France is generally a safe place but when traveling solo as a woman. France is one of the best places for female solo travel, you just have to take some precautions to feel safer, you just have to more pay attention to your surroundings than if you were traveling in a group. Don’t feel intimidated because you’re traveling solo, just follow these simple tips and feel safer during your trip!
Men may be more flirty than you’re used to
Almost every interaction with men in France can be a bit playful and flirty. Men aren’t shy and are used to be straightforward. You may feel they’re coming on too strong, even if they’re just hotel employees or men on the streets. If you don’t feel comfortable simply don’t engage or just say no if they’re asking for something. In most of the cases they will understand.
In some places, especially in Paris, smiling and making eye contact can be taken as an invitation. Some of the times this eye contact is harmless and just curious but some other times it isn’t. Avoid eye contact and if you’re traveling in a bus or metro, for example, engage in other activities like reading.
It’s not that common but some women may be followed if a man thinks there’s some kind of interest there. If you feel like you’re being followed try to walk confidently and get into a safe place like a store and ask for help. If you’re in a tourist area this probably won’t happen.
Don’t be afraid to sound rude if you don’t like something or you aren’t comfortable with a situation. Try to create boundaries to feel safe. Better be rude than in danger.
Almost all of the cities in France are safe to walk alone after dark but be careful and exercise your common sense at all times. France is one of the safest countries for female solo travelers, so just be careful enough. In bigger cities like Paris or Lyon there are certain areas that you should avoid walking through alone at night. Always ask a local (like your Airbnb host or a person in the hostel you’re staying in) if there’s some street or area of the city you should avoid.
Be sure to have a map either physically or downloaded in your phone in case you get lost. Try to check the routes and places you’ll be visiting before you’re there so you feel more confident. Remember confidence can get you a long way.
Using public transportation is safe. As we said before, try to avoid eye contact and smiling at strangers. Even if you feel lost or you don’t know where you’re going, try to walk confidently as if you knew where you’re going. Must of the times you’ll bring attention to yourself if you look lost or clueless.
When using taxis in Paris make sure they’re the official ones labeled as “Taxi Parisien.” You can always use Lyft or Uber, just check the references and ratings of your driver. BlaBlaCar is a popular app that’s used to move within cities. Exercise your common sense and check the references before making any commitment. If you feel confident to rent a car try to drive during the day and avoid big cities at night if you’re not familiar with the place. Avoid hitchhiking.
When traveling alone by train at night from city to city, you can request to be in the special compartment for women and families. If you’ll be alone in the compartment check if you can lock it, if not you can pay for a private couchette. It’s better to spend more money than to feel insecure during your entire trip.
When looking for a place to stay try to pick a place where the host or personal will know you’re there, this will, of course, depend on your traveling style. Choose a place that’s close to public transportation and somewhere that’s not remote and a bit busy.
Try not to announce where you’re staying or the number of your room. Share with your family or friends all the details of where you’re staying. This is also a great tip if you’re solo traveling through Europe.
How to dress
French women dress a little more sophisticated than the normal. We know you’re traveling and you’d probably prefer to be comfortable than fashionable but dressing more like a French woman can make you blend in with the locals.
Women should be able to dress any way they want without being harassed but in certain places, you’ll bring unwanted attention to yourself if you’re showing lots of leg or cleavage. You can also check this guide on how to dress during the summer like a French local. As a traveling solo female, you should pay attention to these details.
If you’re going to any church there’s an unspoken rule that says shoulders and legs should always be covered, try to respect this rule.
Don’t put yourself in risky situations
This is almost common sense but try not to put yourself in a situation you may regret. First of all, we know you can’t visit France without tasting its wine. We understand it and you have to definitely try it, just don’t go overboard. Try not to drink too much (wine or anything else) unless you’re with someone reliable.
Pickpocketing is common in France, especially in crowded areas. When going there try to keep your important belongings safe, like in a zipped inside pocket of a jacket or in a purse that has a zipper. Keep your belongings close and your money in different places. There are also some scams you must avoid. Read all about them here.
If you have to go to an ATM, prefer the ones that are inside the bank, also make sure no one is following you.
You can also check this female solo travel tips:
Emergency numbers in France
If you’ve been assaulted you can call France’s national rape crisis hotline dialing 0 800 059 595 from any telephone (it’s free). This hotline is run by Pariswomen’s organization, Viols Femmes Informations. You can also call the women-only Association Maison des Femmes de Paris dialing 01 43 43 41 13.
If you need help in planning your France trip, download Talk Travel, a mobile app that connects you with travel experts from across the country for free. You can ask for suggestions, trip ideas, destination tips or itineraries by just making a call! All you need is a smartphone and good WiFi. Download now clicking this link!
Don’t be afraid of traveling solo, it will be an amazing experience for you! France is a great place if you’re looking for a great female solo travel destination.