A Solo Trip to Paris – How to visit the city of love on your own
This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclosure for more info.
Last update: 23rd of April 2022 by Lena
Is traveling to Paris alone a good idea?
If you wonder whether you should be traveling to Paris solo, the answer is a clear and heartfelt YES! Paris is a wonderful city and a dream destination for so many of us. The immense range of activities, experiences, and impressions Paris is offering will let your heart bubble over. Not having (or wanting!) a travel partner should not stop you from savoring every second of this adventure.
I took myriad solo trips over the years and today, when roaming through Paris, I am mostly on my own. And I love it. Here’s why:
- I rarely have been to a city with so much to see and do. If you worry to feel lonely on your own, you easily can fill up your schedule to the max, and you’ll be busy for days.
- Even though Paris is the most romantic city, many people are on their own. In cafés, restaurants, in parks, in cinemas, museums… it is not weird at all to be alone in Paris.
- Paris is the best city to just wander around and this is an activity you truly can do best when on your own
- In Paris, you don’t have to be alone. If you want to meet someone for a coffee or a drink, there are plenty of Facebook and Meetup groups to easily connect with fellow travelers or locals.
Interesting reads for your next trip:
Belleville Street Art Tour – is it worth it?
This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclosure for more info.Last updated: 25th of April 2022 by Lena My honest review of the Belleville Street Art Tour Disclosure: I was invited to join the tour, but did not receive any remuneration for…
Paris hidden gems: 80+ well kept secrets you shouldn’t miss
This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclosure for more info.Last update by Lena on 8th of April →Click here to join the Salut from Paris Facebook group! Paris is a city of monumental architecture and imposing buildings. But also a…
Is a solo trip to Paris safe?
This is a tricky question because yes, Paris is one of the safest cities in Europe. But should you be walking around at 3 am, waving drunkenly around your new iPhone 13? Better not.
On the Safe Cities Index 2021 by the Economist, Paris made it to place 23 in overall security. After Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and New York, but before Brussels, Dubai, and Rome.
However, when it comes to personal security, Paris is even in place 6. Everyone’s safety radar ticks differently, but Paris is not a place known for danger if you apply common sense:
- know about common scams – read more about it here
- avoid shady areas – read more about the best hotel locations here
- watch your surroundings and be attentive
- stay in public places
From my personal experience, I can say that I never felt unsafe in Paris. And I did live in shifty areas, walked home at night alone, and well, did not always use common sense. Regardless of my luck, I admittedly also know people who were less lucky and got robbed or harassed.
All this to tell you that Paris is just a normal city that overall is safe. Probably not much different from your hometown or any other city that you have traveled to.
Is Paris safe for women? Yes, it is. At least not more or less than any other place in Europe. However, If you are traveling alone as a female to Paris, you will most likely be catcalled at one point. Sad and uncomfortable but normally not dangerous.
What’s the best area to stay in Paris alone
Where to stay in Paris is an often discussed question and of course, when traveling alone, it is essential to stay in a safe area in Paris. As a rule of thumb, the more central, the safer.
Overall, You can’t do anything wrong if you stay in a central area like the Marais or the Quartier Latin. But as well the southern and western areas of Paris like the 14th, 15th, 16th arrondissement are good, but they are also pretty quiet areas to stay.
Luckily, most hotels are in very safe areas that I highlighted green on the map above, and you won’t run into trouble finding a suitable hotel there. If you are traveling on a budget, you need to be more attentive, though.
Many of the budget-friendly hotels are in the north of Paris and trust me, it is not an area where you necessarily want to spend your Paris vacation. (highlighted in red on the map)
Below, you find a list of hotels that you can book without hesitation. They are all in safe areas, close to attractions, and with a fantastic Paris vibe.
Travelers Tip: Stay in the Marais
As a solo traveller, it’s important to base yourself in a safe neighbourhood with lots to do, great places to eat and a central location for exploring. The district of the Marais is located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of the city, on the right banks of the Seine. It is the trendiest neighbourhood in Paris and a must-visit.
The neighbourhood of the Marais is an attraction itself, with many charming cobblestone alleyways to explore. The Marais is also home to a growing vegan and vegetarian movement, try HANK burger or Wild & The Moon for great veggie-forward eats.
One of the best things to do in the Marais solo is sip coffee at a streetside cafe and enjoy some watching everyday Parisian life go by. The picturesque exterior of Boot Cafe invites you to some of the best coffee in the district.
