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Short 4-5 days in Paris France

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[OP]
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Nov 22, 2013
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Thornhill, ON

Short 4-5 days in Paris France

I'll be heading to Paris for Valentine's Day. Wonder what's the best cost effective way to get around while avoiding pick-picketers. I've heard so many stories about the issues in Paris makes me almost not want to go. TIA!
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Aug 2, 2001
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I heard all the stores of pick-pockets, gypsies, etc. and had absolutely no problems in Paris. The only time I encountered someone sketchy was the people near the Louvre asking you to sign something. Walk with confidence and be smart about what you are showing everyone (camera around neck, flashing wads of cash, etc.) because these people pick on those who appear unaware and easy to take from.

We walked and took the metro everywhere in Paris as well, so do not think you have to take cabs to avoid it. We heard all those stories and bought one of these Hidden Pockets (http://www.campers-village.com/109456/Hidden-Pocket/). It attaches to your belt and tucks inside your pants, so easy to pull out if needed. Soon we realized we were being over paranoid.


Overall, I definitely would not consider the potential for pick pockets as an issue big enough to cause you not to go to Paris. It is a beautiful city.
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Jan 26, 2011
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TrevorK wrote: I heard all the stores of pick-pockets, gypsies, etc. and had absolutely no problems in Paris.
I love responses like this. It's as if their experience is the some total of all experience. They've been lucky so everyone else is going to be lucky. The truth is that it is a concern, but it is not as bad as a lot of other places in Europe, like Barcelona.

There are some basic precautions. Rule #1: everything in front of you. Never keep anything a hip pocket, although some people advocate carrying an empty decoy wallet there. The best bet is to wear a neck pouch that hangs in front you under your shirt. For cameras, maps, guidebooks, ipads, etc, carry a small backpack backwards, so that it loops over one shoulder and the bag hangs under your arm in front. Also simply try to avoid letting people next you, especially at places where you have to remain stationary. Pickpockets prefer stationary targets. Bus stops and the metro, for example, are prime haunts for pickpockets. Also thugs from Eastern Europe have been flooding into western Europe over the last few years, so violet muggings are becoming commonplace. I like carrying a large umbrella. It gives them something to think about.

BTW. I thought that Paris was OK but is vastly overrated.
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Jul 4, 2007
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As long as you are not oblivious to these things occurring, then you'll be fine. Take simple precautions as wallet not in back pocket, bags in front and zippered, etc and you'll be fine. Pickpockets will go for the easier targets.
Paris is easy to get around on foot or subway. Stay near a subway stop and you'll have easy access to anywhere.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2013
241 posts
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Thornhill, ON
Jaytee wrote: I suggest a wallet with a chain. I've traveled a lot with a wallet with chain (including Paris) and it's great. You can still take it out and use it easily unlike those ones that go under clothes.

[IMG]http://i5.walmartimages.com/dfw/dce07b8 ... 6dd.v1.jpg"]http://i5.walmartimages.com/dfw/dce07b8 ... 6dd.v1.jpg[/IMG]

I personally only carry a woc w very minimal cash. My main concern is the BF, he's very oblivious and easily a target. I'll definitely look into picking something like this up for him to use while we're there!
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2013
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Thornhill, ON
TrevorK wrote: Overall, I definitely would not consider the potential for pick pockets as an issue big enough to cause you not to go to Paris. It is a beautiful city.
Thanks a lot! Well definitely consider the subway for our main source of transportation!
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Don't talk with strangers approching you, especially with a clipboard and asking you to sign and lookout for group of girls that look like gypsies....they are up to no good. Walking at night is safe, just don't wonder into dark alleys.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Aug 2, 2001
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robson1 wrote: I love responses like this. It's as if their experience is the some total of all experience. They've been lucky so everyone else is going to be lucky. The truth is that it is a concern, but it is not as bad as a lot of other places in Europe, like Barcelona.
It is not "luck" in being able to avoid pick pockets. Pick pockets pick their targets carefully, and if your behaviour does not make you an easy target you are very unlikely to be targeted.
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Here are some stories from my friends and people I met, that might help people be more aware of the scams.

