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Solo Female Traveler in Paris

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I am a twenty-something female looking to visit Paris sometime during October or November 2012 for about two weeks. I have traveled to Paris before and absolutely ADORED IT, however this will be my first time going solo (or actually traveling to any foreign country solo). I have not booked anything on my trip, so below I have listed out a few questions (but ANY advice would be lovely):

- Where to Stay: During my last trip we stayed in a flat on Ile Saint Louis which was amazing, however I am wondering if perhaps since I am staying alone it would be safer to stay in a hotel. I want to stay in central Paris (arrondisments 1-7). My maximum budget is about $200 per night, however I would prefer to stay somewhere at least somewhat luxurious.
- Cooking Classes: I have always dreamt of visiting Paris to take a cooking and/or pastry making classes. Any recommendations would be GREAT!
- Day-Trips: My last trip to Paris we visited Versailles, and I would love to see Giverny however I will most likely save that for another trip so I can go when the flowers are in full-bloom. Do you have any recommendations on a few day-trips from Paris? I don’t particularly enjoy traveling with a large group on a bus, but I would be open to it as I’d prefer not to rent a car (traveling by train would be ideal).
- Metro/Bus/Taxi: On my last trip to Paris we traveled solely by metro, however I did notice at night that some of the stations were very desolate (which would have made me very uncomfortable if I had been alone). What would you recommend the best way of travel to be in the evenings (given I’d prefer not to have to take multiple cabs every single night, as it gets expensive very quickly)?
- Activities: My last week in Paris we visited most of the main tourist sites (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, Louvre, Organerie, Orsay, etc.) so any other ideas would be great! I love art, film, fashion, food, wine, architecture, etc.
- Travel/Safety Tips: Overall any Paris travel tips and/or solo female traveler safety tips would be so much appreciated.

I am definitely a bit apprehensive about traveling alone for the first time to a foreign country, so please feel free to share your experiences :)

Merci beaucoup!


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