Safety, Paris

60 Reviews

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    by 65stang Written Apr 16, 2007

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    My daughter (15) and I just returned from 9 days in Paris. Prior to our departure, I read virtually every tip I could find regarding safety. I would like to say that we had no problems thanks to the many tips on this site. We carried a very small amount of cash, which we stuffed in our pockets. We did NOT carry purses or backpacks whick can be easily snatched.

    In spite of the fact that we looked like American tourists, by not looking like an easy target, we did not become one.

    Ladies, there are pouches out there that slip down into your bra that will hold credit cards and motel room keys. Give up the purse. If you can't stuff it in your jeans pocket or down your bra, you don't need it anyway!!

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    Les Halles

    by mywhitesofa Updated Mar 11, 2007

    (Aug 2003) Try not to wonder around Les Halles alone at night, especially if you are a single female. I made the mistake of cutting through it alone one night and it was not a pleasant experience. I was there during the daytime for some shopping and thought it would be fine to return in the evening. Boy was I ever wrong! Gets quite seedy when the sun goes down and all the shops close. Encountered a shadowy figure that approached me and offered to sell me some "stuff". Needless to say I made a bee line straight out of there. Luckily for me it wasn't very late yet and there were still a few "normal" looking people about. If you must, make sure to travel in a group.

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  • Dont be paranoid

    by desmond001 Written Jan 2, 2007

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    My brother got whack and camera snatch when he is in paris last Xmas (Trocadero to be exact, where ALL the tourist are.Afternoon)(maybe is his face, hehe). Anyway, i was a bit worry when i go there this Xmas. Generally, its ok, metro can be a bit dodgy but i feel quite safe. the only place i do feel unsafe is sacre coeur, there were ppl around the staircase to tie 'lucky string' on your hand and then ask you to pay them for their 'kindness'. Just put both hand in the pocket and politely refuse them or use the staircase at the side. definitely safer than lisbon, hehe

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    Paris is not safe!

    by john&eduarda Written Dec 31, 2006

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    There was a story a while ago that shocked Brazil: A famous Brazilian actress was stabbed in the back on the Metro in Paris; in Brazil, a third world country with a serious crime problem, this news was greeted with dismay.However it doesn't surprise us. I (john) witnessed a violent crime in Paris at night, whilst walking, a serious assault on the driver of a car .. unfortunately these types of crimes are all too frequent in Paris ..

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  • Unsafe for single women

    by Manyana Updated Dec 2, 2006

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    We met two nice gentlement who offered us to carry our bags in the metro station! I was a bit reluctant at the beginning but they were in their late 30s and my friend was more than delighted to take their offer, i had to give up. They warned us not to walk as single women in late evenings especially in touristic areas. That was very true.

    We lost our way back to the hotel. So I asked a french guy from where to catch the metro to our neighbourhood. It was only 8pm in the evening. The guy couldn't speak english, so we just left him. My friend a half an hour later told me, 'there's something horrible i wanna tell you'. i was too cheerful to bother with what she was saying as we met two girl friends from london:D and so i asked her to tell me later. but she couldn't put it off as she pointed out at FOUR freak youngesters who had been following us for the last half an hour!!!!!! i was terrified as this never happened to me even in london! we changed two stations and they were still following us. so we just made very clear that we were aware of them. and then they left the metro! i wasn't sure if it was a trick while there'd be someone of them remaining in the metro with us. so we just ran for our lives, praying...even my atheist friend, she prayed too,lol.

    So have the emergency number ready with you (221 i think), just in case. Always have a company if you'd like to walk around at night...i know night walking is lustfully charming but do have a company.

