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Embarking on a journey alone can be both exhilarating and daunting, but solo travel in Paris offers an unparalleled adventure.

Picture this: you just stepped off the plane, the anticipation building as you take your first breath of the crisp Parisian air. You can’t believe you are finally here, after months or maybe years of dreaming of  this adventure. Just a few hours from now, you could be wandering the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, savouring the rich aroma of freshly baked croissants from a quaint patisserie, before heading to the Louvre and getting lost in its masterpieces. You finish the day at the Trocadero where you gaze up at the Eiffel Tower for hours, its iron latticework glowing against the night sky.

sunset view over the Seine and musee d'Orsay

But then reality hits you as you think of the administrative and logistical hurdles that await you.  Clearing customs, waiting for your luggage, finding transport to the city, and the possibility of getting lost or struggling to find your accommodation all weigh on your mind. Add to that the language barrier, and your anxiety skyrockets.

Solo travel to Paris can sound scary but with a bit of planning ahead it can be one of the most rewarding experiences you could gift yourself.

This guide is your ultimate passport to uncovering the wonders of Paris, ensuring your solo journey includes effortless navigation and is filled with unforgettable experiences.

Travelling from the airport to the centre of Paris

There are several transport options from Paris airports to the city centre.

You can take the Metro or use a taxi service. The metro is reliable and more affordable but be aware that a lot of stations don’t have escalators or lifts so you will need to carry your luggage up and down a lot of stairs.

logo of a parisien taxi company

Airport taxis are convenient and stress-free. G7 is the official taxi service in Paris. They offer a fixed pricing for airport transfers so you know the cost upfront and they can be booked up to 30 days in advance. Note that the fixed rate is only for trips within the city of Paris. Any journey to a zone outside Paris will be metered.

Uber is the most convenient alternative to a taxi, but they lack a designated pick-up area at the airport. Often, drivers request that you meet them at the departures drop-off to avoid parking fees, which can be confusing, especially if they don’t speak English.

If you decide to use the metro, a single ticket may be more economical than a travel card.

There are two types of single tickets depending on the transport mode:

T+ tickets are valid for travel on the metro, buses, trams, and the RER within Paris. Buying one carnet of 10 single tickets in advance gives the best value. A signle ticket will cost you €2.15 while a set of 10 tickets costs €17.35.

Point-to-point rail tickets are required for travel on the RER or Transilien outside Paris, such as trips to Versailles, Disneyland, or CDG airport. A single ticket costs €3.20 and if you plan to make the same journey multiple times you may be benefit from a carnet of 10 tickets for €25.60.

You can also buy one-day passes like the card Navigo Jour which may be more suitable if you plan to use public transport extensively in a single day.

Apps like citymapper are useful for real-time navigation assistance to ensure you easily find your way around Paris.

Solo Travel to Paris top tips

  • Don’t plan more than two activities a day. The best way to experience Paris is by wandering around the charming neighbourhoods, lingering at cafes or parks and just being in the moment.
  • Be ready to embrace the culture. What may be considered “rude” in your country isn’t necessarily rude in France and vice-versa.
  • Parisians love good manners, always say good-morning, good evening, thank you, and good bye. Bonus points if you can say these in French.
  •  Speaking just a few words of French goes a long way so invest some time to learn the basics.
  • Scam artists are pervasive and would use all sorts of tactics to con you out of your money including the  use of puppies and children. Pickpockets are a genuine threat, so always remain vigilant and safeguard your belongings.
  • Service in restaurants  tends to be slow, so bear this in mind and be patient. it’s an integral part of the culture.
  • Eat all the bread and pastry you can! The food is absolutely delicious in France so give your diet a break and indulge while you can.

Where to stay in Paris as a solo traveller

If this is your first time travelling solo to Paris, the following neighbourhoods are recommended choices as they offer a blend of convenience, safety, and local culture:

Le Marais

Le Marais is a historic yet trendy neighbourhood. It oozes classic Parisian charm which many visitors come looking for.

