by: Jason Young, Annika Nkosi
There are many beautiful cities in the world, but Paris takes beauty to a whole new level. With Paris, it is not just aesthetics or scenery that drives tourists all over the world to visit. There is something spectacular about the city of Paris.
This Paris travel guide is divided by sections. Check out the table of content below if you’re looking for a specific information.
Things To Do in Paris
Paris is packed with tourist attractions, from a boat cruising at the scenic Sienne river to soaking up the sight of the Eiffel tower. Get your tickets ready as you explore the most romantic cities.
Discover Art at the Louvre Museum
This is a must-see location if you are in Paris. The Louvre museum is not only the world’s most visited museum, but it is a historical monument that one must see at least once in their lifetime.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Louvre was the palace of the kings of France. After King Louis XVI moved his residence to the Versailles, the royal palace was converted to an art museum. During the french revolution in the 18th century, the Louvre became a public museum housing impressive art collections that echo through time.
The Louvre is a magnificent 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet) exhibition space with three wings: the Denon, Richelieu, and Sully wing. You can choose a section to explore first, but you may never explore all the richness of this baroque style museum in one visit to Paris because there is a lot to see.
The museum displays some of the world’s most famous masterpieces, including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Les Noces de Cana (The Wedding Feast at Cana), and the Vénus de Milo (The Aphrodite).
There are other less famous artworks that you should definitely check out too. The Medieval foundations and the dungeons house great but less famous artwork. Use a guide to explore this section so you can make the most of your visit.
Besides the museum and all its wonder, the architectural layout of the museum is enough to take your breath away. Ensure to use the glass pyramid entrance to make a dramatic entrance to the Louvre.
Get your entry ticket (skip the line) here.
Bask in the City view at Eiffel Tower
Movies and social media have probably displayed this iconic and classic tower a million times; little wonder this is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. However, few experiences beat visiting the Eiffel tower for the first time. Despite seeing this monument over and over on postcards and movies, the sight of this tower will still make you weak on your knees. If you want to get a more magical experience, then visit this tower in the evening. Its sight would sure dazzle you.
This tower also called the “the iron lady,” has all the attributes of what a lady should be elegant, graceful, and timeless. This gigantic masterpiece is more than an iron-clad figure. They are larger than what meets the eye, housing staircases, elevators, ticket offices, and cafeterias.
The tower has three series and an esplanade with gorgeous landscaping where visitors can admire the lush greenery or grab a bite while waiting to enter the tower. Each series provides visitors with an unforgettable experience.
The first floor, which floats just above the Paris monuments, allows visitors to relax and enjoy the sensational panoramas of the city’s architecture. You can also find a souvenir shop here, the restroom and a cafeteria.
The second floor provides a better perspective than the first floor. Details are clearer at this level. There is also a telescope for you to appreciate the magnificent scenery of Paris.
The topmost floor is for the brave. If you are afraid of height, you should definitely pass on it as the top level of the Eiffel tower stands at an altitude of 276 meters (905 feet). Here the astonishing panorama of the city will take your breath away, and this experience is not one to be forgotten.
Experience History at Cathederale Notre Dame
If you are religious or love gothic architecture, you should definitely visit the Notre-dame cathedral in Paris. This tower leaves a grand impression on all of its viewers.
The cathedral was built sometime between 1163-1245, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. Its sheer monstrosity, architectural interest, and of course, antiquities make the cathedral unique.
The Notre Dame cathedral has two standing towers where visitors can climb to the iconic bell tower where the iconic hunchback of Notre Dame lived and explore the cathedral’s multiple grotesque creatures or climb to the top and get a spectacular view of Paris.
The flying buttresses also look ethereal and magical, as though sweeping through the scenic seine river and soaring carefree to heaven.
Although this medieval piece might not be as luster as the modern buildings in Paris, its spiritual ambiance and antiquity bring a certain serenity worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime.
