We’ve all heard that Paris, France, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Right? But this doesn’t mean it can’t be an amazing solo travel destination too! With so many museums to explore and cafes with a view, there are plenty of things to do in Paris alone.
The sights, sounds and smells of Paris are hard to resist. It’s no wonder that this city 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 I’ve travelled to Paris as a solo traveller too. Each time I visit, I fall in love with the city all over again.
I’ve split this post up into things to do in Paris alone both during the day at night, as well as adding some great tips for those travelling to Paris for the first time alone.
Table of Contents
- Why travel to Paris alone
- Is Paris safe for solo female travellers
- Things to do in Paris during the day
- Things to do in Paris at night
Why travel to Paris alone
There are so many benefits of travelling alone in general, no matter where you choose.
Paris 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 on your own.
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
Paris is absolutely safe for solo female travellers, but 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 have 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’.
Things to do in Paris 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.
What is perhaps my favourite thing in Paris is 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!
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!
I love to sit and read a book or watch people go by outside a Parisian café or in a nearby park. I could do (and have done) this for hours!
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!
Lucky for me, I found this 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.
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 it. You might also pick up a few bits of French along the way.
There are many guided walking tours around Paris with different themes. One example is this Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre walking tour which takes you through the cobbled streets of the artists district and inside the 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!
Another great walking tour is the Murder Mysteries Tour, where you’ll find out some truly gruesome tales of the city’s past. You will definitely be surprised by some of the stories of murder and executions told on this tour.
Stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg 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.
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.
Things to do in Paris 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 Seine River. And, in particular, I loved doing the dinner cruise at night when you can see all the landmarks lit up beautifully.
Don’t ask me why, but I think an evening dinner cruise is perfect for your last night in Paris!
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.
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