Solo travel in Paris is an experience that is rarely considered. The city’s reputation for romance overshadows it, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less thrilling for a single traveler. Solo travel Paris can be a liberating and inspiring journey. From the mesmerizing Eiffel Tower to the charming café culture, traveling to Paris alone is a trip that you won’t soon forget.
So, if you’re wondering what activities await you on a solo visit to the City of Lights, this guide has you covered.
Here are the best things to do in Paris alone.
Things to Book in Paris Before You Leave Home
Few things are more frustrating on vacation than missing out on that amazing hotel or tour because it is sold out. Here are my top things to book in Paris before your vacation.
🗼 Most Popular Attractions in Paris:
1. Eiffel Tower Skip the Line Entry – you can’t miss this when you go to Paris
2. Louvre Museum Timed Entry Ticket – queues for this iconic museum can go for days
3. River Seine 1 Hour Cruise – see Paris from the water
4. Arc de Triomphe Rootop Tickets – try and get it for sunset
5. Versailles Palace Day Trip from Paris – the number one Paris day trip
🛏️Where to Stay in Paris:
1. Hotel La Bourdonnais – 5 min walk from the Eiffel Tower, 7th Arrondissement
2. Hotel Raphael – Most beautiful rooftop in Paris, with Eiffel Tower views
3. Les Jardins de Montmartre Hotel – great value, 10 min walk to Sacre Coeur
Solo Travel Paris: 20 Best Things to Do in Paris Alone
Table of Contents
- Solo Travel Paris: 20 Best Things to Do in Paris Alone
- 1. Climb the Eiffel Tower
- 2. Shop at a Parisian Market
- 3. Cruise along the Seine River
- 4. Discover the Louvre Museum
- 5. Visit the Sacré-Coeur Basilica
- 6. Discover the Père Lachaise Cemetery
- 7. Take a Day Trip
- 8. Explore the Covered Passages
- 9. Walk Along Promenade Plantée
- 10. Visit the Palace of Versailles
- 11. Explore Canal Saint-Martin
- 12. Wander through Montmartre
- 13. Visit Sainte Chapelle
- 14. Relax in Jardin du Luxembourg
- 15. Visit the Centre Pompidou
- 16. Explore the Musée d’Orsay
- 17. Picnic at Bois de Vincennes
- 18. Explore Le Marais
- 19. Visit the Paris Catacombs
- 20. Visit the Panthéon
- 8 Top Tips for Visiting Paris Alone
- 1. Learn Some French
- 2. Know How to Use Public Transportation
- 3. Be Aware of Common Scams
- 4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- 5. Download an Offline Map
- 6. Get Travel Insurance
- 7. Enjoy the Nightlife Responsibly
- 8. Be Open to New Experiences
- Final Thoughts on Solo Travel in Paris
The Eiffel Tower, an iconic symbol of Paris and France, is an absolute must-see for any solo traveler. Built in 1889, it stands at a staggering 330 meters high, offering an unbeatable view of the city’s skyline. Journey to the top, either with the elevator or if you’re adventurous, you can climb the stairs.
There are three different levels, but nothing beats the highest one. This is where you’ll have one of the most stunning panoramas of Paris.
And, if you want to add a little luxury to your experience, order a glass of Champagne at the top.
2. Shop at a Parisian Market
If there’s one thing you have to do while visiting France, it’s go shopping at a local market. And, in Paris, you’ll find at least one every day of the week.
You can indulge in fresh produce, vintage goods, and delectable street food here. As a solo traveler, you’ll get the chance to experience an authentic slice of Parisian life. You can mingle with locals, practice introducing yourself in French, and even learn about regional produce and recipes.
Of course, choosing which markets to visit is no easy task. But there are two that are an absolute must. The first is Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market. Then, there is Marché Bastille, the largest market in Paris.
Whether it’s for grocery shopping or souvenir hunting, a visit to a Parisian market is worth adding to your itinerary.