Watch A Performance or Marvel the Architecture of Palais Garnier
This is another must-visit location, especially for opera lovers. Some have referred to the Palais Garnier as the most famous Opera house in the world.
The interior of the Palais Garnier is a lavish 19th-century baroque-themed monument with decoration worthy of a castle’s. You are sure to feel dazzled by the glided auditorium and grand stairway entrance.
There are opera, ballet, concerts, and symphonies taking place at different times of the year. Some of the best experiences of spectacular performances take place in December, January, and February.
To ensure reservations before a performance, you have to make reservations online at the official website of the Palais Garnier. If you simply want to visit and marvel this architectural masterpiece, get your entry ticket here.
Enjoy Sunset or a Boat Cruise at the Sienne River
When next in Paris, explore Sienne river-the second longest river in France after the Loir. It is typical to want to go on hikes or climb the towers of the iconic Eiffel but don’t miss out on the thrill of getting your feet wet.
A boat cruise at the Sienne river might be one of the most romantic cruises you might ever have. Whether in the daytime or evening, a boat cruise at Sienne is always spectacular. However, evening time gives you the most romantic and magical experience as most of the cities landmarks are usually lit up, creating a special effect.
A cruise around the river will take you through Paris’s favorite attractions, including the Eiffel tower, Notre-dame, the Louvre, and of course, the concierge. So get your camera ready to capture all the best moments from a different perspective. Check the cruise option available here.
Lastly, do not forget to grab a drink aboard as you soak in the exquisite scenery of Paris.
Have a Stroll in Luxembourg Garden
The Luxembourg garden is famous for its utter serenity. It is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris and was all the idea of queen Marie de Medicine 1612. The Boboli garden inspired the garden in France.
The garden is split into a French and an English garden with a geometric forest and a large pond separating them. Statues of famous queens, apples and pear trees, an apiary, rose gardens, and a puppet theatre lies within the garden.
Luxembourg garden extends a little over 25 hectares (61 acres), creating space for various activities for both adults and children. You can play tennis, yoga or chess, or remote control boats. There are also concerts and free photography exhibitions to keep you occupied. If you bring a child, there are activities for them like slides and puppet shows. It is perfect for complete relaxation and clearing your head if you want to escape from life.
Admire the Unique Design of Fondation Louis Vuitton
Paris has memorable museums and foundations; fondation Louis Vuitton is one of those exceptional ones. This ultra-modern architectural masterpiece designed by FrankGehry was once a former hunting ground of France’s kings.
The exterior is made of a glass panel, giving it a sleek but yet dramatic effect. The museum is not just a pretty voice on the outside. The interiors are a mix of aesthetics and functionality.
The exhibition space is over 3,500 square meters (37,670 square feet), with 11 different galleries housing contemporary art collections of the 20th century and 21st century. The artwork in the gallery is sectioned into four different categories: Expressionism, pop art, music and sound, and contemplative art.
The museum showcases exhibitions dedicated to great collectors with more than 200 masterpieces presenting remarkable artwork of vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Sisely, etc.
In 2017, the amazing Shckukin collection attracted over 1.5 million visitors. There have also been other memorable themes like the icons of modem art showcasing the exceptional Morozov collection.
Asides from artworks, the museum also has a 1,000 seat auditorium for cultural exhibitions and music performances. If you are hungry during your tour, you can always grab a bite at the museum’s restaurant, Le Frank.
Remember to check out the outdoor terrace on the museum roof to get a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower, the Bois de Bologne, and the La Defense quarter from a distance.
Witness the Grandeur of Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
If you are an art lover, you need to go on an expedition to discover the artistic richness and architecture of the dazzling palace of Versailles. This national landmark was once a formal french royal residence used by Louis XIII as a hunting lodge and a private retreat.
The idyllic scenery and the uniqueness of the chateau draw tourists each year when next in Paris sits the most famous room of the Versailles—the glittering hall of mirrors clothed in an ambiance of grandeur.
