I am a 35 year old Brasilian girl, who speaks english fluently, and I plan to go to Europe in July. I would like to stay 2 months but I need some opinions. I will be going to Paris and London, but how safe are these and other french cities? Im going to France to only increase my french, not find english speakers. So
other cities in France I dont know about other than going to Paris. I may go to another country too but I dont know.
So my first concern is how safe for a 35 yr old girl travelling by herself in Europe, but able to speak english w/o problems? What counties would you suggest is not good for myself?
Second, where in France would you suggest also?
I know the dos and donts going to other countries, but each place is different. I do know that in Paris at night, Crimeé is the place to stay away from.
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jan-2010, at 11:47 by QueenLily ]
Errm you mean to improve your French, right? As opposed to "increase"
Europe in general is pretty safe, but in big cities, like anywhere else in the world, there are inevitably some petty crimes here and there but overall, as long as the usual precautions are taken, there shouldn't be any problem. Western European countries will probably be more reassuring choices for you than Eastern European ones, if you're already having such apprehension right now. I've met girls travelling on their own all over Europe for 3-6 months, strangely many are Australians.
It's possible to speak French everywhere, even in Paris. So long as you start your conversation there in French, people will respond as such. Even if you don't begin in French and someone starts talking to you, unless that person is tourist, they'll assume you know French and starts speaking in the language anyway.
It depends what kind of cities are you looking to live in, if you want to go beyond Paris. Strasbourg and Nantes are lovely, but may feel too much of a university town to suit you. Lyon would be a good option too, especially if you're a foodie. If you want something with a closer feel of home, then go to French Riviera although I'd say avoid Nice or Cannes which are overpopulated by tourists.
Actually, regardless of location, at night, you would be safe not to be at isolated places by yourself. Neighbourhoods bordering the peripherique in general can get rough, but hey, even Chatelet in the centre of Paris can get dodgy in parts. Just sayin'.
they'll assume you know French and starts speaking in the language
Errrm, you mean 'start' speaking in the language... Sorry Lil Lil I couldn't resist that one.
But seriously, Queen Lily (are you reallly a Queen) I don't think you will have a problem so long as you stick to the basic rules of staying safe in your home country. Don't travel in dark back-streets alone at night; be careful about offers from strangers which appear to be too good to be true... they usually are; mind sure to find out as soon as you can when you arrive in a town or city, the areas to avoid; if traveling by train, find an occupied carriage and not a carriage on your own... lots of common sense in other words.
If you follow this principle you shouldn't have a problem. Like anywhere as a single woman, always keep an eye on your drinks, making sure that nobody can put anything in them without you noticing.
But, other than that, look forward to your time in Europe, I'm sure it'll be great.
I may go to another country too but I dont know.
Alternative to France for French-speaking countries would be Monaco, Belgium and Luxembourg although bear in mind that Belgium and Luxembourg have other official languages too, which mean you'll need to be somewhat selective in where you go in order to immerse yourself with French language.