The public transportation system in Paris is one of the most efficient and fast systems around the world. The service is provided through a vast network of trains, buses, Noctilin(night buses), trams, and the RER - suburban express train.
Paris metro is an easy, fast and cheap way to commute around Paris, you will find 300 metro stations distributed around the city, and a total of 16 lines goes to every direction. The entrance is marked with a big yellow label with letter M.
The metro runs every day including public holidays.
Trains run in a different frequency depending on the time of the day, at rush hour trains run every 2 minutes.
Working hours : Sunday - Thursday: 5.30am- 12.45am; Friday/Saturday: 5.30am -1:45 am.
Major metro lines:
Line 1: from La Défenseto Château de Vincennes, and Stops include Louvre, Champs-Elysées, Chatelet, Bastille.
Line 2: from Porte Dauphine to Nation and Stops include Anvers ( SacreCoeur), Garedu Nord, Champs-Elysées, Père-Lachaise.
Line 3: from Pont de Levallois– Béconto Gallieniand Stops include St. Lazare, République, Père-Lachaise.
Line 4: from Porte de Clignancourtto Mairiede Montrougeand Stops include Chatelet, St. Michel, Montparnasse.
Line 5: from Bobigny– Pablo Picasso to Place d'Italieand Stops include Gare d'Austerlitz, Bastille, Place d'Italie
Line 6: from Charles de Gaulle-Etoile to Nation and Stops include Eiffel Tower, Montparnasse, Champs-Elysees.
Line 7: from La Courneuve– 8 Mai 1945 to Mairie d'Ivryand Villejuif – Louis Aragon and Stops at Place d'Italie, Opera, Louvre. Check the destination along the southern axis because the line forks off in two.
Line 8: from Ballard to Creteil, Central stops include Invalides, Opéra, Bastille
Line 10: from Gare d'Austerlitzto Boulogne–Pont de Saint-Cloud and Stops include the Sorbonne and the Gare d'Austerlitztrain station.
Line 13: from Saint-Denis – Universitéto Asnières– Gennevilliers-Les Courtilles/ Châtillon– Montrouge,the train also stops at Invalides, St. Lazare. Check the destination carefully as the trains fork off in several directions.
Line 14: from Saint- Lazareto Olympiades,Stops include Chatelet, Garede Lyon, Bibliothèque Nationale, and the Saint- Lazaretrain station.
Each line has a particular color and number to distinguish it from the other lines which you can see on RATP signs and maps. You will find a free metro map at the ticket office so you can know exactly your destination.
Unlike Metro, RER trains travel within Paris and other regions outside the city limits, it consists of five lines each of them has a distinctive color that you can see on the RATP, sings and maps.
RER is more complicated than the metro, and it is easy to be lost if you take the wrong train since each line breaks into different directions at a certain point.
So it is always helpful to check the map or install a Paris Metro/RER application and be sure that it is your train, if you have doubts you can ask for help.
Tickets prices are the same as the metro tickets as long you remain within the city limits, but if you cross the city borders, you will need to purchase a different ticket to cover the journey to the end of your destination. You won't be able to go through the barriers if you don't have the right ticket and you will be liable to fine.
RER operates almost the same way as metro, but you need to put the ticket in the automatic barrier a second time at your way out. You can use your ticket again if your station has a connection with the metro and you still can use the same ticket for the whole journey.
The average train schedule starts from 5:30 am to midnight.
RER trains lines
Line A: hubs are Chatelet-Les- Hallesand Garede Lyon. This line moves to the west to head to St. Germain en Layeand east to Marne la Vallée.
Line B: Hubs at Garedu Nord, Chatelet, and St. Michel. This line goes north to Charles de Gaulle airport and south to OrlyAirport (via the Orlyvaltrain).
Line C: Hubs at St. Michel and the Eiffel Tower. Goes to Versailles southwest and also services northwest Paris suburbs.
Line D: Hubs at Chatelet, Garedu Nord and Garede Lyon. Services north and south suburbs.
Line E: Hub at Garedu Nord. This line services the eastern suburbs.
Buses could be an excellent way to go around the city since it will allow you to look at the city scene while commuting, although it may be challenging to find your way around with buses. About 59 lines are operating around Paris that will take you anywhere you want with more destinations than the metro takes you.
For persons with special needs commuting with the bus will be more convenient and accessible than the metro.
Stops and hubs are placed around the city for different lines; you should look at the map first to decide which bus are you going to ride and which route it will take, buses are provided with an electronic information system that will tell you when will the next stop come.
If your budget is low, these Major lines could give you a great experience since it will provide you with a cheap tour around the city:
Line 38: goes north to south through the center of the city and offers spectacular views of the Latin Quarter, the Seine river, and Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Line 68: offers an opportunity to see the Museed'Orsay, Saint-Germain des Pres, The Louvre, the Seine,and the Opéra Garnier.
Line 28: offers beautiful views of the Ecole Militaire, the Assemblée Nationale, the Seine River, the Grand Palais, and the Champs-Elysées.
Line 96: winds through beautiful spots on the right bank, including Hotel de Ville, the medieval Marais neighborhood, and trendy Bastille.
Hours of operation
Most of the lines work from around 5:30 am to the middle of the night
Paris night bus for night owls which operates at the night time after the regular working hours through the city and suburbs, so if you are planning to party for a late time, you won't have to worry about how are you going to go home.
For the bus you can use the same ticket as the metro with no limits on the distance with some exceptions, you can also purchase the ticket from the driver, this ticket will be valid only for one journey with no connections. You can use different types that you use for metro either the daily multi-use tickets, the weekly tickets or the Paris Visitepass, but be careful, you can't use the single time ticket if you already used in the metro.
