Is The 18Th Arrondissement Of Paris Safe For Tourists?

The 18th arrondissement of Paris, located in the northern part of the city, is an eclectic area with a complex reputation when it comes to safety. If you’re visiting Paris and wondering if the 18th is safe, here’s a quick answer: parts of the 18th are very safe, especially areas frequented by tourists, while other parts have issues with petty crime.

However, by taking basic precautions, the 18th can be safely explored and enjoyed.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at safety in the 18th, including specifics on which areas to avoid, what dangers to watch out for, precautions to take, and more. We’ll also highlight the best things to see and do in this culturally-rich arrondissement.

Background and Reputation of the 18th

The 18th arrondissement of Paris, located on the Right Bank of the city, is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. However, it has also gained a reputation for being one of the more challenging neighborhoods in terms of safety.

It is important for tourists to be aware of the area’s background and reputation before visiting.

Historic reputation for crime

The 18th arrondissement has historically been associated with higher crime rates compared to other parts of Paris. In the past, it was known for its involvement in the drug trade and petty theft. While these issues have improved over the years, it is still important for visitors to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.

However, it’s essential to note that crime can happen in any part of a city, and the 18th arrondissement is no exception. Taking necessary precautions like not displaying valuable belongings, avoiding poorly lit areas at night, and staying in well-populated areas can help minimize the risk of becoming a target.

Recent gentrification and improvements

In recent years, the 18th arrondissement has undergone significant gentrification and improvement efforts. This has led to a transformation of the neighborhood, with the introduction of trendy cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops.

These changes have contributed to a decrease in crime rates and an overall improvement in the area’s safety.

Gentrification has also brought in more tourists and visitors who are drawn to the unique charm and cultural diversity of the 18th arrondissement. As a result, the local authorities have increased their focus on maintaining safety and security in the area, including the deployment of additional police presence and enhanced surveillance systems.

It is worth mentioning that the reputation of the 18th arrondissement is not solely based on crime statistics but also on personal experiences and perceptions. Many tourists have had positive and enjoyable experiences exploring the neighborhood, appreciating its vibrant atmosphere and iconic landmarks such as Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

To stay informed and make the most out of their visit, tourists are encouraged to consult reliable sources, such as travel guides and official tourism websites, for up-to-date information on safety tips and recommendations specific to the 18th arrondissement.

Safety by Area

When it comes to visiting the 18th Arrondissement of Paris, it’s important for tourists to be aware of the safety conditions in different areas. While Paris is generally considered a safe city, it’s always a good idea to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Here is some information on the safety of different areas within the 18th Arrondissement:

South of Montmartre safe for tourists

The southern part of Montmartre, including popular tourist attractions such as the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the charming streets of Montmartre, is generally considered safe for tourists. This area is well-patrolled by police and there are usually many tourists and locals around, which adds to the overall sense of security.

However, it’s still important to be mindful of your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items.

Avoid north of Goutte d’Or at night

It is advised to avoid the northern part of the 18th Arrondissement, particularly the area north of Goutte d’Or, at night. This neighborhood has a higher crime rate compared to other parts of the 18th Arrondissement.

It’s important to note that this does not mean the entire 18th Arrondissement is unsafe, but rather that this specific area should be approached with caution, especially after dark. It’s always a good idea to take a taxi or use public transportation to get around at night in this area.

Other areas to take precautions

While the majority of the 18th Arrondissement is safe for tourists, there are a few other areas where it is advisable to take precautions. One such area is the Barbès-Rochechouart neighborhood, which is known for its bustling markets and diverse community.

It’s recommended to be extra vigilant with your belongings in this area, as pickpocketing incidents have been reported.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, regardless of which area you are in. Tourists should also be cautious of scams, such as individuals offering unwanted services or trying to distract you while an accomplice steals your belongings.

For the latest safety information and travel advisories, it’s recommended to consult reputable sources such as the official website of the U.S. Department of State ( or the official website of the Embassy of France in the United States (

Dangers to Watch Out For

Petty theft and pickpocketing

Like any major city, the 18th Arrondissement of Paris is not immune to petty theft and pickpocketing. Tourists should exercise caution and be mindful of their belongings at all times, especially in crowded tourist areas such as Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur.

It is advisable to keep wallets, phones, and other valuables secure in front pockets or in anti-theft bags. Additionally, tourists should be wary of distraction techniques used by pickpockets, such as someone bumping into them or asking for directions while their belongings are being targeted.

