Guest Notes for Episode 273: Solo in Paris: Enjoy Paris on Your Own!

Categories: Paris, Solo in France

Discussed in this Episode

  • Switching hotels in the middle of the trip [03:57]
  • When traveling solo you can let the weather decide what you're going to do for the day [05:05]
  • Learning what sort of traveler you are when visiting on your own [06:05]
  • Do some planning because not all of paris is equally lovely or interesting [07:04]
  • Ask yourself what YOU want to do [10:26]
  • Places des Vosges for people-watching [13:08]
  • Jardin des Rosiers on rue des Rosiers [13:15]
  • Miznon fallafel shop [14:13]
  • Edwart Chocolatier on rue Vieille du Temple [14:46]
  • Merci concept store on Boulevard Beaumarchais [15:38]
  • Best time to go to the Trocadero is early in the morning [16:47]
  • Pont Alexandre III as a great photo spot [18:44]
  • Le Bon Marché in the 7e arrondissement [19:37]
  • Learn what's near you so you don't go all over the place [21:26]
  • Don't miss la Tour de l'Horloge [22:42]
  • It's easy to miss a lot of Montmartre if you don't take a tour [23:44]
  • Don't stay in Montmartre if your children need a stoller or if you have mobility issues [27:28]
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a wonderful central area and easy to navigate [28:03]
  • Place de Furstemberg [28:40]
  • Jardin du Luxembourg a great place to read [30:18]
  • Restaurant Treize in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and its non-smoking terrace [31:25]
  • What would you do differently next time? [33:15]
  • Arrive in Montmartre early especially on a sunny day [35:31]
  • Butte-aux-Cailles and street art (pick your time carefully!) [35:31]
  • Solo travelers get to see more because they don't need to compromise with anyone [39:18]
  • Lauren got to use her French more because she was solo [39:36]
  • CityMapper Paris [41:12]
  • Pay attention to exit numbers in the Paris metro [43:35]
  • TripCoin for keeping track of expenses [44:53]
  • Orange Holiday SIM card [46:19]

Lauren Gibson | Basic Information

Lauren Gibson

Charlotte, North Carolina


Note: My Paris Poste website is a new “side business” for me – I launched about a month ago. I am one of those crazy people who loves planning; I offer customized and personalized trip plans to Paris. I also have a very new blog about places I’ve enjoyed in Paris. I am more than happy to write a post on my blog about Join Us in France!


Please see below for some suggested recording times. You mentioned that we’ll likely record in about six weeks – if you’d like some dates sooner or later than those provided, please let me know. I work full-time, but I will be sure to block off my calendar so that we have ample time to record.

Tuesday, November 12: 8:00 US Eastern/14:00 France

Wednesday, November 13: 8:00 US Eastern/14:00 France

Friday, November 15: 8:00 US Eastern/14:00 France

Tuesday, November 26: 8:00 US Eastern/14:00 France




Solo in Paris | Outline


Trip Summary

I travelled to Paris from mid to late June 2019. I visited Paris for one week solo (Saturday-Saturday) before my husband joined me in France to explore Lyon and Annecy for a week. I spent four nights on the right bank and three nights on the left bank. I had so many ideas for things to do in Paris during my solo week, but the weather was absolutely wonderful. I focused on exploring neighborhoods, parks and gardens and enjoying great food and coffee. I didn’t visit any museums on my “idea” list.


Solo Trip – Daily Highlights by Neighborhood

I truly enjoyed and would recommend different activities from each of my days in Paris. I tried to focus each day around a different neighborhood to explore. If you’d like me to review my top recommendations by neighborhood (especially compared to jumping around the city while I’m talking about my trip), I’d be happy to do so! Here’s how I believe that outline would look:


Days 1 & 2: The Marais with a visit to Bastille

  • Favorite gardens and squares in the Marais:
    • Hôtel de Sully and Place des Vosges
    • Square Saint-Gilles-Grand-Veneur
    • Jardin des Rosiers
  • Shopping in the Marais:
    • Merci
    • Empreintes Paris
    • Edwart Chocolatier
  • Restaurants & Cafés:
    • Café Loustic
    • Aux Merveilleux de Fred
    • Miznon
    • Au Petit Fer à Cheval
  • Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais
  • Bastille area: Coulée Verte and Viaduc des Arts


Day 3: Grands Boulevards/Sentier and Palais Royal

  • Rue Montorgueil, l’Oasis d’Aboukir, and Boneshaker Donuts
  • Passage des Panoramas
  • Ici Librairie
  • Supernature
  • Palais Royal, Café Kitsuné and Galerie Vivienne


