Solo travel Paris sounds crazy right?
I get it. Traveling to Paris alone and conquering solo female in Paris are two things that don’t match the mystique that surrounds this enchanting city. You know, especially with all those romantic Paris quotes running through your mind.
Paris, France has a reputation for being one of the world’s most romantic cities; a stereotype that has been accentuated by such cartoon icons as my good old friend Pepe LePue, who was a lover and a skunk with a distinctly French accent.
Coincidence? I think not.
So it should come as no surprise that when I hear the word “Paris”, Paris solo travel doesn’t really come to mind.
Images of couples holding hands and smoking cigarettes along the Seine, mystically dance through my head.
Or even worse:
My mind conjures up thoughts of the love lock tradition. You know, the one where a couple buys a lock, fastens it on a bridge, and then throws the lock in the Seine so that their love will last forever? Yeah super cute, if I could just find my knight in shining armor and wasn’t doing solo travel Paris style.
Dude, did you get lost? Use your GPS to find this Paris solo female traveler.
But alas, I have not found my prince who is probably not so charming. That’s why all this love and romance talk while doing solo female travel Paris, had me a little bummed.
Okay, in fairness my solo trip to Paris wasn’t that bad since I eventually found the best brunch in Paris.
And as my time alone in Paris went on, I started to realize that I can enjoy solo female travel in Paris. Heck, I even begin to love traveling to Paris alone, and it wasn’t because I was trolling along the locks of love bridge, looking for Mr. Right Now.
I saw Paris as my partner in crime. I mean, this is an iconic city that is full of beauty, history, and an intriguing amount of charm. With all that Paris has to offer, I was swept away by the intangible magic of this city and the plethora of sites that won’t make you run for the hills, screaming, “Make all the overtly romantic gestures stop and enough with all the PDA. For the love of God, can someone please play all the single ladies, stat.”
That’s why I created a Paris solo itinerary that won’t force you to binge-watch romantic comedies on Netflix while sobbing into a gallon jug of ice cream, 2 boxes of chocolate, and an assortment of fresh, gourmet French pastries and macarons.
These are the sites that don’t suck while exploring Paris alone. Actually, these places are even better when you’re visiting Paris alone because Paris itself is the only significant other that you really need.
So here’s my abbreviated list of things to do in Paris alone and; a list that is filled with helpful Paris solo travel tips like things to do alone in Paris at night, how to meet solo travelers in Paris, and information about the best hostel in Paris for solo travelers.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
***Planning to backpack Paris or travel solo in Paris? If you’re a solo female traveler in Paris, like me, then be aware that catcalling is a huge problem in Paris. I was literally followed down the Champs Elysees by two men and it was downright scary. Therefore. be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times. Also, have the police on speed dial just in case you need to quickly call for help. Oh, and you can also check out this handy list of “what not to do in Paris“***
6 Essential Solo Travel Paris Tips
Paris is undoubtedly, a beautiful town/city/whatever you wanna call it.
Some people are gointo g use this snazzy little fact against you.
Because Paris is enchanting AF, many people are lulled into this false sense of security and immediately think, “Oh well, it’s Paris, so it’s OBVIOUSLY safe.”
And while that assumption isn’t ENTIRELY wrong, Paris definitely has its own set of safety concerns, at least for anyone who is looking to solo travel Paris.
When traveling to Paris alone, you should definitely take the following precautions.
1. Watch Out for Pickpockets
A question that my fellow, solo female travelers often ask me is, “Is Paris Safe?” “Is it safe to travel to Paris alone?”
And while I generally consider the answer to be an emphatic, “YES!”, there are definitely a few things that you’re maybe, not-so-eagle-eyes will have to look out for.
And pickpockets are one of them! Because sadly:
Pickpockets are a HUGE problem in Paris – especially in touristy areas in Montmartre near Le Consulat Cafe Paris.
I know, sad, but true.
Because, in reality, there are a number of light-fingered individuals who will be only too happy to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
Because having your wallet stolen is a very, un-fun experience indeed, you’ll want to avoid this not-so-glam travel situation at ALL costs.
To minimize the risk of getting burgled, take extra care in the Metro, in busy tourist areas around the Eiffel Tower (particularly in Trocadero), and in lines for popular, Paris attractions, like the Louvre or while dining at Le Chat Noir Paris.
It’s also a good idea to keep your valuables in an anti-theft, Pacsafe messenger bag, and to always have two different bank cards with you, while you travel – one on your person and one that should be securely stowed away in the safe of your hotel room, lest the worst should happen.
2. Stay Safe in Paris and Watch Out for Common Scams
When considering safety in Paris for tourists:
Another thing that you’ll wanna be on the lookout for are scams since Paris is an unofficial haven of sorts for everyone’s favorite travel foe…scam artists (Note the intense level of sarcasm that those words were written with)!
Apart from good ol’ tricks like someone handing you a rose or bracelet, and then demanding payment for it (I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the habit of accepting flowers from total strangers in my normal life, let alone when I travel), another common one is the jewelry scam.
You’ll be delightedly walking along, minding your own biz, when, all of a sudden, BAM, someone will tap you on the shoulder and hurriedly ask if you’ve dropped either a ring or some other piece of fancy schmancy jewelry.
While you’re distracted, this seemingly, good samaritan will happily go through your purse and help themselves to anything that seems mildly valuable.
There is another variation of this scam, in which the would-be scammer will try and sell you an incredibly CHEAP piece of jewelry (it’s usually a “gold” ring) that they found, for an extremely inflated price.