If you are an art lover, the Picasso National Museum can be explored for hours and boasts a beautiful interior staircase. Stop by Place des Vosges, the first square in Paris lined with grand homes, to read a book on the grass by the fountain.
By Haley of Haley Blackall Travel
Eating alone in Paris
First – and this you should internalize – it is NOT weird to eat alone in Paris. Not at all.
Of course, you will see many couples and groups that are sharing their meal, but if you look closely, you’ll spot many people by themselves. Some will read a book or a newspaper, others might browse through their phones, but many are just sitting there with a glass of wine, watching the world go by and enjoying their meal.
If you don’t feel comfortable sitting alone in a restaurant, you have plenty of alternatives for not starving:
- Eat at Pret-a-Manger, Exki, Felicità, or even Starbucks. It might not be the cozy French Brasserie, but many people are using these cafés as their coworking space, and being alone in this environment is the most normal thing.
- Get a fresh baguette from a bakery and some cheese from a nearby fromagerie and make a little picnic by the Seine or in one of the beautiful parks in Paris.
Traveler’s Tip on Dining Solo in Paris
Eating solo might be the hardest part of traveling alone to a particular destination. It can feel awkward and weird, but part of traveling alone is embracing the fact that you are a strong and independent person.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, full of many wonderful cafés, so it is pretty easy to dine solo in this bustling city. Every corner, you will find a nice café that is casual enough to sit at and read a book while sipping on a coffee or eating a croissant. You will not look out of place at all because many people around will be doing just the same.
Some recommendations include Cafe de Flore, the oldest coffeehouses in Paris, situated on one of the prettiest streets in Paris, the Boulevard St.Germain. It has become famous for its clientele, including renowned writers and philosophers. Trying the hot chocolate is a must as it is so rich and delicious.
Another perfect restaurant for solo travelers is Le Choupinet where you can eat amazing French cuisine. This restaurant has cute teddy bears, so you won’t be necessarily dining solo after all! In fact, throughout Paris, you will find many cafés with these bears. The teddy bear hype started in the Gobelins Neighborhood, but since the pandemic, you find them in restaurants all over Paris as a nice way to help with social distancing.
Thanks, Jackie from JouJou Travels for the suggestion
The best things to do in Paris alone
When traveling alone, it’s best to choose a destination that is so packed with things to do and see, that you don’t risk getting bored. Paris is such a destination, if not actually the best.
Paris is so full of sights, museums, and attractions, that you could keep yourself busy for weeks and weeks. I am showing you what you shouldn’t miss when visiting Paris alone.
Important: Plan ahead for the top sights when visiting Paris!
I know, it kills a bit the spontaneous, easy-going vacation vibe you are certainly keen on, especially, when traveling alone to Paris. But there are a few reasons why you should book your tickets in advance when visiting Paris.
- Popular sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Catacombs book out weeks in advance, especially in high season!
- Covid-19 and social distancing measurements limit visitor numbers. Hence, most sights require prebooking.
- Some ticket booths on site are closed or require you to queue for hours
You see now, why I strongly recommend that you book your entrance tickets in advance to avoid disappointment or wasting time queuing.
To make it easier for you and save you time, you find in the following a list of sights that you absolutely need to book before you arrive in Paris. For your convenience, I added links to my most trusted ticket provider:
- The Eiffel Tower – click here for tickets to the summit!
- The Louvre – Click here to see the Mona Lisa
- The Catacombs – click here to enter Paris’ underground
- The Castle of Versailles – book your ticket here
Of course, you also can purchase tickets directly on the sights homepages. However, the downside is that they usually don’t have a cancellation policy. While reserving your Paris tickets with get your guide grants you a 24h cancellation and full refund policy. A strong point in times like ours.
Enjoy a Seine River Cruise
The cruise tour begins from various locations, usually running through the city center of Paris from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. This is a good opportunity to get an overview of all the key attractions along the River Seine, including Le Louvre, Musee d’ Orsay, Place de la Concorde, invalids, Petit Palais, and Grand Palais.
There are 37 bridges and footbridges across the Seine, and each of them has its beauty and history. The tour passes some of the most important bridges like Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts, and Pont Alexandre III. Solo travelers can enjoy the moment to appreciate the magnificent architecture, enjoy a meal on the water, and meet other fellow travelers on the journey.
