I am planning to visit Paris the week before Christmas. I will be traveling alone. Do you have any tips or advice?
Check to see what will be on at the Grand Palais and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. I once caught an amazing exhibition on fashion from the 70s and 80s at the Arts Decoratifs, but completely missed something equally fantastic at the Grand Palais because I didn't find out about it till I'd returned to the US.
Yes, Have Fun! Stay in a safe area, and buy a neck wallet to keep your credit cards/passport in. Buy a coin purse, because anything under 5eu is a coin, and keep your coins and some day money in that inside your purse. I stayed at the Hotel Eber Mars near the Eifel tower, and Messr. Eber runs a "tight ship!" No food or drinks upstairs especially alcohol. There's a nice little breakfast room/bar just off the lobby. He gave great advice for places to go and things to see, and he highly recommended buying a two day pass on the hop-on-hop off "red bus" that saved
me all kinds of $$ on cabs. Again, have fun but don't put your cell phone on a cafe table. The pick pockets are talented in Paris. I went every night for the lighting of the Eifel Tower and stayed near groups of families, who were delighted to let me take pictures of them. There are many very good inexpensive restaurants near the Eber Mars. Even excellent pizza. He will tell you where to go for creps or onion soup if you like.
I have travelled to Paris alone many times. My suggestions, www.paris-walks.com
They are a fantastic group and often you meet other people. On a few occasions I've lunched with people I've met on their tours. Don't be afraid is my advice. Get out there and do what you've always wanted to do. Don't let your being alone keep you from going out.
I spent 2 weeks alone in Paris this past September. I'm 60-something, perhaps you are younger, but you might get some ideas from my blog: cjtparis2013.blogspot.com - have a wonderful time.
I agree,, HAVE FUN. I find when I am visiting alone I get harrassed WAY less then with ohter people.. not speaking english,, less likely to look lost etc. I make a point of checking my maps and writing down which metro lines and stops I will use for the day.. so I tend to always look like I know where I am going. Walking tours are a great way to get a "fix" of talking to people,, personally I enjoy not talking much to others when in Paris.. its very much my "me" time.. love being able to spend my time doing exactly what I want all day long,, even if that means doing nothing at all.. or stopping for ice cream twice in same day! Keep your stuff safe.. don't carry all your eggs in one basket so to speak. I keep my cc and atm cards in hotel safe and just go out with one days spending money.. that way its not a catastrophe if I get pickpocketed ..if you are a major shoppper I guess that won't work, so just be sure to keep your bag completely zipped up , and in front of you, and stuff inside in an inner zipped pocket.
I lived alone in France/Paris last year. One of my favorite things was strolling around the city. There are so many wonderful museums & sights, and going alone and taking things in at your own pace is often better than being with someone else. Stop in cafes often for a coffee or glass of wine. Don't forget the outdoor Xmas markets that you will see all over town. The ones on the Champs Elysee and La Defense are particularly good as are the department stores. I imagine you will want to do some shopping (or at least browsing)? Check out Le Bon Marche (including the Epicerie next door), Printemps, Galleries Lafayette, and BHV. (Printemps and Galleries have rooftop terrace cafes that are wonderful places to stop and rest, and have great views. For more reasonably priced shopping, check out any outdoor markets you see, and the shops along the rue du Rivoli (from Marais area down towards Concorde) they are very good. I suggest having lunch at Cafe du Marche (on rue Cler), and Cafe Constant (on rue St. Dominique), L'AS du Falafel (in the Marais - sit inside a great scene), Coffee Parisien (American style food, rue Princess, 6th arr), and the casual cafeteria style cafe at the BHV department store are places I hung out in often. All easy to go to alone, and if you hit them slightly before or after lunch hour rush, should have no trouble getting a table.
Get the latest Rick Steves Paris guidebook it will have everything you need to know! Have an across body bag with your valuables inaccessible. Learn basic French phrases. Bring a small camera and take lots of photos. Go with confidence and have a great time.
Lucille, You will be in Paris. that will require you to have tons of FUN!
Enjoy yourself and Paris. Im sure there are plenty of single people around...... Happy trails.
Donna, Alexander, Teresa, BG, Ray, Pat and Carolyn, THANK YOU so very much for your responses to my question. You have given me such good advice. I am looking forward to having "tons of fun" in Paris on my own. Great ideas! Merci!
I made a return visit to Paris in July, and had a great time. You'll have the freedom to tour at your own pace, see what interests you, dine when you feel like it, etc.
You may find it helpful to pack along a copy of the Pocket Paris Guidebook, as that has LOTS of information about sightseeing, Museums, restaurants, etc. I had the book with me this year, and I found it really useful for "on the fly" reference.
Have you been to Paris before? Which sights are you interested in seeing? Using a Paris Museum Pass may save you some money, depending on what you want to see. It's not likely there will be huge queues at Christmas, but the Pass will get you to the front of the line.
If you're planning to visit the Louvre, BE SURE to wear a Money Belt and be vigilant for pickpockets. One of the "riskiest" areas is right in front of the Mona Lisa.
As the others said, HAVE FUN!
Staying in accommodations with free WiFi can help the solo traveller feel less isolated. I carry a small ultraslim computer; others depend on tablets or smartphones. It is reassuring to dash off an e-mail to friends about the day's events or even digital photos. The gizmo can help with last-minute research, airline check-ins, etc. Many hotels have free computers in the lobby now, often with line-ups, plus there is something more intimate about being connected in your bedroom. Down side, sadly, is that many hotels also supply a very weak signal for free. Sitting in the lobby with your machine often finds a stronger signal.
I've fallen in love with the laminated Streetwise maps for major cities. The first one I used was for Paris and I can't imagine getting around without it. Not only does it have the streets in detail and a street index, but it also has the metro lines, stops and transfer points. And of course it has all the major sites. I highly recommend that you get one for Paris. It will make your planning much easier and give you a very good idea of the city in detail before you go. You can get it from the RS travel store, many bookstores and Amazon. You are going to have a blast.