Ericka, it depends on what you mean by the suburbs of Paris. Paris is a big place, but the inner portion, inside the Boulevard peripherique (Paris Ring road), is the part generally associated with the Paris of tourists. This is the zone split into 20 arrondissements. Outside of that zone you are into what is called 'les banlieues' or suburbs. They don't have an arrondissement number.
Obviously anything can happen anywhere but it is unlikely that it will happen to you inside the peripherique (mostly because in high summer it is almost impossible to be 'alone' in Paris!). It would also be inadvisable to be in the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes (they're big parks on the west and east of central Paris) after dark.
Some of the banlieues close to central Paris are very wealthy and desirable (such as Versailles). But the word banlieues has come to have connotations in the French language and is more like what Americans would call "the projects" or the English "housing estates". These are the 'badlands' and it would be unwise to walk alone there; Clichy-sous-Bois is a notorious trouble spot.
However, it's very unlikely you'd find yourself in that location, there's no compelling reason or attraction for tourists to go there. over 8 years ago
Good answer by Phil. Nothing else to add except to say I live in the banlieues, Boulogne Billancourt in fact, and is it a lovely area to live. You would not have any problems walking around there after dark. over 8 years agoAnswered by Guide2Paris via WorldNomads.com
There's not so much to see in the suburbs anyway...
Having said that, you would have to visit Versailles (no problem there at all, a very wealthy city)
And you could go to St Denis to visit the Basilique where all the kings and queen of France have been burried... Where the neighbourhood is "less desirable" but anyway you could go in the morning, and I even know you could have a guide there to help you.
Anyway, remember not to show off your brand new huge camera, your big amount of euros and don't leave your bag wide open especially when you're looking somewhere else.
Don't laugh, I've seen that a lot (and the bad consequences of it) and it was not in the suburbs. over 8 years ago
Some areas at night in Paris can be dodgy, but unless you get really lost you'll never see them ;) over 8 years agoAnswered by issy nomad via WorldNomads.com