Sure, Paris is one of the world’s most romantic cities. But does that mean the French capital can’t be an amazing solo travel destination too? The good news is no, it does not! In fact, it’s one of the best places to travel Han Solo.
If you’re planning a solo trip to Paris, I can tell you now, it’s a good idea.
The sights, the sounds, the smells of the City of Light are pretty hard to resist. It’s no wonder that Paris is one of the most visited destinations in the world.
I’ve gotten to explore Paris numerous times – with my (then) other half, with my family, to meet some friends, and, of course, I’ve travelled to Paris alone as a solo traveller too.
Each time I visit, I fall in love with the city all over again, and I’m hoping if you’re planning your first solo trip to Paris, you’ll feel the same.
I’ve split this post up into a list of the best things to do in Paris alone both during the day at night, as well as adding some great tips for those travelling to Paris alone for the first time.
You might also like:
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- Why travel to Paris alone
- Is Paris safe for solo female travellers
- Best tips for solo travellers to Paris
- Things to do in Paris alone during the day
- Explore the Louvre Museum
- Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
- See the Statue of Liberty
- Get a view of the entire city from the Sacre Coeur
- Attend a baking class
- Sit outside one of Paris’s famous cafes
- Take a walking tour
- Stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg
- Treat yourself to a professional photoshoot
- Take yourself on a self-guided film locations tour
- Hop on a Segway
- Get out of the city
- Things to do in Paris alone at night
Why travel to Paris alone
There are so many benefits of travelling alone in general, no matter where you choose.
The French Capital has a feel to it that‘s unlike any other place I’ve been – it’s quintessentially romantic, with bridges and flowers, cafés and cobbled streets. It’s alive at all times of the day no matter what time you find yourself there, and it’s an amazing place to explore at your own pace.
You can be as active or as laid back as you want, you can let yourself get swept up in the romance of the city or simply admire it from afar.
And while Paris is busy during the day time, it really comes alive at night when the whole city lights up.
When you’re travelling to Paris alone, you get to set your own itinerary. Feel like having a lazy day lying under the Eiffel Tower and eating croissants? That’s up to you! Want to take a day trip out of the city? You get to make the decision yourself.
You don’t have to split everything up with anyone else. Traveling solo means that when it comes to picking a restaurant or bar, you don’t have to worry about what your friend/partner thinks of the menu!
Is Paris safe for solo female travellers
Is it really a good idea to visit Paris on your own? Especially as a female traveller? Absolutely Paris is safe for solo female travellers. But, and I know I sound like a broken record here, it’s always good to exercise caution and mind your belongings. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t walk around alone at night in dark or isolated areas.
I’ve been approached a few times when walking around Paris alone. The people who approached me were generally friendly and just wanted to have a chat. Of course, I don’t speak much French so can’t really have an in-depth conversation with anyone who doesn’t speak English!
When someone approaches me and I feel I shouldn’t stick around for a chat, my usual response is ‘Ní thuigim’ which means ‘I don’t understand’ in Irish.
Generally, when they think you don’t speak their language, they’ll move on. Feel free to use this phrase the next time you travel alone (obviously it works in any city)! Phonetically, it’s pronounced ‘knee higim’.
- Travel safety for the solo female traveller
- Travelling alone for the first time: Essential tips for solo female travellers
Best tips for solo travellers to Paris
- Learn a couple of French phrases before you go, like:
- Merci – Thank you
- Bonjour – Hello
- Pardon / excusez-moi – Pardon / excuse me
- Parles vous Anglais – Do you speak English?
- Je ne parle pas Francais – I don’t speak French
- Au revoir – Goodbye
- Book tickets to attractions in advance to avoid long lines (or aim to get there first thing in the morning before the rest of the flock)
- If you’re paying by credit card, make sure you pay in local currency (not your own currency) in order to save money on bank charges
- Have some Euro handy for tips and flea markets
- If you don’t already have a universal adapter, get one! France uses Type E electrical outlet.
Things to do in Paris alone during the day
Explore the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is an absolute must for all people visiting Paris. It’s the most visited museum in the world and it’s easy to see why, with so much art and history on display. Don’t miss the Mona Lisa!
The Louvre is also one of the largest museums in the world, with its iconic pyramid in the courtyard, there’s lots to keep you occupied here.