Thanks Knycx Journeying for the suggestion
Visiting the Eiffel Tower
Think for a second about one thing you associate with Paris. Chances are you’ve thought of the Eiffel Tower. Not surprisingly, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited sights in France and the whole world.
So, it’s only natural to include a visit to the world-famous Eiffel Tower in your Paris trip.
With its considerable size, this famous building can hardly be overlooked. Already, during a walk through the streets of Paris, you can see the impressive Eiffel Tower from many parts of the city.
It is especially striking at night, when its facade is illuminated, becoming a beloved photo motif for locals and visitors alike.
Even for solo travelers, a visit here is an absolute highlight. You can go up and enjoy the view over this great city. Whether you visit in daylight or the dark is entirely up to you and your preference.
If you’re visiting Paris on a budget, and you’re still young or even a student, be sure to bring your (student) ID to get a discount on your ticket.
Thanks, Vicky from Vickiviaja for the suggestion
relax in the Jardin du Palais-Royal
The beautiful Jardin du Palais-Royal is a small but inviting garden located on the grounds of the former royal palace. Situated just over the road from the Louvre, it’s in a handy central location and one of the best Paris attractions. What makes it different from other gardens in Paris is that it’s a place where the locals frequent. From dog walkers to locals simply taking a quiet moment to themselves, solo travellers will feel right at home being on their own.
In the southern end of the grounds are the iconic black-and-white striped columns. If they look familiar, it’s not surprising. It’s a filming location of “Emily in Paris“.
The columns are where most tourists will linger, while the Northern end of the garden is where you can get a slice of tranquility. Discover a large fountain that’s framed by colorful flower beds and perfectly manicured rows of boxed hedges and trees. With no gaggles of selfie-snapping tourists, the result is a quiet and peaceful area that provides an oasis from city life.
Be sure to bring a book if you intend to spend a couple of hours here. The Jardin du Palais-Royal is the perfect place for solo travellers to take a seat, read a book, and watch the world go by.
Thanks, Jessie Moore of Pocket Wanderings for the suggestion
Explore the Parisian Cemeteries
It may seem like an unusual activity to promote, but for a solo traveler, visiting the cemeteries of Paris is both calming and interesting. Visit the final resting place of some of history’s most famous figures, admire the intricate mausoleums, and enjoy the tranquility. The joy of traveling solo is that you have plenty of time for reflection, and these quiet spots are perfect for that.
Père Lachaise is the most prominent cemetery in Paris. Jim Morrison from The Doors, the poet Oscar Wilde, and the French chanteuse Edith Piaf are all buried there. The Montparnasse Cemetery isn’t as big but has some of the literary greats within its manicured walls. Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir, just to name a few.
Top Tip: When visiting Père Lachaise by public transport, stay on the metro one more stop and get off at Gambetta – this means you can walk down the hill instead of up.
Thanks, Hannah of From HH Lifestyle Travel for the suggestion
Also see our article on free things to do in Paris, if you are traveling on a tighter budget.
Visit the Louvre and the Mona Lisa
A place nobody can miss when in Paris is the Louvre Museum. Set in what once was a fortress on the right bank of the Seine River, the building itself saw many changes. Until 1547, when Francis I, king of France until 1547, decided to demolish it and build his royal residence on top of the remains – which are actually still visible. As he was a lover of art, the king started collecting many pieces, with subsequent kings adding to the collection.
Once Louis XIV decided the court should be moved to Versailles, the Louvre was no longer used as a royal palace. It was finally turned into a museum in 1793 and since then, started hosting some of the best pieces of art in the world. Today, it is the most famous art gallery in Paris and the world.
Among them are the famous Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and the Virgin of the Rocks, the Wedding at Cana, the Venus of Milo, the Winged Victory, the Coronation of Napoleon, the and Seated Scribe, just to name a few. In fact, you’ve got so much to see in the Louvre, that it doesn’t matter whether you are alone or with friends or your partner.
Upon visiting, take care to also marvel at the impressive pyramid that marks the main gate. It was designed by Chinese architect Pei Cobb upon request of Francois Mitterand (the then French President).
Tip: If the queue by the Pyramid is too long, head down to the entrance “Carroussel du Louvre” that you can reach directly through the Metro station. To avoid waiting times, purchase your tickets in advance here.
The Louvre is open Wednesday to Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and admission is €17.
Thanks, Claudia Tavani from ‘My Adventures Across The World’ for the suggestion
Explore Street Art in the 13th Arrondissement
When in Paris, and you want to get some space after having been to all the tourist landmarks, head to the 13th arrondissement and explore the local street art. You can explore the area on your own, but honestly, the added value of joining an organized walking tour 13th arrondissement is immense.