You should also get a tour of the royal chamber in the king’s state apartment and explore the feminine allure of the queen’s apartment.
There is also an opera house lavishly decorated in bronze, marbles, chandeliers, and mirrors. Get ready to be swept off by neoclassical harmonies in a room befitting of kings.
Note that you need to take about 50 mins train from Paris to reach the palace. The alternative would be to take a day trip package that comes with coach transport included.
Watch a Concert at The Philharmonie
If you are a music lover, then visit Philharmonie de Paris— a complex of concert halls. Jean Nouvel designed this striking piece of contemporary architecture.
The concert room is spacious and can host up to 2,400 people. Explore the grande salle Pierre Boulez, Philharmonie’s largest concert hall, and feel the heightened sense of intimacy with the performer due to the detailed design of the auditorium. You opt for a concert at one of three concert halls.
The futuristic design with floating balances and scenic terrace seating dazzles visitors over and over again. Besides the urban harmonies and exceptional acoustics, there are exhibition spaces and rehearsal rooms.
Before you leave the Philharmonie, explore the 6th-floor restaurant and terrace, enjoy the panoramas of parc de la Villette.
Admire the Most Beautiful Bridge: Pont Alexandre III
The pont alexander III is not only one of the world’s most elegant and majestic river crossings. It is also one of the most beautiful travel destinations in Paris.
The bridge is more than a steel structure crossing the river sienne. It is a historic monument that and commemorates the new diplomatic relationship between France and Russia,
Ponte Alexandre is donned with bronze sculptures of winged horses representing the illustrious Arts, Sciences, Commerce, and Industry. The bridge connectsNapoleonn tomb at the Invalides on the left bank with champs Elysees on the right.
Ensure you see this ultra-modern artistic bridge when you are in Paris.
Visit the Neoclassical Masterpiece La Madeleine
This neoclassical masterpiece was named in honor of st Magdalene. The neoclassic facade is very striking and very distinctive from other churches. There are no aisles or transept on the inside. Or any crosses or belfries on the outside.
The building is magnificent, standing at 20 meters (65 feet) tall with about 52 corinthian columns. The temple’s interior has a distinctive feel with few decorative elements and is dimly lit, taking minimalism to a different level.
Take a look at the instruments or organ which is the best in Paris, and let the neoclassic masterpiece take you back to medieval times.
See Where Marie-Antoinette was Held at The Conciergerie
Fans of gothic art need to see this imposing medieval fortress that served as a courthouse and a prison yard during the french revolution, especially where the infamous Marie-Antoinette was held.
The Conciergerie is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It houses relics like a guillotine blade, a copy of Marie- Antoinette’s last letter, and other antiques.
The immense size and medieval architecture make it worthwhile. The fortress resembles a fairy-tale castle with gothic arches, a medieval stairway, vaulted ceilings, and peaked windows.
If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to explore the gothic rooms palace, revolutionary court, and the prison of Marie-Antoinette while learning a little about the history of the concierge.
Book your entry ticket (skip the line) here.
Visit Unique Places Around Paris in a Day Trip
There are many things you can do at Paris but the experience is not limited within the city itself. If you’re willing to spare a few hours on a day trip you’ll find many wonders to enjoy and experience. From the majestic Mont Saint Michel to the collection of castles in Loire Valley, there are enough spots to keep your camera occupied.
Check a list of destinations you can visit around Paris and see what others who’ve done it have to say here.
How to Get Around Paris
Just like other advanced European cities, Paris’ public transport would be your best way to get around the cities to visit your destinations.
First let’s talk about the fares. The majority of Paris’ public transport are part of the same payment system so you can buy ticket/card and use it on all of them. There are several options for this:
t+ ticket is a single journey ticket. After you validate it, you can use it for the next 90 minutes on various public transport system to reach your destination. Its usable on: all metro lines, RER within Paris, Île-de-France region’s bus lines (except Orlybus and Roissybus), tramways, and the Montmartre funicular.
t+ ticket cost €1.19 ($2.14) per piece and can be bought at vending machines in metro, RER, bus, and tramway stations. It used to be sold also in pack of 10 but this option isn’t available anymore due to many tickets wasted or remain unused.
