Paris, France, is known as one of the most romantic major cities in the world but as with all big cities, it doesn’t come without any risk at all. Now, most of us are likely to be thinking that of course, Paris is safe, as it is easy to get caught up in the amazing things Paris has to offer.
From the Louvre to the amazing cuisine, fantastic culture, and sites like the Eiffel Tower, Paris is a city everyone should spend some time exploring, and it certainly isn’t worth skipping out on from a safety aspect.
But, is Paris safe to travel to? In a word, yes but there are things to be aware of and we are going to run through everything you need to know about staying safe in Paris so you can enjoy your visit to the max.
Generally speaking, the French capital is a very safe city and is on a par with most other European cities too such as London or Amsterdam. Unfortunately, as with all cities, the dense populations and differences in income give rise to crime, so visiting Paris is not without risk.
The most common crime in Paris is pickpocketing, a crime that all other cities in the world have to deal with, unfortunately. But, Paris is not without its hate crimes and violent crimes too since there is a network of criminal gangs that use violent crime as a control mechanism.
That being said, these are not crimes that tourists will come across while traveling in Paris, hence why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and the World. Here are the crimes to look out for that do affect tourists and how to avoid them.
There are lots of pickpockets in Paris and the best way to avoid pickpockets is to avoid popular tourist areas and busy metro stations and train stations. These are the areas in which pickpockets operate, as they work under the disguise of busy crowded areas.
Now, avoiding the best tourist spots to avoid being pickpocketed is simply not an option, and nor is not using the metro or train to get to these amazing tourist areas you have traveled to see.
The best way to avoid being pickpocketed is by keeping your valuables close to you, zipped up and not in an open pocket. You should also be aware of any distraction tactics such as someone coming to ask you for a donation or directions while their partners in crime try to remove your valuables.
All in all, common sense is going to keep you safe. Be aware of what is going on around you and keep your valuables in an inaccessible space while you explore this amazing city.
While you explore the city you should try to stay up to date with any protests that are happening in Paris so you can avoid that particular part of the city. Unfortunately, crowds of protestors tend to choose sites like the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe to demonstrate and these crowded spots can become quite dangerous.
Once French crowds get riled up in a demonstration, things can turn ugly and violence between protesters and police can ensue without warning. We have all seen the news when the French people disagree with the government and it can end up with tear gas and burning tires in the worst-case scenarios.
Luckily, this is extremely easy to avoid, all you need to do is avoid areas with protests which you can find by searching local news outlets online. Also, not all french protests end up dangerous, a lot remain peaceful.
Seeing this heading might make you a little concerned but I have only included terrorist attacks in this section to tell you that the risk of a terrorist attack is exceptionally low, as you likely know.
While terrorist groups used to target Paris quite often, they haven’t for ages and the big city has also been made a lot safer through new measures put in place to protect everyone in this cosmopolitan city.
Like every European city and major city in the world, crime rates shoot up under the cover of darkness and this goes for the city centre as well as residential neighborhoods too.
Recent years have seen the crime in Paris rise when it is dark too and there are reports of travelers feeling eyes on them looking for any opportunity to pick up some valuables. But, there are some excellent precautions you can take to have a safe time in the dark around Paris.
When going out at night choose somewhere that is a short walking distance from your hotel room. The less you have to walk the smaller the risk of anything happening and while you walk you should choose well-lit areas and know how to get from A to B. Don’t take shortcuts to and from your hotel as these are areas where pickpockets and the like will be lurking.
If you want to stay out late at night and enjoy the nightlife Paris has to offer, then make sure that you use a taxi to get home if it is far from your hotel and to do it with a group of trusted people.
While out late at night, you should also be aware of date rape drugs being given to you in restaurants and nightclubs. Keep an eye on your drink at all times, who is around, how they are behaving, etc. It is all common sense but it is still a risk to be aware of.
So how safe is Paris at night? It is generally safe in Paris after dark just be sure to use our safety tips above and keep your wits about you to a point. Don’t use the public transportation system at night, however,
Life for the solo female backpacker is a little harder than for men traveling solo, which is unfortunate but it is the case.
Female solo travelers are generally at risk more than male solo travelers but this doesn’t mean solo travel is off the table, as there are ways to ensure you feel safe at all times rather than unsafe.
Generally speaking, when traveling solo as a female, Paris is a perfectly safe place but it can become an unsafe destination quite quickly, here is how to stay safe.
Paris is safe for a solo female and none of this is meant to scare young women, these are simply the rules that ladies should follow to stay safe in any city in the world and even in your hometown or country.
Yes, the public transport system is safe to use when you visit Paris and it makes getting to different parts of the city exceptionally convenient as it is an efficient way to move around the city and see sights like the Eiffel Tower.
That being said, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to using public transport in cities around Western Europe, and here are the rules to follow in Paris.
The Paris Metro can be riddled with pickpockets and the line most notorious for this is Line 9 which takes you to some of the major tourist sights and Line 1 too. Keep your hand on your bag and it zipped up at all times as you can easily find a hand in there.
The RER Line B has become known for some violence, make sure not to use it at night and to never travel in an empty carriage on your own.
It’s also a good idea to stay clear of any train station and metro when it is rush hour as this is the pickpocket’s number one time. Avoid using trains and the metro at night too, never fall asleep on the train or you will become a target, and watch out for the closing doors as thieves wait by them to snatch a bag and jump off the trains as they depart.