As the art always depicts something related to the current socio-economic-political situation in France, a local artist guide is great to put the art pieces into context. The 13th arrondissement is particularly well-known for its gigantic murals. Every wall design is unique and changes often, depending on the political climate.
The 13th arrondissement is located in the southern part of Paris. Here you will find, aside from street art, as well the Chinatown of Paris, and the unique Butte-aux-Cailles. A cute neighborhood with an authentic flair, many pretty cafés, bars, and eateries.
Dave of Silverbackpacker for the suggestion
How to get there: Take Metro line 5, 6 or 7 to Place d’Italie
Best for: Street Art, Asian culture and delicious food, village vibe at the Butte-aux-Cailles
Visit the Arc de Triomphe
For anyone visiting Paris there are so many wonderful sights you have to tick off your Paris itinerary and at the top should be the Arc de Triomphe.
This magnificent structure sits at the top of the Champs-Élysées, surrounded by one of the world’s most complicated roundabouts. No matter which European City you visit, you won’t find anything alike.
This remarkable monument was built to honour French soldiers who lost their lives in the Revolutionary wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
While many people take the time to stand and gaze at it from the street, you can also use the tunnels that run under the roundabout to stand underneath it. Here you will also find the Flame of the Unknown Soldier. Its story is engrained in Parisian history and because of this, it is one of the best-known monuments in the world. The Arc de Triomphe is also one of the best places in Paris for epic views over the city and an outstanding photo spot for pictures of the Eiffel Tower!
Once at the top, you have all the time in the world to walk the entire Terrace level and get some of the most stunning views over Paris. Take your time to watch the utter chaos of the roundabout below and the truly beautiful city of Paris that surrounds you. Purchase your tickets here in advance to save time.
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Enjoy the view from the Terrace at the Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette is not only a place for an exquisite shopping experience but also known for stunning panoramic views across Paris. Contrary to everything else in this shopping paradise, the rooftop is completely free!
Unlike some expensive tourist honey spots, there is a lot of room here, so you can relax and enjoy the view and not feel rushed taking that all-important selfie or impromptu photoshoot!
The space and general laid-back vibe also contribute to this being a great place to while away some time whilst visiting Paris solo. In the warmer months, there are hip popup restaurants that may well be busier.
The terrace is open daily from 10am to 8pm.
My tip for visiting Paris solo is to plan your arrival in daylight hours and wait until the sun sets!
Thanks for the recommendation, Molly from Lovely Local Indie
Visit the Palace and Gardens of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is not only of the best Instagram spots in Paris, but you can truly step back in time and even escape from the crowds if you opt to explore the gardens (which are free in Winter!).
To get there, you can take the train from Paris. It’s not a very long ride, and in fact, the view from the window is quite nice. Then, once you arrive in Versailles, it’s only a short walk to the palace.
If you plan on visiting Versailles, the best piece of advice is to purchase your ticket online in advance and try to show up as early as you can. This way, you can avoid the large queue. Try to explore the palace quickly and then rent a bike out in the garden to explore the outdoors on your own. Almost nobody explores further into the gardens, so you can have an area to yourself!
Contributed by Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages
Marvel at the Palais Garnier
A visit to The Palais Garnier is a must-do indoor activity in Paris and a great way for solo travellers to experience art and culture in Paris.
From the outside, The Palais Garnier is stunning and one of the most impressive buildings in Paris. But it will also take your breath away as soon as you enter. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie and sometimes wonder if you’re in a castle or in an opera.
The best way to experience The Palais Garnier is to watch an opera, a ballet, or a concert in the beautiful theatre. It’s a perfect activity for a solo traveller in Paris, who can even meet people sitting next to them.
Even if you cannot get hold of tickets to attend a show, don’t remove The Palais Garnier from your list of activities. You can join a tour (guided or self-guided) to discover the beauty of the building and the iconic rooms.
Thanks for the recommendation, Eloise from My Favourite Escapes
Exploring Montmartre is a perfect Parisian afternoon activity for a solo traveler, as taking in this charming bohemian neighborhood is best explored on foot and in a relaxed, strolling manner.
Everyone visits Sacré Coeur, the shockingly white basilica set on a hill. Sacré Coeur is beautiful, but busy. For a quieter and more unique experience, go around to the backside of the church.
