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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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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. :/

  • You're right. I've added more information to the question, including specific places. – Otavio Macedo Feb 10 '12 at 16:50
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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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The higher crime rate just means that instead of being extremely rare, crime is just very rare. So without knowing the details - yes, it is safe. Same way driving a car is safe even though there are lots of accidents. It's not 100% safe, it's safe enough.

Of course, if you're wandering around in some back alley at a late hour at night looking like a tourist with money - that's not very safe in many neighborhoods, in the center or periphery of Paris or any city.

Also, if these places have many popular hotels with high ratings, then people are going there, not getting mugged and leaving good reviews; so, again, it's safe enough.

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French guy living in Paris here. I would go against most advices here and say that if i were you, i would avoid the whole nort-east part of Paris. There is a reason why the hotel cost is so low. More specifically, I would avoid going in Saint-Denis and near Porte de la Chapelle, and globally the north part of Paris. When I came to Paris for my first job, i went to live near Porte de la Chapelle because the rent was low. And it was horrible. Definitly would not recommend anyone to live here, especially a tourist (it will REALLY negate your view of Paris) As a french guy coming from the south of France, it was definitly a culture choc to live there. This video speaks for itself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EACUNpAOPUQ

I don't know much about Garibaldi, but the disctrict has a poor reputation (Place de la Villette).

The western part of Paris is way more nicer and also not very expensive. I would advise looking for a Hotel near a "RER A" station (RER is a train you can take with regular metro tickets) as the RER A come from the west part of Paris all the way to the east part (which of course also stops in the center of Paris)

Typically this includes cities like Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Le Vésinet, Neuilly-Sur-Seine, Maisons-Laffitte... Even if you don't speak french you can still check some city name in this website https://www.ville-ideale.fr and check the overall mark. It usually gives a fair view of the city quality of life.

  • Finally even in the worst part of North Paris you won't get mugged just by walking down the street. And assuming you're a man you won't get into trouble just walking from hotel to metro. As far as you don't walk down the flats in a bad neighborhood nothing will happen. But i feel like it will really reflect badly your view of France if you go in the north-east of Paris. – FrenchGuy75008 Feb 13 at 15:06
  • You can’t take the RER outside of Paris with regular metro tickets. You need either tickets for the specific journey, or use day tickets such as Mobilis, Paris Visite or Navigo Jour (or semaine) with the appropriate zones for that. You can only use regular metro tickets on the RER inside zone 1 (Paris intra-muros). – jcaron Feb 13 at 17:56

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