Mobilis is a one day ticket with usage restriction to specific zones. You buy one and you can use it for a whole day within its designated zones. It can be used at Metro, RER, Bus, Tramway and Train.
Options available from 2 zones for €7.4 ($8.34), 3 zones for €10 ($11.27), all the way to all zones for €17.8 ($20). The best value in our opinion would be the 2 zones, just remember to plan your trip carefully.
Paris Visite Travel Pass
The Paris Visite Travel Pass allows you to use all available public transport networks (metro, tramway, bus, RER and SNCF Transilien networks) with 2 options: duration and zones. You can choose duration of 1,3, and 5 days. For zones, you can take either 1-3 or all zones (1-5). Keep it to 1-3 if you’re going to stay within the city, otherwise take all zones if you plan to visit Disneyland or one of the 2 airports.
|Day||Zone 1-3||All Zones|
|1||€12 ($13.53)||€25.25 ($28.46)|
|2||€19.5 ($21.98)||€38.35 ($43.23)|
|3||€26.65 ($30)||€53.75 ($60.59)|
|5||€38.35 ($43.23)||€65.80 ($74.18)|
The pass can be bought at Metro & RER stations and airports.
Navigo Travel Pass
A step above Visite Pass is the Navigo Travel Pass which you can use in weekly or monthly basis. You can use it on all available public transports: metro, RER, bus, tramway and train, with the exception of Orlyval, SNCF train lines with reserved seating, and the Optile special fare lines. And just like Visite, you can choose 2 options: duration and zones.
There are 2 durations available: weekly and monthly. For zones you can either choose all zones for €22.80 ($25.70) or a combination of 2 zones for around €20 ($22.55) if you take the weekly option. If you take the monthly one it will be €75.20 ($84.77) for all zones and around €66 ($74.40) for a combination of 2 zones.
Keep in mind that they always count weekly from monday and monthly from 1st of the month. The sales date also quite specific: from 20th of preceding month for monthly and from friday of preceding week for weekly.
You can buy your Navigo at ticket desk and vending machines in metro and RER stations, and also in more than 1,500 local retailers.
Read more info on public transport fare here.
Metro is Paris’ term of its subway based transport. It has 16 lines covering over 200 km (130 miles) of tracks that going around the entire city. It also fast as it doesn’t have to deal with traffic above, making it mostly your preferred way of travel in Paris. The metro operates from 5:30 AM until 1:00 AM from Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday it runs until 2:00 AM.
RER (Réseau Express Régional)
RER is the overground railway and during your trip you might need to use both the Metro and RER in succession to reach a certain destination. This isn’t a problem because they’re part of the same fare system. RER also connects you with several key destinations beyond city center: Disneyland (RER A), Charles de Gaulle Airport (RER B), and Orly Airport & Palace of Versaille (RER C). Keep in mind that for these destinations you might have to buy separate ticket that cover the zones they’re in.
Another thing to pay attention is there are two types of RER: normal and express. The express one naturally makes less stops along the way so take this one if your destination is on its list.
Going around in a bus can get you the city beautiful sceneries along the way but it relies heavily on traffic condition. On a good time you would reach your destination quickly, meanwhile on a heavy traffic you might be in for a long ride.
Most bus lines start to run from 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM while the ones on main routes will still be available until 00:30 AM. You can use the usual ticket and passes, or buying from the bus driver if you have to. Keep in mind that buying it directly in the bus will cost more at €1.9 ($2.15) per trip.
You will only need this ride if you plan to visit the summit of Butte Montmartre as it is an automatic railway that scale the hill for you. The summit is home to 2 historical places: Basilique du Sacré Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) and the Place du Tertre (a famous square).
