Joanne Socha

Travel Advisor
(Return to Joanne's Bio)


I love France - the Brittany Coast and St. Malo, Alsace-Lorraine, Cannes, Provence....but Paris lassoed my heart forever. I am sharing this because it sums up Paris for me to plan France excursions!

Paris Pour Une Personne

By Joanne Scully

Paris has long been thought of as the city of love. Couples holding hands by the Seine, or gazing into one another’s eyes while at an outdoor café: they’re as Parisian as the Arc de Triomphe. But what does that mean for a traveler who’s here all alone? How does she enjoy this romantic playground? After a recent three day visit, I learned the secret to seeing Paris solo.

I spent my first two nights at the Hotel Esprit Saint-Germain, a small elegant hideaway on the Left Bank. Sipping a cup of tea by the fireplace, gazing at the hotel’s collection of books, I thought I could easily be happy here by myself without even leaving my room.

No matter where you visit, one of the advantages of traveling solo is that you’re the boss of your day. In the morning I enjoyed my croissant and café au lait while still in bed; no one was hurrying me to get up and go. And when I finally hit the streets, I had this whole glorious city at my feet. I did what many visitors do in Paris…I strolled along the banks of La Seine, wandered into Les Jardins du Luxembourg and enjoyed another café au lait
a la place du Daphnine.

Now, of course all these Parisian attractions would be nice with my true love by my side.
But there is so much to see – the outdoor markets, antique bookshops, and, of course, the various neighborhoods, from Montmartre to the Marais - that I never had time to feel lonely.

Dining out solo is when many travelers feel most alone. Sitting solitary in a restaurant, you’re on display. Some restaurants do nothing to ease the discomfort. But not so in Paris. That evening at Le Comptoir, I felt perfectly at home without a companion. Only when I discovered the menus were in French, I could have used a friend. But not to worry. A gentleman nearby came to my aid. Not only did he translate but offered some suggestions of his own. While enjoying le veau, couscous, and crème brulee (which was the size of a swimming pool), I entertained myself watching the parade of Parisians passing by.

Arriving back to my room that evening, I found the bed turned down and the ceiling illuminated with lights that resembled stately stars. Receiving such loving care, homesickness didn’t have a chance.

Another bonus of Paris alone is the chance to shop at the city’s one-of-a-kind stores all by yourself. No need to explain “Why do you need this” or “You look better in that.” The very chic and inviting Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg on the Right Bank was my home for the third night. Ideally situated – right off the Champs Elysee – it allowed me the opportunity to take Paris’ shops by storm. I did more window shopping than buying, but felt like a true Parisian nevertheless. And after devouring two crepes in le Jardin des Tuileries, a contented one as well.

It was only while gazing up at La Grand Roue – the Great Ferris Wheel – that I realized the one possible drawback to experiencing Paris for one. Riding up to the clouds I had no one to squeeze my hand in comfort or delight in my screams.
Of course, hovering over the fairytale town, it’s hard not to see why lovers flock to Paris.
Romance may be in the air here, but you don’t have to be a couple to fall under its sway.

Paris for one: Perfection

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