And while neither situation is cool in my books:
A firm “non” should suffice, as you briskly walk away from the situation.
See? Minor disaster averted! Hooray!
3. Avoid The Perhaps, Not-So-Nice Parisian Neighborhoods.
Paris is one of the biggest cities in the entire world.
It should come as no surprise that the so-called, City of Lights, comes with its own set of social problems.
Because country to popular belief:
Not every neighborhood in the city is filled with chic, shining boulevards with Ferraris parked on the curb.
Just take a stroll through the outskirts of the city, and you’ll encounter some pretty rough areas that are best avoided (and that’s saying something coming from a New Yorker), at least if Paris safety is something that’s a concern of yours.
You’ll also want to be extra cautious when walking around well-known areas, like Pigalle and Montmartre, in the evening.
Because, believe it or not:
These areas are actually in the historically, seedy part of town (Sacre-Coeur was built with the intention of imposing some semblance of moral order into an area that was overrun with cabarets and brothels, hence the Moulin Rouge just down the street), and are definitely not awesome neighborhoods to be walking around…at night…all alone.
4. Don’t Give Money to Beggars
I know this may come as a bit of a shock.
If you arrive in Paris by either car or bus, you’ll likely encounter a proliferation of shanty towns throughout the outskirts of the city – a fact that is quite surprising to anyone expecting a metropolis full of nothing but poodles and various other symbols of prosperous living.
These impoverished areas are the homes of refugees and asylum-seekers, individuals who are fleeing from war-torn countries and life-threatening situations.
And while it is beyond normal (and probably even expected) to feel sympathy for these people:
It’s better to donate to a Paris-based charity than to try and assist in person.
Trust me on this.
These refugee camps tend to be in deprived areas (the most famous fo which is under a ring road) and are typically frequented by drug users.
Which is probably not a scene that you’re into if Paris safety is a concern of yours.
5. Try To Blend in With the Locals
We’ve already gone through a ton of different Paris safety tips here.
The one question that remains is, “What exactly is the best way to avoid being hassled in Paris?”
Well, I’m not gonna lie.
The answer probably won’t surprise you.
Because in truth:
The best way to avoid scams, and not-so-nice people in general, is to try and look like a local.
That doesn’t mean that you need to walk around Paris wearing a beret and carrying hordes of baguettes since that really is just a God-awful stereotype.
You also don’t really have to spend a small fortune on designer gear.
Because believe it or not:
You actually CAN look like a total Parisian, just by wearing one or two simple items of clothing.
If you’re visiting Paris during the summer, then be sure to pack a pair of smart, neutral leggings, that can easily be paired with either a chic t-shirt or a semi-formal piece of knitwear.
And in colder weather:
Wear either a nice-looking puffer jacket or a camel-colored long coat to expertly hide your distinctly non-Parisian ways.
***Not sure what to wear in Paris? Then check out this uber detailed Paris packing list. It contains EVERYTHING that you could ever want to know about dressing like a REAL Parisian.***
For argument’s sake, let’s say that you’ve done ALL this, and the worst still happens.
Then the good news is that most Parisians are actually nothing like the rude, cold human beings that they are commonly thought to be.
I’m sure some Parisians out there are rude AF. But, that just hasn’t been my personal experience.
Because during my multiple visits to Paris:
I’ve always found locals to be super helpful, especially during difficult situations.
Parisians will probably be much more inclined to help you if they actually know what you’re saying.
Learn at least some basic, French phrases, prior to visiting Paris.
And some French phrases that will be BEYOND useful in an emergency situation include:
Non – No
Aidez moi! – Help me!
J’ai besoin d’aide – I need help
Voleur! – Thief!
Urgence! – Emergency!
6. Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
So while you may not be the queen of travel blunders and mishaps (like me), you most definitely still need travel insurance,
Well, even though you’re traveling to a fairly, cosmopolitan city where it’s highly unlikely that you’ll contract some rare, totally heinous disease like Ebola, the truth is that you never really know when some mildly annoying, travel disaster will befall you.
I for one did not expect to slice my thumb open just minutes before I left for a flight to London.
A rushed visit to the ER and 3 stitches later, and, SHOCKER, I actually made it to the airport, just in time for my flight.
Had things been just the tiniest bit different, then I would have been uber-grateful for my handy dandy, travel insurance policy with World Nomads Travel Insurance.
However, the real question is, “Why World Nomads?”
Well, not only does World Nomads Travel Insurance. cover pretty much any destination that you might want to visit (besides SUPER offbeat places like Pakistan), but they also give you a robust amount of coverage that includes almost any travel disaster that may befall you, short of being impaled by a rogue unicorn.
Their insurance is SUPER customizable, meaning that you can extend, or even change. your policy while you’re on the road (So, if you last-minute decide to travel somewhere else after you solo travel Paris, then you can totally extend your policy while away from home.).
Amzing no? However, the real question is, what plan should you get?
Easy! If all your gear is worth less than $1000, get the basic plan.
If you’re a not-so-fancy travel blogger like me and your camera, laptop, tablet, and phone EASILY cost over a $1000, then the explorer plan is where it’s at (both offer emergency medical coverage of up to $100,000).
Be the responsible travel enthusiast that I know you are and get yout travel insurance NOW!
The Best Time to Visit Paris
Although Paris is prone to year-round awesomeness:
There are definitely some months during which the City of Lights is infinitely more enjoyable than others – for both you and your wallet!
Here’s a quick little test for you. Close your eyes and imagine Paris in your head.
