Paris Warnings and Dangers
France has long been one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Today, visitors still flock to Paris in huge numbers. When visiting the City of Lights, keep certain things in mind before planning your trip.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is you won’t be alone. Thousands of people come here to work as well as vacation nearly every single day. You should also bear in mind other aspects of Parisian travel such as the highly unpredictable weather and the need to be aware of cars and bikes when crossing the street. Be prepared with a detailed map and good walking shoes.
Getting Around the City
Paris is divided into multiple districts. While many of the major attractions are clustered in a few districts, you may still need to go a few miles to get from one to the next. Driving is not recommended as it is costly and parking can be hard to find. Walking along the Parisian streets can be a great way to see the city firsthand but be aware of pickpockets as you travel. The Paris Metro has multiple lines that crisscross the city. While many stations are very nicely decorated, they can also be unsafe if you are not careful. You will need to buy a ticket first. Keep this ticket on hand at all times or you might face a fine when you can’t show it to police officer. Be aware that many train stations are where gangs from public housing gather. Keep your bag in front of you and watch for large groups of young men. Also note that many Parisian stations are not updated for the disabled. Elevators may not be available so check in advance. Stairs can be slippery in the Paris rain.
Several other issues should be kept in mind when visiting Paris. Long lines are common at many major attractions. Consider buying your tickets in advance so you can skip the lines or getting to places like the Louvre early in the morning. Food and drinks can be expensive so consider bringing your own water bottle and a packed lunch, especially if you are going to spend all day long at a museum. Look for small places where you can get authentic Parisian food like crepes. American fast food chains are common here and not always any better than the food you’ll find at home. Many travelers say that if you attempt to speak even just a bit of French, you will find many Parisians happy to get your business. Do not assume people speak English. While in previous decades, public toilets were rare, new public toilets have been installed in many parts of Paris. Carry change and be aware they may not be accessible if you have a disability.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Paris.