Day 4: Parc Monceau and Montmartre

  • Parc Monceau
  • KB CaféShop
  • Montmartre: I particularly liked my walk along Rue Cortot to Avenue Junot with a stop at Villa Léandre, down to Rue Lepic


Day 5: Ile Saint-Louis and Saint Germain des Prés

  • Ile Saint-Louis, Place Dauphine, and Square du Vert-Galant
  • Place de Furstenberg: I also love the surrounding streets of Saint Germain des Prés, particularly Rue Jacob, Rue Mazarine, Passage Dauphine, Rue Christine and Cour du Commerce Saint-André.
  • Jardin du Luxembourg, especially the Fontaine Médicis
  • Treize Bakery


Day 6: the 14th and 5th Arrondissements

  • Hexagone Café
  • Rue des Thermopyles and Cité Bauer
  • Arènes de Lutèce
  • Shakespeare & Company


Day 7: the 7th Arrondissement: my last full day solo

  • Trocadéro, Jardins du Trocadéro and Avenue de Camoëns
  • O Coffee
  • Avenue Rapp and Square Rapp
  • Pont Alexandre III
  • Jardin de la Nouvelle France (across the Pont Alexandre III bridge in the 8th)
  • Le Bon Marché
  • Square Roger-Stephane


Multiple evenings: walks along the Seine (both banks) including walks by the bouquinistes




Solo Trip – Ranked Destinations and Recommendations

I read in your instructions that you prefer that I rank and list my recommendations. If that is more appealing than the daily highlights (and if I’m forced to rank everything I loved!), I’d suggest the following outline:


  • Hôtel de Sully and Place des Vosges
  • Parc Monceau
  • Shopping in the Marais:
    • Merci
    • Empreintes Paris
    • Edwart Chocolatier
  • Restaurants & Cafés in the Marais:
    • Aux Merveilleux de Fred
    • Au Petit Fer à Cheval
    • Miznon
    • Café Loustic
  • Rue Montorgueil, l’Oasis d’Aboukir, Boneshaker Donuts
  • Palais Royal, Café Kitsuné, Galerie Vivienne
  • Square Roger-Stephane (7th arrondissement)
  • Place de Furstenberg and surrounding streets (Saint Germain des Prés)
  • Jardin du Luxembourg/Fontaine Médicis
  • Supernature (Grands Boulevards area)
  • Pont Alexandre III
  • Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais
  • Treize Bakery (Luxembourg Gardens area)
  • Ile Saint-Louis, Place Dauphine, Square du Vert-Galant
  • Walks along the Seine (both banks) and the bouquinistes
  • Le Bon Marché
  • Coulée Verte and Viaduc des Arts
  • Square Saint-Gilles-Grand-Veneur (Marais)
  • Jardin des Rosiers (Marais)
  • Ici Librairie
  • Rue des Thermopyles and Cité Bauer
  • Trocadéro, Jardins du Trocadéro, Avenue de Camoëns
  • Jardin de la Nouvelle France
  • Avenue Rapp and Square Rapp
  • KB CaféShop
  • Hexagone Café (14th Arrondissement)
  • Montmartre
  • Passage des Panoramas
  • Arènes de Lutèce
  • Shakespeare & Company



My tips for solo travel in Paris

  • Navigate Paris Online – I took this self-paced online workshop before my trip and referenced it a few times during my stay. This is an excellent resource that I’d like to share with other listeners because it helped me feel confident when navigating unfamiliar parts of the city alone.
  • Orange Holiday SIM Card – The Orange SIM card offered much better service than I had with my US carrier during my last trip to France. I also had more data than I could possibly use for navigation and communication with my family, and I saved a substantial amount of money.
  • I wore a cross-body purse with a zippered pocket. I never took my phone out near Metro entrances/exits or within the Metro system (including on the metro cars). Although pickpocketing can happen to anyone, I never had a single incident during my 7 ½ days solo.
  • CityMapper app: I love this app! It has great walking and metro instructions for Paris and other major cities, including which exit to use when leaving the metro, etc.
  • Let yourself figure out what solo travel looks like for you. I envisioned long afternoons spent reading a book at a garden or café. It turns out that’s not how I enjoy traveling by myself! I enjoyed relaxing in those gorgeous spaces for a few minutes, but then I was ready to keep walking around and exploring more of Paris’ neighborhoods.



What I would have done differently:

If asked about things I didn’t like/regret:

  • A visit to the Picasso museum
  • I wish I had arrived in Montmartre earlier in the day. It was a little hot on all of those stairs, and I would have enjoyed visiting Sacré-Coeur before it got too crowded.
  • I visited Buttes aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement on a Thursday, late morning. It wasn’t particularly lively late morning on a weekday. I wish I had visited on a weekend to get a better feel of the neighborhood.
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Categories: Paris, Solo in France