Is it safe to travel to France? Mais, oui! Home to bustling cities, beautiful countrysides, and (perhaps) the best food in the world, France is an excellent destination for travelers.
Our locals in France helped us put together this guide to staying safe in their home country. It covers everything from the coronavirus pandemic to tips for solo travelers.
If you are permitted to travel to France, our locals say you shouldn't worry about going alone. Solo travelers will find plenty of spectacular things to do in France. So, enjoy!
Whether you want to nurse a coffee and people-watch in Nice, explore a Parisian museum, or wander the beaches in Normandy, France offers plenty of wonderful activities.
Locals tell us that women traveling solo in France should feel safe nearly anywhere they go. They say that catcalling is no worse than any other European country, and female travelers shouldn't have any trouble getting around by car, train, or bus.
Our trip planners provide some quick safety tips for solo travelers:
Benefit from insider advice—many of our trip planners are women. They can give solo travelers insights on what it's like to navigate the country alone.
Locals tell us that pickpockets operate at popular tourist sites and on public transportation. Follow common sense and be vigilant. Locals note that Parisian thieves are very good at what they do (tourists have been frequenting Paris for centuries), so be mindful and aware of your surroundings—especially in big cities like Paris and Marseille.
Our locals tell us these are some common scams to avoid:
The string bracelet scam
In this scam, a street vendor asks if you want a “friendship bracelet.” If you say yes (and often, even if you say no), a string/bracelet is tied so tightly around your wrist that you can’t move and then they demand money for the bracelet. Their partner may pick your pocket while they have you “indisposed.”
The gold ring scam
This scam involves a seemingly innocent person on the street pretending to find a gold ring on the sidewalk. They then ask you if it’s yours. When you say no, they offer to sell it to you (some have stamped 18k on the ring). If you end up buying it, you’ll own a worthless piece of polished brass. If you say yes, they will give you a sob story about being poor and ask for money.
Happily, locals tell us that, generally, Paris is safe at night. So enjoy those moonlight strolls, Parisian sunsets, and magical nightcaps at bars where Hemingway wrote his novels.
Just keep in mind that some places are safer than others. Locals tell us that the Le Marais district, the Latin quarter, and the South Bank—popular hubs for tourists and locals alike—are vibrant and safe day and night. Montmartre and Les Halles can be a bit sketchy.
Be on your lookout whenever you’re in a heavily-traveled tourist area like the Champs-Elysées—the crowds are perfect places for pickpockets.
Locals tell us that le metro is safe, but petty theft is common at crowded stations.
Just take common-sense safety precautions when using public transportation—like you would anywhere else.
We know that public transit in a new country can be confusing, but locals tell us that transportation in France is easy to use.
Protests and strikes are a part of life in France. It's something to be aware of, but most won't interfere with your trip.
Marches never come as a surprise—check with your local to learn their schedule, and plan around it.
The French like to protest! But big strikes usually come with plenty of notice, so it's easy to create a travel plan to avoid them.