Now, what season is it?
Chances are that you’ve probably just envisioned a vibrantly, green, springtime scene of this amazing city (bonus points if the Eiffel Tower made a guest appearance in your daydream).
And you’re not alone.
Because everyone and their brother’s, sister’s, cousin’s, dog goes goo-goo ga-ga over Paris in the springtime.
There have been songs written about it. Need I say more?
While Paris is indeed, notoriously lovely throughout the spring, visit during this time of year and you’ll see a SEVERE hike in prices – similarly, prices also increase around Valentine’s Day and the weekends around it.
So if spring isn’t the best time to travel to Paris, then what about summer?
Like with most other cities in Europe, summer usually means huge crowds, long lines, high accommodation prices, and an intense wave of heat and humidity.
The best time to go to Paris is usually during a shoulder season, so between September and October or February and April.
Because this is when:
Prices are cheaper, the city is FAR less crowded, and the weather is pretty dang pleasant, even well into late October!
Winter can also be an affordable time to visit.
Prices will rise during Christmas and New Year. It will also be hella cold outside, so dress accordingly!
How to Get from the Paris Airport to the City
The good news?
Regardless of whether you arrive in Charles De Gaulle airport, or in the more southerly Orly airport, there ara e number of different ways that you can easily get into the city center!
Catching the train is the most obvious choice, and is a great idea in a country that is known for its fast and efficient rail system.
And if you’re arriving at Charles De Gaulle airport?
Well, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s actually incredibly easy to find your way to the airport’s train station (despite the airport itself being freaking huge).
There are literally, signs EVERYWHERE!
It’s impossible, even for a directionally challenged human such as myself, to get lost.
Once you’ve made it to the train station, you’ll want to take the “B” line all the way to the city centre (Thankfully, CDG airport is a terminus station, so you physically can’t go in the wrong direction.).
If you arrive in Paris via Orly, you can just board a Metro train from the airport’s south terminal.
Once aboard the metro:
Be sure to get off at Antony (that’s a station, not a person) station and transfer to the “B” line, which will be moving towards Charles De Gaulle airport.
You’ll be whisked through through the city center, including the Gare Nord and the station closest to Notre Dame, and can easily get off at whichever station is closest to your hotel.
If you’re not-so-fond of trains or metros, then you can always just pay a little more, put your feet up, and enjoy the ride on one of the airport’s many, express bus services.
My favorite is run by Le Bus Direct.
I love them because not only can you buy your tickets in advance, online, but they also have regular departures from both Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports.
These Uber-comfortable buses head straight into the city centre, and make convenient stops at Gare de Lyon, the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs-Elysees.
You can even use their service to transfer between Charles De Gaulle and Orly!
Yup, behold the miracle that is modern, public transportation
Solo Travel Paris: The 12 Best Places to Visit in the City
1. The Catacombs
Is there anything LESS romantic than walking through a series of cavernous, underground tunnels, studded with human skulls, and various other human remains?
Exactly, making this the perfect Paris attraction for solo travelers.
Throw in some dark, damp, and uber creepy tunnels and you begin to feel like you are in a horror movie where the serial killer is just wanting to jump out at you while you are innocently listening to your audioguide (insert creepy yet suspenseful horror music here).
Now in case you don’t know what the catacombs are, they are a series of tunnels and quarries that were used to house human remains from the Cemetery of the Innocents when the Cemetery became a source of infection for local residents in 1785..
To address the issue:
The Council of State decided to prohibit further use of the Cemetery and instead, had the brilliant idea of housing these remains in the disused quarries that later became known as the Catacombs.
But the bottom line is that the Catacombs are super fun and interesting. Just make sure that you get the audio guide because some of the information placards are easily overlooked in the dark and cavernous tunnels.
***The catacombs are on the way to the airport so you can explore them before you head home. They also only took
me an hour and a half to go through so a good half day trip.***
***You can also shorten your wait by purchasing a Paris Catacombs SKIP THE LINE TICKET. So worth it. ***
2. Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is one of the best sights for females traveling alone in Paris since it’s a beautiful place to take a walk and marvel at the ornate gravestones of the multitude of celebrities buried here.
It’s a cemetery, so you don’t feel this compelling need to hold anyone’s hand. I also love the quaint feel of this picturesque space, with a series of cobbled paths that line an avenue of intricately carved gravestones.
The cemetery is also quite large, at 110 acres and is actually the biggest cemetery in all of Paris.
And while there are many entrances into the cemetery:
I suggest using the main entrance on the Boulevard de Ménilmontant since this is where the cemetery office is. Here you can find such essentials as bathrooms, maps, and even guided tours.
Now I cannot emphasize this enough:
Use the restrooms before you enter the cemetery because there is literally nowhere else to use the bathroom. Trust me, you don’t want to end up like me, ducking and diving behind a bush and a gravestone as copious amounts of tourists filter through the cobbled paths.
Make sure you grab a free map from the administration building since this cemetery is easy to get lost in.
All the most famous graves in the cemetery are labeled on this map. So this means that you can have your own little cemetery style scavenger hunt as you find the final resting place of celebrities like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, etc.
Because some of the graves are difficult to find:
I would plan to spend between two and three hours here, which seems like an eternity (pun intended) but I swear, you won’t be bored to death (Pun intended again. I like to live on the wild side. LoL).