You can use your pass if it covers the zone or you can opt to buy a ticket to ride the furnicular.
There are 9 tram lines in Paris and it might not interest you much because most of them located on the outskirt of the city and doesn’t pass any interesting places. If you want to ride in one just for the experience, use your pass or buy a ticket.
Taxi and Uber
Licensed taxi in Paris is a regular car with a roof sign, taxi meter inside, and driver badge clearly visible once you’re seated. They come in all shapes colors so don’t expect uniformity here. Hailing is easy enough as there are 17,000 of them in the city, just hail one that is available or wait in line at numerous taxi stands around the city.
Minimum fare is €2.6 ($2.94) with rate per kilometer (0.6 miles) vary depending on time and day. Expect to pay €0.96-1.47 ($1.09-1.66) per kilometer.
Your favorite ride hailing Uber is also available in Paris so use it as you need it.
Boat (Hop On Hop Off)
The Batobus boat service provides tour boat along the Seine river with 9 stops where you can hop in and hop off as many times as you like. You can buy the ticket in 24 hours or 48 hours option. The stops are: Jardin des plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Tour Eiffel, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Notre Dame.
You can get the riverboat ticket starting from $19. Check them here.
Bus (Hop On Hop Off)
The hop on hop off option also available for tour bus. Sit in an open top double decker bus, enjoy what Paris has to offer, and of course, hop off and hop on again wherever you want. Naturally the route is designed to pass many of Paris top attractions such as Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre Museum, and more. 24h and 48h ticket available and you can even pair it with boat cruise, check the options here.
As in many other big European cities, driving within the city is not really recommended. The heavy traffic might make your trip longer, roads are not the easiest to navigate, and the scarcity of parking spot will make it even more complicated. Consider to rent a car only if you plan to drive to places and villages around the city.
Use DiscoverCars to secure your car beforehand so you can pick it up immediately once you landed or arriving at the city. Expect to pay about €90-100 ($100-113) per day for a 4 seats car.
Where to Stay in Paris
There are several good options on where to stay, be sure to consider your budget, who you’re going to travel with, and how long you’re going to stay in Paris.
If you’re going solo, on a budget, and only need a bed to lay your head at night, a hostel dorm would be a perfect choice. For $29 – $40 a night you’ll get a bed in a shared room and probably would make a new friend or two along the way. Some hostels also provide private room for $60 – $130 per night.
The best way to find one is to check Hostelworld to see a good selections of Hostels in Paris along with reviews from those who have stayed there before. Some of the highly recommended:
- Le Regent Montmartre by Hiphophostels
- St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord
- Caulaincourt Montmartre by Hiphophostels
Rent An Entire Place
If you’re going with someone or with a group, renting an entire place might be cheaper. At some places you can even cook your own food and do your own laundry so more cut to your budget. AirBnb by far is the best tool to find a place you can rent, just be sure to check what you will get because there is no standard in amenities and all hosts are free to provide what they want.
A typical 2 guests room will cost you $90 – $200. Expect to pay $200 – $500 for up to 8 guests.
If standardized service, amenities, and cleanliness are more of your thing, then booking a hotel room would be a no brainer. A bedroom in a recommended 3 stars hotel will cost you about $115 – $200 per night. For a recommended 5 stars room, expect to pay between $430 – $1,000.
Booking.com would be your best tool to find one that suits your need. Be sure to utilize all their filter feature, especially the “Very Good:8+” to filter based on previous reviews. They also put note if there is a subway access nearby so pay attention to the “Subway Access” note on search result. Just be sure to know the best time to book the hotel room since it IS an expensive city.
