COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

How safe is Paris?

Old Feb 13th, 2002, 09:00 PM
  #1  
fritzi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
How safe is Paris?

I'm headed to Paris next week with my teenage daughter. I've gotten the general impression that it's fairly safe, as cities go. I'd really appreciate some feedback.
I'm not a terrible wuss, but we are 2 women alone, and one of us is my daughter, after all.
We were pretty comfortable walking around New York, but I wouldn't have taken the subway at night. How does Paris compare?
We're staying in the Marais, but we'd like to spend a few evenings wandering in different areas of town (esp. Latin Quartier and St.Germain de Pre).
Hope the trip lives up to all the fun I've had anticipating it!!
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 03:07 AM
  #2  
Pierre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Fritzi- I've never had(or seen) any problems walking around the Latin Quarter or St. Germain. It seems to be a relatively safe area. Le metro- much safer at night than NY subway.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 03:17 AM
  #3  
Ursula
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
fritzi: Paris is safe, in general, especially touristy araes. Avoid dead areas such as parts of the 16th where literaly nobody is walking around at night or the very outskirts where you wouldn't go anyway. The more people, the safer, I'd say.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 04:26 AM
  #4  
Paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Although Paris overall is fairly safe, but the Metro has become especially bad for petty crime, and some violent crime. Metro crime has gone up by 40% in the past year, 5x faster than for Paris overall, and now accounts for 10-15% of all the crimes in the city. The NY subway system now is safer than the Paris Metro. Be very alert especially for pickpockets. According to the police, these are the worst stations, in order of crime incidents: Chapelet-Les Halles, Stasbourg-St. Denis, Opera-Auber, Nation, Gare du Nord, Republique, Bastille, Etoile, and Gare de Lyon. Nonetheless, back up on the street the tourist areas are quite safe and there's no reason to be any more concerned about safety than in any other big city.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 05:55 AM
  #5  
Mika
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just returned from Paris on monday the 11th. I went by my self for four days. Did most of my visit walking and taking the metro. As long you know where you are going you should be safe. Buy a small map of Paris and put away when not using it. Tha Latin Quarter was my favorite though I stayed across from the Eiffel Tower. One thing you should be aware of, people asking for money. Say NO right away straight to their faces and walk away. Enjoy. It is fantastic!!!
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 06:34 AM
  #6  
Santa Chiara
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Paul is absolutely on the mark (did you, too, read the International Herald Tribune today?). An article notes the increase in crime, especially in the Metro. I don't want to scare you but the murder rate is 35 percent higher than in 2000. Just take the same precautions that you do in New York, and consider taking a taxi back at night.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #7  
Wendy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have never had any problems in Paris and have taken the Metro all over, however I personally feel safer returning to my hotel via taxi after 10ish, but I do that everywhere. I found that $7 gets you just about anywhere in a cab in Paris!
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 09:12 AM
  #8  
JMM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would not be overly concerned except obviously late at night - the previous poster's advice to take a taxi if out later than 10PM was good. Most crime on the Metro would be petty stuff like pick pocket behavior (watch your wallets and purses). Years ago I was fondled on the Metro - I called the perv. Filthy Pig in a loud voice - several (parisian) women joined in and some men shook their fists at him - needless to say he exited immediately at the next stop. By the way the Marais is a lovely district to stay in.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #9  
Christina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm not going to add many general comments to the above, but I would be a little cautious depending on the time at night and the wandering around thing. I wouldn't choose nighttime to wander around if you mean not having a destination and going down streets you don't know, etc. I think the Latin Quarter has more crime than St-Germain, and I wouldn't wander around the Latin Qtr very late at night except in very busy areas.

But, I really wanted to know where you got those statistics from, Paul, as I'd like to read them. There must be a little more to it (as to what the definition is of what they are reporting). Looks about right but I was a bit surprised at no metro stop on the Left Bank being included and some of those listed versus some omitted (ie, none in Montmartre or the 19-20th arr. were included, it looks like).
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 11:38 AM
  #10  
andrea
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Fritzi. I've stayed by myself in the Marais on two diferent occasions and have always felt safe, even strolling the streets in the evening.

I do think Wendy's advice is great about taking a taxi after 10pm. I do that as well, if I'm out late. Usually because I'm just tired from walking nonstop all day!

Incidentally I lived in NYC for 6 years, and used the subway day and night with no problems.

Where are you staying in the Marais?

Enjoy your trip!



 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 12:06 PM
  #11  
jimdandy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Paris crime statistics (in French)

