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In my opinion, travelling alone in Paris is the best way to see this world-famous city. Most people visit Paris as a couple due to its status as the most romantic city in the world. But the first two times I went to Paris, I was completely alone and I loved it.
Regardless of who I visit with though, Paris is still one of my favourite cities. And after travelling alone in Paris twice, I’m confident it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a solo trip.
In this post, I’ll run through some of the best things to do in Paris on your own based on my own experiences of solo travel in Paris.
Things to do When Travelling Alone in Paris
1. Cosy up with a book at Shakespeare and Company
If the weather is less than favourable, or if you just love reading books, an afternoon spent at the world-famous bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, is an afternoon well-spent.
With the original store opening in 1919 (sadly now closed), it was a haunt for many of history’s famous writers. So, grab a book from their public reading library and while away the hours before closing time. And if you want to stay longer than a day, you can always become a Tumbleweed.
2. Take a Paris cooking class
If there’s one place in the world to learn to cook, it’s Paris. Whether you want to perfect the art of Franch pastry, learn to make pastel coloured macarons or whip up a storm with typical French cuisine, you’ll find the perfect French cooking class for you.
Although I can’t recommend any Paris cooking classes personally (this is still on my bucket list), you’ll find a great list of Parisian cooking classes here.
3. Shop in the most beautiful department store
I don’t often shop when I’m travelling as I’d rather be out seeing the sights, but Galeries Lafayette is one of the sights. Although Galeries Lafayette has several locations throughout Paris, it’s the Boulevard Haussmann location you’ll want to check out.
Pick up a souvenir from this beautiful department store or simply grab a pew at one of the cafes and admire the intricate ceiling and beautiful balconies that make this store a must-see. And while you’re there, don’t forget to head up to the roof terrace for completely free views of Paris.
4. Peruse the stalls of Les Puces de Saint-Ouen
Covering seven hectares, Les Puces flea market is the largest of its kind in the world. The market is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday, although many traders close early or don’t open at all on Mondays.
You can book a guided tour or simply turn up and wonder to your heart’s content, getting lost in the maze of antiques – just make sure you bring an extra suitcase for all your cool vintage finds.
5. Catch a ballet at the Opera Garnier
During my last visit to Paris, I finally got to visit the Opera Garnier which, in my opinion, is more impressive than Versailles (controversial I know)! Although I didn’t get to see a ballet performance, I did get to sit in the auditorium during ballet rehearsals which was pretty cool.
The inside of the opera house is jaw-dropping and is definitely worth a visit. You’ll need about an hour to wander around the interior and really enjoy the architecture. But if you can get tickets for a ballet or an opera at Opera Garnier, you’ll be able to enjoy it for an entire evening.
6. Enjoy an impromptu picnic
One of my favourite things to do when travelling alone in Paris is to grab a load of food – I’m talking a bottle of wine from the supermarche, a baguette and some pastries from a boulangerie, some cheese from a fromagerie and some strawberries from the local market – and plonk myself down on the grass with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Call it cheesy, call it touristy, call it whatever you want – I love it and doing things you love is what travelling is all about.
7. Crush your fear of eating alone
Many people I know avoid travelling alone because they’re worried about eating by themselves. I can understand why this would put people off, but if there’s one place you can comfortably eat alone, it’s Paris.
I personally love sitting in the window with a good book, watching the world go by while enjoying some excellent French food. If you’re worried about looking like a loner, don’t. Most people won’t even notice you, and if they do, they’re probably thinking how awesome you are for being self-assured enough to eat alone.
8. Do a museum crawl with the Paris Pass
If you intend to see all the major sights in Paris, the Paris Pass could be the ideal solution for you. With the Paris Pass, you can choose from a 2, 3, 4 or 6-day duration ticket which allows you free access to all the major attractions for a fraction of the price. Not only will you save money you’ll also beat the queues too.
The Paris Pass includes major museums such as The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay and popular attractions such as Seine river cruises, the Opera Garnier and the Tour Montparnasse.
The Paris Pass also provides access to free public transport in Paris, using the RER, Metro, Buses, Trams and SNCF Overground Trains – a major bonus!!
9. Take a Paris walking tour
Paris walking tours are a fantastic way to meet new people and see more of the city at the same time. Discover Walks lists a shed load of great walking tours, some free and some paid and includes something to suits all ages and interests, from Paris landmark walking tours and street art tours to Paris food tours and photography workshops.
10. Do whatever you want to do
The beauty of solo travel in Paris is that you can do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. And who says you can’t do all the things you’d normally do on a couples or group trip to Paris. Climb the Eiffel Tower, stroll down the Champs Elysees, eat in all the best restaurants, visit Versailles and everything else on your Paris bucket list.
I hope this guide to solo travel in Paris has encouraged you to book a solo trip to Paris, or at least given you some ideas of things to do when travelling alone in Paris.
As I’m sure you can guess, I love travelling alone in Paris and will enjoy many more solo trips to the city of lights in the future!
There are so many things to do in Paris, that I can’t imagine you could ever run out of things to do! I went with my husband, but it would be a good city to visit solo, especially for relaxing in the cafes and spending some time people watching in Champ de Mars!
Absolutely. I think I’ll keep going until I’m old and grey and still have parts of Paris I haven’t seen!
How many days do you recommend do all of these Zara? I’ve never been to Paris, I guess time to see it soon 🙂
Ahh, there really is so much to do in Paris, you’ll never do it all in one trip! The first time I went I only spent 4 days there, but any time from 4 days to a week would be a great amount of time to see the main sites and really get a feel for it!
I mostly travel with my family but your post has definitely encouraged me to book a solo trip to Paris now 🙂 It’s good to travel alone once in a while.
Quite frankly, you had me at Shakespeare. I would have NEVER thought of Paris this way.. I feel like I fell right into that misconception of thinking Paris needs to be saved for non-solo travel. And now, I might just do it. Thanks so much
You totally should. It’s one of my favourite places to travel alone. I always feel so safe there. Hope you get to experience it by yourself, let me know how you get on!
Heck yah! I love traveling solo, it leaves you so much more freedom. I’ve only been to Paris with my family years ago, but it’s time to go back and explore. I love taking cooking classes and reading books, and honestly love eating alone because it lets you do some excellent people watching 🙂 thanks for sharing!
Ha yes! It’s great isn’t it? Hope you get to go it alone sometime soon, it’s such a beautiful place to enjoy by yourself.
Went to Paris with a friend, but had almost a day alone after she left. I found it very nice just to wander around on my own, and spent hours sitting in a park just watching people walk by.
Yes, it’s perfect for that! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I have to admit, one of the reasons I have avoided going to Paris so far, was that I didn´t want to do it by myself. It always seemed like such a romantic destination that I was waiting for someone special to go there with. Now I read this, I am thinking I will go on my own. And I´ll go on a walking tour and meet somebody to go to the ballet with! 🙂
Oooh the walking tour and ballet idea is stellar! Honestly, I love being in Paris alone. It just feels so right! I’ve never felt out of place on my own there, it just works for me!
Great post! I love that you’ve gone alone and had a great time. That bookstore so so old school! lovely photos 🙂
Thanks so much! I know, I love that bookshop, even if it is a tourist trap. It’s still a must do.
You’re so right – everyone thinks of Paris as a couple’s destination but it looks the perfect place to travel on your own too. It’s one of those cities you can just get lost in, and there’s plenty to keep you entertained too. The French cooking class is a great idea!
Absolutely! There’s so much to do in Paris. After 4 visits in the last 2 years, I still haven’t even scratched the surface!