Most travelers agree that the best way to get around Paris is by foot. Not only do you get healthy exercise from walking, but Paris is a city where you’ll always find something interesting to see along your way. There are plenty of hidden treasures that you will only discover on foot. However, if you are not used to walking much, or the sight you want to see is far away from your accommodations, you will need to use a taxi or public transportation. Taxis can be rather expensive, so if you are a budget tourist, transit is your choice. There are several ways to get around Paris:
Paris Metro is one of the oldest and biggest underground systems in the world. It services around 300 stations and it will bring you to almost any part of the city. Some stations, especially outside of the city center, can be rather dirty and unpleasant. On the other hand, it is the fastest way to get around. The large Paris Metro system can be a little confusing if you are visiting for the first time. So, we recommend studying it in advance. The Metro in Paris is open from 5:30 am until 12:30 am (until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays).
A single ticket costs €1,90 and allows you to ride underground (metro and RER) or over ground (bus and tram) transport for 90 minutes. You can make as many connections as you like within this time frame. However, you can only transfer between Metro/RER and bus/tram. For example, you can’t go from metro to bus on the same ticket. If you are planning to use transportation often, it would be wise to save some money and buy Le carnet (a book of 10 tickets), a weekly pass, a monthly pass or a Paris Visite Travel Card.
A weekly pass costs €22.15 (+ €5 for the card) and is valid from Monday through Sunday. A monthly pass is €73 (+ €5 for the card) and is valid from the first day until the last day of the month. You will also need to have a passport size photo for the card.
The Paris Visite card can be issued for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days and costs from €5,80 to €63,90, depending on the area of use (center or suburbs), age (child or adult) and the number of days. This card gives you access to all means of public transport within the city. You can buy tickets and travel cards from the ticket office at the Metro station and in automatic ticket machines. You need to hold the validated ticket until the end of the ride.
The Réseau Express Régional (RER) is a kind of Paris suburban train, which can bring you to Paris airports, Disneyland and the Versailles palace. It has several stops on the city line, where you can exchange from Metro to RER with the same ticket. But, if you want to go outside of the city, you will need an entirely different RER ticket. Prices for RER tickets vary from €3,55 to €10, depending on where you want to go. You will also be able to ride RER outside of Paris with a Paris Visite card for suburbs (transport zones 1-5).
There are over 325 bus lines within Paris and its suburbs. It is slower than the Metro, but you can enjoy the view from your window while riding from point A to point B. The bus costs the same as the Metro, unless you buy a ticket right on the bus, in which case it will be a little bit more expensive. You can use a single ticket, a weekly or monthly pass, and a travel card to ride the bus. Don’t forget to validate your ticket, when you board. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fine.
If you don’t like walking, but love bicycling, Paris is the city for you. There is a Vélib bike rental program, which offers three-speed unisex bikes. You can pick up a bike at any part of the city, and return it to any other station. A one-day ticket is €1,70, a week ticket is €8, and the first 30 minutes of each ride are always free. Furthermore, you will need your credit card to pay for this service.
November 4, 2016 1:21 pm 1 Comment