Solo Travel In France – The Essential Guide

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TLDR:

This guide to Solo Travel in France is designed to assist you in exploring the enchanting landscapes and cultural richness of France effortlessly and joyfully, making your solo journey a truly memorable experience.

Highlights

  • Solo travel in France provides a deeply personal and enriching experience, encompassing a variety of activities from fashion and art to gastronomy and relaxation retreats.
  • France is a safe, easily navigable destination with a profound cultural legacy, perfect for solo travellers eager to discover its historic towns, breathtaking scenery, and to indulge in its world-famous gastronomy.
  • Preparing for solo travel in France involves selecting the best time to visit for agreeable weather and favourable prices, choosing comfortable accommodation, and making use of the varied transportation options available to explore this magnificent country.

About France

France’s history spans from the Gauls, through pivotal eras such as the French Revolution, to its current role as a beacon of culture and democracy in Europe. This rich historical and cultural tapestry makes France an exceptional destination for any solo traveller.

Before embarking on this captivating journey, it’s useful to note:

  • The currency used is the Euro.
  • The average daily expense for food and accommodation is around €150.
  • The ideal times to visit are April to June or September to November, to enjoy pleasant weather while avoiding the peak tourist seasons.
  • France offers a secure and hospitable environment, presenting a diverse array of experiences to suit all kinds of travellers.

Click the images below to find your city itinerary guide in France. Each city has itinerary ideas covering 24 hours, 2 days and 3, for whatever length of French solo travel adventure you have.

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Benefits of Solo Travelling Around France

France is renowned for its security and ease of navigation, ranking it as a top pick for solo travel. As the heartland of modern art and gastronomy, it’s an essential destination for enthusiasts in these fields. Furthermore, with careful planning and budgeting, France can be quite accessible financially for solo travellers.

Participating in solo tours in France, offered by companies like Just You and G Adventures, is an excellent method to meet fellow travellers. In addition to exploring the country’s deep-rooted history and culture, these tours provide opportunities to forge lasting friendships and have companions to capture those priceless moments of your journey.

How to get to and from France

France is home to several major international airports, including Paris Charles de Gaulle, Nice Côte d’Azur, and Lyon-Saint Exupéry. For travellers from Australia, airlines like Air France offer direct flights to France, ensuring a seamless and efficient journey. Booking your international flight to France and any specific tours or activities at least six months in advance is advisable for an optimal travel experience.

The best times to fly to France for attractive prices and delightful weather are:

  • January
  • February
  • April
  • May
  • September
  • November

The average cost of a round-trip flight to France from the United States varies from $600 to $1600, depending on the season, airline, and city of departure, making it a feasible option for many travellers.

Planning Your Solo Trip Around France

Research | Budgeting | Accommodation | Transport | Etiquette | Dining | Emergency Info

Organising your solo adventure around France might seem daunting at first! To assist you, here are some essential tips to consider.

Researching Destinations and Attractions

From the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris to hidden gems like the lavender fields of Provence, France offers an array of fascinating tourist attractions and historical sites perfect for solo explorers. Research these attractions beforehand and create a list of your must-see destinations.

Whether you’re keen on immersing yourself in lively cultural events and festivals or exploring stunning natural landscapes, having a clear plan will enrich your journey.

Choosing Accommodation

Your accommodation choice significantly impacts your travel experience. France offers diverse options, from hostels and hotels to Airbnb and charming bed-and-breakfasts. Some hostels, like Generator Paris and St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord, provide amenities tailored for solo travellers, including private rooms, climate control, and female-only options.

Read more on where to stay below

Transportation Options

France boasts various transportation means, including trains, buses, and car rentals. The train system, with high-speed services like TGV and SNCF, is the most popular and convenient travel method. However, renting a car can be advantageous for visiting smaller villages or areas with limited public transport.

Cultural Etiquette and Local Customs

Understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette is vital when visiting France. This includes greeting people with a polite ‘Bonjour’, dressing appropriately in religious sites, and using formal titles in social interactions.

Knowing basic French phrases can greatly enhance your experience and foster connections with locals.

Food and Dining

French cuisine, celebrated globally, is a must-try during your visit. From Boeuf Bourguignon in Burgundy to Croissants in Paris, France offers an array of exquisite dishes. When dining alone, consider reserving a less conspicuous table to enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Budget Tips

With careful planning, France can be quite affordable for solo travellers. Here are some budget-friendly tips:

  • Enjoy discounted drinks and meals at local bistros and cafes.
  • Indulge in affordable yet delicious baguettes or pastries from bakeries.
  • Seek reasonable accommodation in cities like Marseille, Lyon, and Bordeaux.

These strategies can help you relish France without straining your finances.

Emergency Information

Having essential emergency information at hand can provide peace of mind and enhance safety. In France, the emergency number is 112. Major cities host reputable hospitals offering a range of medical services. Learning key French phrases for emergencies is also beneficial.

Consider travel insurance options like AXA Assistance, Europ Assistance, or Allianz Global Assistance for comprehensive coverage, including health emergencies. If you’re coming in from the EU or even the UK, don’t forget to keep your International Medical card in date.

Itinerary Route Ideas For Solo Travel Around France

Crafting your itinerary is a thrilling aspect of travel planning. Whether you’re staying for 2 weeks, 1 month, or 2 months, a well-thought-out itinerary will ensure you fully experience the charms of France. Below are suggested itineraries for these durations, showcasing both popular and lesser-known French delights.

