View Full Version : Need Paris advice!

12-07-2012, 03:56 PM
Hi everyone!

Very very soon I'll be leaving to go and live in Paris for 7 months. I found an appartment with some roomates that will also go to Paris but to study. I'm going there for an internship. I've talked with some of my friends about the neighbourhoud where I'll live and got mixed reviews. I don't know how to separate the people who exagerate ans those who are just telling me to be cautious....So I thought people here would give me good advice!

I'll be living in the 18th, near the subway Marcadet-Poissoniers (M12 and M4). It is great for me because I go straight to work with the M12. People have told me it's not that safe, but people tell me that about every neighbourhoud in Paris... Are they right? Should I be particularly carefull near that place? Did I make a bad choice? Some of them told me not to take the night buses if I go out... is it that bad? I'll go out mostly during the day anyway as I work five days a week.

Then, I didn't really have a choice...I don't have 1000 euros a months to put on a rent, I didn't want to live in the suburbs and I don't have to luxury to leave early ans fin a place to stay once in Paris. The appartment market is also kind of bad...Not much co-locations available (well, reasonable ones...).

I appreciate any help or tips I can get from you all :)

12-07-2012, 06:48 PM
I'm not that familiar with the 18th, but as far as I know it isn't considered to be as dangerous as Belleville or even Pigalle. It also isn't considered anywhere near as dangerous as St-Denis, which is right on the other side of the Périphérique. However, by North American standards, the whole of Paris does have a lot of street crime, particularly pickpocketing. You should be particularly careful on public transportation and in any area frequented by tourists.

12-08-2012, 07:41 AM
Some basic rules to go by WHEREVER you go is to be alert, head up (not texting etc), look confident, and follow your gut. If you feel a little iffy, have something at the ready like sharp keys in your hand, a spray, your phone for a quick emergency call etc. Awareness is key, as is a "don't mess with this" attitude, and luck of course. Try to always be careful of your bag and its placement no matter where you are. It's just a great habit to get into. Hug it close or in front of you. And there are little tactics to deal with purse slashers as well...I haven't done this myself but my grandmother, arguably paranoid though I think brilliant, actually sews a loop on her wallet and attaches it to a hinged hook that she's sewn in her purse. It'll never fall out if her bag gets slashed (which actually happens a lot where she lives)...and it's super easy to "fish" out her wallet when she's shopping. She does this with her keys too.

12-08-2012, 03:47 PM
Thanks to both of you. I guess normal safety precautions will be enough. I've lived in Brussels for quite some time and didn't feel in danger most of the time (except at Gare du Midi) so I guess I'll be ok in Paris. Being a canadian, it's hard to imagine such a high level of street crime. We generally do not have this here. Thanks again :)

12-08-2012, 04:00 PM
firefly, your question sparked my curiosity, so I did a little investigation.

This website -- http://www.riskinparis.com/ -- should be very useful to you, particularly if you follow the "Où habiter? Quartiers à éviter?" link on the first page.

And here's something from the City of Paris' official website about "quartiers concernés," which is more geared to neighborhood's needs for social services but does mention drug use and prostitution in parks in the 18th arrondissement: http://www.paris.fr/politiques/vie-de-quartier/quartiers-concernes/p6145. Marcadet-Poissoniers does appear to be smack dab in the middle of the quartiers concernés of the 18th.

This blogger says that the 18th and 20th arrondissements are more dangerous than the 19th: http://blogues.lapresse.ca/desiront/2011/05/12/quartiers-dangereux-a-paris/ -- so you might try looking for something in the 19th, even though that arrondissement does have its own problems.

I hope this helps. :)

12-09-2012, 02:29 AM
Thanks Vagabond! I'll look it up :)