Getting Around Paris

Written by on January 1, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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ParisGetting around Paris is easy once you know how, but as with all foreign cities it takes a little getting used to. Here is a brief guide on how to.

First though a word of warning: don’t try it by car. Driving in Paris at the best of times is chaotic and parking is virtually impassable, so leave the car at home and use the bus, the Metro, or walk. If you are very brake you could hire a bike.

The best way round the city is on foot and it is certainly the best way to experience its wonderful historical sites. There are many published Paris walks that you can download and follow and it is really worth doing so. Alternatively you can join an organised walk with a tour guide which you can book online or through a travel agent.

The Paris Metro is the city’s underground rail system and the RER is the Regional Express Network. The Metro has 16 lines which are designated 1 to 14 along with 3bis and 7bis and trains run from 5.00 am to 12.30 am apart from Sunday mornings when trains run to 1.30 am. Trains are very frequent, and typically are spaced by just five minutes during busy periods.

Unlike London Underground there are few elevators, and most platforms are accessed by staircases which can be a problem if you are saddled with luggage. Generally trains travel the full length of the line before terminating and they are colour coded.

There are also 5 RER lines. These are designated alphabetically from RER A through the RER E. They are quite frequent (about every 8 minutes) and stop at every station on the route. There is also a suburban train network called Transilien which departs from the main railway stations.


The best way to buy Metro tickets is in multiples of 10. These are known as a “carnet” and the current price is €12.70 for adults and €6.35 for children. They can be used on the Metro, on the RER, on buses and on trams. You need to validate them at a punch machine at the outset of a journey and they last for 2 hours after that. Always ensure that you have a validated ticket as on the spot fines are very steep and inspectors are quite common.

You can also purchase one day tickets and weekly and monthly passes, and they are priced according to the zones in which you travel, similar to London Underground. There is also a “Jeunes 26” ticket that can be used by people aged 26 and under at weekends and public holidays.

Getting around Paris is easy once you get accustomed to it and getting to the city is even easier. There are regular buses to Paris from London Victoria and if you live out of London then there are plenty of coach travel UK City services that will take you directly to Victoria Coach Station.

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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).

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