2 Weeks

For a two-week journey, consider beginning your French adventure in:

  • Paris
  • Bordeaux
  • Lyon
  • Avignon
  • Nice
  • Marseille
  • Strasbourg
  • Lille

This itinerary offers a mix of historical landmarks, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city life. The flexibility of solo travel lets you adjust your journey to your preferences, allowing more time in places you adore and moving on from others as needed.

1 Month

With a month in France, delve deeper into its rich history and culture. Start with essential destinations like Paris, Lyon, and Nice, then explore the picturesque Provence region, the breathtaking French Riviera, and the historic Normandy coast. A month gives you enough time to truly embrace the French way of life.

This itinerary affords the luxury of immersing yourself fully in each location, experiencing France’s true essence.

2 Months

For a two-month itinerary, you can thoroughly explore France’s beauty. Here’s a proposed route:

  • Spend a week in the enchanting Loire Valley.
  • Discover the historical depth of Paris.
  • Head south to the vibrant city of Toulouse for a three-night stay.
  • Experience the charm of Bordeaux for two nights.
  • Explore the medieval city of Carcassonne for two nights.
  • Enjoy a memorable stop in the picturesque Dordogne region for a night.

Top Destinations for Solo Travellers in France

France is filled with destinations ideal for solo travellers. From the cultural richness of Paris to the historical significance of Normandy, each location offers a distinct experience.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into these cities, spotlighting the attractions and experiences that make them essential stops on your solo journey.

Paris

As the capital of France, Paris is a city teeming with culture and history. Beyond the iconic Eiffel Tower, solo travellers can explore the artistic Montmartre district and embrace the city’s rich cultural tapestry.

Excellent accommodation choices for solo travellers in Paris include Generator Paris and Le Village Hostel, known for their lively atmosphere and opportunities to meet fellow travellers.

Nice

Nice, nestled on the French Riviera, is a blend of scenic beauty and cultural depth. The Promenade des Anglais offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, while the Old Town (Vieux Nice) is a labyrinth of charming streets and vibrant markets.

Marseille

Marseille, a port city in Southern France, captivates solo travellers with its unique blend of history and modernity. The Old Port (Vieux-Port) is a hub of activity, while the Notre-Dame de la Garde offers stunning panoramic views. The city’s diverse culinary scene is a must-experience, with local specialties like Bouillabaisse.

Getting Around France As A Solo Traveller

Navigating France as a solo traveller offers diverse options, each with its unique charm and convenience. From the extensive rail network to buses and car rentals, you have various ways to explore the country’s beauty.

In the sections below, we will detail each of these transportation methods.

Train

France’s extensive train network, including the high-speed TGV and regional TER services, makes it easy to traverse the country. Whether you’re journeying from Paris to Marseille or Lyon to Bordeaux, the train offers a swift and comfortable travel mode. Purchasing tickets is straightforward, either online or at station kiosks.

Bus

Buses are another practical and budget-friendly way to get around France. Operators like Ouibus and FlixBus connect major cities and smaller towns alike. Long-distance buses in France are equipped with amenities like Wi-Fi and onboard restrooms, ensuring a pleasant journey.

Car rental

Renting a car provides the freedom to explore France at your own pace, particularly beneficial for visiting rural areas or off-the-beaten-path destinations. Most rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 and possess a valid driver’s license and an International Driving Permit. Options abound with companies like Europcar, Sixt, and Avis.

Accommodation Options for Solo Travellers in France

Selecting the right accommodation is crucial for a fulfilling travel experience. France offers a wide array of choices:

There are options to suit every preference and budget.

Many hostels in France cater to solo travellers, with amenities like private rooms and female-only options. Hostel prices typically range from €20–€40 per night, while hotel rooms can vary from €60–€150, depending on the location and amenities.

Many hostels in France cater to solo travellers, with amenities like private rooms and female-only options. Hostel prices typically range from €20–€40 per night, while hotel rooms can vary from €60–€150, depending on the location and amenities.

How to make friends while solo travelling in France

One of the joys of solo travel is meeting new people. In France, digital platforms such as Meetup.com and Facebook Groups are great for connecting with locals and fellow travellers. Participating in group activities, like wine tours in Bordeaux or cooking classes in Lyon, can be excellent ways to socialise.

France solo travel safety

France is generally a safe destination for solo travellers. Staying vigilant can help you avoid common scams and petty theft. It’s wise to be cautious with your belongings, particularly in crowded spots like Parisian tourist attractions or during large events.

Standard safety precautions include not sharing too much personal information with strangers and having comprehensive travel insurance, especially for health emergencies. If you want more up to date advice on safety while travelling France, check the Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice link listed at the bottom.

Apps and Technology for Solo Travellers

Thanks to today’s technology, it’s easier than ever before for solo travellers to stay safe while travelling around France – or anywhere

Time to leave

France offers a myriad of experiences for solo travellers. From strolling along the Seine in Paris to hiking in the French Alps, or enjoying the culinary delights in Lyon, France presents an enriching and diverse solo travel adventure. Pack your bags and set off to explore France – it promises to be a journey you’ll remember forever.

Referenced:
The French Tourism Board

Foreign & Commonwealth Office – France Travel Safety

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