***Be sure to visit the grave of Victor Noir, a journalist who famously died in a duel. Since then, his statue has since become something of a fertility symbol. Due to the naturalistic style of the sculpture, there is a rather prominent fold in Noir’s trousers. It is said that rubbing this area and leaving a flower in Noir’s hat guarantees that a woman will find a husband within the year.***
Another one of the many must do Paris experiences is Sainte-Chapelle.
I love it here because I just sit and admire the insanely gorgeous, awe-inspiring assortment of stained glass windows. I just close my eyes and let my soul absorb the peace and serenity that has inhabited these hollow walls.
I had never even heard of this place before I visited Paris. The only cathedral I actually associated with Paris, like everyone else on the planet, was Notre Dame.
I mean, it has a Disney movie named after it so clearly, it is something special, right (Wait, there was a book first by Victor Hugo? Just kidding. I swear I don’t get all my information from Disney movies, just 99% of it. LoL)?
Anyway, moving away from Disney:
What I love about Sainte-Chappelle is that when the sun hits the enormous and amazingly intricate stained glass windows here, the entire building sparkles.
Rainbows burst to life right before your eyes and you don’t know where to turn because there is simply too much beauty to behold. It honestly feels like the walls have been adorned with exotic gemstones that continually pulsate with color.
You’ll be so captivated by the beauty here, that you can’t even miss chatting with anyone. You’ll just be too caught up in reading the biblical tales depicted in these stained glass masterpieces to notice anything else.
***Save some money and purchase a Sainte-Chappelle and Conciergerie combined ticket which is totally worth it. Also visit early in the day to avoid the crowds. After you’re done, be sure to treat yourself to some Berthillon, a sumptuous, french ice-cream. The best Berthillon in Paris is found on the island so be sure to get some while you’re here.***
Not only is the museum housed in an exquisite, art-nouveau style railway station, but the paintings here literally take your breath away.
Clearly, I had no problem being alone because if someone was there, I probably would have ignored them since the art here is THAT captivating (One of the best solo trips for females).
But it’s easy to be gobsmacked by the works of such iconic masters as Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas.
This list doesn’t even account for the vast amount of refined sculptures that decorate the ground floor. To say this place is a feast for your eyes is the understatement of the century.
And while the museum is large:
It is not overbearingly so. Therefore, you can see the three floors of the museum in a day, depending on how leisurely you stroll through the artwork. But, I would get there early since the museum does get pretty crowded, especially on Tuesdays and Sundays.
This museum also has a lovely cafe with delightful food and chic decor. The room has tall ceilings, with large windows that allow the sunlight to envelop the topiary beneath.
***To save time, buy your Musee d’Orsay Reserved Access 1-Day Admission ticket before you visit. Because let’s be honest, no one likes waiting in line…EVER. ***
5. Walk Along the Seine
The rich culture and history of Paris make it a very walkable city, with a multitude of self-guided walking tours that you can experience.
That is why you NEED to walk along the Seine!
It’s mandatory if you come to Paris. Okay, it’s really not but if you don’t marvel at the Seine then you’ll be missing out.
Because if the people are the soul of Paris, then the Seine is the body that they rely on to breath. This river is an intricate part of Parisian culture, both past, and present, and defines who Parisians are and how they spend their time.
Simply stroll along the boulevard, by the river, and watch as people eat cheese and drink wine along the shore (there’s a fair bit of canoodling and cigarette smoking too).
Friends will laugh and rip open crusty pieces of baguette. Heck, you can even stop and get a massage along the river for only €10.
After your massage:
Meander along the shore and watch the boats cruise by. Take in the French way of life as it unfolds right before your eyes.
Shops, restaurants, and beach chairs, with beach umbrellas, all dot the shore and make the river a truly exciting and vivacious place to be.
***We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for a food break! Do you ever feel awkward while eating alone? Yeah, you and me both. To actually enjoy dining alone in Paris, I always recommend sitting at the bar, visiting a food market, or getting a table outside so that you can enjoy watching the people as they stroll by. Personally, some of my favorite restaurants for solo dining in Paris include Le Rigmarole, Clown Bar, Creperie Broceliande, Breizh Cafe, and Marché des Enfants Rouges food market.***
6. Palais de Tokyo
I’m not a HUGE modern art person. I appreciate the concept that anything can be art, but can’t muster seem to muster up the energy to get excited about a piece of rope, lying on the floor, that represents the inexplicable pain of the world’s political refugees.
When I decided to visit the Palais de Tokyo, I didn’t expect much from this Paris hidden gem.
I was gobsmacked (thanks thesaurus) by one of the most unique places in Paris and one of the best modern art museums that I’ve been to.
These exhibitions transport you into a beautifully quirky, dystopian reality where you contemplate your existence in ways you never thought possible.
There is a lovely outdoor restaurant and club area that is poppin’ things to do in Paris alone at night. Is that what the hipsters say? I’m old and crotchety and clueless
Explore the exterior of the museum, behind the main entrance because this is where you’ll get one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower, with the magnificent Seine River in the foreground.
***This museum doesn’t open until 12 pm but closes at 12 am. So if you arrive before it opens, you can come back later or check out the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris right next door.***
***If you want to meet solo travelers in Paris, there are a ton of amazing guided tours throughout Paris, like this Medieval Paris private walking tour.***
7. Laduree: Home to Some of the Best Paris Desserts!
I love Laduree. I know it’s cliche but I can’t help it. Words just fail to express the glorious deliciousness of a freshly baked, rose petal macaron.
Sigh, it tastes how love feels.
Plus, macarons always taste better in France. So consider it your civic duty to try one sine the macaron is basically a French national treasure.