There’s no better way to take in all the wonderful sites than cruising down the Seine River.
As you glide along, you’ll pass iconic landmarks like the Louvre Museum, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Conciergerie. And most cruises include audio commentary so you can fully immerse yourself in the experience.
For an all-inclusive tour, opt for the dinner cruise. You’ll indulge in a gourmet meal while watching the sunset. It’s the perfect way to explore Paris at night.
As one of the world’s largest museums, the Louvre is an absolute must-visit.
Established in the late 12th century as a fortress, it was transformed into a royal palace in the 16th century. And it didn’t become a public museum until after the French Revolution. Here, you will find over 35,000 works of art spread across 60,600 square meters of exhibition space. But its most famous piece is undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
The best part about going alone is that you’ll be able to pick which exhibits you want to see and go at your own pace.
Located at the highest point in the city, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris. It was built in 1914 after the Franco-Prussian War as a symbol of repentance.
The exterior is all white and mixes Romano-Byzantine architectural styles. But its most impressive feature is the giant mosaic over the choir, The Triumph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To date, it’s the largest mosaic in the world.
Then, if you’re looking for the most incredible views of Paris, the panorama from its dome is one of the best in the city. It’s a staggering 300 steps to the top, but it’s worth every single one.
The Père Lachaise Cemetery has been the largest cemetery in Paris since 1804. And while it might seem odd to visit such a place, it’s actually more than a burial ground. It’s a place full of beauty and history.
There are several notable figures buried here including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf. And as you walk along the cobbled paths, you’ll notice various tombs ranging from simple gravestones to elaborate mausoleums. It’s like an outdoor museum that highlights both the artistic and architectural heritage of Paris.
Being centrally located, Paris is a perfect base for exploring other cities in France.
One of the best day trips is to Reims. Dubbed the unofficial capital of Champagne, it’s known for its historic Gothic cathedral as well as its role in World War II. You can tour the Cathedral, visit a Champagne House, and even sample its infamous pink biscuits.
Alternatively, you can spend a day exploring Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. From its well-preserved medieval center to its rich history and gastronomy, there are many things to do here.
And the beauty of these day trips is that they are easily accessible. Direct trains run regularly throughout the day and take less than two hours.
Up until the end of the 19th century, Paris had nearly 200 covered passages.
These passages played a big role in city life during this time. They were the equivalent of shopping centers and had everything, from boutiques to cafés and theaters.
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Today, only about 20 remain. From Galerie Vivienne’s luxurious boutiques and antique bookstores to Passage des Panoramas’ stamp dealers, these arcades are a treasure trove of fascinating finds. But their most impressive features are their elegant glass ceilings and old-fashioned architecture.
9. Walk Along Promenade Plantée
Promenade Plantée, also known as the Coulée Verte René-Dumont, is a strikingly beautiful, elevated park in the 12th arrondissement. Opened in 1993, it’s a pioneering urban renewal project that converted an obsolete railway line into a lush green space. Walking along the 4.7-kilometer pathway, you’ll be treated to some of the most charming views over Parisian rooftops.
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You can take a leisurely stroll, go for a scenic jog, or even enjoy a picnic. It’s the perfect place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city’s center.
Just a short train ride from the city center is the ever-impressive Palace of Versailles. This royal château is a UNESCO World Heritage site and serves as a symbol of the former monarchy.
It is steeped in history, culture, and luxury. You can explore the lavish Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartments, and the vast collection of artworks.
The gardens are a spectacle in their own right, with manicured lawns, ornate fountains, and elaborate sculptures. And in summer, the already magical atmosphere is heightened by the spectacular fireworks display.
11. Explore Canal Saint-Martin
There’s no better way to experience the art of Parisian living than spending an afternoon exploring Canal Saint-Martin.
It was built in the 19th century under Napoleon’s orders and served as a freshwater source for the city. Today, this picturesque canal area is full of chic boutiques and quaint bistros, a haven for tourists and locals alike.