The tram is not the main way of transport in Paris. It was very popular until1950 when it was replaced by the metro. Still, since people needed to have access to the suburbs, the tram was brought back in use.
Currently, there are four tram-lines in the Île-de-France region. Three of them are serviced by RATP and only one of them by SNCF.
T1 line was opened in 1992 and connected Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, traveling parallel to the north of the city.
It runs fromMonday to Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 0:40 a.m., on Saturdays from 5:15 a.m. to 1:59a.m., on Sundays and public holidays, between 7:00 a.m. and 0:40 a.m.
Paris is crossed by two tram lines, T2 and T3.
T2 line (Trans Val-de-Seine) connectsLa Défenseto Porte de Versailles, in the south of Paris, since 1997. There are plans to be extended to the north, to Bezons. Line T2 runs from Monday to Thursday from5:30 a.m. to 0:30 a.m., on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and onSundays from 6:30 a.m. to 0:30 a.m.
T3 line has stops in the 13th, 14th, and 15th arrondissements. This line connects Paris to the south-eastern suburbs. It started running in 2006, and it is known as the "tramway des Maréchaux" because it goes along the Marshals’ boulevards(these avenues are named after Napoleon's marshals).The line connects Pont du Garigliano(RER station) in the 15th arrondissement, toPorte d'Ivry(subway station) in the 13th arrondissement. There are plans to be extended up to Porte de la Chapelle, in the 18th arrondissement, by the end of 2012.It runs from Monday to Thursday from 4:50 a.m. to 0:30 a.m, on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:50 a.m. to 1:30 a.mand on Sundays from 5:50 a.m. to 0:30 a.m.
T4 line is serviced by SNCF, connecting the Bondystation (RER station) to theAulnay-sous-Bois station. It was opened in 2006.Other four lines are ready to be opened, each of them having already well-established routes.
Taxi is not a very popular way of transportation in Paris because of the high prices, and also the vast network of public transportation makes it rare to use it. Paris is a crowded city so riding a taxi could be an unpleasant experience sometimes especially during the rush hours.
The positive thing about taxi is that it is running 24 hours a day unlike most of the public transportation means. Usually, you won’t have any problem finding a cab in Paris since there is about 18.000 licensed taxi, except during lunch time and rush hour or when it is raining. You can hire a taxi by calling a radio dispatch center to book your taxi, and they will send it to your location immediately, or you can wave at a cab while you are standing in the street.
Be sure to book a licensed taxi and the fare meter is working; it is no obligation to tip the driver however it is a common thing that people usually do, and it should depend on your satisfaction and the quality of the service.
Taxi is obligated to take you to the address you want; however, Parisian taxi drivers are known sometimes for not making you to your destination if they think the money does not worth.
Fares are not cheap but they are not too bad within the city, and they depend on several factors including the traffic condition:
The minimum rate is 2.40 euros then it adds 0.96 euros for each kilometer from Monday to Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, the rate changes from 5:00 pm -10:00 am to be 1.17 euros for each kilometer.
Sunday at 7:00 am to 12:00 am the rate is 1.21 euros for each kilometer, nights and public holidays the rate is 1.47 euros.
If passengers are more than 3, there will be 3 euros extra charges.
Extra charge forms the second suitcase: 1 euro.
If the taxi waits for you for one hour: 30 - 35 euros.
There is only one phone number for all the taxi companies: 0145303030.
Tips for public transportation in Paris:
Search for a decent metro map: it is available at any metro station, and it will help you find your way around the station.
If you don't like carrying maps you can download some free apps it will give you a lot of help. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.ixxi.ratp.tourisme&hl=en
Rush hours: 8:00-10:00 am and 5:00-8:00 pm you may want to avoid commuting at these times.
If you want to enjoy a pleasant view while commuting, metro line 6 runs above the ground, and it offers you a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
RER is a high-speed train which can get you to your destination so much faster than other ways of transportation.
Paris VisitePass will guarantee you to ride freely on the metro, buses, and ERE. It will also allow you to enter many attractions in Paris.
You can buy tickets and passes at the stations they are also available at Paris tourist information center around the city.
If you are running late at night be sure to be at the metro station at least 30 minutes before closing time to be sure that you will catch the last train, as it leaves at different times depending on the station.
For getting around in Paris you will need to use the Paris metro ticket which cost 1.90€ for a single ticket and 14.90€ for a package of 10 tickets; the ticket is valid for travel on Paris transportation means including :
●Paris RER train inside Paris.
●RATP Paris bus.
●Paris suburban bus.
Tickets are valid for 90 minutes of the first use between specific methods of transport. You can use the ticket between specific means of transportation only, but you can't mix between the transfers, for example, you can't transfer from metro to bus.
The ticket transfer is only allowed only in these conditions:
●Two metro lines without exiting the station.
●Metro to RER.
●2 RATP bus lines.
●1 RATP bus and 1 Optilebus.
●Tramway and bus lines that cross it.
One day ticket
Also known as the Ticket Mobile, the ticket is good for unlimited rides during the operating hours. It is available in various zone coverage from zones 1-2 to zones 1-5. The ticket cost 7.50€.
People under 26-year-old have a special weekend ticket for unlimited use valid only in the weekends for zones 1-5.
Aimed at tourists and visitors and it is good for multi-use, available in zone 3 and 5 for 1-5 days. Prices start from 12 €for one day to 65.8 €for five days for adults, if you want to travel extensively around Paris region choose the 1-5 zones card and 1-8 for more coverage.
This ticket also provides special offers for museums, attractions, and restaurants.