1. My friend got her wallet stolen from her purse on a subway train in Barcelona. Pick pockets were a couple on a crowded subway car. The woman kept bumping into her while her friend opened her purse and took her wallet from the behind her.
2. My other friend got her wallet stolen in Ho Chi Mihn when she was partying and drunk. One girls bumped the wallet out of her hand, picked it up and handed it to my friend and my friend thanked her. What she didnt realize was she quickly took out all the cash in one quick motion.
3. Two people I know had their pockets cut. One guy was wearing cargo pants and they cut the bottom out and got his wallet. My other friend has his pants cut, but it was in such a way the wallet didnt come out, he was lucky.
4. Woman on the same train as us got her wallet stolen in Naples. This was just a few weeks ago and everyone was warning me how bad Naples is for pick pockets. Dunno how it happened, only that we heard her talk to the police that her wallet was stolen.
[OP]
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Nov 22, 2013
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Thornhill, ON
Thanks so much for all the helpful replies and tips.. I'm assuming since it'll be winter time in February we'll mostlikely be in layers anyway. Shouldn't be too difficult to hide a bit of cash. How are the hotel safes is it a good idea to leave large amounts of cash inside? I've never been to Europe but a few times in the Dominican and Mexico my safes were wide open when we walked in on the cleaning staff.. Thankfully we didn't have anything stolen but it does make me wonder if that's common practice..
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ivy317 wrote: How are the hotel safes is it a good idea to leave large amounts of cash inside?
This is 2015, who needs to carry large amounts of cash? Paris is a modern city with all the electronic forms of payment.
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ivy317 wrote: Thanks so much for all the helpful replies and tips.. I'm assuming since it'll be winter time in February we'll mostlikely be in layers anyway. Shouldn't be too difficult to hide a bit of cash. How are the hotel safes is it a good idea to leave large amounts of cash inside? I've never been to Europe but a few times in the Dominican and Mexico my safes were wide open when we walked in on the cleaning staff.. Thankfully we didn't have anything stolen but it does make me wonder if that's common practice..
My thought is that access to my room is controlled by a key card, and in the event of theft you will make a police report and those key card logs will have to be verified. This affords you quite a bit of peace of mind (yes, I know there may still be master keys), and if you end up dealing with the corporate entity of the hotel will have enough evidence for a reasonable chance at compensation.

I found the safes were treated as they were in the US/Canada - I have never had one left wide open with my items inside.

If you are that worried about your cash, the hidden pocket I showed above would allow you to carry it on your person. So would a money belt, etc. Because it is "extra" cash it does not need to be immediately available, so if you are really worried, keeping in on your person in an inaccessible place would make you feel the best.
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Jan 28, 2007
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TrevorK wrote: My thought is that access to my room is controlled by a key card, and in the event of theft you will make a police report and those key card logs will have to be verified. This affords you quite a bit of peace of mind (yes, I know there may still be master keys), and if you end up dealing with the corporate entity of the hotel will have enough evidence for a reasonable chance at compensation.

I found the safes were treated as they were in the US/Canada - I have never had one left wide open with my items inside.

If you are that worried about your cash, the hidden pocket I showed above would allow you to carry it on your person. So would a money belt, etc. Because it is "extra" cash it does not need to be immediately available, so if you are really worried, keeping in on your person in an inaccessible place would make you feel the best.
Money belt is a good way to carry your wad of cash and in the cooler weather it is easier to wear a moneybelt. Before you leave your hotel, take out enough money you need for the day and keep in separate place for easier access, the rest goes in your moneybelt under your clothes.

At any tourist sites like museums you will see the gypsy kids with their cardboard/clipboard fake petitions, just ignore them and walk right by. They're typically harmless and move on to the next tourist.

On trains, buses, subway, try not to stand/sit near the door. And pay attention to people around, the snatch and run is what they do just as doors are closing.

Lots of good info on Rick Steves' website.
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams
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Nov 6, 2010
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I'm pretty sure everywhere except North America is ripe with pickpockets (I've never been pick pocketed personally but I've heard stories from people from basically every continent) so just be mindful, don't be paranoid. Then again, I've herad of people get their bags stolen in the TTC too so it's all about being vigilant, especially in crowded places.
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Mar 10, 2008
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ivy317 wrote: I'll be heading to Paris for Valentine's Day. Wonder what's the best cost effective way to get around while avoiding pick-picketers. I've heard so many stories about the issues in Paris makes me almost not want to go. TIA!
2015 - End of Jan/Beginning of Feb we were in Paris. Absolutely loved the place. We stayed in airbnb apartment very close to Opera and had no problem with anything. Winter was an added advantage for us because the waiting time to see an attraction was much lesser than usual.

Lot of people have given useful tips already. The ones that we were careful with - Keeping cash in different suitcases (spread out) since Paris was our first spot (before heading to Italy), investing in a good around the waist thick layered wallet (spent about $70) which my hubby carried it for keeping some cash and our passports and the advantage with winter that he had a long coat so the wallet was not even showing up. You definitely need cash, keep cash for day to day spending and use creditcard for big purchases. We also booked all skip the line tours through viator so this helped carry less cash. We bought metro tokens which we also used it in buses to see some attractions. From our location we mostly used subway/bus/or walk to many attractions. Yes we were approached by a group of girls close to opera but we just said no and kept walking. Just be cautious and enjoy the trip. We were one of the lucky travelers who didn't get pick pocketed. Have a great vacation!!
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vidhoo21 wrote: We were one of the lucky travelers who didn't get pick pocketed.
So the majority of Paris visitors are pickpocketed? I had no idea the odds were so bad. :eek:
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Dec 31, 2005
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Take whatever precautions you want, but it is more about behaviour than using or not using a money belt.

I've travelled all around the world for pleasure or business. Half the time you can pick out the people who would be the good targets...

In the end, you are no more at risk in Paris than say NYC.
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Dec 31, 2005
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GenerationE wrote: So the majority of Paris visitors are pickpocketed? I had no idea the odds were so bad. :eek:
I know countless people who have gone to Paris (many times) and not one has ever been pickpocketed...it is not that bad.

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