solo photoshoot paris
solo traveller tips for paris
solo traveller eiffel tower photographer

Tips and Tricks for Solo Travellers coming to Paris

Hey, solo travellers! As an Aussie living in Paris, I know only too well what it’s like to become overwhelmed while weaving one’s way through a foreign city.  Especially if you are travelling alone.

I created this short guide to Paris for my clients who are planning a trip with a few insider tips that might help you throughout your stay here. However, if you are simply looking for information about my solo photoshoots in Paris you can skip the blah blah by clicking here: Paris photoshoots for solo travellers

Where should I stay in Paris?

If you are staying in Paris for a few days, I recommend (from personal experience) the following arrondissements. Wondering what’s an arrondissement? They refer to the way Paris is divided into administrative sections. Within each of these 20 sections are 4 neighbourhoods or ‘quartiers’. Generally, we refer to the number of the arrondissement where we live or are staying, and then specifically the quartiers if pushed for more info.

So, where to stay in Paris for first-timers?

1st – Le Louvre: You will be in the mid-centre and if you dream of that beautiful Parisian architecture, the 1st is for you. Stroll through the Jardins des Tuileries, hang out on the quays of the Seine, and shop on rue St. Honoré. Hotel Option: MADAME RÊVE HOTEL

3rd – Bourse: More well-known as Le Marais. Busy with shops, restaurants, cafes and plenty of galleries and museums. It’s chic Paris in a trendy way rather than a Coco Chanel way. It’s also Gay Paris along with being the original Jewish neighbourhood. I love Le Marais.

6th –  you may have heard of St Germain-des-Pres. It is very charming and the heart of the Left Bank. Plenty of nice hotels, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and shops. I think Americans are particularly drawn to this area based on the literary and artistic figures who gathered and hung out here in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You may have heard of Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore as well as Shakespeare and Co bookstore. You will also be close to Jardin du Luxembourg which is a wonderful park and great photoshoot location!

7th – If you would like to stay close to the Eiffel Tower I would suggest the 7th arrondissement. Rue Cler always seems to come up when I am talking with clients about their fave restaurants. In fact this post from Paris Insiders Guide covers the area perfectly including restaurants, hotels and museums.

12th – Reuilly: but around Bastille, if you want to experience a realistic Parisian lifestyle that is arty, lively and ‘bobo’ i.e bourgeois-bohemian. La Bastille is of course symbolic of the French Revolution.

solo photoshoot paris
solo traveller tips for paris
solo traveller eiffel tower photographer

Safety & security in Paris

Paris is unique, romantic and picturesque but as with other cities, you should be vigilant.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try not to flash your phones around.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash around with you.
  • Know where you are going in advance because the lost and vulnerable make easier prey.
  • Project a confident energy and people will leave you alone. The French word for no is NON. But with plenty of attitude.

Though I have never been pickpocketed myself, it has happened to my son, my auntie, and the girl sitting across from me on the Metro who had her phone snatched out of her hands.

Street Scammers
A common scam is being approached by a group of young women asking you to sign a petition for a Deaf charity and while you are distracted, they snatch your purse or phone. NON is always a good response. They leave me alone, anyway.

Another is the friendship bracelet scam. Usually, a young man will approach with a big smile and start to the bracelet on your wrist and of course demand money as payment.

And yet another is the beggar with the cup on the ground which people are bound to kick over scattering money everywhere. Not sure how to avoid this one but stand your ground and do not get your purse out.

Transport tips for solo travellers

Metro: The Paris underground is a great way to move around the city quickly, ligne 1 is probably the best line because it connects to most other Metro lines and it is the most modern.  It’s a direct line through most touristy locations of Paris such as the Bastille, Louvre, Les Jardins Tuileries and Les Champs Élysées.

Bus & tram: I recommend that you get the RATP app to see every bus route. There’s a tram system, it’s helpful if you live on the outskirts of Paris or if you want to go to conventions (Porte de Versailles).

Someone clever created this very helpful website Paris by Train which also explains the Metro ticketing system very well!

