Back to Paris GuidePARIS_Petite_Paris_Bed_%26_Breakfast_Accommodation.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
On foot, Metro, Trains, Bus , Waterways, Taxi & Velib!
Getting around Paris is much easier than many other capital cities. With it’s excellent public transport system which is run by the state owned RATP and it’s compact size it’s incredibly easy to get from A to B in a relatively short space of time.
Getting around Paris
There are 6 major rail stations in Paris (Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare St Lazare, Montparnasse, and the Gare de l’Est) where trains depart for various destinations within France and other European countries. The Gare du Nord is the site for the cross channel train the Eurostar which connects France to the UK in under 3 hours.  The RER (Réseau Express Régional) suburban express network has five lines (A, B, C, D & E) covering five zones and is open between 5am to 1am. The system is linked by the metro network and some SNCF trains.
The Paris metro system is by far the easiest way to get round the city. Opened from 5.30am to 12.30am everyday. Many of the stations are worth a visit in their own right with beautiful tiling (Liege - Line 13), fantastic murals (Abbesses – Line 12) or the Louvre (Line 1) which makes you feel like your train has pulled directly into the museum itself. Single tickets or blocks of 10 (carnets) along with various passes can be purchased from any of the stations, tourist offices and some tobacconists. Please see for more information. Free maps are available at any of the metro stations. Please note that any RATP tickets are valid on the metro, RER or bus network.
To see a brief tutorial on how to make sense of the Paris Metro please click here to be taken to our March 2011 Newsletter which features the Metro system ‘how to’ guide.
There are a number of companies offering hop on/hop off tourist buses that go stop off at all the major sites. Some of these are seasonal so please ensure that you check before purchasing tickets. The bus network operates between 6.30am to 8.30pm with some routes continuing until 12.30am. Your metro ticket is valid (see above) otherwise it is possible to purchase a ticket on boarding the buis. All tickets must be validated by punching them in the machine situated next to the driver. After the metro closes and the buses stop the only public transport available is the Noctambus which operates 18 different routes between the Place du Chatelet and the suburbs. Routes A to H, P, T & V serve the right bank and northern suburbs and routes I to M, R & S serve the left bank and southern suburbs. An owl logo on bus stops will tell you whether the Noctambus will stop.

There are various different companies offering river cruises, however these are much more for sightseeing as opposed as getting around the city.  
It’s often much easier to find a taxi rank than it is to hail one in the street. The white light on the roof indicates whether the taxi is free whilst an orange light means that it is busy. Ensure that the meter is operating otherwise you will have to haggle with the driver to agree a price. Please note that taxis levy a charge per item for any luggage stored in the boot and also a charge at night.
On foot
Paris is a surprisingly easy city to navigate on foot and it is really only in the Montmartre district that there are any hills. It is, other than the metro, the best way to see the city as see the change as you walk from  arrondissement to arrondissement. However take care at pedestrian crossings as the green man does not necessarily mean that the traffic will stop.
When the weather is right, forget the usual modes of transport - metros, buses or cabs -  and take up bike riding with Paris Velib. Velib is a clever and virtually free self-service bicycle system, since 2007. Click here for more information about how to use the Velib system as featured in our Newsletter.


Real Paris experiences start with real Paris homes