Paris is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. With its charming streets, iconic monuments, and lively nightlife, it’s no wonder millions of tourists flock here every year. However, with such popularity comes safety concerns, especially when wandering the streets at night. So, is Paris actually safe for walking after dark?
The short answer is yes, Paris is generally quite safe, even at nighttime. However, as with any big city, travelers should take some basic precautions when out and about after hours. Being alert, avoiding deserted streets, and using common sense can go a long way in staying secure.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at safety in Paris at night. We’ll examine key factors like crime rates, which areas to avoid, tips for solo travelers, and how to get around safely after dark. Let’s dive in!
Crime Rates in Paris
Compared to other European capitals, Paris has moderate crime rates. According to recent data, the city saw:
– 5,397 violent crimes in 2021. This equals about 15 violent crimes per day.
– 81,114 property crimes in 2021. This equals roughly 222 property crimes daily.
While not the lowest in Europe, these figures are on par with similar sized metro areas. It’s also key to note rates have fallen over the past decade as security measures increased.
Violent crimes tend to occur more frequently in certain outer districts. Tourist hot spots like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysées see far fewer incidents.
Violent Crime Statistics
Property Crime Statistics
As shown, violent crimes slightly decreased from 2017 to 2021, while property crimes saw a more significant drop. Still, visitors should exercise reasonable precautions like avoiding isolated areas and being careful with valuables.
Safest Areas of Paris at Night
When it comes to security after dark, some neighborhoods are safer than others. Here are the areas travelers can feel most at ease in at night:
The iconic Champs-Elysées avenue hardly sleeps. Even into the wee hours, there are plenty of people dining al fresco, enjoying shows and concerts, or strolling under the glowing lights. With its constant activity and police presence, it remains secure after dark.
2. Latin Quarter
Home to the Sorbonne University, the lively Latin Quarter stays busy into the night. Well-lit streets and students heading to cafes and bistros keep the area buzzing. Stick to main drags like Boulevard St Michel or Rue de la Huchette.
3. Le Marais
Le Marais is one of Paris’ hippest and most vibrant districts. Chic bars, trendy shops, and cute bistros line the streets. At night, many cafes and eateries stay open late with folks dining al fresco. Stick to Rue des Rosiers, Rue Vieille du Temple, or Rue des Archives after dark.
Montmartre is charming and picturesque, even at night. Winding lanes, glowing lamps, cozy cafes, and Toulouse-Lautrec’s old haunts give it a magical ambiance. Stay in well-trafficked spots like Rue Lepic, Rue des Abbesses, or near the Sacré-Cœur basilica.
Being top tourist zones, the Louvre area and Palais-Royal have extra security. Police patrol regularly, especially along the well-lit Rue de Rivoli. After the Louvre closes, the courtyard remains open and safe for walking at night.
Riskier Areas to Avoid at Night
While Paris is generally safe, there are some specific areas that are best avoided after dark:
1. Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne park looks lovely during the daytime. However, at night it becomes less secure with some isolated trails. Robberies and muggings occasionally occur, so steer clear of this expansive park after dark.
2. Porte de la Chapelle
The Porte de la Chapelle district has seen issues with drug dealing, prostitution, and black market activities. At night, it’s wise to avoid the seedier streets around Boulevard Ney and Rue du Port.
3. Les Halles
The small Les Halles district was once notorious for crime. While it has improved, some streets are still dodgy after dusk. Avoid the darker back alleys and passages at night.
4. Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord train station gets sketchy late at night, especially the long tunnel leading to the Metro. Con artists also lurk about trying to scam intoxicated travelers stumbling out of bars. Use caution in this area at night.
5. Canal Saint-Martin
Though gentrifying, the area around Canal Saint-Martin has some isolated, dimly lit streets. Parts near Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad and Porte de la Vilette can be sketchy after dark. Have your wits about you.
Safety Tips for Traveling at Night
To further minimize any risks, solo travelers and women can take these added safety precautions at night:
Stay on main roads
Stick to well-lit major streets and avoid any dark, deserted lanes or passageways. Even if it’s a small detour, a busier route is smarter.
Use rideshares or taxis
Taking a taxi or Uber is safer than walking alone or riding the Metro late at night. Check the driver’s credentials and ride in the back seat.
Keep valuables hidden
Don’t flash cash or expensive gadgets. Keep wallets and phones out of sight to avoid attracting thieves. Only take out what you need when making a purchase.
Carry minimal cash
Only take necessary cash for the evening and leave spare debit/credit cards back in your room. Avoid flashing large amounts of cash that could make you a target.
Keep your head up and stay alert to your surroundings. Limit distractions from phones or headphones that inhibit awareness. Walk with confidence and purpose.
Avoid confronting strangers
If you feel harassed or threatened, don’t engage. Report any concerns to the nearest police officer. Confrontations can quickly escalate, so it’s best to walk away.
Travel in groups
There is safety in numbers. When possible, travel with one or more companions and stay together, especially at night.
Know emergency numbers
Save emergency police and medical response numbers in your phone like 17 for police and 15 for medical. Report any incidents promptly.
Getting Around Paris at Night
When darkness falls, here are the best ways to safely navigate the City of Light:
Taxis are the most secure and convenient way to travel at night. Fares are metered and average €1.07 per km but increase by 12% between 7 PM and 7 AM. Taxis wait outside top hotels and sites.
Request an Uber using the mobile app for door-to-door service. Average fares are €1 to €1.50 per km. Verify the car make, model, and license plate before entering.
The Metro runs until 12:30 AM daily, extending to 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. While generally safe, some stations are riskier at night. Transfer busier stations when possible.
Buses run until 12:30 AM. Well-lit bus stops provide safety in numbers. Late at night, it’s best to take more direct bus routes versus meandering sightseeing ones.
Walking lets you experience Paris’ magical ambiance at night. Stick to well-lit main streets and avoid parks or dark back alleys. Use extra caution and keep belongings secure.
Is Paris Safe for Female Travelers at Night?
While Paris is fairly safe, women do need to be extra vigilant – especially when alone at night. To stay safe, female travelers should:
– Stick to busy, well-lit streets
– Attend bars and clubs with others
– Use licensed taxis or rideshares
– Keep valuables out of sight
– Avoid signs of intoxication
– Carry pepper spray if legal
– Stay in accommodations with secure access
– Avoid provocative clothing and interactions
– Follow their intuition and exit any situation causing discomfort
There is no reason women cannot enjoy Paris’ nightlife with proper precautions. Using good judgment and staying alert provides ample peace of mind.
Is Paris Safe for Tourists at Night?
Yes, Paris remains quite safe for tourists visiting and walking at night – albeit with some caveats. Visitors should mainly:
– Avoid isolated streets or parks after dark
– Be wary of common tourist scams and pickpockets
– Not carry large amounts of cash or valuables
– Refrain from intoxication
– Keep belongings close in crowded areas
– Research any neighborhoods before visiting at night
– Learn basic French phrases in case of emergency
– Have emergency contacts programmed into their phone
Staying vigilant, not taking risks, and using common sense keeps tourists secure after dark in Paris.
While no major city is crime-free, Paris is statistically quite safe to explore even after the sun goes down. By avoiding high-risk areas, taking proper precautions, and using good judgment, people can comfortably and securely experience the City of Light’s magical ambiance at night. With its iconic monuments aglow and lively cafes full of chatter, Paris remains romantic and alluring once the stars come out.