Is Paris safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
The City of Love or the City of Light, whichever you want to call Paris, is home to some of the most famous landmarks and attractions as well as some of the most interesting citizens. Home to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris is a major city filled with people, including seeing about 30 million visitors each year.
With over two million people living in Paris, you can bet when you're out and about you'll be maneuvering through huge crowds. Crowds will be especially dense during the peak tourist season, June through August, and then again from September through October. With so many people, is Paris safe? Yes, it is.
When you're planning a trip to a major city, you'll want to take several safety precautions including taking care of your luggage and personal belongings. Using Bounce luggage storage in Paris is smart and easy. Overall, you'll be making your way through a safe city when you know what to watch for and follow some Paris safety tips. Enjoy taking in the sights and diving into the wonderful Parisian culture.
Read on to learn more about this amazing city and how to protect yourself from crimes and petty theft. Keep your belongings close, stay alert, and learn where the safe places within the city limits of Paris are located.
Is Paris safe to visit right now?
Before the 2020 global pandemic, Paris saw as many as 30 million tourists annually and was the most popular European destination. With a Global Peace Index of 55, the French capital is a very safe city to visit, even if you're going alone.
Paris does have its fair share of petty crimes; however, the likelihood of something happening while visiting Paris is low. Aside from pickpocketing and other small petty crimes, political protests lately have caused clashes between protesters and law enforcement. But it is usually easy to avoid the areas where protests are being held, even though many protests are held at popular tourist spots such as the Arc du Triomphe.
While this guide is written for the experienced traveler, Paris is safe to visit and is one of the most favored destinations in Europe. Be sure you still do your due diligence and research more on Paris before you get there. When you arrive, use common sense, and stay alert when you're out and about.
Check with the Paris tourism website for any travel and safety guidelines. You'll also want to check with your government's official travel guidelines for Paris prior to finalizing travel plans, regardless of whether or not you're an experienced traveler.
Top petty crimes and scams in Paris affecting tourists
Using common sense and a few street smarts will help you to not fall for the customary scams and petty crimes. Educate yourself about the various hazards including petty theft, pickpockets, and drivers. Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
Safe Travel Abroad lists Paris as medium risk and therefore, you need to be proactive to keep yourself safe when visiting this very popular and busy city. It may be the City of Love, but there are those who look to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. Be smart and stay one step ahead to ensure your visit to Paris is safe and loads of fun.
Yes, pickpockets are a thing in Paris. This is one of the reasons leaving your bags secured in a Bounce storage locker is a good idea. The risk of encountering a pickpocket in Paris is high. Leave flashy jewelry or designer accessories locked up with your other possessions in a hotel safe. Never carry more than $100 cash on your person and if possible, hide your cash in different areas of your person; not in your wallet or bag.
Theives tend to target metro stations, trains, and most major tourist sites such as Champs Élysées, the Louvre, Pompidou Centre, and the Eiffel Tower. Try to look less like a tourist and more like a local when you visit Paris. This will take a target off you as most pickpockets look for tourists to take advantage of.
Taxis and transportation
You'll most likely do a lot of walking when in Paris. Stay alert when crossing streets as drivers can be quite aggressive in Paris. Remember, pedestrian-only areas have also been known to have a testy driver or two. Driving yourself in Paris is not really recommended if you're not familiar with the hostile driving tendencies of Parisians.
Taxi drivers are known to overcharge tourists so, if possible, figure out the price before you get in or you may end up paying double or even triple. Public transport can be tricky, that is where many pickpockets work and they target tourists. Try to blend in and not look so much like a visitor to Paris.
Scammers in Paris prey on tourists with the best-known scam being the gold ring scam. This is when someone pretends to find a ring right in front of you and then demands money for it. Other scams include fake petitions where they get your personal information. Be leery of groups of teens offering to help you with your bags.
