Are you itching to explore France but don’t have a travel buddy? Solo travel might just be the perfect solution for you! From the bustling streets of Paris to the serene lavender fields of Provence, France has something to offer every type of traveler.
In this article, we’ll cover everything from how to meet other solo travelers to the perfect itinerary for your solo trip through France.
Last updated on: 02-01-2024
How safe is France for solo travel?
France is generally considered safe for solo travel. According to the Global Peace Index, France has a high state of peace and ranks #67 out of 163 countries, indicating a relatively safe environment.
While there are risks such as petty crime, including pickpocketing and theft in tourist areas, especially in big cities like Paris, taking common-sense precautions and being aware of your surroundings can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Overall, solo travelers have reported feeling safe almost anywhere they go in France. However, as with any destination, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow general safety guidelines.
What is the best time to visit France for solo travelers?
The best time to visit France for solo travelers is between May and September, as the weather is usually the nicest during this period. However, it’s important to note that there will be crowds during these months.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds and don’t mind a little rain or cold weather, then April and October are also great times to visit.
Additionally, the months of April to June and September to November are recommended, as you’ll benefit from thinner crowds and moderate temperatures outside of the sweltering summer period.
These times offer a good balance between favorable weather and fewer tourists, making it an ideal time for solo exploration.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in France?
The most important holidays and festivals in France are as follows:
- New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An) – January 1
- May Day (1er Mai or Fête du Travail) – May 1
- Victory in Europe Day (8 mai 1945) – May 8
- Bastille Day (Fête Nationale) – July 14
- All Saints’ Day (La Toussaint) – November 1
Traditional and religious festivals:
- Epiphany (Epiphanie) – January 6
- Candlemas (Chandeleur) – February 2
- Mardi-Gras & Carnivals (Carnaval) – March or April
- Assumption Day (L’Assomption) – August 15
In addition to these, there are several other traditional and religious celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, and special non-national holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and World Music Day.
How to meet other solo travelers in France
France is a popular destination for adventurous individuals like yourself. To find travel buddies, consider joining online travel communities or social media groups focused on solo travel.
Participating in group activities such as walking tours or organized excursions can also be a great way to meet like-minded people. Visiting popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre can increase your chances of encountering other solo travelers.
Additionally, downloading a travel buddy app or staying in hostels or attending local events and festivals will expose you to a diverse range of people eager to explore this beautiful country just like you.
Is France expensive for solo travelers?
France can be relatively expensive for solo travelers, especially in popular tourist areas. The cost of visiting museums and activities in France can range from €8 to €30 per person, with popular attractions such as the Louvre and Versailles charging entrance fees.
According to Numbeo, Panama holds the 20th spot on the Cost of Living Index by Country.
Additionally, accommodation costs per night can range from $20 for budget hotels or hostels to $500 for luxury options, and food costs per person can range from $10 for budget restaurants to $50 for mid-range restaurants.
However, there are ways to save money, such as booking accommodations and transportation in advance, using budget accommodation options like hostels, and taking advantage of the extensive and efficient public transportation system.
What are the best places to visit for solo travelers in France?
The best places to visit for solo travelers in France include:
- Paris: The capital city offers iconic landmarks, world-class museums, and a vibrant atmosphere.
- Nice: Located on the French Riviera, it boasts beautiful beaches, colorful buildings, and a lively atmosphere.
- Montpellier: This city in the south of France offers a blend of historic architecture, modern culture, and a relaxed vibe.
- Toulouse: Known for its pink terracotta buildings, aerospace industry, and lively cultural scene.
- Val D’Isere: A great destination for solo travelers who enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and the stunning Alpine scenery.
These destinations offer a mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions, making them ideal for solo exploration.
What are the best ways to get around in France?
The best ways to get around in France include:
- Train: France has an efficient and extensive rail network operated by SNCF, making train travel a convenient option for getting between major towns and cities.
- Bus: Local buses are available to cover rural areas, but the services can be sporadic, especially in the off-peak season. Booking ahead is recommended for some routes.
- Car: Renting a car can provide the most freedom, especially for exploring beyond the larger towns. France has well-maintained roads, and driving can be a pleasure, except during holiday season traffic.
- Air: While the train is usually the best way to travel around France, there are occasions when a flight may be the best option, especially for traveling long distances or to certain destinations like Nice.
5 Must-try dishes in France
France is renowned for its delicious cuisine. French gastronomy is famous worldwide for its fine cuisine, with a wide range of local and regional specialties that vary from west to east.
Here are 5 must-try dishes in France:
1. The classic French baguette
When it comes to classic French cuisine, one cannot overlook the iconic baguette. This long and crusty bread is a staple in France and holds a special place in the hearts of the French people.
The baguette is known for its crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior, making it a delightful treat for any meal.
Whether enjoyed on its own or used as a base for sandwiches or crostinis, the baguette offers a simple yet satisfying taste of France.
2. Savory ratatouille: a taste of Provence
Indulge in the flavors of Provence with a taste of savory Ratatouille. This classic French dish is a perfect representation of the region’s rich culture and culinary delights. Made with fresh vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes, Ratatouille is a true celebration of the local produce.
The vibrant colors and fragrant aromas of this dish will transport you to the rolling hills of Provence.
3. Sweet crepes: a street food staple
Indulge your taste buds with a quintessential French delight – sweet crepes. This delectable street food has become a staple in France, captivating locals and travelers alike.
Made from a simple batter of flour, eggs, and milk, these thin pancakes are cooked on a hot griddle and then filled with an array of mouthwatering toppings.
From classic combinations like Nutella and banana to more unique flavors like salted caramel and apple cinnamon, there’s a crepe to suit every palate.
4. Hearty cassoulet: a taste of Toulouse
When in Toulouse, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the hearty cassoulet, a traditional dish that is a taste of the region’s rich culinary heritage.
This slow-cooked stew is made with white beans, sausages, and various meats like duck or pork, creating a flavorful and satisfying meal.
Toulouse is known as the capital of cassoulet, and you can find this comforting dish in many restaurants throughout the city. The combination of tender beans, savory meats, and aromatic herbs is sure to transport your taste buds to the heart of the Occitanie region.
5. Indulgent tarte tatin: a sweet treat from Normandy
When in Normandy, be sure to indulge in the delectable Tarte Tatin. This delightful dessert is a true culinary masterpiece, with its caramelized apples and buttery pastry.
Originating from the town of Lamotte-Beuvron in the 19th century, this upside-down caramelized apple tart has become a beloved French classic.
The Tarte Tatin is made by caramelizing apples in a cast-iron skillet, topping them with a layer of puff pastry, and baking until golden and fragrant. The result is a heavenly dessert that combines the sweetness of caramelized apples with the flaky goodness of the pastry.
It’s the perfect way to end a meal or satisfy your sweet tooth during your solo travel adventure in Normandy.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.