Below are some of the most recommended 3 stars and 5 stars hotel in Paris city center:
Best Restaurants in Paris
Come not only for the art but also the food! Paris is home to many distinguished restaurants on wide variation of dishes. Here are some places that widely considered to be among the best in Paris:
Low Price ($6 – $15)
- Marche Ou Crêpe (French, Vegetarian)
- Chez Cleopatre (Kebab, Burger)
- Cook’n Saj (Lebanese, burgers/wraps)
Mid Price ($12 – $28)
- Les Apôtres De Pigalle (South American, European)
- Il était un square (Burgers, French)
- Domenico’s (Italian)
- Frog XVI (American)
- New Jawad Longchamp (Indian)
Fine Dining ($60 – $400)
Best Time to Visit Paris
‘Best time’ to visit will depend on what you’re looking for. If you want to experience everything Paris has to offer and doesn’t mind the price or the crowd, summer would be your best time. On the other hand if you want balance between cost and experience, April (spring) or October (fall) would be the best times.
June – August (Summer)
Summer in Paris offers 2 distinct benefits you can’t get at other season: long bright day and comfortable temperature for light outfit at 56-76°F (13- 24°C). This is the time to explore the city comfortably, sitting for hours at its many cozy outdoor café, or relaxing around the river Seine to enjoy the city’s atmosphere.
This is also the busiest time of the year with throng of tourists coming to enjoy the city. Expect high price on both accommodation and flight, long line at the city’s top attractions, and reservation-only at the most popular restaurants. This is also the time for many high profile events:
- Bastille Day (July): French National Day, expect to see the largest military parade in Europe, fireworks, and other celebration events & activities.
- Tour De France (July): the world-famous bicycle race, span over 21 stages and 23 days of racing. Hardcore fans have been known to follow all the stages and moving between cities as the race progress.
- French Open/Roland-Garros (June): a major tennis tournament, part of the Grand Slam Tournaments. Expect to see big names in the tennis world during this event.
- Paris Plages: an initiative by the city to create temporary artificial beaches along the river Seine during summer for people to relax.
September – October (Fall) – Best Time
September – October is one of the shoulder season with less crowd and acceptable weather at temperature between 48-69°F (9-20°C). Accommodation and flight cost will also start to go down so it’s good news for budget conscious traveler. A notable event in this period is Paris Fashion Week on September, a presentation of designer designs held at various venues throughout the city. Expect a bit more visitors in the city during this event.
November – February (Winter) – Cheapest Time
As winter is coming, temperature dropped between 36-47°F (2-8°C). Might not the most convenient time for exploring but at least you can do it with style in your chic winter coat. Accommodation and flight price will drop significantly, making this the cheapest time to travel in the year. Expect Christmas light, temporary holiday markets on the streets, and the festive of new year celebration. Some notable events during this period:
- Paris Fashion Week (late January): presentation of fashion by top designers. This will continue in March.
- La Fête des Rois/Three King’s Day (early January): feast of the Epiphany celebration, be sure to try the staple food of this event: Galette des Rois or King Cake.
March – May (Spring) – Best Time
Another shoulder season, if possible pick April for nice balance between temperature, cost, and crowd. As temperature become more bearable for traveling at 41-66°F (5-19°C), visitors start coming in and bring the accommodation price up again. It will still at acceptable level and you won’t see too many crowds or lines.
Spring is the time to enjoy flowers in bloom at Paris public gardens such as Tuileries Garden or Luxembourg Gardens so be sure to check them out. Another thing to expect in this period is Paris Marathon held in April, an annual marathon held by the city that attract tons of international participants. Up to 50,000 runners are allowed to participate so it’s a massive event.
Paris Trip Cost
Your travel cost will depend on what kind of experience you expect with your accommodation and daily meals. The following are what you can expect:
- Hostel: a hostel dorm bed cost $29-40 while a private room’s cost ranges between $60-130.
- Entire place: a typical 2 guests place will cost $90-200. If you come in a group, expect to pay $200-500 for up to 8 guests accommodation.
- Hotel: a recommended 3 stars hotel will cost you $90–200. Expect to pay $450 and above for luxury experience in a 5 stars hotel.
