France

With its outstanding history, culture, architecture, museums, castles, gastronomy, iconic landmarks and landscapes, France has long been the world’s most visited country with over 80 million arrivals every year. The French “Art de vivre” (quality of life) has seduced tourists from over the world who come to France to eat croissants in boulangeries, shop its high-end fashion stores and drink a coffee on a Parisian terrace. Its coasts and mountains also offer a lot of outdoor activities and adventures throughout the year. But as the world’s most visited country, France attracts a lot of pickpockets and other scammers, especially around its main cities. SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources make sure you have a safe trip in France and be aware of all potential dangers. France is ranked 58th out of 162 on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.

SAFETY INDEX

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Is France a Safe or Dangerous Country?

Travelling in France is generally safe: it is ranked 58th out of 162 on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. Burglary and property crime is a serious problem, but violent crime is rare; the main threats facing travelers are pickpockets, bag snatchers and scam artists.

Recent terrorist attacks and threats have occurred in France (and other countries such as Denmark or Belgium); and while tourists should raise their level of caution, the police presence has been greatly increased in large cities to deter further attacks. While very few tourists have been victims of these attacks, the terrorist threat is reflected in the safety ranking. Be especially vigilant for bag and phone thieves at transport hubs like train stations, airports, restaurants, outdoor cafes, beaches and on public transport. Car-jacking and mugging when cars are stopped at red lights is sometimes a problem, especially in Marseille and Nice. Its it best to lock your car doors and roll up the windows when in these cities. Protect your personal belongings at all times, especially your ID and passport. Petty crime, like bag snatching and pick pocketing, is a serious problem around touristic areas and on public transport. For more details, see city specific advice or take a look at our travel articles.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

France is an overall safe country with some more risks in certain urban areas. It is ranked 58th out of 162 on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

As a top tourist destination, pickpocketing is the major risk for tourists in France. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

France is a safe country regarding risks of mugging and kidnapping, although some areas are best to be avoided at night.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

There are a lot of scammers and con-artists trying to take advantage of tourists, particularly in large cities such as Paris or Marseilles and around major landmarks. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

They often are pickpockets in the Parisian subway, and taxis are for the most part the safest transportation method.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

There is very little risk regarding natural disasters in France, other than avalanches which can be a significant threat when skiing in the Alps.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

Recent terrorist attacks and threats have occurred in France (and other countries such as Denmark or Belgium), and France is still a target.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

France is generally very safe for women travelers.

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Useful Information

Visas are not usually required for stays under 90 days, and EU nationals (Schengen) can stay (and work) in the country as long as they want. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting. Check out http://www.doyouneedvisa.com/ to see if you need a visa.
France is a member of the Euro Zone and uses the Euro. France and Western Europe are particularly expensive. Allow a budget of at least 100€ per day including accommodation.
The weather in France is temperate, the best time to visit is around summer (June-September), although major cities can be visited year-long.
The main international airports are Aéroport de Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Aéroport de Bordeaux, Aéroport de Lille, Aéroport International Strasbourg, Aéroport Lyon-St Exupéry, Aéroport Marseille-Provence, Aéroport Nantes Atlantique, Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur and Aéroport Toulouse-Blagnac If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page