Most Dangerous Areas in Paris

By PropertyClub Team
Jun 19th 2024
Paris, the City of Lights, is known for romance, art, and delectable food. But like any major city, it has areas where visitors should exercise caution due to higher than average crime rates.  This list explores 13 neighborhoods in Paris where you might want to be extra aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

hash-markIs Paris Safe? 

Overall, Paris is a safe city for tourists. While no place is without risk, Paris ranks significantly lower on the crime index than many other major cities. As of 2022, it sits at 162nd out of 576 cities worldwide. However, petty theft, particularly pickpocketing, is a common crime targeting tourists in crowded areas.

hash-markMost Dangerous Paris Areas

  1. Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est
  2. Les Halles
  3. Porte de La Chapelle
  4. Barbès-Rochechouart
  5. Porte de Clignancourt
  6. Goutte d’Or
  7. Château Rouge
  8. Stalingrad
  9. Belleville
  10. Porte de la Villette
  11. Pigalle
  12. Bois de Boulogne
  13. Champ de Mars

hash-mark1. Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est

Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est are the two most dangerous areas in Paris. These two busy train stations are major hubs connecting the city to destinations across Europe. Situated in the north of the 10th arrondissement, these stations pulsate with a constant flow of travelers and commuters during the day. 

However, at night, the surrounding areas can become less inviting, particularly for tourists and students. Known as one of the areas to avoid in Paris due to the prevalence of drug sales, the vicinity of these stations can be sketchy after dark. Visitors may encounter intoxicated individuals, pickpockets, altercations, and solicitation for drugs.

hash-mark2. Les Halles

Les Halles, situated in the 1st arrondissement, is an area prized for its central spot and the expansive shopping mall, Forum des Halles. Surrounded by famous landmarks like the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, it's a lively hub frequented by both tourists and locals. 

However, beware of "free gift" scams and bag snatching. On Saturday nights, Les Halles transforms into a less safe area as suburban French youth converge here for socializing, making it best avoided.

hash-mark3. Porte de La Chapelle

Porte de La Chapelle, situated in the 18th arrondissement, is another area in Paris known for its challenges. Despite the cultural richness, social issues like homelessness and drug-related crimes are prevalent here. 

It's important to be cautious of scams such as fake friends, tricky cash exchanges, and false tours that may leave you empty-handed.

hash-mark4. Barbès-Rochechouart

Barbès-Rochechouart is also one of the most dangerous areas in Paris. Barbès-Rochechouart is a bustling neighborhood spanning the 9th and 18th arrondissements, is a must-visit for its proximity to the stunning Sacré-Coeur Basilica, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. 

Here, visitors can explore abundant shops offering African fabrics and Asian electronics. 

However, it's important to stay vigilant as pickpocketing is the most common crime in this area. It's advisable to avoid walking alone after dark, especially on the less-traveled streets, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

hash-mark5. Porte de Clignancourt

Porte de Clignancourt, situated in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, is renowned for its expansive flea market, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. While it's a treasure trove for bargain hunters, the area also has a reputation for petty crime. 

If you're planning to explore this neighborhood, it's advisable to avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying expensive bags to minimize the risk of theft.

hash-mark6. Goutte d’Or

Located in the 18th arrondissement, Goutte d’Or is an area in Paris often advised to be avoided due to its high crime rates, particularly petty theft. This neighborhood is characterized by its large population of North African and sub-Saharan residents. 

One of its notable features is the open-air market, le marché Dejean. Goutte d’Or has maintained its working-class identity since at least the nineteenth century.

hash-mark7. Château Rouge

Château Rouge, situated in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, is next on our list of most dangerous areas. Just a stone’s throw from the Sacré-Cœur, this area is infamous for pickpocketing and the trade of stolen goods, particularly mobile phones taken from unsuspecting tourists around Sacré-Cœur and Barbès.

hash-mark8. Stalingrad

Stalingrad, situated in the 19th arrondissement, is a neighborhood in Paris known for its vibrant energy and diverse community. One of its charming attractions is the Rotonde de la Villette, a striking circular structure that adds to the area's allure. 

However, this district is infamously nicknamed “Stalincrack” by the locals due to its reputation for robberies and drug trafficking, making it an area to avoid when traveling alone on summer nights.

hash-mark9. Belleville

Belleville sits between the 20th and 19th arrondissements, and its name, Belleville, means "beautiful town." This neighborhood holds significance in Paris for its vibrant street art scene. However, it's wise for tourists to be cautious in its smaller streets, especially at night.

hash-mark10. Porte de la Villette

Next on our list is Porte de la Villette, located in the 19th arrondissement. It's home to the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, the biggest science museum in Europe, and the vast Parc de la Villette. However, it's also infamous for drug-related activities and loitering around the metro station. It's best to schedule your activities during the day and avoid walking around after dark here.

hash-mark11. Pigalle

Pigalle, situated on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements, is renowned as a bustling tourist district in Paris. Known for its array of theaters, adult shows, and the iconic Moulin Rouge, it attracts visitors seeking entertainment and nightlife. 

However, some of its side streets can become heavily crowded, making it advisable for tourists to stay vigilant and stick to the main roads for a smoother experience.

hash-mark12. Bois de Boulogne

Covering 800 hectares, Bois de Boulogne is Paris's second-largest park, attracting families, joggers, and nature enthusiasts. 

As the sun sets, the park transforms. Nighttime sees a change in atmosphere, with prostitution and related activities becoming more common. Approximately 200 sex workers operate here, and gangs exploit their presence for robberies and extortion.

hash-mark13. Champ de Mars

Wrapping up our list is Champ de Mars, situated in the seventh arrondissement of Paris between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire. It is a large public greenspace. 

The closest Métro stations to this area are La Motte-Picquet–Grenelle, École Militaire, and Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. Unfortunately, there have been reports of women being approached by cars posing as their Uber drivers along the streets nearby. So if you plan to visit Champ de Mars, keep a close eye on the passing drivers.