Go for a stroll, enjoy an espresso at one of the cute cafés, or hang out and people watch. It’s a scenic area with a bohemian vibe that will make you feel right at home.
You might want to read my article on the best hotels in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
If you’ve already made your way to the magnificent Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Then, why not wander around Montmartre?
This hilltop district was once the sanctuary of renowned artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso. Today, it has retained its artistic charm and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the winding cobbled streets, bustling cafés, and the iconic Moulin Rouge. Stroll through Place du Tertre, where contemporary artists showcase their works. You can even have your portrait sketched. And, of course, no trip is complete without admiring one of Paris’ most beautiful streets, Rue de l’Abreuvoir.
Built in the mid-13th century by King Louis IX, this royal chapel was designed to house the King’s collection of Christian artifacts.
Today, Sainte Chapelle is a Gothic masterpiece. From the moment you step inside, you’re immediately struck by the multicolored glow of the stained-glass windows. And, if you look closely, you’ll see that each panel is detailed with Biblical scenes.
It’s easy to see why this is the most impressive collection of 13th-century stained-glass windows in the world.
14. Relax in Jardin du Luxembourg
Located in the heart of the city, Jardin du Luxembourg is the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing without having to go far. The gardens were commissioned in the early 17th century by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV.
Here you’ll find a blend of French and English garden styles, beautiful landscapes, and the infamous Medici Fountain. There are also several statues throughout the park that add an extra touch of elegance.
You can immerse yourself in a book, picnic on one of the lawns, or appreciate the stunning floral displays.
The Centre Pompidou is home to two public libraries, a research center, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Europe’s largest modern art museum. Also, its unmistakable high-tech style is a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture.
You’ll find an extensive collection of over 100,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Some of the most notable artists include Picasso, Matisse, and Warhol.
It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the modern side of Paris. And beyond the art, the top floor offers sweeping panoramic views.
Set in a charming former railway station, the Musée d’Orsay houses an extensive collection of French artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the most famous artists include Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
And the museum’s architecture is just as beautiful as its collection. From the soaring glass ceiling to the ornate clock, you’ll no doubt be left in awe.
Then, if you’re looking to add a little luxury to your visit, book a table at the Musée d’Orsay Restaurant. You’ll dine under chandeliers while watching the city unfold in the distance.
17. Picnic at Bois de Vincennes
If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, nothing beats picnicking at Bois de Vincennes. As Paris’ largest public park, this giant green space has many shaded areas to escape the hustle and bustle. But that’s not all there is to do here.
Rent a paddle boat, explore Lac Daumesnil, or visit Parc Floral de Paris, a thriving botanical garden. Both are excellent additions to any itinerary.
Then, there’s Château de Vincennes, a former fortress from the 14th century. If you have extra time, it’s worth checking out.
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Once an aristocratic district, Le Marais is home to trendy boutiques, high-end restaurants, and art galleries. It’s where history, art, and culture combine into one beautiful district.
From Paris’s oldest planned square, Place des Vosges, to Musée Picasso, you’ll find many things to do here. And, of course, no trip to Le Marais is complete without indulging in the area’s culinary scene. From Parisian bistros to falafel stands, you’re sure to find something to tantalize your taste buds.
The Paris Catacombs are an underground labyrinth that houses the remains of over six million people.
First opened to the public in the late 18th century, the Catacombs solved the overcrowding of Parisian cemeteries. Today, you can follow the dimly lit tunnels lined with neatly stacked skulls and femurs stretching beneath the city’s streets.
As you navigate the passages, you will encounter haunting inscriptions, wells, and carvings from a former quarry worker.
The Catacombs are very cool and damp, so bring an extra layer and wear comfortable shoes.
Originally built as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, it’s now a mausoleum for France’s most distinguished people. The Pantheon inspired its neoclassical façade in Rome. But the true beauty lies on the inside.
