Paris Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Paris
Threat level: Low - Medium
France is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with Paris ranking as 3rd most visited city. Popular for its rich history and wealth of museums and art galleries, the city is a hub of tourist activity.
Recent attacks in the city have seen a slight dip in the usually large volume of tourists, however many are not letting this affect their travels and still making their way to the city. Favoured destination by tourists include: The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral and Luxembourg Gardens amongst others. Tourists should be respectful when visiting these sites, behave appropriately and leave them clean and tidy for others to enjoy. If the correct precautions are taken, trips to the city should be enjoyable and trouble free.
Recent Security Risk Events
On the 09th of September 2018, a knife attack occurred on the banks of the Ourcq canal in Paris's 19th district by a man who was carrying a knife and an iron bar. Seven people were injured in the attack, four seriously. The attack is currently not treated as a terrorist attack.
A knife attack took place in on the Rue Monsigny in the second arrondissement, on the 12th of May 2018 killing one person and injuring four others. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
8th August 2017 at 8am local time, a driver of a BMW drove into a group of six soldiers leaving their barracks in Levallois-Perret, a northwestern suburb of Paris. It is being treated as a suspected terrorist attack, with reports that the car was waiting in a cul-de-sac for the soldiers to leave. All six of the soldiers were injured with two in a serious condition.
19th June 2017 in the area of the Champs Elysees, a driver deliberately crashed his vehicle into a police van which burst into flames. The driver was knocked unconscious and seriously hurt, they were also found to be armed. No one else was hurt in this incident.
Tuesday 6th June 2017 a police officer was attacked and injured by a man wielding a hammer at Notre Dame cathedral. The attacker was shot, not fatally, by fellow officers. public are requested to stay away from the area.
It is understood the attacker was an Algerian student and had cried out "This is for Syria".There were many tourists locked in the cathedral during the incident.
On the evening of the 20th of April 2017 two gunmen shot and killed a Police officer, injuring another on the Champs-Elysees in the centre of Paris. This incident is being classed at "terrorist related". This latest attack comes only a few days after police in the Southern French city of Marseille found guns and bomb-making equipment after arresting two men suspected of planning an "imminent and violent attack" ahead of the first round of the French presidential election.
18th of March 2017 a man snatching a weapon from a soldier on duty at Orly Airport, before running into a restaurant. He was immediately shot by a Boarder Officer. There is an on-going security operation at Orly Airport and all flights to the airport are diverted. It is understood that this is the same attacker who shot and injured a Traffic Police officer during a routine traffic stop in the North of the City just prior to this incident. He is said to be a "radicalised muslim" who was known to Police and French Intelligence.
Also, on the 16th of March 2017, a postal bomb exploded after being sent to the International Monetary Fund offices in Paris, injuring one member of staff. It is thought by Police that this is linked to a similar incident in German the day before Greek radicals claimed responsibility for that bombing.
In February 2017 a French soldier shot an attacker wielding a machete at the Louvre museum. It is believed the attacker was an Islamic extremist. 2 men were arrested at the scene.
In November 2015, a devastating series of planned terrorist attacks took place in Paris, including three suicide bombers outside the Stade de France in the north of the city. Over 350 were injured and 130 people were killed during the attacks, with 89 of them being people who were attending a concert at the Bataclan Theatre where gunmen stormed and open-fired.
This is considered to be the worst attack France has experienced since the war, and one of the most severe in Europe for a long time. Islamic State took responsibility for the attacks in retaliation to France’s involvement in Syria. Paris and France were immediately put into a state of emergency which banned public demonstrations and allowed houses to be searched without a warrant.
This attack came only 10 months after 2 brothers entered the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office open firing at the workers. This attack left 11 employees dead and another 11 injured and was reportedly targeted for its blasphemous and sacrilegious cartoon publications. Al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack.
Both incidents left Paris and the rest of the country in a state of shock and mourning. The security presence was stepped up massively in order to reassure its citizens.
As it is such a popular tourist destination, waiting times and queues for attractions can prove lengthy, particularly in busy periods such as the school holidays. With this comes a heightened risk of crimes such as pickpocketing, as thieves target busy areas with large numbers of unsuspecting victims. Visitors to Paris should be aware of this and ensure that their valuables are safe at all times. Using a money belt is an effective safety precaution.
If at all possible, travellers should avoid walking alone at night time in many areas of the city. This includes: metro Les Halles, Chatelet, Gare du Nord, Stalingrad and Jaures. There is a slightly heightened risk of gang related activity and hate crimes.
Pedestrians should be extremely careful when travelling around the city, particularly when crossing the road. Road rules and regulations are often ignored by aggressive or impatient drivers so you should be on high alert at all times.
Travel around Paris
The metro in Paris is the cheapest and efficient way of travelling around the city and it is deemed to be one of the best transport links in the world. The 300km of train track means you can get to within a short walking distance of any destination in Paris. Tickets can be purchased at ticket booth stations.
An alternative method of transport is using public buses. Preferred by many tourists, this form of travel allows the cultural sites of Paris to be seen whilst the bus makes its journey. Metro tickets can also be used and must be scanned as you board the bus. Paris L'OpenTour buses offers a hop on and off tour of the city which covers over 50 stops and all the classic tourist attractions.
Using your own vehicle to drive through the city is highly advised against; the roads can be confusing and congested for unexperienced drivers. It is generally accepted that a car is not required for a stay in the city. If you do need to bring a vehicle, you should book a hotel that offers parking with the stay as parking in the city is expensive and unavailable long term.
Taxis are plentiful and easy to hail down in the street, or can be called by your hotel if you would prefer. They are not too expensive to ride and can offer almost door-to-door transport. Walking offers a free and relaxed way to get around, however the city is huge and it can take hours to walk across it.
Time now in Paris:
Healthcare in Paris
The standard of healthcare across France is generally excellent with the best care being available in Paris. Just over 75% of the cost of treatment and services are covered by government funded organisations and tourists from the EU in possession of an EHIC card, are liable for the same healthcare terms. All travellers should purchase travel and health insurance regardless, as treatment will have to be paid for and reimbursed at a later date.
Please find listed the addresses of three English speaking hospitals in the city should you require medical treatment during your stay:
63 boulevard Victor Hugo,
92202 Neuilly sur Seine
Telephone: +33 1 464 125 25
Hertford British Hospital
3 rue Barbes,
Telephone: +33 1 463 922 22
40 rue Worth
Telephone: 0826 20 72 20
Also listed is the address of an English speaking pharmacy to access basic medication or advice you may need during your stay:
62, Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Telephone: +33 1 435 922 52
British Embassy Paris
35, rue du Faubourg St Honoré
Paris Cedex 08
Telephone: +33 1 445 131 00
22, Av. Marceau,
Telephone: +33 1 444 318 00
24 Rue Marbeau
Telephone: +33 1 538 345 00
4 avenue Gabriel,
Telephone: +33 1 431 222 22
Emergency telephone: +33 1 431 222 22
35 Montaigne Avenue,
Telephone: +33 1 444 329 00
For further embassy information and locations please see our live travel map below.
Our office in France
In 2017 Intelligent Protection International Limited opened an office in Paris, France to better serve our Clients.
For further information on our services in France, see: Close Protection Services in FranceIntelligent Protection International Limited - France
Tel: +33 1 53 531411
Other useful info
General emergency from a mobile/cell: 112
Police emergency: 17
Fire emergency: 18
Ambulance emergency: 15