From here, there are many places to discover in Montmartre. Amble around Place du Tertre, watching the artists paint and sell their wares. Go see two famous restaurants: Le Consulat and La Maison Rose. Both are in distinctive buildings, that you’ve probably seen before. La Maison Rose is for example, a filming location of the Netflix series “Emily in Paris”.
Find some of Montmartre’s famed staircases, and then check out the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. You can also see the lesser-known but charmingly quaint Moulin de la Galette. Lastly, stroll down the picturesque Rue de l’Abreuvoir and Rue Lepic, admiring the beautiful doors, Parisian architecture, and flower pots outside the windows! With numerous charming spots, you’re sure to enjoy your foray into this unique neighborhood.
Recommended by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast
Popular walking tours for solo travelers in Montmartre
Visit Rue des Martyrs
The best food street in Paris, Rue des Martyrs, is the perfect outing for anyone on a solo trip to Paris. This tree-lined street in the 9th has a carousel at one end, and the Neoclassical Notre Dame de Lorette church at the other. In between are food shops of every kind for locals to gather their daily provisions. Since many of these shoppers come alone, a solo traveler fits right in.
Take your time strolling past some of the most beautiful pâtisserie windows of Paris. Duck into a boulangerie for a fresh baguette, some cheese from the fromagerie, and some charcuterie from the butcher, and you’re all set for a picnic. It’s one of the best places to tick off some items from your Paris food bucket list.
The colorful local produce is divine, and you’ll find shops for just about any food souvenir you may want, from tea to truffles and specialty chocolates. Or if you rather sit and gawk, there are many cafés for people watching and eateries to enjoy a snack.
Thanks, Denise from Chef Denise for the suggestion
Enjoy time by the River Seine
What could be more iconically Parisian than sitting along the Seine River and having a drink or reading a book about Paris? The Seine snakes through the city and, during the warmer months, its banks (or quais in French) are packed with picnickers. As the day wears on, revelers drink in the city’s beauty- and the wine that France is so famous for.
It is a fabulous place to take in the sites – for example, Port Debilly provides a quiet setting to see stunning views of the Eiffel Tower towering above. But more than anything, it’s a wonderful environment to sit back, people watch and enjoy the lively spirit of Paris.
For the best people-watching (and meeting!) opportunities, consider stopping by the Latin Steps, where the riverbank transforms into a public dance floor almost every night in the summer. No matter what level of ability you are- and regardless if you have a partner – you’ll be welcomed into salsa, tango, or just groove the night away.
Thanks, Jessica from Uproot Traveler for the suggestion
Visit the Musée d’Orsay
One of the most popular and famous landmarks in Paris is the D’orsay museum, located on the left bank of the Seine River. It is not only a beautiful building but holds an unbelievable number of impressionist masterpieces.
The Musée d’Orsay is a perfect solo experience. You can take all the time in the world to explore this once grand beaux-arts building, which was originally a railway station and then transformed into a magnificent museum featuring these Impressionism masters. You’ll find paintings from all the major artists like Degas, Matisse, Monet, Bonnard, and Van Gogh, just to name a few.
All the galleries are broken up into individual artist collections, so you get to savor all of your favorite artists in each section.
If you are keen on trying some amazing food, take a break in their grand hall salon, which is a spectacular glass atrium with wonderful French-inspired cuisine to experience.
Recommended by Noel from This Hawaii Life
Try delicious pastry at Odette
Odette is remarkable for solo travelers craving a slow afternoon in Paris. A place, where they can experience the city like a local and yet still sit and relax among some of Paris’ most famous historic landmarks. Odette Pâtisserie must be added to your itinerary.
The original Odette location (there are two now) is incomparable. At 77 rue Galande, just behind the famous bookstore Shakespeare & Company, the pâtisserie is small but full of character. From the eye-popping yet classic elements of Art-Deco design to the breathtaking views of Notre Dame Cathedral from the cozy upstairs tearoom.
The entire experience of an afternoon snack at Odette is one-of-a-kind.
It’s ideal for solo travelers because the atmosphere is intimate; nothing to stop you from sipping hot chocolate and enjoying their famous cream puffs on your own. At Odette, you experience Paris authentically, escaping the city’s bustle for a moment, while watching over the liveliness from the windows at your own pace.
Thanks, Michela from SHE goes the distance for the suggestion
Pin it for later!
Prepare your trip to Paris
Plan your trip