By Ashley C., guest blogger studying French in Lyon, France
Lyon is, I have no doubt, the safest place I’ve ever lived. I feel completely safe walking
around at night, carrying around my laptop in public, using my iPhone, etc. But all the guidebooks (or the few I read) on France (not particular to Lyon) emphasize that tourists should be very careful about their belongings due to the high pickpocketing rate. So, I bought my slash proof bag, my hidden wallet pouch to tuck under my shirt, and I put a lock on my backpack.
I think all these purchases were a waste, to be honest. I think you should lean on the side of safety (I wouldn’t have bought all these things if I didn’t), but honestly I don’t think you need to worry about buying any extra “slash proof” bags or whatever. [Ed. note: AmeriSpan always recommends our students err on the side of protection!]
That said, have common sense. A few weeks ago, a girl from my class left her purse on the balcony in a bar and someone snatched it up. She lost her passport, her money, her cards; she lost everything. I think Lyon is the safest place you can possibly be, but don’t leave your purse on the balcony and, generally speaking, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t over-worry, but don’t think that no one will take the money you put in front of their eyes. People like money here, but I don’t think most people will hurt you or go out of their way to get it.
Not only do I feel safe here, but people also trust you here. I bought a two-day tour bus ticket to ride one of those open-air buses around the city, and I lost my ticket the next day. I was pretty bummed out, but I didn’t have much else to do that day so I thought I’d just see if they would let me on the bus if I explained (in my broken French) that I had bought a ticket and then lost it. The bus driver said “no problem, hop on!” Every time I hopped on the bus that day, the driver (new ones each time) gave me the same reply.
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