Alone and in Paris for the first time!

Aug 13th, 2011, 08:25 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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As far as tricks for eating alone in restaurant, I choose casual ones. I also do a Sidny mentioned and often just eat street food (crepes, hot dogs, etc.). Also bakeries in Paris often offer wonder sandwiches ready made. Sounds silly but there is one chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread eaten in a park near the Sorbonne on a sunny day that is one of my favorite Paris memories. Sometimes at the end of the day if your tired from touring around, pick up dinner at a deli, get a bottle of wine, and relax in your apartment... reading your guidebook to plan the next day.

Also once you are in Paris, it's easy to pick up more information. Get the local papers, read flyers you see posted, look at online calendars for events that are happening (that wouldn't necessarily make it into guidebooks). Finding those kinds of things, say some live music in the park, a book or poetry reading, an outdoor street fair, or likthe like, will help you get into the local scene.
suze is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 10:12 AM
  #22  
 
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I take the opposite approach from some posters here, and when I have been alone in Paris I have gone out almost every night to theater, concerts, opera, dance performances, meals in lovely restaurants. I do end up taking taxis home much of the time (but not always).

Then I have nice leisurely mornings at home to plan out my days, sleep late if I want to, eat breakfast from the local bakery or fruit from the markets.

Ever since I was six years old and would go out for lunch alone in New York for a pastrami sandwich at a delicatessen on Avenue B because my mother wasn't home during the school lunch hour, it has never occurred to me to mind eating alone in restaurants. I find it a luxury, a treat. Lots of Parisian women can be seen eating alone in restaurants at all hours.
Nikki is online now  
Aug 13th, 2011, 11:15 AM
  #23  
 
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I hope that you have a great time! Like any tourist watch out for the scams around tourist areas, watch your purse/valuables. Paris is safe and if you are smart, the way you would be at home, you will have no problems.

Do what you want (I am with Kerouac)...no reason to behave differently because you are traveling alone. It's not a crime or sad to be vacationing, dining, anything alone.
denisea is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 11:30 AM
  #24  
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Oh Thank you!!! All your posts are so wonderful! Thank you for inspiring me and making me feel more confident! I have social anxiety disorder, and this trip is a test to myself. I just want to live like a Parisian for a few days. I want to sit at cafes, people watch and eat wonderful foods. Hopefully interact with people! The touristy museum stuff isn't even that important to me, the ambiance is! My biggest fear is hiding inside my studio till its time to leave, but of course I cant let myself do that. Getting out of my comfort zone is going to be so good for me, I can feel it!
Thank you! Thank you! Merci beaucoup!
CybilVane is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 11:54 AM
  #25  
 
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Going alone to Paris is fine (although I agree I would;t stay in the 10th but would want to be closer to a lot of sights - since walking everywhere is one of the joys of Paris).

Eating out alone will be fine., If you are going to be clubbing just use the standard care you would use anywhere:

NEVER let go of your purse
Never leave a drink unattended - or if you do - throw the rest out (way too many guys out there with roofies)
If going home late always take a cab (have the club call you one).. While the Metro is great during the day and earlier evening it is empty at night- when and where it does run.

As for generally avoiding pickpockets:

Again - never let go of your purse anywhere - even in upscale shops

In restaurants keep it on your lap

On pubic transit or in crowds always be aware of who is around you - and be sure your valuables are well-secured (inside a zippered compartment at least)

Don't carry much cash or all of your credit/debit cards - only what you need for the day

Don't allow yourself to be scammed - your are NOT required to be nice - or even respond -- to strangers in the street - just walk straight past them and don;t make eye contact; if you feel victimized scream for the police (the best way to get rid of unwanted attention)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:17 PM
  #26  
 
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If you find yourself in Paris and afraid to leave your studio, get back on this message board and post. Someone here will either shame you into getting out into the city, or entice you with irresistible suggestions.

I think I had a different idea of your trip goals from your original post to this latest one. I'm going to sound motherly here for a moment, so bear with me: Get out, enjoy the city and talk to people. Be open to meeting people, but don't go off with anyone you meet to someplace private. Especially at night if you've been drinking. Standard common sense around home, but I think sometimes in another country people let their guard down a bit.
Sidny is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:40 PM
  #27  
 
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I love going to Paris solo. I certainly wish I was there right now. Paris has always felt like home to me.

Great advice about ignoring people who come up to you on the street. I pretend I can't hear them, and I've never had a problem.

I always stay in the (where else) rue de Buci area. I keep odd hours, and have been well known to roam the streets at 3 am by myself with never an issue.