Here you’ll be met with a mesmerizing display of artistry and craftsmanship. From the frescoes that depict the life of Saint Genevieve to the copy of the Foucault pendulum, it’s impressive.
Then, there’s the crypt, which is the final resting place of celebrated figures such as Voltaire and Victor Hugo. You can even go up to the Panthéon’s dome, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Paris.
8 Top Tips for Visiting Paris Alone
1. Learn Some French
Mastering a few French phrases will make your solo trip to Paris that much more rewarding. You’ll not only be able to interact with locals, but you’ll also be able to immerse yourself in the culture. It will create a more authentic experience.
And you don’t need to be fluent. Simply asking someone if they speak English beforehand will go a long way. In French that’s, “Parlez-vous anglais?” Then, if you know how to say hello or thank you in French, that will be more than enough.
2. Know How to Use Public Transportation
Paris has an extensive metro, train, and bus system that is both affordable and efficient. It’s a great way to get around the city without navigating the sometimes confusing streets.
But make sure to know where you’re going before you get on board. Most of the time they are packed, and stops aren’t always announced.
Finally, make sure you have the right ticket. Not all train stops have a metro stop, so if you have the wrong ticket, you could get a fine. A common scam happens at Versailles’ train station. Most tourists board in the center of Paris with a metro ticket, not a train ticket. Ticket agents know this and almost always wait at the exit to issue fines.
3. Be Aware of Common Scams
It’s important to be aware of common scams before traveling to Paris. It will spare you from any unnecessary stress. Scammers often prey on solitary tourists, attempting tricks such as the ‘gold ring scam’, ‘friendship bracelet’, or ‘petition scam’.
If there are a lot of people around, don’t take out your phone or open your bag. Either go inside a store or stand where there is enough space.
Finally, pickpockets are very common, especially near popular tourist sites and on metros. Don’t leave anything valuable in your pockets or in a place in your bag that is easily accessible. Holding your bag or purse under your arm is a good way to block thieves.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Maintaining a heightened awareness of your surroundings when traveling alone in Paris is one of the most valuable tips on this list.
Usually, you can spot scammers a mile away, but if you have headphones on or you’re looking at your phone you might miss them.
Always know where you are and where you’re going. It will help you avoid unsafe areas or be a victim of a scam.
5. Download an Offline Map
An offline map is an essential tool for any solo traveler in Paris. And while it might not seem necessary, if you lose signal or go over your data limit, you’ll wonder why you didn’t download one earlier.
Plus, applications like Maps.me work in airplane mode so you’ll be able to navigate the streets of Paris without draining your battery.
6. Get Travel Insurance
Investing in travel insurance is an absolute must for any trip, including a solo trip to Paris. Unforeseen circumstances or emergencies are always a possibility. A solid travel insurance policy will give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your trip rather than worrying.
7. Enjoy the Nightlife Responsibly
Paris has an incredible nightlife scene. From chic bars to lively clubs, it’s definitely something you should experience. But, as a solo traveler, enjoying these activities responsibly is crucial.
You should always ensure your safety and maintain control of a situation. Know how to get back to your hotel and carry a few emergency numbers just in case.
8. Be Open to New Experiences
As you walk around, be open to unplanned encounters, spontaneous conversations, and local cuisine. Scams exist in any city, but you don’t want to be so cautious that you completely forget to experience Paris.
The beauty of traveling alone is that you can do what you want. Be open and willing to try new things. You never know what adventures you’ll find!
Final Thoughts on Solo Travel in Paris
Solo Travel in Paris is a unique experience that everyone needs to try at least once. From the majesty of the Eiffel Tower to the tunnels of the Catacombs, Paris is a city full of culture, history, and life. And as a solo traveler, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the journey completely.
Whether it’s savoring a macaron at a charming café or chatting with a Parisian, it’s a trip that will no doubt be unforgettable. So, pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
This guest post was written by Jen Ciesielski. Jen is an American who has lived in France for six years.
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