This store is actually the Laduree flagship location (there are eight locations in Paris) and first opened in 1862, which is older than many countries across the globe. Yeah, let THAT sink in.
This store still has an opulent, upstairs tea room where you can sit, relax, and enjoy full table service amidst the charming, pale green, old-world decor that makes you wonder if you actually left your horse and buggy outside.
But if you feel awkward dining alone in Paris:
Not to worry since Laduree has a beautiful assortment of macarons and pastries that you can wrap up, for later, at the to go counter.
8. Musee de Montmartre
One of my favorite stops along my walking tour of Montmartre:
Musee de Montmartre is probably one of the most charming museums that I’ve ever been to since it is housed in a gorgeous, 17th-century manor house that explains the history of this Parisian neighborhood through paintings, documents, and memorabilia that all commemorate Montmartre’s Bohemian past as a haven for brooding artists.
You can even step inside the recreated studio of the famed painter Suzanne Valadon, who lived and worked along with some of the most famous artists of the age like Dali, Picasso, and more (dare I call it a Surreal experience? Get it? Okay, I’ll stop).
My Favorite Part?
The exquisite Renoir Gardens. Not only do you get panoramic views of the surrounding neighborhoods, but you’re also treated to an idyllic garden, filled with charming trees, wooden swings, and narrow, flower-lined walkways that are overgrown with vine encrusted archways.
The most fantastic part is that when you follow the pathway downhill and straight back, you’ll find a not so secret view of the Clos Montmartre vineyards, one of the last operational vineyards in all of Paris (since the vineyards are closed to the public, this is the best view you’ll get).
***If you’re a fan of wine, then you may want to try a cheese and wine walking tour through Marais, one of the prettiest areas in all of Paris. A fantastic way to experience the food culture of this amazing city.***
***If you plan to spend a few days in Paris, then get the Paris Card to help you save money in Paris. There are 2, 3, or 6 day passes that give you “free” entry to over 60 attractions. Free my fanny since you have to pay for the pass.***
9. Walk Along The Promenade Plantee (AKA Coulée Verte René-Dumont)
Since I’m from New York:
I’m a huge fan of the High Line. Maybe you’ve heard of it? LoL. If not, it’s an above ground, railroad track that was transformed into a beloved, walking promenade that is frequented by tourists and locals alike.
What do I NOT like?
The crowds of selfie-stick wielding tourists. So instead of enjoying a leisurely stroll, I feel like I’m being corraled like a herd of cattle.
But this is not the case with Promenade Plantee!
Sure, this park is also an above-ground railway track that was converted into an oasis of greenery but it’s much less crowded than the High Line and was actually created first.
Like way back in the ye olde year of 1993.
So if you’re looking for a gorgeous green space that you can enjoy by yourself, away from the crowds, then look no further than the Promenade Plantee.
***Enjoy railroad tracks? Then check out La Petite Ceinture, a hauntingly beautiful set of abandoned railroad tracks in Paris. ***
10. Discover Unicorns At The Musée Cluny
Let’s hop on the unicorn bandwagon for a moment.
And no, this isn’t another post about where to find the most Instagrammable, unicorn latte.
Instead, the Musée Cluny is a fabulous museum where you can learn all about the origin of unicorns and their historical significance in European society.
This museum is dedicated to all things Medieval and currently (until November 25, 2019) hosts an exhibit that explores the development and significance of unicorn based myths around the world.
An intellectual approach to our continued infatuation with all things unicorn.
At the heart of this exhibit?
A beautiful set of tapestries that are aptly entitled, “The Lady and the Unicorn”, all of which were woven in the 1500s, as society moved from the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.
This museum is located at the heart of the Latin Quarter, so you can easily explore other top Paris attractions like the Pantheon, Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore, Jardin de Luxembourg, Place St. Michel, Eglise Sulpice, and more.
11. Jardin du Luxembourg
When traveling solo to Paris it’s impossible to avoid the city’s beautiful public gardens.
But really, why would you?
These ethereal, oasis’ of green space effortlessly transport you back in time, to an era when ladies wore full length dresses, gentlemen donned top hats, and horse drawn carriages ruled the streets.
And Jardin du Luxembourg is no exception.
Wander through Paris’ second largest park and you’ll be delighted by a plethora of quaint chestnut groves, lush gardens, giddy children sailing 1920’s sailboats along the calm waters of the Grand Bassin pond, vivacious puppet shows captivating the hearts of children at Theatre du Luxembourg, carousels, pony rides, and more.
But it gets better!
This iconic, Parisian garden is also home to the French Parliament and has dozens of different varieties of apples that are still grown in the south orchards. Local bees also produce honey in the nearby Rucher du Luxembourg and have done so since the 19th century.
It’s a truly magical place that is just big enough to get lost in but not so big that you feel totally overwhelmed and like you could never see it all.
This place also has this beautiful air of nostalgia that leaves you feeling completely at home, even if it’s only your first visit.
A fantastic place to while away a relaxing afternoon while enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of the setting sun.
12. Explore Some of the Local Farmers Markets.
Not surprisingly, food is a BIG deal in Paris.
So, if you’re like me and enjoy food even more than breathing, then stop by some of the most amazing farmer’s markets, or Marche, in all of France.
As the months get warmer:
These charming local markets will pop up throughout the city and provide shoppers with a heartbreakingly beautiful selection of (and delicious) berries, fresh breads, cheeses, and fish that basically look like they’ve been plucked right out of the ocean.
