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10 Tips for Solo Travelers in Paris

How to Enjoy Your Time Alone in the City of Light
Woman solo traveler in Paris
Last updated January 19, 2024
Whether you’re a pro at exploring cities on your own or this is your first time flying solo, there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting France’s capital alone. Here are the keys to a successful solo trip to Paris.

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Planning a solo trip to Paris can be exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Like most big cities, with great beauty comes a certain degree of trouble, and Paris is no exception, presenting some challenges and unknowns. However, with a bit of research and preparation, you can have a great time in the City of Light and enjoy most sights and activities without constantly looking over your shoulder.

Here are some suggestions on solo travel dos and don’ts, aimed to simplify your planning process and conquer the French capital like a seasoned traveler.

1. Safety first

Popular areas are crowded for a reason. While they provide relative safety in terms of personal harm, be aware of pickpockets and scammers that try to sell you things, show you tricks, or have you sign petitions. A simple “non, merci” is all you have to do, then quickly walk away.

I encountered most scammers around areas such as the Sacré-Coeur basilica, train stations, bridges over the Seine, the Tuileries Gardens, and the métro stations.

To know what to look out for, read our article on the specific scams to avoid in Paris.

Crowds of tourists at Sacré Coeur.

2. Join an organized tour 

For the first-time solo traveler, this is an easy option to get to know the city and find out an abundance of interesting facts in the process. There are many different ways to explore Paris: by bike, by car (the cute vintage 2CV is always a popular option), by Big Bus, and even by boat, not to mention walking tours. Read the reviews and choose one tailored to your interests and preferences.

3. Wake up early 

Paris is lovely in the early hours, before tour buses spill thousands of tourists into all the popular places. Make the effort to get out early and you will be rewarded with seeing a side of Paris that is unique to that part of the day: quiet, clean, and fresh. Not to mention that, during certain months, you can capture a killer sunrise over the Seine as well.

Eiffel Tower at sunrise seen from the Trocadéro
Sunrise is a great time to see the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro without all the crowds.

4. Take a class 

Master French sauces. Bake macarons, baguettes, or viennoiseries. Taste a variety of cheeses, chocolate, or wine. Get a lesson in fashion design. Photograph the landmarks.

Create a bag, jewelry, a hat, or even graffiti. Whatever your passion, you’ll find a creative outlet to join in and learn a thing or two, or practice what you already know, with like-minded people.

Artistic experiences in Paris

Not sure where to start? These unique activities are all led by members of our Parisian community.

5. Visit the museums and art galleries

As cliché as this might sound, the museums in Paris are too good not to be given serious consideration and a bit of your time. They are captivating, they are safe, and they will fill your mind and your heart with inspiration and joy. More into contemporary art? Pop into one of these art galleries instead.

6. Treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal

A great dinner will stay in your memory forever. Try one of these exceptional gastronomic restaurants in Paris and enjoy French cuisine at your leisure. Dining alone is perfectly acceptable and you can linger over that last glass of wine for as long as you like. 

restaurant dining room Septime
Septime is a wonderful restaurant and although it’s usually tough to get a table, reservations are strongly recommended, you can sometimes get a single seat at the bar without much trouble. It’s certainly worth a try! Photo courtesy Septime ® F.Flohic.

7. Shop ‘til you drop

If that’s your thing, Paris is a shopper’s paradise. From upscale, haute couture boutiques to vintage outfits by the kilo and the occasional soldes, you’re bound to find something you can bring home and impress your friends with: “Oh, this old thing? I got it in Paris.”

Reserve a unique fashion experience in Paris

8. Admire the breathtaking rooftop views

This is one of my personal favorites, as there is nothing quite like seeing this marvelous city from above. There are great views from the top of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower, or the Panthéon, but you can skip the lines and the ticket price and go to Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, and combine shopping with a wonderful view from their rooftops.

These retail giants also offer good options for lunch or dinner with a view.

Make sure you read our recommendations for more tips on where to see the city from above.

Paris skyline view from top of Sacré Coeur
The view of Paris from atop Sacré-Coeur is definitely worth the climb. Photo © Renata Haidle.

9. Wear comfortable shoes

This is common sense but bears repeating. You’ll walk more than you anticipate. Landmarks don’t seem that far apart, but distances do add up quickly. Don’t attempt to explore Paris in heels or your newest cute shoes. Bring your most comfortable pair and expect to beat personal walking records.

10. Avoid unknown areas at nighttime

This last one also goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Late at night, stay close to your hotel, preferably in touristy areas that are usually full of people like you, just out to squeeze the most fun out of the Parisian evenings. Never let your guard down; don’t leave your drink unattended; don’t get in cars with strangers. Use the same safety tips you would at home and you’ll be fine. Bon voyage!

Parisian café at night.

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