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Paris, 1 week single female 53 travel tips and ideas

Paris, 1 week single female 53 travel tips and ideas

Jan 24th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Paris, 1 week single female 53 travel tips and ideas

This is my first trip to Paris. I would like to stay for 1 week . I want to see as much of Paris as possible. I am 45 and will be travelling on my own. I don"t really have much information except for travel brochures. I'd rather hear from travellers who've been to Paris. I'm looking for information on safe travel, hotels and trip ideas. I'm looking to travel for 1 week in April.
happy53 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,791
Hi happy53, welcome to Fodor's.
Do you have a budget in mind for your hotel?
We have stayed twice at Hotel de Varenne and been very happy there.
It is in the 7th and very conveniently located; if you like to walk you can easily walk to most of the major sights.

Maybe add some of the things you are interested in seeing/doing and a rough idea of your hotel budget and we can help you further.

There is a lot to see in Paris and a week can fly by quickly.
If you are looking for a day trip Versailles is well worth seeing and is not far on the train.

Also just a heads up: you posted this under trip reports when it should be under "recent activity". You may get more responses if it is in that section.
raincitygirl is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,699
All the areas of the must see are in safe areas. I liked staying in the 4th andd 6th as a female alone but that's only my choice, others will chime in.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,375
safe travel ideas are a topic in themselves, if you mean you have never traveled alone and don't know how to behave to avoid danger. It really isn't that different from what you'd do at home to avoid danger, except maybe a little more because you aren't familiar with an area. For a regular tourist who is doing basic first-time sightseeing and staying in a central part of Paris, there isn't really a lot to worry about except usual things like don't carry your belongings in a way that you can be pickpocketed and don't do stupid things like talking to random strangers on the street or in the metro who will ask you stupid questions (like if you speak English while they roam along a sidewalk asking this to all passerbys. Now why on earth would one respond to that, I don't know, but lots of people do. No good could ever come of it, obviously).

So those are the best tips. You couldn't really get in a bad area of the city that much without really trying and I can't imagine where it would be or why you'd go there. I would not roam around alone on the streets very late at night, but I don't do that at home. Late to me is after midnight.

I think your question is so broad that it would profit you to do some reading first to get some ideas of what you want to do and the city. Any standard guidebook and various websites will help with that, including this one and Frommers, try Timeout and many others.
Christina is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 125
Happy 53, congrats on making the decision to visit Paris. It's a wonderful city and there is so much to see and do that the time flies by. Visit your local bookstore or library and choose a guidebook that appeals to you. After you've looked through it and have decided what you want to see you'll get a better idea of where you'll want to stay. Budget will also help guide your hotel selection. There are some good budget hotels but rooms will fill up fast so don't wait too long to reserve a room. April will not likely be hot so I wouldn't think that air conditioning would be a need. It will help if you know what you want to do with your evenings. Cafes? Wine? Walks? Live music? I stay in the 5th/6th because I like going to Luxemburg Gardens and some of the nearby Jazz clubs. And I like the energy in that area.

There are also several posts re: felmale solo travel to Paris. Lots of good info there so worth your time to do a search. I've been to Paris solo at least 5 times and have always had a good time and felt safe and have become very comfortable dining alone. I tend to dine earlier if I'm not making a dinner reservation. This ensures that I get a table at most restaurants I drop in to.

I'll be in Paris for a week beginning April 13th. If you plan on being in town that week, let me know, perhaps we can meet up for coffee, a glass of wine or a meal.

Let us know if you have specific questions. You're going to love Paris!!
Pat_in_Chicago is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,629
You asked elsewhere about whether it's better to buy tickets and passes in advance. Personally, I don't see much advantage to it, except for one-off special exhibitions that are likely to be popular and have timed admission, but everyone has their own opinion.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 55
I'm going alone at the end of February and can't wait. Go to Paris, walk out the door of your hotel (I rent an apartment, much cheaper), and start walking--whichever way the wind blows. Have a good small map (Streetwise) and perhaps a copy of Paris Walks by Duncan and Glass. The best thing about going alone is the freedom to do whatever you like, whenever you like. I once went thru the Cognaq Jay and loved it so much, I went thru again. (It's free)
alienor is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 124
I have often traveled to Paris alone and have felt safe. Paris is one of the most welcoming cities in the world for the solo female traveler. Obviously, you take normal precautions. April is a beautiful month to be there and you have time to research online and do some reading. The travel forums are great for this. Usually I rent an apartment, but for a first trip you may want to stay in a hotel. These threads are excellent for hotel thoughts,

Left Bank: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ank-thread.cfm

Right Bank: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ank-thread.cfm

And for budget: http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com...ad=3582&page=1

There are a few things that I always do. Buy the weekly Metro pass (good for subway and bus), pick up a copy of Pariscope from a news stand, http://parisonashoestring.com/pariscope/
and have a copy of the Plan de Paris in my purse,

There is so much to do that it can be overwhelming, which is why it would be good for you to begin reading. We all have unique tastes, but I enjoy going to the museums, walking for hours, café life, flea markets, food markets, the gorgeous parks and ‘Paris inconnu’. Here is a good site with short videos to give you a feel for different areas that you may want to visit, http://www.geobeats.com/videoclips/f...astille-market

The boat trips are great, either along the Seine or, the Canal Saint Martin. I loved the Canal trip to La Villette, then meandering back along the canal, through the 10th and 11th to the Seine. http://www.canauxrama.com/e_formules.asp?parcours=1

The Batobus is another option, especially if you’re exhausted from walking. For 13 €/day (or 20 € for 5 days), you can jump on and off all day, one round trip takes about two hours, and you see Paris from a very different vantage point. http://www.batobus.com/english/Batob...ine-tarifs.htm

The buses (included in your Metro pass) are also a wonderful way to see Paris if you select special routes, ie; the #69.

Most of the time I eat out and have no problem having dinner with the Parisians. Ie: I never go ‘early’ and have always been beautifully served. The cafes and restaurants have their menus posted outside so that you know the prices. The ‘menu’ or ‘formule’ is the fixed price meal and is usually excellent value! Have a wonderful visit.
CopperandJade is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 124
Happy53, I forgot to include these sites for your planning, good to think about for a first visit:


CopperandJade is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 273
For my first solo trip to Paris I used Rick Steve's Paris guide book. I found the suggested itineraries, the personal recommendations and the details, especially on day trips, opening, closing times, etc. very helpful. In addition his guidebooks are updated annually. Regardless of which guide book you choose check the the publication date to make you are getting something very out of date.

The Michelin Paris Pocket Atlas is my favorite map for the city. It's about the size of a small notebook and is spiral bound so it opens easily.
nwtraveler is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,400
If you don't speak any French I'd recommend buying language CD's and practicing some simple useful phrases. There are several websites, including BBC, that offer free language classes.

On my first trip I stayed at the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles. It was clean, fairly close to the metro and near a good boulangerie in the 5th Arrondisement. Breakfast was expensive so I ate elsewhere.

Have a great time.
bluzmama is offline  

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