If you don’t really feel like eating in a restaurant all by yourself, then stock up on some delicious, fresh food here and outfit yourself for a quaint Parisian picnic along the Seine or beneath the iconic, Eiffel Tower.
Personally, though, my two fave famers markets are:
Marche Maubert – This markets operates throughout the week and has permanent stalls for vendors. Stop by on either Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, and enjoy and an enormous produce and flower section. Also, don’t forget to stop by La Maison Isabelle, which won the Gran Prix du Croissant in 2018 (So yeah, this patisserie is kind of sort of a big deal).
Rue Mouffetard Market- Open throughout the morning, between Tuesday and Sunday, this market is an enchanting place to stroll through and soak up some authentic Parisian culture. Which makes total sense when you realize that this market was also featured in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, A Movable Feast the American, where he referred to this street aa a “wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe”.
Best Places to Stay in Paris
Paris is one of the most-visited cities in the world.
Solo travel Paris and you’ll find plenty of hotels that will satisfy the needs of just about any type of traveler who is sitting there wondering where to stay in Paris.
That also means that it can all get a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re endlessly scouring the internet, desperately searching for the perfect hotel for YOU!
Because let’s keep it real.
I don’t think anyone actually likes having too many choices.
Am I right?
Well, regardless of how you ACTUALLY feel, pretend that you agree. Because we’re about to swan dive into some of the radest hotels in all of Paris.
Budget Hotels in Paris
1. Kyriad Paris 18 – Porte de Clignancourt – Montmartre
This hotel has a quiet location, away from the busier parts of Montmartre, and comes highly recommended by my fellow solo travelers!
It’s also situated just opposite of the Porte de Clignancourt metro station (so no need to be wandering the streets late at night), and is right next door to one of the city’s most popular flea markets.
This hotel is an ideal home base for anyone who wants to endlessly explore the city, and all without those spectacularly high Paris prices that you’ll find at other hotels.
Because rooms here start at just $90 per night (cheap for Paris) and include private bathrooms, WiFI, and a complimentary, daily, breakfast buffet.
2. Hotel des Pyrenees, Paris
Located a little further out in the 20th Arrondissement:
This clean and comfortable hotel has safe, clean rooms that are also just a short metro ride away from many of Paris’ top attractions.
This budget-friendly hotel is also tucked away in a quiet neighborhood that is known, among Paris solo travelers, for being a safe place.
And while rooms here are fairly no-frills:
They include all of the basic amenities that you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
The prices here are also super-reasonable, with rooms that start at just $86 per night.
I’m fairly certain that you’ll be 100% satisfied with what you get for this price!
Mid-range Hotels in Paris
3. Royal Saint Michel
This place offers its guests SUCH good value!
You’re basically getting a classically-designed hotel, with a fantastic location (the Latin Quarter, just opposite Notre Dame), that is practically right next door to some of the most important transportation links in the city.
Rooms here are actually quiet, even though this exquisite hotel sits along a busy road!
When it comes to the rooms themselves, they start at $145 per night and are furnished with everything that you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Think comfy beds, high-quality linens, and mattress toppers, just to guarantee that you sleep as well as humanly possible!
4. Le Glam’s Hotel
Want to stay somewhere a bit different?
How about in a hotel that is chic, trendy, and daringly Parisian?
Who DOESN’T want to sleep in a room with giant macarons on the wall?
I know I do! So:
If all the aforementioned quirkiness sounds perfectly divine to you, then Le Glam is the hotel of your dreams!
Located a bit further away from the city center:
This stylish hotel has rooms that start at $147 per night and is within walking distance of both a metro station AND a tram station.
It’s just a fun place to be, with achingly fashionable decor that transforms this hotel into a veritable, Instagrammer’s paradise.
This hotel gets extra brownie points for its super friendly, and helpful, staff members!
Luxury Hotels in Paris
5. Le Damantin Hotel & Spa
What’s the one, quintessential view that everyone wants while they’re in Paris?
Why, an exquisite, panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower.
So, how about a swank AF hotel that will let you endless spy on the Iron Lady, and all from the incredible comfort of your room?
You could literally sit around all day, in a plush robe, and sip champagne while staring at the Eiffel Tower.
However, aside from the posh views:
This hotel is also known for its friendly staff, soundproofed rooms, and small, but well-maintained pool.
And while rooms here do start at a hefty, $400 per night:
It’s a small price to pay for in-room views of the Eiffel Tower.
You DESERVE to live the luxe life…even if it’s just while you’re on vacation.
6. Maison Breguet
This hotel prides itself for giving guests “celebrity treatment with world-class service”.
And trust me:
They’re not wrong.
Because this modern, chic, spotlessly clean hotel also has a high-quality, on-site restaurant, as well as a divine spa.
You can start your day off with a relaxing massage before going the short distance into the city, to enjoy everything that Paris has to offer.
Each room here starts at $280 per night and comes fully equipped with all of the facilities that you’d expect from a five-star hotel, making for a beyond, comfortable stay.
Staff here are also incredibly helpful since literally, no request is too much of a bother!
Where to Eat in Paris
As you solo travel Paris:
Eating alone can get, well, kind of awkward.
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually a ton of different places in Paris that make dining by yourself feel…pretty dang awesome!
To avoid feeling like some insanely weird, social pariah, who is constantly dining alone in some swanky, uber-romantic, pinkie’s up while you drink, kind of restaurant, here is a list of some of the BEST places to eat alone while in Paris.