    Disney studio at night
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    by Lady_Mystique Updated Aug 31, 2006

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    To prevent theft, don't keep all your valuables (money, important documents) in one place. Label every piece of luggage both inside and out.
    Don't put a wallet with money in your back pocket.
    Never count your money in public and carry as little as possible.
    If you carry a purse, buy a sturdy one with a secure clasp, and carry it crosswise on the side, away from the street with the clasp against you.
    A money belt is the best way to carry cash; you can buy one at most camping supply stores. A neck pouch is equally safe, although far less accessible.
    Keep some money separate from the rest to use in an emergency or in case of theft.


    In city crowds, especially on public transportation, pickpockets are very good at their craft.
    Rush hour is no excuse for strangers to press up against you on the métro. If someone stands uncomfortably close, move to another car and hold your bags tightly.

    Be alert in public telephone booths.
    If you must say your calling card number, do so quietly; when you punch it in, make sure no one can see you.

    Montparnasse station
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    Street gangs

    by travelswithsteve Written Aug 23, 2006

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    Le Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris - a beautiful place and a fabulous view.
    Most people (the sensible ones) get a taxi up and walk back down.
    It's the walking back down bit that I want you to be careful of.
    There are small gangs/groups that are now hanging around the bottom of the main steps hassling people as they walk down.
    So its a watch your wallet and hold on to your bags time please.

    Sacre Coeur
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    by ciao_bambino Written Jun 12, 2006

    During my weekend to Paris on New Years eve, I was with a friend and we where follwed for a few streets by a group of men, until one finally pushed me over right outside my hotel and stole my wallet. No passer bys even came to see if I was ok, like they where use to seeing this type of crime happen everyday. It soon put a dampner on my new year!! This people are stupid to do it, because it has put me off the city completely, I have no desire to go again and no desire to recommend it to people, so in the end they just give themselves a bad name.
    The second night of my stay when I was just getting over what happened, we where queing at the Eiffel tower, when a man grabbed a womens rucksuck and ran straight past. The police chased him pitifully, across a road, gave up and he got away.
    I warn anyone going out at night or even in the day, keep only what you need on you and watch anyone at all times. Obviously around the Eiffel tower where it seems crime is huge.

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    the Natives!

    by kop-queen Updated Mar 5, 2006

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    In general very unfriendly - happy to take your money but not keen to strike up conversations(well attempted broken French/English conversations).

    Nearly mugged in broad daylight on a busy street. Fortunately recognised the french word for "knife" even though the tone had been friendly and the approach had been smiley smiley. Lucky escape!

    Prefer Brittany any day - def' would not return to Paris unless we get to the CL final again this year and I can get a ticket!.

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    Traveling after dark

    by Robin922 Written Jun 15, 2005

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    This tip was given to me by my hotel desk personal, and was also mentioned by several others. I choose to take the warning. If you are staying in the outer area (such as a hotel near the airport), and stay in town after dark on a weekend, take a cab back.

    If traveling with a group, the train would be O.K. However a person traveling alone and especially a woman you could run into a problem.

    I did stay after dark to see the tower lights. The cab fare was 45 euros to my airport hotel. The perfect way to end a nice day, I was safe and sound, and got see the city night lights from a different angle.

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    Look Before You Cross the Street!

    by CALSF Written May 29, 2005

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    Paris is not as horrible for pedestrians as it is in Italy (my observation however). Or does it take a puzzling moment or two to figure out which way to look before you cross a street as it is in the UK due to the right hand driving.

    But it is a bit dangerous to cross the streets anyway. Even though there are pedestrian crosswalk signals you have to be careful. The Parisian drivers are pretty hyper and don't have much patience in waiting for pedestrians to cross and will zoom past you even if you have the right of way. However, I noticed and have experienced that they do stop in time before running into you. ;)

    A busy Parisian instersection

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    Hotel Winding Stairways

    by CALSF Written May 25, 2005

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    Paris is an old city. And many of the small, cozy hotels were converted from former residences. However, the buildings themselves are usually left in their original state.

    One thing you will notice is that the (stone) stairways are not always straight. In order to save space alot if not all hotels have winding staircases from top to bottom. They can be a little dangerous if you are not careful where you step.

