Am I in an unsafe Parisian neighborhood?

May 19th, 2013, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have absolutely no problem with that neighborhood, day or night, but I must say I just do not like that métro station, especially at night, and will do what I can do avoid it (which is easy).
StCirq is online now  
May 19th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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I was about to post what St. Cirq has said - I find it a very confusing place and now actively avoid it if I can.

especially with 3 of you, I think I'd opt for the cab.
annhig is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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The article is from 2011 but the statistics in the map of métro/RER stations are from 2010 and the point I'm trying to make is that closing the park has made a huge difference. Looking at the map it is evident that Châtelet-les-Halles had a significantly higher number of crime than any other station but that is only logical due to the number of people using that station. It's in central Paris, has the most métro/RER connections, is in a huge pedestrian zone and has an underground mall attached to it.

I think if they put those statistics in terms of a percent of crimes based on the number of people who use each station it would be more insightful. Quite possibly it would still have the highest crime rate but maybe wouldn't be so much higher in comparison to other stations. Paris is a large city and like any large city it has its share of crime. Use street smarts and common sense and the odds are heavily in your favor that nothing will happen to you and you shouldn't avoid using the métro/RER in Châtelet-les-Halles or avoid that area in general for fear of being a victim of crime.

I'll add that my wife has no fear of using this station even if alone and even at night because there are so many people in the station and it's actually far preferable to using a station that feels deserted.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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That park has been under construction for years !
Having been in this area several times in 2011 and again last year, during both the daytime and at night, I'll add that I never felt threatened or that anything was amiss. If anything, you have a better chance of getting lost in the subterranean corridors of this huge station than any risk of harm.

Instead of worrying, go have a great dinner at 'Pirouette' which is just around the corner from the Les Halles Metro exit. We enjoyed a great time here last year and the food and service were remarkable.

(FMT, I'm chuckling as I read this thread and you may be too if you recall certain elements of our conversation last October ! Coincidently we happened to be walking in this very area too, lol)
Mathieu is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 03:03 PM
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Indeed it brings back memories of our conversation Mathieu. We even visited E. Dehillerin. Hope you're doing well.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 06:33 PM
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I am indeed monsieur, thank you, and I hope you are too. Will drop you a line soon.
Mathieu is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Meanwhile the work has been going on for so long that part of the park will finally be reopening by the end of this year, at the Bourse du Commerce end of it. They are currently installing the plants.
kerouac is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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I've been known to wander around that area at 2 am with never a problem.
ruedebuci is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 11:08 PM
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Coincidentally I have a reservation at Pirouette this evening -I agree it's a great place.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
May 19th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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I think your question was an absolutely fair one.

First off, the area is fine, really, I am over 50 and have walked the area solo at that time of evening. Would I personally be comfortable doing that after midnight,, no but perhaps its because my naturally cautious nature would kick in , as it would anywhere including walking down my own suburban street in the wee hours. But you are talking about 9 at night, there will be thousands of people walking around, cafes will be busy, its not going to be scary.

Secondly, keep this in mind, its light out till 9:30 -10 all summer so you are not even walking in the dark.
justineparis is offline  
May 20th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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Lucky you, Welltraveledbrit ! It's a very nice place and serves up a good time considering it's not terribly big. But some of my most enjoyable dining experience have been in small restaurants in Paris and other cities. Creative and tasteful.
Mathieu is offline  
May 20th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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I'd suggest that the crime "rate" at Chatelet is NOT the highest. Crime rates are based upon a population factor, i.e. 5 per 1000, etc. The website listed the number of incidents. Given the fact that Chatelet-Les Halles is the largest, by far of the stations, I'd expect it to have more episodes of criminal activity. Just as I would expect that there would be more slip and falls, but it doesn't mean that it's more dangerous, just that it's busier.

My first trip to Paris in 2005 included a stay in Montorgueil. We used the station exclusively. Use the Rambuteau exit and you'll be fine. I'm not sure I'd rather use a station that is busy at night, or a station that is desolate. The desolate ones would be unnerving to me, especially if I didn't speak the language, because if something happened there, it would be even more difficult to get help. There is often safety in numbers.

As for the station - you'll likely be in that station numerous times during your stay anyway as it is the closest station with many transfer lines available. I wouldn't worry about anything other than potentially noise at night.
apersuader65 is offline  
May 20th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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Chatelet/Les Halles area used to be (I haven't been there in several years) a hangout for hordes of "street teens" (perhaps the closed park) - with all of the aggravation/unpleasantness that entails. That said - I never felt it was dangerous - and certainly not at 8 pm - and definitely not for a group of people.

If they have moved the kids on all for the best.
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2013, 01:21 PM
Original Poster
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Justineparis: thank you, madame! Appreciate the support of another older traveler!
rncheryl is online now  

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