Scams targeting tourists

Tourists in the 18th Arrondissement of Paris should be aware of various scams that target unsuspecting visitors. One common scam involves individuals posing as street vendors selling Eiffel Tower keychains or other souvenirs.

These vendors may aggressively approach tourists, attempting to pressure them into buying overpriced or counterfeit items. It is best to politely decline and walk away if approached by such vendors. Another scam involves individuals pretending to be petitioners or asking for donations for charitable causes.

Tourists should be cautious and verify the legitimacy of such requests before giving any money.

Areas with drug dealing and homelessness

While the 18th Arrondissement of Paris is generally safe, there are certain areas where drug dealing and homelessness can be more prevalent. One such area is the Boulevard de Rochechouart, near the Anvers metro station.

It is important for tourists to exercise caution in these areas and avoid engaging with individuals involved in illegal activities. Understanding the layout of the neighborhood and sticking to well-lit and populated areas can help mitigate potential risks.

It is worth mentioning that the overall safety of the 18th Arrondissement of Paris has improved in recent years, thanks to increased police presence and security measures. However, it is always advisable for tourists to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to the area.

Precautions to Take

Be alert in crowds and tourist sites

While the 18th Arrondissement of Paris is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood, it is important for tourists to stay alert, especially in crowded areas and popular tourist sites. Pickpocketing can be a concern in these areas, so it is advisable to keep personal belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings.

Make sure to keep an eye on your bags, wallets, and phones at all times. By staying alert and taking necessary precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a target for theft.

Don’t walk alone at night

As with any urban area, it is always wise to avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar neighborhoods. While the 18th Arrondissement of Paris is generally safe, it is still important to exercise caution and prioritize your safety.

If you find yourself out late at night, consider taking a taxi or using public transportation to get to your destination. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and taking this simple precaution can help ensure a worry-free experience during your visit to the 18th Arrondissement.

Use basic street smarts

When exploring the 18th Arrondissement, it is essential to use basic street smarts to ensure your safety. This includes avoiding isolated or poorly lit areas, sticking to well-traveled routes, and following the advice of local authorities.

Additionally, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the emergency contact numbers for the area and have them readily accessible in case of any unforeseen circumstances. By using common sense and being aware of your surroundings, you can enjoy all that the 18th Arrondissement has to offer while minimizing any potential risks.

Best Things to Do Safely

When visiting the 18th Arrondissement of Paris, there are plenty of safe and enjoyable activities for tourists to experience. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife, this district has something for everyone.

Here are some of the best things to do safely in the 18th Arrondissement:

Top sites and attractions

The 18th Arrondissement is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Paris. One must-visit site is the famous Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, located at the highest point in the city. Not only does it offer breathtaking views of Paris, but it also has a serene atmosphere that attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Another popular attraction is the Moulin Rouge, known for its captivating cabaret performances. Exploring the charming streets of Montmartre, with its art studios and cafés, is also a must-do in this area.

If you’re a fan of art, a visit to the Musée de Montmartre is highly recommended. This museum showcases the artistic history of the district and houses works by renowned artists such as Renoir and Modigliani.

Additionally, the Montmartre Cemetery is an interesting and peaceful place to explore, with its beautiful tombstones and sculptures.

Best areas for shopping, food, and nightlife

For those looking to indulge in some retail therapy, the 18th Arrondissement offers a variety of shopping options. The Rue des Abbesses is a bustling street lined with boutique shops, cafés, and bakeries, where you can find unique souvenirs and fashionable clothing.

The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, one of the largest flea markets in the world, is another must-visit spot for vintage finds and antiques.

When it comes to food, the 18th Arrondissement has a diverse culinary scene. From traditional French bistros to international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The Rue des Martyrs is known for its artisanal food shops, where you can sample delicious cheeses, pastries, and charcuterie.

For a taste of North African flavors, a visit to the neighborhood of Barbès is a must, with its vibrant markets and authentic restaurants.

When the sun sets, the 18th Arrondissement comes alive with its lively nightlife. The Pigalle area is famous for its cabarets, bars, and clubs, offering a range of entertainment options. Whether you prefer a relaxed evening sipping cocktails at a trendy rooftop bar or dancing the night away at a vibrant nightclub, you’ll find plenty of options in this district.


While the 18th arrondissement of Paris has historically had issues with crime and safety, especially compared to other more upscale arrondissements, major parts of the area are very safe for visitors who take basic precautions.

By avoiding poorly-lit areas after dark, being alert in crowds, and using general street smarts, tourists can safely enjoy all the 18th has to offer – from the charming alleys of Montmartre to hidden local gems waiting to be explored.

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