Also, I've had plenty of Michelin star dinners by myself and had a fabulous time. The waiters are usually very attentive and charming.
ruedebuci is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 03:04 PM
  #28  
 
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I applaud you for having the courage to take this trip. I hope I can do the same one day. I agree with Sidny--if you need a nudge to get out of your apartment--get on here and ask for some encouragement.
Connie is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 04:16 AM
  #29  
 
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To avoid the temptation to stay in the apartment, you can make reservations a day or two ahead for restaurants and buy tickets for events before you get to Paris. When you have a plan for the evening, you are less likely to sit around and watch TV.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with an evening or two watching French television and eating the great prepared foods you can pick up in the markets.
Nikki is online now  
Aug 14th, 2011, 04:38 AM
  #30  
 
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In addition to the Paris metro and the buses, look for the "RER" commuter trains, which will take you to must-visit places outside the city such as Versailles. The RER is also a much less expensive way to travel from the major airports (DeGaulle, Orly) to central Paris, about 10 Euros vs about 40-50 Euros for taxis.

Within Paris, taxis are not recommended except late at night. They are very expensive, and street traffic moves slowly, so a taxi trip often takes longer than a metro trip, particularly 8 am - 8 pm.
hank54 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 04:44 AM
  #31  
 
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Also agree with another writer's posting that grocery stores like Monoprix are a great alternative to restaurants and cafes for a light meal (another similar chain is Franprix).

Keep in mind that most close by 8 pm, although the Monoprix on the Champs Elysees is open till midnight Mon-Sat (most, if not all of these, stores are closed on Sundays; the Monoprix at the Gare du Nord train station might be an exception).
hank54 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 08:35 AM
  #32  
 
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As far as the social anxiety issue, you don't even have to interact with people, if that turns out to feel too much. Paris is a perfect city to just wander around by yourself on foot all day. Just get out your street map, pick a couple things to anchor your day (going to Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens for example) and figure out who to get there and take a look around.
suze is offline  
Aug 14th, 2011, 12:35 PM
  #33  
 
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I am sure that the SAD is challenging but I think you will be inspired to be out and about in Paris. Agree with precious poster who encouraged you to post if you find you are not getting out of your apartment! It's just too great a city not to see and experience.

What is the saying?...Do one thing everyday that scares you!

I truly hope you enjoy your trip and love Paris as much as I do!
denisea is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 01:54 PM
  #34  
 
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Try a guided walk or bike tour one of your first days. Good way to get an intro to Paris sights, feel like a part of a group for a couple of hours if you're feeling lonely or isolated, and maybe even meet some people (other tourists, of course), to have a drink or meal with.

http://fattirebiketours.com/paris
http://www.discoverwalks.com/
http://www.paris-walks.com/
Sidny is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 02:06 PM
  #35  
 
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There is a different cultural viewpoint IMHO in Paris on dining alone. I do it all the time. I have tended to have mty big meal at dinner, but last trip also started to have a sit down leasurely lunches. Breakfasts, never eat at hotel. Last trip I found a local cafe 2 blocks from hotel and made it my morning ritual. Coffee (cafe creme), OJ, and a croissant. Maybe read newspaper,guidebook or event magazine and plan my day.

I never had the sense I was treated any differently because I was on my own, in some cases I felt I was treated better (cook come out to chat, good attention from waiter). I do always have something with me to read or write (like a journal). That way I'm not sitting there staring at other people (do that during meal )

The other thing abput going solo is it may be easier to get access to events, where tickets in pairs get sold out, singles are available.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 02:06 PM
  #36  
 
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There is a different cultural viewpoint IMHO in Paris on dining alone. I do it all the time. I have tended to have mty big meal at dinner, but last trip also started to have a sit down leasurely lunches. Breakfasts, never eat at hotel. Last trip I found a local cafe 2 blocks from hotel and made it my morning ritual. Coffee (cafe creme), OJ, and a croissant. Maybe read newspaper,guidebook or event magazine and plan my day.

I never had the sense I was treated any differently because I was on my own, in some cases I felt I was treated better (cook come out to chat, good attention from waiter). I do always have something with me to read or write (like a journal). That way I'm not sitting there staring at other people (do that during meal )

The other thing abput going solo is it may be easier to get access to events, where tickets in pairs get sold out, singles are available.
Michel_Paris is offline  
May 30th, 2012, 06:25 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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I am so happy and relieved that I have found this website. I am in Belgium as an exchange student and it has come to deciding between going to Paris alone, or not going at all and by reading these posts... How can I not? It will certainly be a dream come true. So here's to the ultimate personal challenge. Thanks again
Jeanine_Gordon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2012, 06:56 PM
  #38  
 
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Go for it Jeanine! You'll be amazed at how easy it is. Have a great time!
Sidny is offline  
Oct 5th, 2012, 06:09 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Actually I have the same problem , my friend who is supposed to go with me has difficult circumstances which prevent him from going. as a result, I am planing to travel alone which is so difficult to me because it is the first time i travel to Paris.

I will be in Paris at the beginning of October.

CybilVane, If you are interested to meet each-other that would be nice. It is my pleasure
Abdull_Aziz is offline  
Oct 5th, 2012, 09:14 AM
  #40  
 
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CybilVane apparently disappeared during her trip to Paris in October 2011 and was never heard from again. Let this be a word of warning to all of you.... ;-)
kerouac is offline  

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