Markets and Bakeries
Although it’s easy to find a reasonably-priced French supermarket, like Carrefour and Franprix, around the city, it’s definitely WAY more fun to check out an actual, local food market.
And luckily for you:
Paris is full of them.
Now, stumble upon one:
And you’ll not only get amazingly fresh produce, but you’ll also discover a fun, and relatively inexpensive way to take in the sights and travel like a local (sort of)!
But, where can you find these gems of wonder?
Well, some of the city’s most popular food markets include Marche des Enfants Rouge in Le Marais (Centrally located and near many of the city’s top attractions!), and Marche d’Aligre in the 12th Arondissment.
Bakeries and patisseries are also fantastic places to dine alone in Paris.
Not only do the baked goods taste amazing, but it’s incredibly easy to go in, get a freshly-baked baguette or croque monsieur, and have an alfresco meal wherever you like!
And some of my personal faves include the universally-loved Coquelicot in Montmartre (It looks like the European bakery of your dreams, with shelf after shelf of dazzling baked goods) and The Smiths Bakery, which produces mouthwatering French quiches despite its seemingly English name!
Paris basically started what we now know of today as the modern cafe.
It should come as surprise to exactly no one that Paris is home to THE most magnificent cafe culture on the planet; with the possible exception of Vienna.
You’ll actually struggle to find areas in the city that don’t have a cafe.
They’re an ideal place for solo travelers to dine since it’s totally, socially acceptable to eat all by your lonesome in a place like this.
Not only will you enjoy a nice, filling meal, but it’ll also cost you a whole lot less than anything that you’d find at a fancy AF restaurant.
So seriously, what’s not to love?
Exactly! Glad we agree.
Now, some of my favies include Zia near the Eiffel Tower (A top-rated, breakfast spot that serves up some divine cakes, including a beyond delicious Dutch baby pancake) and Dose in the Latin Quarter (Think smooth/silky coffee and generous plates full of salad).
***Wanna learn more about all of the amazing cafes in Paris? Then check out my post about 13 of the most famous cafes in Paris.***
Don’t be scared by French cuisine.
Because in truth:
It’s really not all snails, frog’s legs, and steak tartare.
Eating solo at a restaurant in Paris is way more socially acceptable than in many other parts of the world,
If you’re still not sure whether dining alone is 100% your THING, then you can always try it out at a restaurant that has a bar.
Dining alone at a restaurant bar is infinitely less awkward than sitting at a table, all by yourself.
Don’t ask me why though.
Maybe it’s because you have the bartender to talk to and the bar to stare at?
Whatever the reason though, eating alone at a restaurant bar is totally cool, especially since many French restaurants are infinitely less formal than you might think.
And if you’re looking for a top restaurant experience that won’t break the bank (because Paris can get pretty pricey when it comes to food), then check out Il Etait Un Square.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that this place is JUST another burger joint.
Because, I promise, you definitely won’t find any fast food here.
You’ll be treated to a menu full of high quality burgers that are made fresh daily and served to you in a totally relaxed environment.
Making this one of my FAVE restaurants for anyone who wants solo travel Paris.
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, and with food that is a smidge healthier, then take advantage of Paris’ thriving Lebanese food scene, with a visit to Olive & Thym.
Located near the Pompidou Centre:
The food here is, DUH, Lebanese (AKA lost of aalafel dishes), but with a unique, western twist, creating a delicious, and healthy, alternative to many of the other restaurants that you’ll find in the city!
A 4-day, Solo Paris itinerary
Start your day with breakfast at the iconic, Angelina Cafe.
And if you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try their most famous creation, the Mont Blanc, which is a delicious combination of meringue, whipped cream, chestnut cream, and vermicelli.
Head to the Louvre.
Because in all seriousness:
A trip to Paris just isn’t complete without a visit to this famous museum!
And while you will have to queue to see the Mona Lisa:
An in-person visit with this famous lady is well worth your time.
Do try and grab your Louvre Museum Timed Entrance Ticket, prior to your visit, since ticket lines for this museum can be hellishly long.
Stop by Notre Dame.
And while you can’t visit the interior, due to a tragic fire in 2019 (the building is still being tested to ensure it’s safe for visitors), the church’s exterior is still awe-inspiring enough to warrant a visit, even though you’ll only be able to see it from afar.
And If you’ve got some binoculars handy:
Be sure to check out the exquisite detail in the stonework!
After a nice lunch at Pizza Sarno (It’s right near Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, so you can stop by while you’re here), stop by Palais Royal, a hidden gem that you’re sure to love.
The central courtyard here is filled with black and white-striped columns, of various sizes, and is one of the best spots in the city to people watch and grab an Insta-awesome shot (or 10).
Enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner along the Seine:
There’s no need for a fancy restaurant when one of the most beautiful parts of the city is your dining room!
Grab a baguette from a boulangerie, and enjoy an al fresco dining experience along the banks of the Seine.
Truly the perfect place for watching the world go by as the sun sets!
Start your day with breakfast at Chez Ribe, which sits a mere three-minutes away from the Eiffel Tower.
You can get everything you need for a good, French breakfast, including fresh and flaky croissants.
And all for less then €10 per person.
After breakfast, take in the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower,
Because let’s keep it real.
This is the moment that you’ve been waiting for, ever since you set foot in Paris!
Admire the Eiffel Tower from below (There’s plenty of different angles to photograph this structure from) and then ascend to the top, for amazing views of the city.
Do try and arrive early to avoid wicked awful lines. And be sure to get your tickets WELL IN ADVANCE, and with SUMMIT access, for the best possible experience.
