Before the coronavirus, the State Department gave France a Level 2 Travel Advisory. For context, this is the same rating they assigned to most places in Western Europe, like Italy and the U.K.
Today, and because of the coronavirus, the State Department gives France a Level 3 Travel Advisory. This recommends that Americans reconsider travel.
Common scams in Paris
France is safe—but locals say you should keep these common scams in mind:
Bracelet scam: In this scam, someone will approach you and try to put a “free” bracelet on your wrist. Then, they’ll demand payment. Firmly refuse and walk quickly away.
Golden ring scam: If you’re approached by someone who has “found” a lost golden ring, do not engage. They’ll offer it to you for “free” but will demand payment if you accept.
The rose scam: Paris is a romantic place, but if someone offers you a “free” rose, ignore them. They’ll ask for payment. You’re better off buying flowers at one of the city’s beautiful flower shops!
Overall, locals recommend taking care when navigating large crowds and tourist sites, like the Eiffel Tower.
What to know about protests in Paris
Locals tell us that one thing you should know about France is that protests are common. In the last few years, the country has seen strikes over transit, retirement policies, and inequality.
Travel agencies might tell you to skip Paris if a protest is likely. However, locals note that protests are usually planned in advance. If you work with a local to plan your trip, they’ll let you know how to navigate the latest strikes. After all, locals do it all the time!