Tips On Staying Safe In Paris, France

Despite recent public demonstrations, Paris is still considered a safe city for residents and visitors. However, Paris is a large metropolis with many of the same issues as other bustling cities. 

Paris isn’t free from crime, and theft and accidents can and do occur. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Light, ensuring your Paris visit remains incident-free is probably at the top of your mind. Here are some tips on how you can stay safe during your Parisian vacation.

Be Cautious Crossing Streets

Tips On Staying Safe In Paris, France

Some lesser-traveled streets in Paris are safer to cross than others throughout the world, and the reduced traffic automatically makes it safer and easier to cross. But on some other streets, even some insurance companies may balk at covering any injuries you may sustain.

One street that takes a lot of courage and caution to safely cross is the Place Charles de Gaulle or Place de l” Etoile. Traffic from 12 lanes converge at the roundabout, resulting in crowded streets and impatient drivers, and this roundabout is often considered the epitome of Paris traffic congestion.

Crossing 12 lanes of traffic takes skill and plenty of attention, and you don’t want to get distracted, even for a second. Something else to remember is that Parisian drivers are infamous for ignoring traffic signals, with some treating red lights as more suggestions than strict laws. Buses and cabs can also run both ways on some streets, adding to pedestrians’ potential danger.

The safest way to cross the busy intersection is to take the pedestrian tunnel, and you’ll find the entrance on Champs-Elysees close to the Arc de Triomphe.

Avoid Empty Alleys and Streets

Avoiding walking down a deserted alley is good advice regardless of the city, and you also want to avoid strolling down an empty street, especially at night. Walking with a friend or in a group can improve your safety, but it’s still best to always stick to well-lit streets.

Even if your guidebook is pointing you down an alley, ignore the advice—a shortcut is not worth the potential danger you may be placing yourself in. Also, who knows, you may discover a hidden gem on the longer walk.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Tips On Staying Safe In Paris, France

Pickpockets are present in every city, including Paris, so being aware of your surroundings and the people close by can help prevent this incident from happening to you and make you another crime statistic. 

Some vital tips to help you stay safe and retain your possessions include the following: avoid keeping smartphones and wallets in large baggy pockets. The loose pockets may make it easier for someone to reach in deftly, and you probably won’t feel or notice a thing. 

If you carry a purse, make sure it’s securely closed. Furthermore, zippers are often better than snaps—a zipper makes little noise, but you will also notice a slight tugging sensation as it’s pulled open. You may also want to wear the purse across your chest instead of over your shoulder, since yanking a purse off worn crosswise is noticeably harder than tugging it off your shoulder.

Crossing the street is another safety precaution when approaching a loud group or more than a pair of people. Chances are, the group is only celebrating, but it’s always best to be cautious and keep yourself safe at all times.

Lock Hotel Doors and Take Advantage of Safes

Locking hotel doors should be automatic. In fact, most hotel doors are equipped with automatic locks. To enter the room, you need a keycard, then, along with the automatic lock, go ahead and engage the manual lock—this is a deadbolt type of lock that provides an added layer of protection. You want this type of redundancy since keycards can be lost or stolen, giving someone access to your room.

Some hotel rooms also come with small safes, typically located in an alcove or closet, which are ideal for storing valuables like passports, jewellery, and credit cards. If your room doesn’t come with a private safe, inquire at the front desk, since most hotels have safes guests can use during their stay.

Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash

Tips On Staying Safe In Paris, France

Flashing around cash is almost an invitation to would-be thieves, and even if the theft isn’t successful, you’re still placing yourself in potential danger. To avoid an incident, use credit cards instead of cash. Your debit card may not always be accepted, but Parisian establishments happily take most major credit cards—even taxi drivers nowadays are lawfully required to accept credit cards as a form of payment.

Have a Fun and Safe Time in Paris

Using some common sense and paying attention to what is going on around you can prevent most unpleasant incidents. Remember to be cautious crossing any streets and take the underground tunnels whenever possible. 

After all, the last thing you want is to be involved in any negative incident during your Paris stay and vacation. 

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