While more touristy than other areas, it does appeal to first-time travellers for many reasons. The neighbourhood boasts an array of small, trendy shops and a lively street-restaurant-bar scene.  It also provides easy access to numerous attractions and dining options thanks to its central location.

Solo travel to Paris a street in Le Marais

On weekends, some streets are closed to traffic which makes it very pedestrian-friendly.

Make the most of your time in Le Marais to visit the Carnavalet Museum, which is free, Place des Vosges and the Musée Picasso.

The Latin Quarter

This historic neighbourhood retained its name since the Middle Ages when Latin was widely spoken by university students, and remains a rich centre for education and intellectual life in Paris.

old street in Latin quarter of Paris

The Latin Quarter is in a central location, close to Notre-Dame and is home to numerous universities and schools, including the renowned Sorbonne University.

Beyond its educational heritage, the Latin Quarter offers an array of attractions. The area is brimming with pubs, restaurants, cafés and boutiques, providing a wide range of experiences for first time and solo visitors.

While some areas are very touristic and expensive, there are numerous affordable spots if you are prepared to explore a bit. Accommodation is reasonably priced compared to neighbouring arrondissements and the neighbourhood is well served by bus lines to go around the city.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Saint-Germain-des-Prés is an upscale and sophisticated area, full of shops, cafes, and restaurants, and bustling with evening activities. Its prime location puts you close to the Jardin du Luxembourg and within walking distance to the Seine and the Latin Quarter. In the opposite direction, you can easily stroll to the Au Bon Marché department store, and its excellent gourmet food market. The area offers easy metro access and you can also walk to several key including the Louvre, Notre-Dame and the Pompidou Centre. Don’t skip a visit to the iconic Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, as well as the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

outside terrace of the famous cafe de flore in St Germain des pres

Bastille

Bastille is a lively neighbourhood located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. It’s famous for its history, nightlife, and cultural attractions. Known for the historic Place de la Bastille, a key site of the French Revolution which remains a popular spot for demonstrations. This trendy area is packed with cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries so you won’t get bored as a first time visitor.

blue sky and panoramic capture of Place de la Bastille

It’s also home to the Opera Bastille and the Promenade Plantée, which offers scenic walks. The neighbourhood is also within walking distance of the Picasso Museum and the elegant Place des Vosges. Take a stroll along rue Faubourg St. Antoine if you like pretty shops and exotic furniture stores. 

1st arrondissement

The 1st Arrondissement is the best central location in Paris and is home to iconic landmarks such as the Louvre and Tuileries Garden. This district is very safe and has a high police presence, making it a perfect area to stay for solo travellers if safety is your main priority. While it tends to be more expensive and not as quaint as old Paris, its centrality is a significant advantage if you prefer to walk and don’t want to rely on public transport.

typical apartment in Paris, a great accommodation when traveling solo in paris

Top 10 things to do in Paris

With its impressive array of historic landmarks, world-renowned museums, and vibrant arts scene, Paris is the city that never gets boring. Here are my top 10 experiences you absolutely must try in the City of Lights when you travel solo.

Have Breakfast on a Chic Terrace

 people watching from a cafe terrace is a great way to spend Solo travel in Paris Forget about diets or skipping breakfast in Paris. There’s nothing more quintessentially Parisian than sitting in a café terrace, sipping a cup of good French roast, munching on a croissant, and leisurely reading the paper. The city is teeming with beautiful bakeries that boast cozy seating areas perfect for this morning ritual.

Visit the Musée d’Orsay

solo travel to paris. view of musee d'orsay Housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts railway station built for the 1900 Paris Exposition and renowned for its extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, the Musée d’Orsay is an architectural marvel that shouldn’t be missed in Paris. Here you can enjoy an immersive journey through the transformative periods of 19th and early 20th-century art and admire some of the finest works by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir. The museum’s layout and natural light create a unique and inviting atmosphere and offers beautiful views of the Seine River and Parisian landmarks, making it a culturally enriching experience and my personal favourite museum in Paris.

