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In 1863, Charles Baudelaire used the term flâneur to describe a stroller or saunterer of Paris’s streets; “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”. And Paris is still a delightful city to wander alone.
Whether you choose to lose yourself in the bustling crowds of cluttered markets, explore winding Gothic passageways or meet fellow travellers at one of the city’s chic hostels, the French capital is a great destination for a solo trip.
To help you navigate your way around, Culture Trip has picked the city’s best experiences, accommodation and places to eat in order to make the most out of a solo trip to Paris.
See Paris from a different perspective with this guide tour. Beginning at the Saint-Michel Fountain, you’ll cycle through the sights and sounds of the Latin Quarter, the Marais, the Rue Mouffetard and the trendy Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood. The half-day tour is the ideal opportunity to meet new people and a wonderful chance to experience everyday Paris, as you cycle through charming streets, hidden courtyards and even past an ancient Roman arena. After all that exercise, there’s a much-needed stop for coffee and crêpes.
If you’d prefer to take in Paris at your own pace, the city’s flea markets, or marchés aux puces, offer a real sensory slice of Parisian culture. The market at Saint-Ouen is thought to be the world’s largest and oldest; established officially in 1885, it stretches over seven hectares and is home to more than 2,000 stalls. The modern marketplace itself is actually a group of many smaller markets that have been roughly categorised into three themes: vintage and antiques, clothing and professional markets (which are closed to the public). Haggling is expected here and a little bit of French will go a long way – as will a smile.
Once home to some of the most creative minds of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Picasso, Renoir and Van Gogh, Montmartre continues to attract artists, writers and musicians to its buzzing café culture. This private tour will guide you through the enchanting streets of the neighbourhood via its windmills, cabarets and monuments, including the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which stands proudly overlooking the city. Your guide will even pick you up from your hotel.
Food and drink in Paris
Engage in a spot of people-watching at this historic brasserie. Choose one of the outside bistro tables and order a coffee, or perhaps one of the signature hot chocolates, and take in the rhythm of the city as its streets ebb and flow around you. Les Deux Magots was once a hub for the city’s intellectual crowd and it’s still an inspiring place to eat, drink and hang out.
Where to stay in Paris
Perfect for a solo stay, the Mob Hotel prides itself on creating a home away from home and a “sense of community” within Paris. Close to the flea market of Saint-Ouen, this hip hideaway mixes urban and bohemian chic in the decor of each of its 92 rooms. The restaurant-bar attracts a fairly young crowd to its sprawling terrace, where guests can enjoy a no-fuss Mediterranean menu and music from the DJ decks. The calendar of “happenings” is jam-packed and aimed at local residents as much as hotel guests – stay a few days and you might come across a live podcast session, an unplugged gig by a French indie artist or a hip-hop themed vinyasa flow yoga session.
Just a 20-minute stroll from Gare du Nord, Generator Paris is the perfect base from which to explore the capital. With its glitzy reception area and sociable Café Fabien, this edgy design hostel, which has a mix of shared and private rooms (some with their own terraces), is a far cry from your typical budget-friendly accommodation. Plus, Generator Paris has an incredible rooftop terrace, free walking tours of the city each day and even a basement nightclub.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.