All things said and done, using the transport in Paris is fine 99% of the time so don’t let it put you off heading to the Eiffel Tower or anything. Just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings and you will be fine.
Driving in Paris is as safe as you’d expect it to be being a major city in the European Union. That being said, driving is probably the worst way to get around for travelers looking to explore the city as it comes with extra cost and a ton of hassle.
You will have to deal with a load of one-way systems, pedestrian-only zones, aggressive local drivers, not finding anywhere to park, and lots more.
So while you can happily drive around Paris safely, it really isn’t worth it and you should use the metro during the day instead and recommend taxis and Ubers at night.
Yes, the water that comes out of the tap in Paris is safe to drink but not everyone seems to like the taste of it, depending on where in the city they are staying. Luckily, you will find that a lot of accommodations will have a water fountain you can use.
I would highly recommend buying a water bottle for your travels, you can even buy one with an additional filter. This means you will always have water with you wherever you go and can top up very easily without any worries. Just ask a restaurant, cafe, or bar to refill it for you as you make your way around the city.
You will save quite a lot of cash by doing this as well as saving a ton of plastic from being thrown away.
Visitors often have concerns over food when they travel as the last thing anyone needs while they travel is to get an upset stomach.
Since Paris is so incredibly famous for its cuisine, after all, Paris did invent the Michelin Star, it is easy to forget that you can still get sick in Paris by eating at the wrong restaurant.
So if you want to eat all the amazing foie gras, steak frite, and other French delicacies, here are some tips to follow to ensure you have the best food experience while visiting Paris.
Expensive food doesn’t equal great-tasting food, you don’t need to overpay to get the best of what Paris’ food scene has to offer. Look at reviews and be sensible about your choices.
Street food is all over Paris and it is delicious but just like in other countries, picking your street food vendor means choosing the busiest one. The busier the vendor the higher the turnover, the better the reputation, and the less chance you will have of getting sick.
Fresh seafood, especially scallops, is a French delicacy and a very popular choice amongst tourists, and for good reason. They are super delicious but they are not always fresh, so don’t eat them on Mondays or Sundays, as the fish market is closed. Choose any other day to eat seafood and you will be fine.
How safe is Paris for families? The answer is very safe overall but there are some things to be aware of, as is the case in every great city.
When spending time in busy areas, crossing streets, crossing busy intersections, having your kids run off is a risk no one needs to deal with. Also, kids are a great distraction and pickpockets know this, so you will need to keep an eye on your belongings and your kids at the same time.
If you follow our advice about avoiding petty theft then you will be fine and it might be worth considering getting a backpack with a leash for your child. While these are a bit odd, you don’t have to use them all the time and can just slip them on in super busy areas so you are always in contact with your kids and won’t lose them.
Generally, there is nowhere that needs to be avoided within the city limits of Paris officially but there are some places that are considered a little more unsafe than others.
Here are the arrondissements (city areas) that you should consider avoiding at night but are safe enough during the day.
Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord sit inside the 10th Arrondissement and are places you shouldn’t walk around at night if you are a solo female, make sure to walk through these areas with company that you trust.
Porte de la Chapelle, La Chapelle, Marx Dormoy, Porte de la Villette, and Porte de Clignancourt within the 18th and 19th Arrondissement are also places worth avoiding. Luckily none of these areas have any major sites to see so you aren’t missing anything but not visiting them.
Paris is both a safe place to live and a highly sought-after place to live too, and why wouldn’t it be? Between all the amazing museums, art, culture, and more, who wouldn’t want to live there!
While some parts of Paris outside the city center experience some violence, the majority of the Arrondissements have lovely neighborhoods to move into. It is actually quite hard to find yourself in an area of central Paris where you would feel genuinely unsafe. Outside of the pickpocketing and scams, there isn’t much else to worry about.
While Paris is safe to live in, it isn’t particularly easy to live in and the main issue is finding a good house or apartment that is within your budget. Paris is one of the most expensive cities in Europe and in the whole world, ranked as the second most expensive city on the planet, so be prepared to drop some cash when moving to Paris.
If you are imagining having an apartment looking over the Seine, think again as these barely come up and they are astronomically expensive. Finding a good-looking house isn’t easy in Paris either, as they can only be found in specific areas.
If money is no object then moving to Paris in a good way is very doable but if you are doing it on a budget, it is not easy to find what you need to live to the standards you might have in other cities.
If you want the best of the weather Paris experiences and to avoid the summer crowds then by far the best time to visit Paris is either May or June.
During these months, the flowers have blossomed, rainfall is at a minimum and you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to stroll along the Seine in the sun, enjoy wine and cheese picnics in the parks, and have temperatures of around 25 degrees celsius on average.
Paris can see upwards of 40 million tourists a year and the streets are crowded without them so visiting during a quieter time is never a bad idea but that can mean avoiding the best weather.
May and June happen to have fewer crowds than July and August as they are outside the school holidays, combine this with the great weather, and you are set for an awesome next trip.
If you have read through the entire article, you will remember most of these coming up as we ran through everything you need to know. Nevertheless, it is always useful to have a list of tips you can refer to and commit to memory, here they are.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!