solo female traveller to France
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Dec 7, 2012 6:16 PM Last Post By: MTL
Dec 4, 2012 10:45 PM
solo female traveller to FranceHi! I am drafting a plan to hit Nice, Marseilles, and Corsica in May. I think this is possible in 10 days time? Any thoughts? Also, are all three places fairly easy to get around? What about nightlife? Lastly, and most importantly, are all three safe for a solo female traveller?
Dec 5, 2012 12:06 AM
Dec 5, 2012 12:44 AM
2Like regards said in #1, we would need a bit more details on why you selected these cities.
Probably not enough time, depending on how you are trying to get to Corsica (i'm assuming by ferry). You could easily spend 10 days exploring Corsica on its own, but you also would need a car to explore the island. Nice and Marseille and any surrounding cities are very easily accessible by trains and buses.
What kind of nightlife are you looking for? Raging clubs or more local music joints and pubs? These are some details we need!
As far as safety is concerned, Marseille is like any big city, it has good and bad areas, and as long as you stay away from some of the not-so-nice areas (particularly late at night) then you won't have any problems, (speaking from personal experience in Marseille as a solo female). Always be aware of your surroundings and don't do stupid things to put yourself in an unnecessarily bad situation.
Nice and Corsica no problem (at least from my personal experience)
Dec 5, 2012 1:00 AM
Dec 5, 2012 1:08 AM
4I think this is possible in 10 days time?
Possible: yes. Is it enough to see and do what you want to? That depends. I've been to Corsica for 12 days and would love to go back and see a few parts I didn't have time to visit on my previous trip.
Why did you pick Nice and Marseille and what do you want to do in Corsica - assuming you're aware that this is an island and that it takes several hours to get from one end to the other.
are all three places fairly easy to get around?
Haven't been to Nice and only spent a few hours in Marseille, which was easy to get around - there's a metro going from the train station to the port, for example.
There are regular trains between Marseille and Nice and ferries from both cities to ports on Corsica.
The main towns on Corsica are small enough to get around on foot. There's a (limited) train and bus network to get you around, departures aren't very frequent but with a bit of advance planning you shouldn't have a problem. The train rides from Ajaccio to Corte and along the coast near Calvi are especially beautiful.
What about nightlife?
I can only speak for Ajaccio, Bastia and Corte on Corsica, all of which were pretty calm at night. Plenty of good restaurants and bars, though.
are all three safe for a solo female traveller?
Marseille has a bit of a reputation, but I don't know the city well enough to say if that's justified. As a general rule, European cities are safer (for female and male travellers) than their US counterparts - use common sense and you should be fine.
The biggest dangers for Corsica were the food in the least expensive restaurant on the SNCM ferry from Marseille to Ajaccio and the cow that tried to pass us on an extremely narrow mountain path near Corte.
Dec 5, 2012 1:25 AM
5If you were tempted to wander Portugal, do it.
Its the cheapest wandering in Europe. And its off the beaten. Because its not between other countries.
Soo the check list tourists won't go "out of their way" from maximizing their "see it all in one trip", score card.
Money belt, that holds passport. You only need that, to change hotels and planes. Our yank passports may have a chip in them, but the guy who steals it won't know that or care. Meanwhile you won't have it. And have the hassle of replacing it.
Picker/snatchers. don't get violent. They don't have to. Its an ancient skill. Endless scams for quick digression of your attention and Zot! S.o.b. in question, hands the loot to his buddy, who disappears in to the crowd or up the street.
Cops can't do a thing for us. Police reports are only good for insurance claims.
It happened to me in Malaga. Everything went!
But when they were out of arm's reach, I yelled,"Robar. Robar!" They dropped everything and split.
Street sense and serendipity rule!
Dec 5, 2012 4:45 AM
using safety as a criterion to decide where to go is simply meaningless.
Dec 5, 2012 4:28 PM
7@ MTL: Yes, I realize it is NOT Afghanistan :) I guess I am just nervous because it is my first solo trip, so I am probably being too paranoid :) But, I really appreciate the tips and suggestions from everyone! Every little bit will be helpful for me.
@ gawkabout: I will definitely look back into Portugal as a possibility. Can you suggest must-see towns/places if I were to plan around a 10-day trip?
I only chose these three cities because they seemed fairly easy to get around and to/from each other (via ferry to Corsica w/a car rental to get around the island) But, it sounds like Corsica is a much larger island than I realized :/
As far as nightlife, I am not looking to go raging. I would, however, like to go to some nice lively, local pubs/restaurants. It would be great if there were shows or live music at these places, also.
Thanks All! :)
Dec 6, 2012 3:35 AM
9About nightlife - Marseille: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/marseille/nightlife - for Nice: http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/175/french-riviera-bars-and-pubs-nice.html and Corsica: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/corsica/entertainment-nightlife/live-music?ticket=ST-283160-lsfOXmaTZRU44bquKlIM-secure.prod.lpo
Easy to get around - yes and no. Both cities have good local transport but not all lines are running the night over.
One question please: Why you will go to Marseille?
Dec 6, 2012 4:29 PM
10Marseille is hardly a world renowned must-see city, just so you know, but if you need to be there to get the ferry then fair enough! Nice is a good place for a few days. If you go there get the bus up to Eze and do the 30 min walk down the hill to the riviera. Other options would be to go from Nice to other areas of southern France like Nimes, Arles, Montpellier, or Avignon. You could be based in one town and do day trips to the rest. Montpellier is a student town and probably has good nightlife. But it all depends on what you want to see, maybe Corsica is really appealing to you (I've never been but imagine it's nice!) which is why you want to go, in which case spend less time in Marseille and more in Corsica.
Also must say, I stayed in Nice at the Rex Hotel (or Rex Hostel, can't remember exact name off top of my head), amazing hotel, like a four star but for one star prices!
The different possibilities for ten days in Europe are lliterally almost endless. Sit down wih a good LP book and figure out what you really want to see in that short time span. If you want to avoid touristy places then that's hard in Europe! Just go with the flow and enjoy the amazing sights, whether that be southern France, SE Germany, or Paris and Loire Valley castles, all doable in a week and a half, and all will give you great experiences.
Edited by: Johnnnn
Dec 7, 2012 11:08 AM
Dec 7, 2012 6:16 PM
This is what LP says about it:
Marseilles is also a real, living multicultural port city which makes it a bit of a contrast with the gentrified villages of the Provence that many people come to Southern France for.
LP's overview is quite good: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/provence/marseille
(3 star Hotel)
From US$86.35 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$145.89 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$40.89 per night