I think Paris is a wonderful place for traveling alone. I first came alone to study abroad and came back by myself frequently afterwards. If you’re on the fence about taking a trip to Paris by yourself, I’d highly recommend going for it. There are limitless things to see, do, eat, and experience. Plus, the sooner you take the trip, the sooner you can come back for another. Here are my top five reasons to take a solo trip to Paris.
You Can Do Whatever You Want
If you know you travel well with someone that’s one thing, but going on a trip only to discover you don’t travel well with someone is pretty…awful. The biggest draw to traveling alone for me is the freedom to do what I want, when I want, where I want.
You have the freedom to stay in the neighborhood you want and in the hotel or apartment you want. I always gravitated towards Saint-Germain-des-Prés and eventually ended up living in the neighborhood. If you’re food-obsessed like me, you could plan an entire trip just around culinary experiences. You have the freedom to spend as much or as little time in a store or museum as you’d like. Fill your days to the brim with activities or don’t plan anything specific at all.
I love giving myself the option to pace and take my trip exactly as I’d like. The only time you can really do that is when you’re traveling alone.
Paris is Very Walkable
Paris is a big city, but really it’s small. You can cross the city on foot in two hours which means from the center you’re within about an hour walk of anywhere you want to go. I can (and often do) spend my entire day walking around and simply discovering Paris.
When I studied abroad, my professor said “you can live in Paris your whole life and still not see it all.” When you’re on foot you see things that you might not otherwise. Maybe it’s a small park, a charming café, or simply a stunning door. All of these small bits of the city add up and form the identity of a Paris that becomes “yours.”
You Won’t Feel Alone During Meals
The hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around initially was dining alone. I didn’t understand how people could do it or why they would want to. Now I love eating alone, and Paris is a great place to do it.
It’s definitely easier to be alone at lunch for whatever reason, but it’s also not a big deal to have dinner alone. If you’re ever in doubt, a café terrasse is a great place to go because you can just sit down at an open table. I usually bring a book to read and my journal to write down notes from my day.
On my first few trips alone to Paris dinners, were a big question mark. I wanted something more social than eating at home, but I also didn’t want to necessarily make a reservation at a restaurant. I ended up going to the same neighborhood café almost every night for dinner.
Waiters started recognizing and talking to me. I also ended up chatting with other people dining on the terrasse simply from overhearing their conversations. I think the most important thing is to find a place close to where you’re staying that makes you feel comfortable.
Paris is a Relatively Safe City
Given the size and the number of visitors, I think Paris is a very safe city. Of course, it’s always smart to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone.
There are plenty of safety tips to follow, many of which are common sense. A few that immediately come to mind are:
- Carry a purse or bag that zips shut and wear it across your body if possible or keep your phone or valuables in a pocket that zips
- When you’re on the Métro be aware of your phone – especially on automatic lines like Line 1 before the doors shut
- Don’t leave your phone, wallet, or camera sitting out on a table at a café
- When you’re getting cash from an ATM check your surroundings
- Don’t fall for tricks where people ask you to sign a petition or try to hand you a gold ring, etc.
- Avoid walking around alone at night, especially in areas you aren’t familiar with
Do you have any other Paris-specific safety tips? I’d love to hear in the comments.
The Options For Trips From Paris are Endless
Once you get comfortable enough traveling solo in Paris, there are so many other places you can add on to your trip. You’re only a few hours (or less) by train to Normandy, Lille, Bordeaux, Champagne, Provence and the Riviera, and more!
I hope these five reasons to take a solo trip to Paris help to inspire you! If you have any other thoughts for reasons to take a solo trip to Paris, I’d love to hear them as well!