Exploring Paris and finding your way from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre needn’t daunt you; the Paris transport system is one of the most efficient in the world.
Most of the Paris transport system is run by the RATP, including the impeccable metro system, RER trains, buses, the night buses, Montartrobus and the Montmarte funicular train. You can buy single tickets or booklets by number of days, or books of 10 tickets, both which can be used across the system. There is also equivalent to the travel pass, called the Paris Visite Metro Pass, you get unlimited travel across the system and you can purchase a pass for 1 to 5 days.
So let’s start from arriving at the airport, if you are catching a flight into Charles de Gaulle; the airport is situated in the Roissy area, approximately 23 kilometres outside the city centre.The best option for your pocket is to catch the RER train into the city centre, where there are several station stops, plus you can switch over easily to the Metro system. If you are laden with luggage then the bus is probably a better option, and if you’re not on a budget, then you can hop in a taxi or on the airport shuttle.
Once you’ve checked in to your holiday apartment in Paris and dropped off your luggage, no matter what time of day or night, Paris will immediately beckon. Stepping out into the City of Light, you will generally find a form of public transport on every street and avenue.
Paris Metro System
The Paris metro system is one of the most well organised of transport systems in the world, it’s a simple, effective and economic way of getting around Paris. There are over 300 stations in total and you can normally step out within a block of where you want to arrive to. The lines are numbered from 1 to 15 and you can tell the direction you are going in by the display panel that always shows the last station.
To enter the metro system you have to insert your ticket into the electronic gates, which allows you entrance, don’t forget to pick up your ticket when you pass through. The metro opens from 5.30am in the morning until 12.30am, ask for your free metro map and you can plan your journey in advance and look like an expert!
The bus system is just as effective and you have the added bonus of being able to do some sightseeing on your journey and soak up the atmosphere of the city. The buses run from 6.30am until between 8.30-9.30pm, and there are some services that run until after midnight. The night bus itself Noctambus runs between Chatelet and the main gates of Paris between 01.00-05.00am.
You can use the same tickets on the bus system, there is machine on board that stamps your tickets, again don’t forget to take it with you. The bus routes are numbered and there are maps inside the bus stops and on the buses. The night buses are lettered, rather than numbered.
There is a special bus route, the Montartrobus, number 64, which circulates around the Montmartre district. There is also the funicular railway, which just travels up and down to the Sacre-Couer basilica, but is worth a ride for the experience.
The RER Train system could be compared to the London train system, connecting the centre of the city to the suburbs. There are five trains with lines A through to E. The trains run from 5.30am to 12.30am (past midnight).
The same metro tickets can be used until you reach the outskirts of Paris, then distinct fares are charged; the system can take you to Disneyland Paris and Versailles.
Paris taxis are actually fairly inexpensive and a comfortable way of getting back to your accommodation after a night out, or a hard day’s sightseeing. There are over 15,000 taxis in the city, so hailing one is never too much of a problem. There are also plenty of taxi stands in most areas of the city. A taxi is free when it’s light is on, as in London.
Mix a trip on the River Seine with getting from A to B, on the Batobus, which runs between the Eiffel Tower and the Quau (quay) de l’Hotel de Ville. The boat is in operation between April and mid-October.
Jog & Visit
There is also a super cool form of transport in Paris; it’s called Jog&Visit. Guided jogging tours of the city are organised; there are different pace levels, so the routes can suit all levels of fitness. For further information please visit the Jog&Visit website.
GlobalCityBreak have holiday apartments in Paris, in every central location, most within walking distance of public transport; so if you plan your accommodation well you can ensure that you can be in easy reach of all the top attractions the city has to offer.