watched a French local do this, you’ll learn quickly. It’s not scary — it’s just simple and quick without drawing too much attention.
5. Know your apartment door code
Often, when staying in a Paris apartment, you will find yourself having to memorize a door code to enter your building. My tip is to memorize that code quickly so when you get home, you don’t play around with your phone looking it up.
These tips aren’t meant to worry you. Chances are, your trip to Paris will be completely peaceful and uneventful, as far as interacting with pickpockets go. But these five simple do’s and dont’s will help you be prepared for situations you may come across where safety is important. Follow these tips, you won’t be an easy target for thieves.