Louvre Museum

outside the Louvre museum, night capture The Louvre Museum, one of the world’s largest and most visited museums, is a treasure trove of art and history, spanning over 9,000 years from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century. Home to iconic masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, its vast collection of artworks includes paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and artifacts from various cultures and eras. Its stunning architecture, including the modern glass pyramid entrance, is a testament to its enduring legacy. To make your first visit enjoyable, plan ahead by purchasing tickets in advance and choosing the right time to avoid crowds, such as early morning or late afternoon on weekdays. Prioritise must-see pieces by mapping out your visit or consider taking a guided tour. Wear comfortable shoes and pack light, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

Notre-Dame CATHEDRAL

back of the notre dame cathedral and view of the Seine This would have been my number 1 recommendation, unfortunately it’s still in restoration since the 2019 fire and much of it is under scaffolding but you should still see it from outside and admire its stunning facades and the detailed sculptures depicting biblical scenes. Next to Notre Dame is the Sainte-Chapelle and its beautiful stained glass windows, also worth seeing.

Take a leisurely stroll on the Seine

From Notre-Dame, go for a walk along the banks of the Seine which are lined with lush trees, iconic buildings and elegant bridges like the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, and the Pont Alexandre III, which epitomises the Belle Époque elegance with its gilded sculptures. Make a stop at lively bookstalls known as “bouquinistes,” where you can browse through vintage books, prints, and souvenirs. Solo female posing on the banks of the Seine in Paris The Seine’s banks are a UNESCO World Heritage site and this is illustrated in the stunning views they offer of some of Paris’s most famous landmarks, including the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower. The atmosphere is particularly enjoyable at sunset when the city’s lights begin to shimmer on the water, creating a magical reflection.

Quartier latin

The Quartier Latin is my favourite area to visit solo in Paris . This historic district on the left Bank of the Seine is home to the prestigious Sorbonne University, the Panthéon, where notable French figures are buried, and the beautiful Saint-Étienne-du-Mont church. The area boasts cultural gems like the Musée de Cluny, and the  Jardin du Luxembourg. It’s packed with charming cafés and bistros, as well as lively food stalls and small restaurants in Rue Mouffetard. famous bookshop in Quartier Latin The district has a lively street life, with musicians, artists, and open-air markets, all adding to its joyful atmosphere. If you are after a culture fix, visit Shakespeare and Company, an iconic English-language bookstore, or Cinéma du Panthéon where you can enjoy art-house films.

Visit Montmartre

solo female next to Sacre Coeur in Paris Montmartre offers a blend of history, art, and bohemian flair. Dominated by the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica where you will be treated to stunning panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss wandering through the cobblestone streets lined with quaint cafes, bustling markets, and quirky boutiques and soaking in the same vibes that once inspired artists like Picasso and Van Gogh.

Eiffel Tower

Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time is nothing short of magical. The iconic structure’s impressive height of 330 meters (1,083 feet) makes it a prominent landmark that’s visible from many parts of Paris. solo female traveller in paris under the eiffel tower But it’s when you stand at the base of the tower and admire its iron lattice work up close that you truly appreciate its architectural grandeur and historical significance. You can perfectly enjoy the Eiffel tower from the ground. The surrounding Champ de Mars Park provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic. But if you want to take the experience to the next level, consider going up to the observation deck. As you rise higher, the panoramic views become increasingly awe-inspiring, showcasing Paris in all its splendour. It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quiet solo moment as you soak in the ambiance of your surroundings. consider booking your tickets online in advance to skip the long queues and secure your preferred time slot.

