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I'm planning on staying in Paris with my wife for a few days in April. I've found a number of hotels for a reasonable price and with overall good reviews on TripAdvisor. But all of them are located in the area outside the Boulevard Périphérique. I have been told that the crime rate is higher in that part of the city (mostly petty theft, robbery and burglary). So, I'm considering staying at a more central hotel (and paying considerably more, of course).

More specifically, most hotels are on the North and East suburbs. Three of them near the Gallieni‎ station, one near the Garibaldi station, one near the Porte de la Chapelle station and one near Vanves-Malakoff train station.

Am I being too paranoid? Is it safe, for example, to come back walking to the hotel at night?

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Can you tell where it is exactly? For example, West and South suburbs are generally safer than North or East ones. And beyond that, the situation can vary a lot from block to block. Usually, with a quick look on Google Street View, you'll see if the neighbourhood seems safe or not. – Thomas Radioyes Feb 10 '12 at 14:39
I'd say that Gallieni is safe, Garibaldi too, but you should avoid Porte de la Chapelle, even by day I wouldn't recommend this place to someone who looks obviously as a tourist. By night, I avoid it myself. – Thomas Radioyes Feb 10 '12 at 16:17
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Maybe you are a bit too paranoid. I go to Paris quite regularly and I usually stay in hotels beyond the boulevard périphérique, for exactly the same reason that you mention. Personally, I never had any problem, nor did I feel particularly unsafe. However, when I go by car, I never park it in the street. I leave it in a closed or guarded car park. The hotel I am usually staying at is quite close to 2 metro stations. The way to the metro stations is safe, even after dusk.

These areas can be a bit gloomy and It is true that some areas beyond the boulevard périphérique can be dangerous. Nevertheless the places where the hotels are located are okay. Note that in Paris "intra muros" there are gloomy and dangerous areas as well ...

Wherever you stay and you go, do not forget that Paris is a large city, with everything this implies. But, when you stick to the usual cautions, you should have a safe stay, intra and extra muros.

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Difficult to give a comprehensive answer for this one, but friends who visited over New Year (I live in Paris) stayed in a hotel near Hoche metro, in Pantin. This was against my warnings, as like you I had heard very bad things. In fact they had absolutely no problems, and had all the benefits of living near a good metro line (the 5) at a fraction of the cost.

Really it depends where you're staying - "that part of the city" isn't really a good way to describe the entire outside of any city. :/

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You're right. I've added more information to the question, including specific places. – Otavio Macedo Feb 10 '12 at 16:50

Inside vs. outside the boulevard périphérique isn't a relevant criteria. There are some posh neighbourhoods outside it and some dodgy areas in Paris itself. I would not necessarily recommend any place in the Greater Paris area to visitors but most of the areas immediately beyond the périphérique should be perfectly safe to stay or walk at night.

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