    Be sure that you take your time as the inner part of the staircase is pretty narrow. Also due to centuries of wear and tear the staircases can be worn out and uneven causing you to lose your balance if you are not careful.

    A worn, winding staircase @ Hotel Verneuil

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    Nap in the park

    by MissAboo Written May 12, 2005

    If you are a little tired and want to lay back near a statue in a park dont, in a matter of seconds police will tell you to move.

    I dont know if theres no napping in parks, or if its napping near a statue.

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    It's Easy To Trip Over One Of These!

    by ChrisRJ Written Apr 4, 2005

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    As there are so many great structures and buildings to look at in Paris, you find yourself looking up a lot. Then right when you're not expecting it one of these tiny little cars gets caught under your feet and you go down for the count. So be careful and watch out for them.

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    Watch out for football hooligans

    by tomerik Written Mar 24, 2005

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    Being around the main football grounds before and after big matches might be risky. The majority of fans are ok but huge crowds always attracts elements looking for trouble.
    Matches which are under high risk are the PSG-Marseille and PSG-Lyon encounters. Safety has improved over the last years with around 1000 policemen overlooking the whole thing per match.

    PSG supportes before a match at Parc des Princes

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  • Jan 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    My husband and I just spent 2 weeks over Christmas in Paris. We live part time in France, go to Paris often and are seasoned travellers-we don't pull out maps on the street, stay in apartments and speak the language fluently. Just before christmas I was viciously attacked by a black muslim man from Libya. It was in the lobby of my building, I was alone after coming home from dinner (not late) with 2 male friends who waited until I got through 2 security gates and walked across the courtyard. He was waiting in the courtyard and must have followed someone else in before this.

    Even after I gave him my purse, he kicked me to the ground and gave me several kicks to my head and face until he kicked me unconscious. I had been screaming but as it was in the lobby and dark, I think it may have been initially difficult to tell where I was. A resident in ANOTHER building jumped out his kitchen window and caught the attacker, was headbutted and had trouble restraining him until assistance came but managed to hold him.

    I am alive, healing but with scars-luckily can see out my eye again and my fractured nose will recover. I have since been researching France and Paris to find there are 19 "no go" zones for Police, where they are too dangerous to patrol or even respond to calls. 9 of these are in Paris. There are also 90 'sensitive' residential zones, many near high tourist areas-NO ONE tells tourists this and they are tricky to find on websites. There are more than 751 in France alone.

    Here is one site that lists some of the no-go and sensitive urban zones:

    Paris, with Hollande in charge, is fast becoming a very dangerous city which is out of control. The 2 residents from the nearby building who caught the attacker told me they hesitated as they dont trust the judicial system. The residents of my building told me they did not want to get involved as they do not trust the police or the judicial system and feared for their lives-that the attacker would come back for them. He has, by the way, threatened to do this to both men who assisted. The police told me they can do nothing.

    I am appalled that we were not made aware that Montmartre is such a dangerous area now (where I was attacked) and even more appalled at the lack of law enforcement and judiciary there. The attacker was known to police, has done it before and he received 18 mths with 9 mths parole for good behaviour. I was told it is unlikely he will stay more than 3 months in jail. If he committed the same crime in the Netherlands, I was told it would be considered attempted manslaughter as he kicked my head until there was a large amount of blood everywhere and left me unconscious with a potential brain hemorhage.

    Please ensure, if you do decide to visit to Paris now, you understand exactly where you are, where you are going without maps, do not take a purse and keep your mobile phone hidden at all times in public-mobile phones are currently the main item targeted as they are quick and easy to sell-he had mine out of my purse before he had my wallet.

    And please warn your kids going to Paris-familiarise yourself with both the 'no go' and the sensitive urban zones. And do NOT stay or go, even in daylight, near them, for any reason. Paris is sadly no longer the lovely French city it used to be.

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