Is Paris safe to travel alone
Solo travelers can have great fun, especially when backpacking to different European cities. While there are some cities that aren't safe for women to travel to alone, France has a Bounce Women Travel Safety Index rating of 14. Solo female backpackers can be perfectly safe when they know some of the insider tips and stay in well lit areas.
Remember, if you're a woman traveling alone, avoid eye contact with people. Making prolonged eye contact may be considered an invitation, regardless of gender, for someone to get close and possibly try to pick your pocket or get their hands in your bag. Chatting with people is acceptable, but make sure you set boundaries. Young women should know how to protect themselves when traveling alone, including basic self defense moves.
Ask the staff at your hotel which areas are safe to walk around and what terrific Paris attractions you shouldn't miss. Paris is very walkable, so use Google Maps to help you navigate through the city. The Paris metro can be a bit intimidating but is also a good tool, just stay alert when using public transportation.
Solo female travelers heading to big cities will want to learn as much as possible about which areas are safe to visit and which areas should be avoided. Overall, Paris is a welcoming city and a fabulous tourist destination for solo travelers.
Safest neighborhoods in Paris
Most areas in Paris are safe but when looking for the safest place to stay, check out a few different neighborhoods. The main worry is pickpockets targeting tourists around the more popular spots. Here are three of the safest districts or neighborhoods in Paris.
3rd and 4th Arrondissement (La Marais)
This historic district is the perfect place for art lovers and does have a more relaxed atmosphere. There are a few pickpockets in the area but not near as many as in other neighborhoods with the in demand attractions. When visiting Paris, this is an area you want to stay in.
6th Arrondissement (Saint-Germain-des-Pres)
This neighborhood is considered to be one of the safest in Paris and is excellent for families to explore. There are several activities including intriguing museums, art galleries, and restaurants of all kinds. Visit the trendy shops and boutiques for cute souvenirs and designer clothes.
7th Arrondissement (Eiffel Tower)
While the most famous attraction in Paris is in this neighborhood, it is the most walkable neighborhood. Keep your eyes open and your money safely tucked away so pickpockets do not target you. There is usually a larger police presence in this neighborhood with its vast majority of tourists.
Is Paris public transportation safe?
Some train stations can be hectic and a hotbed for petty thefts, especially during rush hour. When you decide to ride public transport, keep your belongings close and do not be overly friendly as this will invite others to get closer to you. You really do want to maintain a personal bubble when riding the metro.
Some of the metro lines are very easy to understand and are secure, while others are complicated and brimming with unsavory characters. It is not uncommon to find someone trying to get into your bags when you ride Line 9 which takes you through the city centre and through Champs Élysées. If you ride the RER Line B, do not ride in an empty car or take it late at night.
In general, to keep yourself safe on public transportation do not fall asleep. Stay alert, and take note of those around you. Stand away from the doors when the buzzer sounds that indicates they are closing. Thieves like to jump on, grab your bag, and jump off before the doors fully close.
It is efficient and affordable to use the handy public transport system in Paris. Doing so is generally safe, just stay alert and know your surroundings.
Important emergency numbers in Paris
It is always a good idea to keep important numbers at your fingertips. Each country has its own unique emergency numbers so if you're planning on visiting several European cities, make a list of important and emergency numbers for each city you're visiting. Make sure you have your country's embassy phone number programmed into your phone or with your official documents.
- France's country code: 33
- Paris area code: 01
- Medical service: 15
- Fire brigade: 18
- Police: 17
- Europe-wide Emergency number: 112
- Mental health services: 0146 21 46 46
- Red Cross: 0800 858 858
Staying safe in Paris
It is easy to stay safe when visiting this incredible European city especially if you know which neighborhoods are the safest tourist areas. A lovely walkable city, Paris will delight you with its delicious food and must see famous places. After all, a visit to the Louvre Museum is an exciting thought when on holiday.
When you're planning a visit to Paris, check out How to Get Around Paris and Where to Stay in Paris: The Ultimate Guide for tips and tricks that will make your visit to this beautiful city safe and as marvelous as it should be.