The thought of traveling alone to Paris can be daunting for some. Fear of boredom or getting curious stares in restaurants is enough to make anyone hesitant to set out alone. But traveling solo to Paris frees you to go where you want, when you want, without the compromises required when traveling with a companion. The key is to find lots of solo-friendly activities.
Paris, best known as the romantic locale for lovers, is actually a great destination for solo travelers. From classes and museums, shows and cafes, Paris has much to offer in the way of great things to do alone, even for the shyest traveler.
Cooking & Wine Classes
Explore the culinary riches of Paris by spending some time in a cooking class. English-language cooking classes are a good way to immerse yourself in French culture and learn techniques of creating French cuisine, while allowing you to meet and spend time with other travelers. The classes often start with a trip to an open-air market, continuing with a hands-on cooking class and lunch.
Your wine tasting and your pairing skills can also get a boost with wine tasting seminars. You’ll learn the fine art of distinguishing among grape varietals, matching food with wine, and identifying French wines.
Opera, Ballet and Concerts
The Paris Opera Ballet is a living history of French ballet, which has developed over the course of more than 300 years. The Paris Opera season begins in September and continues through July. Take any opportunity to be inspired by the opera or ballet companies, which alternate performances in the sumptuous Palais Garnier and the contemporary Opera Bastille.
If symphonic music is more your speed, enjoy classical music concerts featuring the Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonique de Radio France, and international orchestras held at the newly renovated Salle Pleyel and other venues throughout the city.
Tours off the Beaten Path
The traditional Paris sights like the Louvre, Musée D’Orsay and Arc de Triomphe get all of the attention and are not to be missed. But select Paris tours, tailored to specific interests, offer a way for people traveling alone to connect with the city and other travelers.
Chocolate and Pastry Tours give you the delicious opportunity to visit the best Parisian boulangeries and sample goodies made by the hands of artisans.
If shopping is what you crave, know that Paris is a veritable feast of shops selling everything from clothes and housewares to fine fabrics and shoes. Shopping tours ensure that you don’t overlook chic boutiques or miss out on the best bargains. You'll join other shoppers for a fun excursion scouting the stores.
Playing a unique role in Parisian life during the past century, African-American artists, musicians and writers went to Paris to explore their art without the burden of prejudice. Black Paris Tours takes visitors to famous sites, highlighting the lives and work of African-Americans in Paris such as Josephine Baker, W.E.B. Dubois, and James Baldwin.
Day Trips from Paris
Versailles with its Château and gardens is only an hour and a half train ride from Paris. The guided tour of Versailles will take you through the Royal Apartments, Grand Trianon and the Queen’s hamlet where Marie Antoinette played shepherdess to the shock of her real-life, rural subjects. Or you can simply wander the palace and vast gardens on your own.
On summer nights, Versailles concerts, called Les Grandes Eaux, feature water of the illuminated fountains that dance to the music of Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. Also, the Royal Opera House of Versailles recently reopened for performances.
The town of Chartres, about an hour from Paris by train, makes for a relaxing excursion. Its steep, cobblestone walkways, ancient churches and museums serve as a picturesque backdrop for the soaring spires of the Cathédrale Notre Dame. Built during the 12th and 13th century, the cathedral is a Gothic architectural marvel with almost 200 stained glass windows.
If you're planning a solo trip to Paris, take advantage of our custom Europe trip planning services to ensure you're getting the best value for your trip.