After all this architectural awesomeness:
It’s time for lunch at Le Bosquet, a wonderfully inventive eatery where the ravioli au gratin is the stuff that gastronomic dreams are made of.
What, feel like seeing more of Paris?
Then why not give your feet a rest and board one of the many river cruises that depart near the Eiffel Tower?
Watch the city slip past and take in some amazing views of some of the most beautiful buildings in Paris.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Champs-Elysees, one of the most beautiful avenues in the world.
Known the world over as a shopper’s paradise (though pack some serious cash if you intend to go on a spree here), it’s a nice place to people watch, especially as the sun sets.
Marvel at the Arc de Triomphe, that seriously huge arch that sits at the top of the Champs-Elysees.
Bonus points if you can view this edifice without having your jaw drop to the floor.
And while you may be tempted to cross the busy round-about here, do yourself a favor and use the subway tunnel if you want to climb to the top.
I personally think that the views from the Arc de Triomphe are BETTER than the one’s from the Eiffel Tower.
And like with everything in Paris, get your Arc de Triomphe in ADVANCE to avoid waiting in a God awful line.
Before you leave though:
Be sure to enjoy a refined, Italian dinner at Ristorante Tosca, where you can order an asparagus salad with quinoa black truffle soufflé and linguine with clam sauce, both of which can be found on their prix fixe menu.
Walk to Pont Alexandre III bridge, one of the most underrated sights in Paris.
This bridge often gets overlooked, but it’s an utter beauty (and in a city as gorgeous as Paris, that’s saying something) and gives you fantastic views of Les Invalides.
Start with breakfast at Le Grenier a Pain.
It’s a simple bakery that is known for baking some of the best baguettes in Paris.
Need I say more?
The croissants and coffee here are also equally delicious (Plus, you can always stuff a baguette in your bag for later!).
You can either walk, or take the funicular (for a small fee), to Sacre Coeur.
Regardless of how you get there though:
Take some time to marvel at the beauty of this gorgeous church, with its curves and spires, before heading inside for a closer look (Also be on the look out for pickpockets).
Once you’ve explored the church:
Take a stroll through Montmartre, that charming neighborhood in Paris that has been inhabited by aspiring artists since, well, forever.
Be sure to meander through the incredibly photogenic, cobblestone streets and admire the many quaint, sidewalk cafes here.
Stroll past the Moulin Rouge before enjoying a hearty lunch at La Taverne, a fantastic Italian restaurant that is known for being one of the best in the city.
Fill up on a simple, but delicious menu of home-cooked pasta, before making your way to Opera Garnier.
For the best views of this gorgeous building:
You’re going to need to go inside. But thankfully, you definitely don’t need to buy tickets to a show since this building is open for tours, from which you can marvel at the exquisite, fin de siecle decor, which is amongst some of the most opulent in the world!
***If you get hungry along the way, procure some baguettes and cheese from a local store and enjoy a nice, picnic dinner beneath the Eiffel Tower.***
After your visit to the opera house:
Marvel at some of the Impressionist masterpieces that you’ll find at the Musee d’Orsay, an art museum that sits inside a former train station (Don’t forget to check out the fabulous, clock-face window on the top floor)!
Start with breakfast at Treize Bakery.
The name of this place is kind of deceptive since they don’t just do baked goods; they do breakfast.
They use locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to help elevate your morning meal into something truly special.
If you can:
Try their homemade Greek yogurt with rhubarb compote! Super delish!
Take a quiet stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful green spaces in all of Paris.
Designed as a park paradise for children:
It’s from here that you’ll be able to lose the hordes of tourists, at least for a little bit.
Take some time to watch local children sailing their boats through the large, central pond, and enjoy a traditional, French puppet show.
It’s a short walk to Eggs & Co. for lunch, a modern little cafe with bright white walls, chic black tables, and light, country-style chairs.
Like the name suggests:
Many of the delicious dishes here are egg-centric, like my personal favorite, the Oeufs Bénédictine, salade, fromage frais aux herbes.
Better known as Eggs Benedict, to my American brethren, and served with a side of salad and an order of cheese fries (Hell 2 the yeah!).
Explore Paris’ iconic Jewish Quarter, which is brimming over with vintage shops and delicious, kosher bakeries.
Conclude your time here at the Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris, and former home of literary iconic like Victor Hugo.
Now, if you STILL haven’t had your fill of art yet:
Then stop by the newly renovated, Musee National Picasso, which is a museum devoted entirely to the life and works of Picasso, the famous Spanish artist who spent most of his life in France.
And while there are plenty of Picasso’s paintings on display here:
You can also see works from other great artists here, like Matisse and Degas – pieces that were formerly part of Picasso’s own, private collection.
Conclude your final evening in Paris with dinner at Cafe Barge, a former river barge turned restaurant, where you can enjoy a posh dinner along the Seine and celebrate a successful solo trip to Paris.
***For a more in-depth Paris itinerary, check out my extensive, 4 days in Paris itinerary right NOW! Go on, I’ll wait here while you read it (insert winkie emoji here)!***
GET YOUR FREE, PRINTABLE, 4 DAYS PARIS ITINERARY TO HELP PLAN YOUR SOLO PARIS TRAVEL EXPERIENCE!
Well, now you understand what makes Paris one of the best European cities for solo female travelers.
Stick to this Paris solo travel itinerary and like me, you’ll fall in love with solo travel in the romance capital of the world.
So if you’re ready to start traveling to Paris alone then pin this now and read it again later!