It can take days to see everything in there so if you’re short on time, plan your trip to the Louvre ahead of time so you don’t miss out on anything you want to see.
There’s nothing quite like wandering around this museum on a sunny day when all of the stone streets surrounding it seem to be bathed in sunlight.
Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral, close to the Latin Quarter, is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a great place to start your day. You’ll see people taking pictures across the square and up close, all with their own unique expression or pose.
It’s also a popular spot for people taking wedding photos (one of the most common photo spots in Paris)!
Unfortunately, due to a devastating fire in 2019, the inside of the Cathedral remains closed and is likely to for a number of years while renovations continue. It’s still a stunning sight to see though!
See the Statue of Liberty
No, I’ve not forgotten which city we’re talking about! But did you know that the Statue of Liberty, created by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was gifted to the United States by France?
There are actually 5 replicas of the Statue of Liberty dotted around Paris and I made it my mission to spot them all. Here’s where you can find them:
- Allée des Cygnes
- Pont de l’Alma
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Musée des Arts & Metiers
- Musée d’Orsay
Get a view of the entire city from the Sacre Coeur
While the building itself is stunning, it’s the view from the steps of the Sacre Coeur Basilica that’s the real topping. It does get crowded during the day – especially on a sunny day – but if you can get there early in the morning or even later in the evening, you’ll get a birds eye view of the city from above.
Attend a baking class
While most people think of croissants when they think of Paris, my mind goes a little sweeter to my absolute favourite treat ever – macarons! Perhaps because I’m gluten intolerant it means I still get to enjoy a yum treat.
Lucky for me, I found this incredible macaron baking class with Chef Noémie, who teaches you how to make your own macarons! How awesome is that!?
This could well have been the best things I did for myself when visiting Paris.
Sit outside one of Paris’s famous cafes
When you think of Paris, you think of croissants and baguettes, right? One of the best ways to try some French pastries and other snacks is by visiting a local patisserie/café. Everything just looks so pretty and delicious, sitting there in the window!
One of my favorite things to do is sit and read a good book or watch people go by outside a Parisian café or in a nearby park. I could do (and have done) this for hours!
Take a walking tour
There is nothing quite like a Paris walking tour. Paris has a long and rich history, and there’s so much to learn about French culture. You might also pick up a few phrases in French along the way.
There are so many guided walking tours around Paris with different themes, but here are my top picks:
- This Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre walking tour takes you through the cobbled streets of the artists district and inside the absolutely stunning Basilica of the Sacred Heart
- If you’re a foodie, this 3-hour Cheese, Wine and Pastry Food Tour is the walking tour for you
- This Murder Mysteries Tour is great if you like any kind of alternative walking tour. You’ll find out some truly gruesome tales of the city’s past. I guarantee you’ll definitely be surprised by some of the stories of murder and executions told on this tour!
- Even better than a walking tour of a city, is a FREE walking tour! I took this Latin Quarter walking tour and had a great time with the small group and our tour guide, Justine. She came with a massive personality and incredible knowledge about the area.
Stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg (or the Luxembourg Gardens for all you non-French speaking folk) is one of the largest parks in Paris, and it’s well-known for its gardens, fountains and tree lined promenades.
This park is the perfect place to take a break from all the walking around and sightseeing. Pick up a take-away coffee and pastry from a local café and relax in the gardens for a while.
Treat yourself to a professional photoshoot
When you travel alone, it’s not always possible to get that perfect shot. Not that it’s always necessary, of course! But yes, sometimes it’s nice to have some great shots taken by an actual professional photographer.
Paris is quite a large city, and while you may find all the most iconic landmarks by yourself, a pro photographer will have you down tiny side streets and on top of buildings you never even knew existed to get that Insta-shot.
Take yourself on a self-guided film locations tour
You already know Paris has been featured in a million and one tv shows and movies (hello Emily in Paris). Here are some of the filming locations that were on my list to see in the City of Love:
- Eiffel Tower: Ok obviously you’re going to want to see this when you’re in Paris. Almost every movie shot in Paris shows the Eiffel Tower. Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face, Roger Moore’s A View to a Kill and even Ratatouille feature the incredible Parisian icon.
- The Ritz Hotel: Once home to Ernest Hemmingway and Coco Chanel, the hotel was also featured in Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon and The Da Vinci Code.
- Pont de Bir-Hakeim (or Pont de Passy) Bridge: You might recognise this super cool bridge from the movie, Inception. Head out to the middle of the views for some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower!
