I will be arriving in Paris by train at 8:30pm (granted there are no delays) on a Sunday evening as a solo traveler. Already feeling a little anxious about being in the city at night after a long train ride. Any suggestions on hotels close by or is there a taxi service that is right outside the train station? Don't want to spend more than $200 and will only be there a night as I fly home the next afternoon.
There is an Ibis as well as a Novotel at the station. If you decide to stay elsewhere, of course there will be a taxi rank outside the station.
The Novotel is just on the north side of the station next to Hall 3. It's a 4-star with an indoor pool and might just make your budget. https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1735-novotel-paris-gare-de-lyon/index.shtml
The Citizen M is on the south side of the station. There is walkway bridge above the street. A little more basic, less money. https://www.citizenm.com/destinations/paris/paris-gare-de-lyon-hotel
Eight-thirty PM is not "late" in Paris. Many people will be at dinner then, and lots of people will be on the streets; it won't be deserted, although it won't be as busy on a Sunday as some other nights. Nothing to be anxious about.
There will be a taxi rank at the station. Follow signs for taxis, and do not accept any offer of a taxi from someone who approaches you - no matter how convincing, or what they say. Have the address of your hotel written out (including the 5 digit postal code starting with 75), so there will be no misunderstandings.
That said, if you are really only there to catch a plane the next day, you might as well stay near the station. Norma's and Sam's suggestions are good.
We stayed at the airport Citizen M last year and we loved it. If the one by G de L is similiar, which it should be, for a solo traveler it’s a great hotel. The rooms are small but very modern and you are encouraged to enjoy the common area lobby and restaurant. Many people relaxing, and visiting and and had a great vibe. We totally enjoyed this relaxed atmosphere, very different concept hotel. I’m just bringing this forward as the OP is solo and I think this is a good choice.
We stayed at the Ibis Paris Gare de Lyon Ledru Rollin in 2014 just because it was close to Gare de Lyon. It was inexpensive, but well-run with a good breakfast. I would stay there again if I had to catch an early train from Gare de Lyon, but not otherwise.
I just booked at citizenM - sounds like a great place for a solo traveler and easy to get to. Thank you all for the advice.