http://www.leparisien.fr/home/info/p...52&themeid=513
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 01:49 PM
  #12  
coco
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Fritzi,
As a NYer I am very comfortable in Paris almost anywhere in the city by day; a little more cautious by night. I'd particularly warn you about the areas around Les Halles--still a lot of drug dealing and the sort of vermin that attracts. Saw a knife fight last November and a couple of passersby knocked down by scattering crowd. Very edgy there, especially at night. Also some very seedy areas in Montmartre where I've walked in the street until finding a taxi. Good idea to take taxi after 10. While I take NY subway any hour of day or night, think the Metro gets kinda creepy after the evening "rush hour" clears out...too many beggers if nothing else!
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 06:53 PM
  #13  
Paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Christina: most of that came from an article run on 2/12 in Le Parisien (www.leparisien.fr) an online french language newspaper. For what it's worth, though, there have been similar articles run recently in Le Monde, Le Figaro, and on TV on France 2. All say basically the same thing. Le Parisien, however, evidently got their hands on a not widely publicized list of the actual stations, published but not circulated by the Prefecture of Police.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 07:09 PM
  #14  
fritzi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks so much, everybody.
I would have preferred to hear "Oh, no problem, we'll all be on the Metro at that time", but I really appreciate the heads up.
Unfortunately, our budget won't allow for many taxi rides (well, maybe if the weather cooperates, we can do without a couple of daytime metro rides.) How about the night bus? Does anybody have any comments about that?
We're staying towards the western edge of the Marais, near the Pompidou Center, in an apartment. Our plan is to eat out at lunch, cook our own dinner (or, more likely, find some interesting munchables to eat at home), and then to head out again in the evening.
Christina, based on what you said, I guess I'll try to plan the evenings with a destination in mind.
On my only other trip to Paris, many years ago, I never went out at night (well, we were camping, but by nightfall, we were on the outskirts), and I don't want to miss that whole aspect of the city again.
Thanks again!
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 07:55 PM
  #15  
Alan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Paris is safer than most American cities however the crime rate is increasing. One big issue is pickpockets-especially in the day. They come in all forms, women with a bunch of children is a favourite trick.
Do not keep your valuables in your purse. Also, be careful at the Metro of pickpockets pushing in to you while you are going through the turnstiles or getting on a crowed Metro car. The Metro is fundamentally very safe. Also, depending on what type of hotel you will be staying in, do not accept a room on the first floor.

One big issue with Americans in particular is that they tend to behave very much differently when they are away from home. This is to say that they walk in areas that they would never do so at home and take risks that they would otherwise not do so. If you feel unconfortable or unsafe for any reason, junp in a cab and leave the area or go into a busy, well lighted store or restaurant. Like most vacations, I would strongly recommend that you do not wear expensive jewelry and that you only keep a small amount of money in your change purse. Nothing is more inviting to a thief than someone who, while paying for something, counts out the money from a large stash of cash. Just keep your wits about you and be observant of your surroundings. You will be just fine.
 
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 10:41 PM
  #16  
Parisian Gal
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Alan, how can you state that Paris is safer than most American cities? I've lived in Paris for 18 years and have been pickpocketed almost yearly, and my apartment has been robbed twice in broad daylight. We believe the doorman has been involved in the burglaries. I also have an apartment in New York, where I have never had an incident. So please do not misinform people with your stereotypical comments. Paris is a lovely city, which happens to have plenty of crime. So, do not be aloof.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 03:15 AM
  #17  
Pierre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Fritzi- Pay attention to Alan's post- it's much more useful than Parisian Gal. Alan was not trying to sugar-coat Paris, in fact he says that the crime rate is increasing- Just be observant when you're out. Just because Parisian Gal has had some misfortune in Paris, that doesn't mean that Paris is any less safe than NY. It's not a stereotypical comment, it's a fact that Paris has less crime than most major American cities.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 12:07 PM
  #18  
Christina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Paul, thanks for the reference, I'm going to read that.

Fritzi, I don't mean to be alarming but I wouldn't wander around in the Latin Quarter (or anywhere) in areas where there aren't a lot of people at night, which is pretty much only around the main blvds (where it's busy). There are muggings there, partly because so many tourists are in that area. I don't know stats, but I'd guess it may be less safe in the tourist areas than in the more southern part, for example (I have been around Port Royal stop some at night as I was attending school there sometimes at night, and it seems safe, but around the Sorbonne and St-Michel is not as safe, I don't think). I think it would be safe enough to walk along the Seine when there are a lot of people about, probably, in the evening. But I myself never wander around streets in the dark with no destination off the main boulevards, and I intentionally book a hotel with 1-2 blocks of a metro/bus stop when there alone. I think Paris is a safe city relatively but not without crime, I think sometimes people are a little too cavalier about it. I would not feel as comfortable at all around the Pompidou Center as where I do stay in Montparnasse at night, and I would be cautious walking around there.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #19  
Christina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
hey, Paul, I just read that article and I noticed they do have Barbes-Rochechouart on there as one of the top crime stations, which is what I suspected, as well as Belleville and Invalides, these 3 come after Gare de Lyon, however, they are smaller stations (well, Invalides seems big). However, the article erred in excluding Place d'Italie from the list and it has the same level as Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon according to the notes on their map. huh, I still would have expected St-Michel and Gare du Montparnasse ahead of maybe Nation, but now I've learned something. It isn't clear to me what those stats are, it sounds like some level of assault but would not include pickpocketing. I think pickpocketing is real high on the line that runs from the Etoile east and goes by the Louvre because so many tourists are on it.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 04:00 PM
  #20  
fritzi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Again, thanks to all of you.
If I do have any unfortunate incidents, I surely can't say I wasn't warned.
I feel much more comfortable, just knowing what kinds of things to look out for.
A taxi at night is starting to sound like a sound investment.
I live in a very small town, so I'm always on my guard in any city, anyway.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO