A Solo Female Traveler's Guide to Paris

Advisor - Nikki Lakin
Curated By

Nikki Lakin

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  • Paris

  • Bachelorette Party Destinations

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Solo Travel

  • France

  • Outdoors

  • Romantic

  • Sightseeing

cityscape of Paris
Curator’s statement

If you've never done an international solo trip before, Paris is one of the best places to start. Paris is where I first learned to be comfortable being by myself and I always return to spend some quality time with my soul when I need it most. Hours will pass you by in cafés, stores, museums, parks and so many other dazzling quirks, that you will truly forget you were traveling on your own in the first place. Below are some of my favorite places, along with notable sites that are close in distance to them.

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Where to stay in Paris

Hôtel d'Angleterre Saint Germain des Prés

A chic, intimate and classically Parisian hotel in the heart of the historic & hip 6th arrondissement.

The Hoxton Paris

Hoxton brings its winning formula of well-priced, high-style rooms and welcoming public spaces to an 18th-century townhouse in the fun 2nd.

Hôtel Beaugency

Experience Parisian charm and comfort at Hôtel Beaugency, where cozy accommodations, a central location in the 7th arrondissement, and a warm ambiance create a delightful stay in the City of Lights, France.

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Things to do in Paris

Street in Paris

Refresh your wardrobe on Rue du Commerce: Forget what anyone ever told you about shopping on the Champs Elysées. You don't need to. The stores on Rue du Commerce, a narrow street bordering the 7th and 15th arrondissements, will give you a much more local experience with affordable stores and boutiques. This street is always my first stop as soon as I land in Paris. Be sure to stop in Libertie, Etam and Promod and Claudie Pierlot, if you have a more flexible budget.

Nearby attractions: the Eiffel Tower

Admire peacocks in Bagatelle Park: Once I learned there were live peacocks running around fields in Paris, I had to discover this for myself. Getting to this section of the Bois de Boulogne is a trek, but it’s worth it to watch all the wildlife and take in the serenity of the grounds. This park isn’t as much of a tourist destination as other grounds in Paris, like Luxembourg Garden and the Tuileries, so you’ll see people there, but not as many. You might even see some locals jogging through or families with their children. This is also a good place to check out if you’re already on your way to the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Rodin Museum: This outdoor sculpture museum is small, but divine. Rodin’s most famous work, The Thinker, is the first thing you’ll come across when strolling through the garden. You might also find yourself in a small, marble mansion as you peruse, housing more works. It might be a quick visit, but it cannot be missed.

Nearby attractions: Le Bon Marché, Place des Invalides, Pont Alexandre III and Boulevard Saint Germain.

Unwind at the O’kari Hammam: Paris is as much of a cultural melting pot as other cities like New York and London. Enter the O’kari Hammam to prove this, bringing the Moroccan bath experience, exclusive to women, to Paris. O’kari is tucked behind the doors of a quaint courtyard in the 2nd arrondissement, oozing authenticity upon walking downstairs to the treatment areas with your complementary lemonade in hand. Prices of packages increase based on length and the treatments included, starting with 1-hour, 69 euro packages. Treat yourself to the 120 euro Mod package, which includes exfoliation, body scrubs, a massage and the classic whirlpool and steam room access.

Nearby attractions: Rue Montorgueil, Les Halles and Palais Royal.

Open all your senses at the Grand Mosquée: The Sacré-Coeur and Notre Dame are among the most notable religious institutions in the world, but the Grand Mosquée in the 5th arrondissement is an incredibly unique house of worship. It’s open to all for both tourism and prayer and is worth a visit just to see the delicate tiling, architecture and riad-style garden.

Nearby attractions: The Panthéon, le Jardin des Plantes, Shakespeare & Co. bookstore and Île Saint-Louis.

Stock up on snacks and other things you don’t need at Monoprix. “French Target” is how my dad described Monoprix to my brother and I on our first family trip to Paris, and it wasn’t hard to see why. No, not because the brand colors also happen to be red and white, but because it is stocked with beauty items, clothes, household goods, groceries and, of course, loads and loads of wine. Everything is sold at reasonably low prices, hence the name Monoprix: one price. Multiple locations in Paris.

Let time fly at the Musée de l’Orangerie: L’Orangerie is a museum in the Jardin de Tuileries, close to the Louvre. The museum is best known for housing some of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies murals. The colors are so calming and captivating, hung on the walls of a calm and quiet white room so serene that you forget that right outside is Paris’s busiest streets. The museum also has an underground level with rotating exhibits, so you’ll be surprised when you realized you were here longer than you thought you’d be.

