Transport in Paris
There are several ways of getting around Paris. My favourite way is by walking, but I understand that not
everybody can or wants to do that, and of course the weather can also make it difficult.
So here are the main alternatives.
As somebody who is used to the London Underground, it's always a great pleasure to use
the Paris Metro instead. In total, there are 16 lines, with 300 stations. Each line is identified by a unique
colour and number. You can buy tickets individually for 1.60 euros, but it
can make sense to buy a carnet of 10 tickets. Not only does it save you time buying tickets for individual
journeys, but it will also save you money - you get the 10 tickets for 11.60 euros.
Trains run from about 5am to 1am Sunday to Thursday, but until about 2am on Friday and Saturday, as well as on the
nights before a public holiday. You can buy the tickets at manned kiosks or from an automated machine at each
Paris is also served by the RER network of suburban trains, and you can use the same
tickets on the Metro and RER. There are 5 lines, identified by the letters A to E. They run out into the suburbs,
and because they have longer distances between stations than the Metro, they can be a lot quicker than the Metro in
central Paris. Trains run from about 5.30am through to midnight Monday to Thursday, but run an hour longer at the
The Metro and RER are operated by RATP and you can get more information at the website at http://www.ratp.fr
You can use the same tickets on the local buses as you do on the Metro and RER. You see
much more of Paris, if you travel on the bus, but the heavy traffic means that it is a much slower way to travel.
Most bus services operate between 6.30am and 8.30pm, with some continuing until around 12.30am. There's a machine
on each bus, in which you have to punch your ticket at the start of your journey.
There is also a night bus service (the Noctilien), which consists of over 42 routes in and around Paris, which
are available from 12.30am through to 5.30am. You can get more information at http://www.noctilien.fr
You can grab a taxi at one of the 450 or more taxi ranks in the City. They are located
at the railway stations, airports and other sites near main roads. You can also hail a taxi in the street, if it
has its white light on, and of course, your hotel will always be able to get you one. There are different rates,
depending on location and time of day, but there is a starting charge currently of 2.20 euros, a minimum fare of 6
euros, and various extras for heavy luggage and for 4 passengers or more.
You can get much more information at the website at http://www.taxi-paris.net/
By Bike - Velib
If you are feeling more energetic, you can use Velib, a self service bicycle
service, made available by the City of Paris. There are about 20,000 bikes for hire from about 1,500 Velib
stations, which are located all around Paris at intervals of about 300 metres (330 yards). The service runs 24/7
and you can pick up a bike from any Velib station and return it to any other station.
You can buy a 1 day ticket for 1 euro or a 7 day ticket for 5 euros. Either option offers you an unlimited
number of journeys during the course of your subscription, with the first half hour of each journey being free of
You can find more information at the Velib website.