If all else fails: download the UBER app or use the G7 Paris taxis.

Paris’s bike system is called Velib’, you should check it out and download the APP in preparation. Velib’ stations are spread all over Paris.

Paris and the locals

This is perhaps a whole blog post in itself… there are so many French stereotypes which should actually only be attributed to Parisians. Emily in Paris does a good job of highlighting some of these characteristics and once you start to notice them too, you may even feel a little endeared towards our slightly impatient, culturally protective “amies”.

Here are 2 simple things to note that will help you win over some of the locals :

ALWAYS start a conversation with a simple “Bonjour” and a departing Merci or Au Revoir is just plain manners. Add on a Madame or Monsieur for extra points.

NEVER click your fingers and call out “garcon” to a waiter – this is actually rude and outdated. YES, I have been in the company of two different people who’ve used it and I nearly slid under the table with embarrassment.

So, a friendly face, amongst a sea of (somewhat) cranky Parisians, can be a truly welcome sight especially when it belongs to someone with some local knowledge – I love hanging out with the locals when I travel.

If you are looking for that friendly face and maybe want to capture some of your excellent adventures in beautiful timeless portraits – I’m your girl… which takes me to my next solo traveller tip.

Hotels Bars and Restaurants

5* Brach Paris 16th arrondissement – I have not been there myself but my husband works in the area and has only heard great reviews. Restaurant with an Asian flavour and rooftop bar with great DJs and 360 degrees views – Eiffel Tower included!

Le Fumoir My go-to restaurant when recommending a restaurant in Paris. The friendliest staff, excellent food for a reasonable price and right next door to the Louvre and La Seine.

Le 1905 If you dream of old-school Paris, art nouveau deco and laid-back sophistication then this is the bar for you. Cocktails are excellent with a seafood-influenced menu in the restaurant. 

For an even more thorough list Yasmine, my French teacher, created this post Things To Do In Paris 

Paris Photoshoots for Solo Travellers

I’ve accompanied many a solo traveller on my photo shoots in Paris. There is nothing more fun than dressing up and visiting some of the world’s most famous iconic sights.  I’ll give you as many directions and posing prompts as needed, consequently, there will be a lot of laughing. We can also confuse the public at the same time… “is she some kind of celebrity?” or “who does she think she is, some kind of celebrity” hehe!

Photoshoots at the Eiffel Tower are a famous bucket list item for solo travellers in Paris. But of course, there is so much more to Paris than just our Iron Lady – I love photoshoots all over this beautiful city and am happy to brainstorm with you to figure out the perfect spot for you. Photoshoots at sunrise are popular for the most beautiful light – and considerably fewer tourists to compete with – however, it really depends on the location and what you desire for your photos.  

Jess’s Solo Traveler Photoshoot Paris

One of my very first clients to book a photoshoot with me in Paris! Jess wore the “Sparkle Dress” from my studio wardrobe but also wanted some fun casual shots just hangin’ out around Paris. Cue Nutella Crepes and messy fingers 🙂 

photoshoot in front of the eiffel tower
solo traveller photoshoot in Paris
Jessica Paris eiffel tower- shoot

Marta’s Solo traveler Photoshoot Paris

Marta visited from Poland and simply wanted some beautiful photos of herself to mark and celebrate a certain period in her life. I wrote a full blog post dedicated to her Read It Here

solo photoshoot Louvre
solo portait photoshoot in Paris

Babette’s Photoshoot Montmartre

Babette and I had a lovely afternoon sauntering around Paris: St Michel, Notre Dame, and la Butte Montmartre. We were devastated to see our beautiful Cathedral de Notre Dame up in flames only 2 days later.

Monmartre photoshoot experience
Notre Dame de paris cherry blossoms
Babette de la Butte

If you are visiting or in Paris right now and want some extra special souvenirs, book your own private solo traveler photoshoot in Paris with me.

Priceless memories, yours forever. Contact me for a chat

Ready to create timeless memories of Paris with me as your guide?

And finally, if you want to listen to some of my fave French songs while cruising around Paris, here is my Frenchies Spotify playlist:

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