Nearby attractions: The Louvre and the Champs Elysées.

Beauty Haul at Citypharma: If you want to buy French skincare (among personal care products in general), Citypharma is the place to go. On my last trip to Paris, I went to Citypharma knowing that I wanted a bottle of Caudalie’s Vinoperfect serum, which costs about $80 in the US. It was about 50 USD at Citypharma. Citypharma also sells lots of double packs of products for lower costs. Brands to check out are Klorane for haircare and Avène for skincare. Not to mention, I also bought allergy meds there for less than 3 euros. CVS could NEVER.

Nearby attractions: L’Eglise Saint Germain, Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

Get an unexpected calf workout in Montmartre: You’ll forget all about the bread and butter you’re gorging on after just one trip up the steep streets of Montmartre. Rue Lepic and Rue des Martyrs host many boutiques and cafés, most notably the Deux Moulins café on Rue Lepic from the film Amélie, so you’ll find pockets of charming respite during your climb.

Nearby attractions: Sacré-Coeur, Moulin Rouge and Place du Tertre.

Places to eat & drink in Paris

Tasty food of Paris

Chez Gladines: Chez Gladines was introduced to me by a friend while studying abroad, and I was never the same. With a few locations scattered throughout Paris, this restaurant serves traditional Basque dishes in a kitschy, neighborhood-bistrot-meets-New Jersey-diner environment. The food is delicious and the wine is cheap. I always go for one of their signature massive salads - rare to find in Paris, I know and they don’t disappoint.

Dalia: Dalia is rustic, but fresh; old, but new - mostly the latter for both of those combinations, an airy, terracotta Middle Eastern spot in a neighborhood known for cafés on top of each other. You’ll be happy with anything you order, but the biggest decision if you’re dining alone is: do you want to sit at the kitchen bar, watching the cooks plate every meal going out or the open window counter, feeling the wind of the hustle and bustle behind you?

Bar 228 at Le Meurice: A hotel lobby bar is one my favorite places to spend some quality solo time because you’re never really alone. And definitely not so at the lobby bar of the Meurice, one of the most notable luxury hotels on Rue de Rivoli. It’s a cozy hideout to leisurely sip on a nightcap, listen to the jazz or piano and watch guests stroll in from dinner before they call it a night.

Bistrot Victoires: You will come across many cafés and bistros in Paris, but only one Bistrot Victoires. Although this classic-cuisine outpost is smack in the middle of one of the big tourist neighborhoods, right next to Palais Royal and Galerie Vivienne, the prices, the quality and the humble atmosphere all say “local” with an inviting smile. Even though the food melts in your mouth, ultimately, it is the patience and warmth of the staff that keeps me coming back.

Experimental Cocktail Club: Rue Saint Saveur is a narrow walking street home to a handful of buzzy restaurants and bars, one of those being the Experimental Cocktail Club, a discreet, speakeasy-style cocktail bar. While it’s a popular date spot, it’s also perfect to hit on your own, it’ll definitely be easier to snag a seat. The bartenders are incredibly friendly, which makes all the difference in a speakeasy experience, and are willing to concoct a surprise drink to your preferences outside of the menu.

Ober Mamma: This spot is part of a popular restaurant group, Big Mamma, with several trendy spots scattered throughout Paris serving Italian fare. Like Dalia, Ober Mamma is another spot with a kitchen-facing bar, perfect for dining solo and watching your pasta be made fresh right in front of your eyes.

Avant Comptoir de la Mer: This is a smaller wine and seafood bar attached to its sister restaurant, Comptoir de la Terre. You enter through plastic panels hanging from the doorframe like you’re walking into a car wash or fish market and are greeted by a narrow bar. The walls are stacked with wine from brim to brim, and hanging from the ceiling is the food menu – placards attached to rings with a picture and price of each light bite.

Rosa Bonheur sur Seine: If you pictured yourself admiring the Pont Alexandre III with a drink in hand during your Parisian getaway, this is where your dreams can come true. Rosa Bonheur is a boat bar on the Seine bordering the bridge and the Quai d’Orsay. It draws a fun crowd as the sun sets behind the river and the music rises.

Maison Sauvage: Specifically, the Saint-Germain location will be the one to visit. It’s located on Rue de Buci, a street that is small in size, but mighty in power, with tons of energy and action. Maison Sauvage is open for all meals with a beautiful floral facade and terrace space, and is reminiscent of a country home on the inside.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Briana Masson’s guide, An Extended Guide to Paris.

Advisor - Nikki Lakin

Travel Advisor

Nikki Lakin

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.