Typical street food/fast food cost $6-15. If you dine in a decent sit-in restaurants, expect to pay between $12-28 per meal. Note that fine dining is an especially luxurious experience in Paris, so while at some restaurants price starts at $60, it might starts at $190 at others establishments. So basically, do a bit of research before you step in on one.
You can choose to buy ticket individually (t+ ticket), on daily usage (Mobilis ticket), or using one of the passes (Paris Visite for less than a week or Navigo Pass for more than a week). These ticket/passes can be used at the most common public transport in Paris.
Using a pass is more recommended since it reduce the hassle of managing tickets daily. Here are some that you will probably use:
- Paris Visite Zone 1-3 for 3 days: €26.65 ($30)
- Paris Visite Zone 1-3 for 5 days: €38.35 ($43.23)
- Navigo Travel Pass 1 week for 2 zones: €20 ($22.55)
- Louvre Museum (skip the line): $19.29
- Eiffel Tower: €10-20 ($11-22) depend on access restriction. Direct access to summit by elevator costs $42.35.
- Cathederale Notre Dame: €6-8 ($6.8-9) to access certain area.
- Palais Garnier: $13.65 (visit only)
- Seine River cruise: $17
- Foundation Louis Vuitton: €16 ($18.10) if you buy directly. $25 for skip the line ticket.
- Palace of Versailles: €12-35 ($13.57-39.60) depend on time allotted and access given. Read more here. Check other option with skip-the-line feature here.
- Day Trip: between $70-$400 depend on distance from the city and the destinations.
Covid-19 situation is very fluid and policies can change at any time as the condition improved or deteriorate. Check out the updated rules on entering France at Re-open EU.
How to Stay Safe
Paris is generally a safe city and the most thing you should be worry about is simple petty crime such as theft and scam attempt. Other than that, use common sense such as not walking at night in a dark street and you’re good to go. Pay attention to the following points:
- The most common crime is pickpocket so be ready by staying aware of your surrounding, especially in busy area such as tourist attractions, trains, or metro stations. Keep an eye of your belonging at all times, even when you’re sitting in a café or restaurant.
- If possible bring only enough cash for the day on you and pay any unexpected expense using card. If you happen to have a lot of cash with you, leave most of them in your hotel’s safe and bring only what you need. Consider crossbody purse/bag for your cash and documents and wear it on front.
- Beware of strangers coming to you trying to strike a conversation, having you sign fake petition, or other attempt to distract you from your personal belonging. If this happen just say no and move along.
- Have copies of your important documents such as passport and keep them at separate place from the originals. If necessary, take a photo of them and send it to your email. This will make it easier to report if you happen to lost the originals.
- Take note of Paris emergency services number: 112 (can be called from a mobile). Most probably you won’t need this but better safe than sorry.
- If you’re traveling solo, try to keep it to well-lit area and main street when walking at night. If it’s very late and you see empty street on your way back, it might be safer to stay put on busy area and order a taxi/Uber instead.
- Be extra careful when crossing the street in busy area even if the light is green for pedestrian to cross. Some drivers might step on the gas chasing that last few seconds of their green light and ended up passing over a red one.
- If you take a taxi, verify the minimum charge and keep an eye on the meter. Taxi drivers in Paris might try to overcharge you if they see that you’re not local, this is common problem in other parts of Europe as well. If you’re willing to go further, show suggested route on your map app and verify with the driver beforehand.
- Paris had its own share of terrorist attacks across the years but they’re few and far between. Most of these attacks target certain individual or group, rarely targeting tourists. In fact, the chance that it would happen to you is slim to none.
Regardless of how prepared you are, sometimes shit just happen anyway. It can be losing your documents, cash, or belonging. It can be getting involved in an accident or needing a special medical attention. When the unavoidable happens, it is in your best interest to have a dependable travel insurance to cover your losses. Our recommendation in this is World Nomads as they have years of experience in providing travel insurance and during this pandemic situation they also offer plans that cover quarantine expense should you tested positive for COVID-19. Check them out here.