Take a cruise on the Seine

Paris is one of my favourite cities to see from the water. A cruise on the Seine offers a unique and picturesque way to see the most iconic landmarks from a different perspective, including the Eiffel Tower which looks wonderful illuminated at night. It’s also an effortless way to see many of the city’s highlights if you are really short on time. Most cruises come with informative commentary which gives insights into the history and significance of the landmarks. cruise on the Seine is one of the top 10 activities to do on solo travel to paris There are various types of Seine cruises to choose from, ranging from basic sightseeing tours to gourmet dinner cruises. This variety allows you to select one that best fits your interests and budget. Many cruises depart from central locations and last between one to two hours, making it a convenient activity to fit into a busy itinerary.  

Visit the parks

As always, I can’t help but recommend you extract yourself from the noise and crowded spots and seek a tranquil escape in the city’s numerous parks and green spaces. Parisian parks are not just green spaces but also artistic masterpieces. They feature beautifully manicured lawns, stunning flowerbeds, and elegant architecture. They are perfect spots for leisurely strolls and picnics. beautiful capture of jardin du luxembourg in paris Some of my recommendations include Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, Tuileries Garden,  located between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement, one of the largest parks in Paris which offers a more natural, rugged setting if you fancied a bit of physical activity.

Solo dining in paris

Dining solo in Paris is a delightful experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s incredible culinary scene. Whether you choose a charming little café or a Michelin-starred restaurant, you will embrace the ambiance as you savour each bite of your meal at your own pace, while people-watching from a cozy terrace or engaging with the staff. Here are some of my favourite culinary stops for solo travel in Paris.

Fine dining solo in paris

The French Bastards

For an authentic French experience, head to The French Bastards, one of the trendiest patisseries in town. This spot is where a new generation of chefs and bakers showcase their creativity.  A must try item is their delightful pain au raisin, made with tiny crunchy currants instead of raisins, or treat yourself to the most decadent chocolate éclairs, lemon meringues, quiches, and baguettes. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff make this the ultimate French patisserie experience.

Le Train Bleu

inside the train bleu restaurant in paris

If you’re seeking old history with a touch of luxury, Le Train Bleu, an iconic restaurant located in Gare de Lyon, offers a truly unique dining experience. Indulge in their prix fixe menus or simply savour the delectable pastries and coffee in their dessert café and allow yourself to be transported to a bygone era of refinement in the heart of Paris.

Pavyllon Dinner

Why not treat yourself to a solo dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant?  Pavyllon Dinner, a 3* Michelin restaurant nestled behind the Petit Palais, is highly recommended. This is a truly immersive culinary experience where diners indulge in a seven-course feast of exquisite beef and seafood, perfectly complemented by impeccable wine pairings. The culmination of flavours creates a gastronomic symphony that lingers long after the last bite. For an enhanced experience, opt for sitting at the counter where you will face the kitchen and watch the chef create  his magic.

Brasserie Des Prés

Located in a small quiet alley in the heart of Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, this brasserie boasts a warm décor, quick and friendly service and home-style cooking with a limited menu but guaranteed quality.

Le Jardin du Raphael

Located in the luxurious Hotel Raphael in the 16th arrondissement, this stunning rooftop restaurant offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets, to enjoy an exquisite dining experience with possibly the best panoramic view of Paris from the sky. Known for its impeccable French cuisine and attentive service, Le Jardin du Raphael is a favourite among locals. The restaurant is closed from July 15, to August 15, 2024.

Galleries Lafayette

rooftop view of the city from galleries lafayette paris

If you still want the views but don’t feel like splurging, head to Galleries Lafayette in Boulevard Haussmann,and enjoy a low key lunch or an afternoon cuppa with free views from its rooftop terrace and don’t forget to visit their stunning cathedral-like dome.

Visiting Paris solo is a truly enriching experience, as you explore the City of Light at your own pace. Paris provides a perfect blend of culture, history, and culinary delights. Whether you’re strolling along the Seine, marvelling at the Eiffel Tower or savouring pastries at a local bakery, each moment is an opportunity for self-discovery. So embrace the freedom and adventure and create unforgettable memories in one of the world’s most wonderful cities.

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