Getting around in Paris is easy thanks to the excellent public transport options. In this post, we’re going to explore the most popular ways of getting around this world-class city.
Metro: Paris’ network of 14 metro lines cover more than 300 stations. It’s every bit as thorough as the London Tube or the New York City subway. With that in mind, this is really the only mode of Paris transport that you’ll ever need. The various lines are coloured, and the name of the terminal station is clearly displayed on the train.
The ticketing system is refreshingly straightforward. A single ticket will allow you to travel between any two metro stations on the grid. There’s no need to try and work out various fares. You can also purchase day passes that allow for unlimited travel within specific zones for the day.
Light Rail: Paris’ light-rail commuter network is known as the Réseau Express Régional (RER), and it actually works out to be faster than the metro. The trade-off, however, is that it doesn’t serve as many of the destinations that tourists are likely to travel to. But if you’re in Zone 1, you can actually use the RER interchangeably with the metro with free transfers.
Riverboat: Boats aren’t practical as a means of actually getting around Paris, but they’re great for sightseeing. Many of the city’s most prominent sites (including the Eiffel Tower) are located right on the banks of the River Seine. Better still, the Batobus allows you to hop on and off as you please, which means you can easily take a day to explore the riverside sightseeing attractions.
Bus: With such an efficient metro system in place, it’s rare that you’ll need to take the bus. However, there are hop-on, hop-off tourist buses that are ideal for sightseeing. Your ticket for these double decker buses is good for the whole day, and they travel to the most popular tourist attractions. All you have to do is disembark when you see something you would like to explore, and then get back on the next bus when finished.
Tram: Trams were once a big deal in Paris, though they started to decline after WWII. They’re making a comeback now, and you’ll see a few around the city. They are included in the bus network, which means transfers are possible. For the most part, these vehicles operate on the outskirts of town, so the reality is that tourists aren’t likely to get much out of the tram network.
Taxis: There are two ways of approaching Paris’ taxi situation. One is by the numbers – there are more than 15,000 cabs cruising the streets of Paris. But it’s better to think of the taxis in terms of practicality. The reality is that hailing a taxi is relatively difficult here. You won’t find a service to match the Black Cabs of London here, but this is really a non-issue thanks to the metro and light-rail system.
Those are the major modes of getting around. But Paris also has pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares and public bicycles for hire. Getting around really couldn’t be any easier!