The City of Lights, Love and Liveliness, Paris has always been one of the most talked about cities on the planet. And why not? With the outstanding landmarks, the beautiful French architecture, the rich culture and well, the Seine River Cruise – there’s just so much to love about the place.
But with millions of visitors coming to the city from all around the world, also comes a few safety concerns. And if you are a solo female traveler, it becomes really important to learn about the risks and take necessary precautions before entering any city.
So, today, on this blog post we will explore the question “is Paris safe for solo female travellers?” and also provide some practical tips to help stay safe during the trip.
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Is Paris safe for solo female travellers?
To answer this question directly: Yes, Paris is safe for solo female travelers. With a low crime rate and very rare violent crimes towards tourists, Paris remains to be one of the safest places in Europe to travel in.
But that does not mean that you might not face any risks or safety issues while traveling the city. Like any city in the world, you may find people of all kinds on the streets: from calm gentlemen to spooky pick pocketers. But when you know about these risks, you make your solo female travel a much more fun experience.
The most prevalent crimes in the area are petty theft, scams and pickpocketing. And mostly the female travelers are the major target for these criminal activities.
Any place in the world could feel amazing, and crime-less and calm when you look at it from afar. But it’s when you actually visit certain neighborhoods or city areas, when you really get to know if the place is all candy floss or the other way round, right?
Similarly, there are a few neighborhoods at the outskirts of the city where these kind of petty crimes might occur. But the thing to know here is these areas remain outside your travel itinerary, no matter if you come solo or with a group.
Crime in Paris
To really understand the answer to the question “is Paris safe for solo female travellers” we need to first understand the types of crimes one might face in the City of Light.
Paris, generally is a really safe city to travel to. But with the recent years, the stats prove that the crime rates have tend to increase slightly more than before. Thus, comes the need to know about these crimes against the locals or tourists alike.
The crime in Paris is basically of three major types: Violent Crime, Petty Crime and Scams.
Out of these, the percentage of violence is much lower than the petty criminal activities that happen with tourists. And these petty crimes can happen to you anywhere across the world if you’re not cautious enough.
Although not that common, but violent crimes like assault, robbery, etc. have been reported in the city as of lately. The thing to note here is the majority of these cases have happened with intoxicated individuals walking alone in the middle of the night in isolated dark alleys.
If you’re not walking around finding problems with a bottle of a smooth French Scotch gutted down your insides, in the middle of the night near dark alleyways: you’re safe!
Now when we come to Petty Crimes in Paris, the most common crimes will be pickpocketing or theft.
Most pickpockets target crowded areas that include public transportations or tourist attractions. They often work in teams and use techniques of distraction to get away with your wallet, bag or even fancy watches, etc.
They might use a swift pocket knife to cut through your clothing without you noticing and get away with valuables.
To avoid pickpocketing or theft of any type, it is really important to keep your belongings as closer to you as possible and stay aware of the surroundings.
Some tips for solo female travellers to avoid pickpockets :
- Carry an Anti-Theft Purse & Wrap the strap around your body not hanging on one shoulder.
- Avoid carrying all your money in one place. Distribute it to your locked luggage, hand bags, even a bra stash.
- Only carry what you need when going sightseeing. Keep your important belongings like travel documents, etc. safe in your accommodation.
Common Scams in Paris
The last type of safety issue that a solo female travel might face when traveling in Paris is several common scams. Scams are common across the globe, and when you travel enough you automatically know how to avoid these.
The most common Paris scams include: the gold ring scam, petition scam and the bracelet scam.
The Gold Ring Scam
It basically includes the following steps:
- The scammer will approach you with a gold-looking ring and ask you “is this yours?”
- When you say No, the scammer would try to sell it to you.
- If you fall for the trap, you will end up with a gold-colored ring made of cheap metal and the scammer gets away with a large amount of cash.
To avoid such scam, just walk away or tell them no you do not need it. The scammer could be both – a women or a man. Do not fall for the trap!
The Petition Scam
The Petition scam is another majorly popular scam found in touristy areas of Paris.
The steps of this one are as follows:
- A gang of young females would approach you and ask you very kindly to sign a petition on a clipboard.
- Once you go ahead signing the fake petition, the gang would split up and the other half would go pickpocket you without you even noticing.
- Also, once you are done signing, they would ask you for some charity money (which they would obviously be keeping for themselves). And their persistence is what makes you give them a few pennies or a Euro just to make them go away.
