I'm considering travelling to Paris and would love any insight people have on being alone in Paris. I would be staying with some distant relatives. However, I figure my relatives will be working and such, so I'll be on my own for the most part. So a couple questions I have are:
Is it easy to meet other travellers while not staying at a hostel?
Is it easy to meet locals ( i know a bit of french)?
How awkward is it eating alone in a restaurant in Paris?
How safe is Paris at night? im 5 foot and 90 lbs, so I'd be a pretty easy target for anyone haha.
Well, for the first 2 questions the answer is no.
For your third question, I would say, yes very awkward. I am not talking about mcdonalds obviously.
And the last one, it depends in which part of the city you are. in general it is a safe city, but there are parts which are a bit more dodgy. In the center you are quite safe.
I did Paris alone a few years ago and loved the experience. I stayed at a small hotel, so I didn't meet many fellow travellers there, but I did manage to meet people to talk to every day - from locals who'd stop and chat to travellers who'd spot me on my own with my guidebook and come over to share their experieces. I met a nice Japanese tourist in Versailles and we spent the day going through the place and trying to communicate with each other. I even met my boyfriend in Pere Lachaise cemetery! Parisians can come across as cold and rude, but once you stop to talk to them they're very friendly. Use the French you know and it will be appreciated.
As for eating alone in restaurants, it's a personal thing. I wanted to travel alone, so I thought nothing of sitting down to eat near a window and watching the world go by. The waiters usually stopped to chat seeing as I was alone, or fellow diners would hear my accent and ask me questions. I even got 2 roses from some anonymous person at the first restaurant I stopped at.
Paris felt pretty safe to me at night. Stay in well lit areas and take a taxi back if it's getting really late. I found it was a bad idea to hover near Notre Dame after dusk - too many men on their own just hanging about.
Have a great time!
I think if you're visiting the major tourist areas, and are a reasonably outgoing sort, you will strike up plenty of conversations with other tourists. Contact with locals will be limited by your amount of spoken French, although I found Paris much friendlier than rural parts - more cosmopolitan obviously, and used to hearing all our strange accents and attempts to communicate. Most restaurant staff are young people and speak good enough english that you won't struggle, but efforts are always appreciated.
You might struggle if you're hoping to spend every evening clubbing with loads of new friends - it's not Sydney. But that really isn't why you go to Paris.
I don't think eating alone in parisian restaurants is hard at all. I have met many tourists travelling alone & would often strike up a conversation with them(I travel with my boyfriend), and have often seen people sitting alone in restaurants & bars, a bit more than I would at home probably.
Also, as far as safety I think you would have to take the same precautions you would anywere but most places I would consider pretty safe. The likes of Pigalle which has sex shops & he likes of the sexodrome(yes that actually is the name of it!) usually has some dodgy characters around, but there are so many tourists around I don't think you would feel that uncomfterable - you have to go to see the moulin rouge
As mentioned before, use your french and the locals will really appreciate it - but you should meet people no bother - go to O Sullivans on Grands Blvard - we met so many lovely people the first time we were there we just keep going back!
Thanks everyone, I'll deffinately be sure to check those places out!!
Among these posts my first one looked as if it was written for another city. We are talking about Paris right!? Am I living for the last 5 years here or was I actually day-dreaming?
My post is aimed to be very objective, to the point and gives the general attitude of this city and it is the point of view of a local and not a tourist.
English speaking friendly waiters in paris restaurants, locals coming and telling you their experiences!....well it sounds really nice, and I hope you experience the same and prove me wrong.
have a nice trip.