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See France like a local. Work with a local to plan your trip.

Is It Safe to Travel to Paris?

ViaHero
Updated December 7, 2020

Generally, Paris is safe for travel. Locals helped us put together this guide to safety in Paris. It covers everything from the coronavirus to tips for solo travelers.  

Work with a local to build your trip to Paris. Our locals offer up-to-date information you might not find online—and tips on how to avoid the crowds. Learn more

Is Paris Safe?

When will it be safe to travel to Paris?

Naturally, one of the most common questions about travel to France concerns the coronavirus. When will France be safe for travel? 

Here's the latest:

December 7th: Presently, American citizens are not permitted to enter France unless they qualify for an exception. 

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Read our full update about travel and coronavirus HERE. Or, send a message to a French local.

Safety in Paris 

French Academy Is It Safe to Travel to Paris
Académie Française |  George Kourounis/Unsplash

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in France. The French capital is full of world-class museums, cobblestone streets, and blocks packed with bistros. And yes—Paris is a safe place to visit. 

That being said, locals note that Paris is a big city. Which means you should take certain precautions. These include: 

  • Keeping an eye on your belongings: Keep an eye on your things. Don’t sling your purse over the back of your chair, or put your wallet in your back pocket. You could be targeted by pickpockets. 
  • Stay aware of your surroundings: When in crowded places like train stations or tourist hubs, stay aware of your surroundings. Watch out for scammers. 

Paris is a popular place to visit in France because it’s beautiful, romantic, and safe. As long as you use common sense, you should be ok. 

Paris Travel Advisory

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!

What to know if you’re traveling to Paris alone

Solo Travel Is It Safe to Travel to Paris
Centre de Pompidou | Kylie Paz/Unsplash 

Locals say you’ll have an incredible time if you travel to Paris alone. France is a safe destination for solo travelers, and so is its capital city! 

Here’s what locals say solo travelers in Paris should know:

  • Be firm if you want someone to leave you alone: American friendliness can sometimes be misinterpreted as flirtation. 
  • Blend in: Leave your sneakers and baseball cap at home. You’ll stand out as a tourist. Instead, invest in good walking shoes and pack dark colors.
  • Know how to get home at night: Although the metro is generally safe—so is most transportation in France—feel free to call an Uber or a cab.
  • Keep an eye on your drink: If someone offers to buy you a drink, be sure you see it made. And although the wine in Paris is fantastic, be careful to not drink too much!

Work with a local to plan your trip if you’re looking for personalized advice on exploring Paris solo. It's like having a best friend in Paris—but still traveling alone. 

Important French phrases

Sign Is It Safe to Travel to Paris
Sign in Paris |  Luigi Frunzio/Unsplash 

No matter where you go in France—so many options!—it’s good to know a few phrases. Locals tell us that these are some basic ones to keep in mind: 

  • Hello (morning): Bonjour
  • Hello (evening): Bonsoir
  • Thank you: Merci (merci beaucoup=thank you very much)
  • Please: S'il vous plait
  • Excuse me, where is…-Excusez-moi, ou se trouve…?
  • I would like...Je voudrais 

Paris is a good place to stay in France if you speak no French. Most people you’ll encounter will speak English. Still, it’s easy to say hello or thank you in French—and it really goes a long way.

Emergency numbers to know

Although it’s unlikely, here are some good numbers to have on hand in case you run into trouble in France:

  • Emergency - 112 (European emergency number like 911 in the US)
  • Police (24/7) - 17
  • Health emergencies - 15
  • US Embassy Paris - +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22, enter zero "0" after the automated greeting. Website - U.S. Embassy Paris 
  • If you work with a local to plan your trip, they'll be available via phone in case you run into any issues

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Still have questions about travel to France?
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You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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