How to get around in Paris ?

photo-france how to get around paris thoughts and notes bolg expat

Paris is divided into the Rive Droite (Right Bank) in the north and the Rive Gauche (Left bank) in the south. It is also divided into 20 arrondissements (districts).

The public transport system is great in Paris. Whenever you need a break from walking, you can jump on the metro or a bus. The public transport system will take you to almost everywhere in the city.   

As soon as you arrive in Paris, my advice for you is to have the following maps with you all the time. I will help you getting around Paris more easily to know the location of all metro stations, bus stops, velib’ stands, …

You can find all the information of Paris public transport on this website:

www.ratp.fr

Notice that Paris is divided into five travel zones. You will probably go around zones 1 and 2 only. Everything in the zones 3,4 and 5. Is in the surrounding of Paris. You may have to go there if you would like to go to Versailles.

MÉTRO (SUBWAY)

 Metro in Paris (when there is no strikes, haha) is very efficient. Just avoid rush hour (7.30-9.00 and 5.30-7.30). The trains stops at midnight. On Friday and Saturday, the metro closes around 2.00.

Take a look at the map below, you are free to save it and if you need to have an app that can help you, you can download the RATP app, or viaNavigo. You can set your location and destination. The app will give you the direction to follow.

RER

The RER are suburban trains that runs through the city connecting the city centre to the suburbs. They are less frequent than the metro, faster, less stops. Always check the stops/destinations listed on the screens before you take the trains. 

BY TRAM

You can find below a map of the metro, RER and tram lines in Paris and surrounding area. 


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BUS

What I like about the buses in Paris is that you can have a tour while going to your destination. Buses starts around 6.00 and stop around 22.00 to midnight according to the bus line. On the weekend and holidays, there are less frequent. In case you don’t have any ticket, you can buy it from the driver for 2 Euros or use the same metro ticket if you have used it during 2 hours time. And don’t forget to validate your tickets in the bus next to the driver or right in the middle. 

On your way, the next stop is always written on an electronic panel. If you would like to get off om the next stop, press the red button to let the driver know and stop. 

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After midnight, you can use the Noctilien night bus, they go around paris and to the suburbs from 12.30 to 5.30. 

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Bicycle

Velib’ is a great way to visit paris! This word comes from Velo and liberte which means bike and freedom! What is great about the velib’ is that you can rent a bike from a certain place and drop it in another! How cool is that! You can rent it for a day (1.7 euros)or 7 days (8 euros).

Home-anglais velib thoughts-notes travel tips blog Home-anglais velib thoughts-notes travel tips blog paris in one week paris in one week

Autolib’

This is a self-service electric cars that you can rent depending on your need! How cool is that!

  • You can subscribe online, in our subscription kiosks or in our showroom located at 20 quai de la mégisserie, 75001 Paris. You only need your driving license (only International and European driving licenses are accepted), a valid ID (passport or national identity card) and a credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Carte Bleue).
  • Once you’ve received your badge, you can go to any rental station and get your Bluecar.
  • Get in your Bluecar and turn the ignition key.
  • Once your rental is over, reconnect the car to any rental station
    to make it available for the next user.

Take a look at the website to read more about it. 

https://www.autolib.eu/en/

Car rental

If you wish to rent a car to go on the outskirt of the city, you can get really good deals on Rental cars! It is a website that connects you to the biggest brands in car hire. We always use it when we go around Europe. I really recommend you to use it. 

Some other tips 

  • Doors in the metro don’t always open automatically, push the button on the doors to open. Otherwise you will be stuck! 
  • Never throw you ticket away! Sometimes, there are inspectors at the exit who check if you are using tickets, other wise you will have to pay a fee! 
  • Buying a carnet of 16 Euros (10 tickets package) is much cheaper than buying single tickets (1.90 Euros) 
  • Public transport is free for children under 4 and half the price for children between 4 and 11 years old. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes! In Paris, you’ll walk a lot! 

Don’t miss the chance of having THE fast entry card that allows you to visit museums and attraction for free: the Paris Pass here.  You can read about it in another post on Saving on sightseeing in Paris. 

 Read other posts on Paris:

 

 


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