I think it's a good idea to check out some maps of Paris before going to the city. The best way to avoid pick pocketers or criminals (if you end up in a more "dangerous" area) is to look confident and give a confident impression. Don't look vulnerable, basicaly.
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!.
No big danger in Paris. You can walk in the streets at night.But I may add something, during Friday and saturday nights lot of prople come from the cities around Paris. Be careful In Bastille, Pigalle and Chatelet Les Halles districts. It's safe but don't look like too much like a tourist (with cameras outside, etc..). Be cool and that's ok.
We read many of the warnings before our recent trip to Paris and it helped prepare us for the potential "dangers". Our experience, though, was quite different. We found the subways, streets, museums and major tourist attractions to be very busy, but we felt safe in all locations. We did not stray onto the back alleys, but that's just common sense. The only 2 spots we felt a little uneasy was the Flea Market (Clignancourt subway station) and the entrance to the Sacre Oceur (the large church on the hill). At each locations there were many vendors trying to sell thinsg, and they were pretty aggressive. A firm "NO" and they bacjed away. I think it is improtant to remember that Paris is a major city and like other major cities, danger can be found...but we didn't find it. That said, it is important to look like you know where you are and where you need to go. We also found the locals quite helpful if approached on a friendly basis. Enjoy the sights, and be alert, but don't let it ruin your time!
It was my dream to take my children to Disneyland at Paris; we lost their mum due to cancer several years ago. I did it this August and drove to Paris because we also planned to later travel to South France for a few days. Unfortunately, on our 1st day in Paris, our car was smashed in a designated car park. A bag in the car boot was stolen with our passports. It was a late afternoon back from Disneyland and we left the car for about 10 minutes to buy some food in a shop nearby. The police was sympathetic but helpless. Recalling the violence in France seen on TV a couple of years ago, I feel lucky that we were not injured.
It is depressing to think that one of the greatest cities in the world has turned into such an unsafe place.
I read so many scare stories on this site prior to my trip that I was reticent about going in the end.
I left behind my camera so it couldn't be stolen and was ready for everyone to be a thief or con artist. Saw one girl at Gare Du Nord handing a begging card to someone, as described in these pages, but no problems in our 4-day stay in the Latin quarter. I guess there must be so many people who have trouble-free visits to Paris and DON'T write in to this site, that it acts as a filter, attracting the minority of unfortunate (or careless) tourists, whilst skewing the actual incidents of crime to proportions that seem scary.
I spent 4 days in Paris and I never felt in danger maybe because I am Arabic :) but in general watch you wallet and IGNORE people trying to ask you about something..
I was in Champs Elysee and one lady ask me: Do you speak English and I was happy: I said Yes yes and then she give me a paper saying "I lost all my famliy and bla bla ... and then .. Please give me 10 Euros... Just ignore them :D
I have had encouters with Gypsies in Madrid, Rome and London. I found that if you just ignore them when they approach you and be very stern with them if they come near you. In Rome I stomped my feet and frightened them away. I also learned to bring little as possible of value (dont wear jewerly) keep your passport and money tucked away. I had a very close call in Madrid when I was in an internet cafe, I should have had my purse tucked under my feet. I had it next to me and a gypsy came behind my chair, I caught him in time and scared him off! That was my error for not paying attention and not keeping my purse wrapped around my feet or on my lap. Most of all just use common sense and mostly enjoy your trip, don't let that keep you from enjoying yourself. I was in Paris last year and was only approached once by gypsys, I just gave them a scowl and walked away from them.
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.
(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.
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.
You'll want to be carefull, especially at night, when you're in the area around the Moulin Rouge. As you get further off into the little side streets, keep your wits about you. I've encountered some thugs looking for trouble.
Walking the streets of Paris at night can be scary or annoying. Many guys will just stop their cars, get out and follow, some will just grab and pull you into an alley, etc.
The city of Kobe has to be the safest place I have ever visited. The people are very willing to help foreigners and most everyone speaks (or attempts to speak) English! I love Kobe.