- The Moulin Rouge: Need I say more?
- The Louvre: Perhaps another obvious, but still a must on your film locations tour. As well as The Da Vinci Code, you’ll find the Louvre in the 2017 Wonder Woman and Daniel Day Lewis’ Age of Innocence.
- Place de la Concorde: An all-time favourite of mine, scenes from The Devil Wears Prada were filmed here – you know, where she chucks here phone in the fountain and calls it a day?
Hop on a Segway
From the moment I stepped onto it, I was having fun! If you’ve never tried segwaying before, now is your chance.
It’s a great way to see some of Paris’ famous landmarks in a short period of time. This 1-hour Segway Tour is perfect for a taste but there are others offering longer tours, up to 2.5 hours.
If you’ve seen all the usual landmarks but still want to experience segwaying around Paris, this Street Art Segway Tour brings you on an 8km journey through the streets with some of the most influential street artists of our time.
Get out of the city
I know we’re in Paris, but there’s also a good reason to get out of the big city for a day – because there’s sooo much to see outside of Paris!
If you have enough time, I highly recommend checking out some of these day tours
- Loire castles day trip with wine tasting – can you really visit France without having a glass of wine (or two)?
- Giverny & Versailles Palace tour – a very grand day trip
- Head to Disneyland – yes I’ve gone to Disneyland by myself and yes I bought the ears
- Day trip to Bruges – venture a little further and cross the border into Belgium!
Things to do in Paris alone at night
Visit the Palais de Tokyo
Open until midnight during the week, this is a fun place to visit during the evenings, especially if you’re looking for things to do in Paris that are off the beaten path.
This museum features both modern and contemporary art and puts on several different exhibits throughout the year.
There’s also restaurants where you can stop for a drink (and maybe a snack too), and a bookshop which happens to be one of Paris’ largest bookshops!
Head to an outdoor cinema
During summertime, Parisians gather outdoors at La Vilette for a night of movies, with a different theme each night. You’ll find people laying out on blankets and bringing a picnic with you is highly encouraged!
People watch in Montmartre
Montmartre is known for its small winding streets and lively atmosphere. At night, there’s nothing quite like seeing the churches and other attractions lit up.
This area becomes a hotspot to stroll around in, and it’s also where you’ll find lots of cafes to stop by for some drinks or even have a meal! There are also several theaters in this area to check out.
See the night lights of Notre Dame Cathedral
I know we’ve already covered this earlier in the things to do in Paris alone during the day section, but Notre Dame Cathedral lit up at night is quite a sight to see!
See a show at the Moulin Rouge
Ok, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea to see ladies wearing just tassels on top dance around the stage, but I’ve actually been to the Moulin Rouge a few times and it’s a whole lot of fun!
My brother used to work in an Irish bar next door to the Moulin Rouge and he knew all the girls. Any time he had visitors to Paris he would have them go see a show and I’ve yet to find someone who didn’t enjoy it!
Watch a show at Palais Garnier Opera House
One of my favourite things to do in Paris alone is visit the Palais Garnier Opera House. Here, you can either catch a show or take a backstage tour (either guided or self-guided) around the building itself.
If you’re into ghostly tales, there’s a really good Mysteries of the Opera tour you can take where you’ll learn about legendary performances and the mysteries and myths of the building.
Take a cruise along the Seine
One of the best ways to see the sights and landmarks around Paris is by taking a boat cruise along the River Seine And, in particular, I loved doing the dinner cruise at night when you can see all the landmarks lit up beautifully.
I think an evening dinner cruise is perfect for your last night in Paris!
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The best things to do in Paris alone are those that make you feel like the city is yours and that only you can decide what to do. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, then I highly recommend booking a solo trip (or two) to one of the most romantic cities on earth!
With all these incredible options for going out during the day or at night, there’s no way your time spent exploring Paris will be boring. Regardless of whether you’re travelling by yourself, don’t miss an opportunity to explore this amazing city!
Whether you’re visiting for just one day or staying for a week long holiday, this list should give you plenty of options for how to spend your free time while exploring Paris on your own.
Vourneen is a travel junkie and chronic illness warrior. Although she was late to game in terms of travelling, she has picked up numerous tips and tricks from the almost 30 countries she has visited in the past 5 years.