To avoid this scam in Paris, just say out loud “Non” whenever these people are seen approaching you. Also, make sure to avoid letting them too close to you.
The Bracelet Scam
The third most common type of scam to learn about when traveling in Paris as a female solo traveler is this. This one is mostly experienced when visiting the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.
This is how the scam works:
- You walk towards the stairs under the Basilica that take you uphill.
- As you start making your way up, a group of men or a “string man” grabs your hand and ties a bracelet around your wrist. The bracelet would be a colored home-made work made up of stings.
- Then the string man demands payment.
- And mostly, to avoid any further conflict, the tourist pays the asked amount.
But when this happens there is a way to avoid these string men. One thing to remember is that these men are not thugs or criminals of that level but just con artists looking to con you for some cash.
They might look like a group you won’t wanna mess with, but sometimes they approach you really politely. What you can do to avoid the scam is to make sure you keep your hands as close to you as possible, maybe inside your pockets. Also, you can walk with a group of tourists. Another thing to do is to politely say “Non, Merci” and walk away.
Tips for Staying Safe in Paris for Solo Female Travellers
As we earlier said, Paris is not big on crime and is considered more safer than it’s contemporaries. The petty crimes around the city can be avoided and you can remain safer if you follow the tips provided below :
Safety in Accommodations
First things first, the most important thing to do when traveling to Paris as a solo female traveler is to choose a reputable hotel or a popular accommodation.
Read the online reviews and ratings thoroughly before finalizing your accommodation. Once you check in, keep your essentials inside the cupboard or locker and make sure your close the door properly when you go out for exploring.
Safety in Transportation
Next step after accommodation, is the public transportation. Now that you understand the answer to the question “is Paris safe for solo female travellers” and you know about the petty crimes and pickpockets in town, you need to make sure you are alert when traveling in a public transport – be it buses, metros or the train.
The best way to travel is to stay closer to other tourists when alone and avoid being alone and become a target for the thieves lurking around.
Safety in Public Places
Public or touristy places in Paris are full of tourists, locals and also scammers and pickpockets. You need to make sure you are aware of the surroundings, keep in mind the steps to avoid the popular scams we told you about above and keep you belongings as closer to you as possible.
Do not carry large amounts of cash or your essential travel documents everywhere you go. Once checked in, leave the passport and other docs in your locker. Just carry what you need for the day.
Safety at Night
The nightlife in Paris is one of the most fascinating things the place offers you. But as a solo female traveller, you need to make sure you are more cautious than you were during the daylight.
Stay in well-lit, bustling areas and avoid going to the dark alleys at night. You may make friends along the journey with tourists from the same accommodation and head out at night and party it out without worrying about anything.
Safety in Crowds
Due to being so popular for so long, Paris sees a large chunk of tourists from all the locations in the world coming there for exploring, loving, finding peace and experiencing the vibe and culture of the place.
When in crowded areas, always make sure to carry your belongings closer to you. The petty criminals hide in the crowds so you need to be aware at all times.
Paris solo travel female: Things to Keep in Mind
Now that you know about all the scams and crimes one might face while traveling in Paris as a solo female traveller, and also ways to avoid these and have a fun filled experience – now comes the time to learn about a few more hacks to be safe :
- Dress Appropriately: Although Paris is a really open city to travel in whatever you want and feel comfy in, but when visiting places of religious belief like the Notre-Dame and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, make sure to avoid revealing clothes. It makes sure you avoid unwanted attention along with making you feel respectful to the local customs and traditions of the French.
- Learn Basic French: When you try and speak French to the locals, even though it might be a word or two, the locals just love you. The French love when international travelers seem to make efforts to learn their language and it also makes the communication easier.
- Stay Connected (with friends/family): Always make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before leaving for city exploration and always tell your loved ones about your plans of the day. You may even buy a local SIM to stay connected with family.
- Avoid being intoxicated way above your level: While it is really tempting to get indulged in the French cocktails, you need to know your boundaries. It is after all an unknown destination, you are away from home and also, you’re alone. Also, excessive drinking makes you more vulnerable to crime or accidents.
To wrap things up, Paris is a really safe city for solo female travellers and can be a really fantastic vacation for you if you plan on visiting this marvelous city. But it is also important to be aware of the risks and take necessary safety measures to make sure your vacay isn’t ruined due to petty crimes or scams.
I hope that answers the question that might be doing rounds inside your heads “is Paris safe for solo female travellers?”
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