Get around Paris like a pro
where were we? in the previous post –The unique ways of getting around Paris 1, we spoke of 3 unique ways of enjoying your tour around Paris; on foot, by velib’ and by city bus (for more content on this hit the words in blue above). In continuation of the previous post, below are the unique ways of getting around Paris 2
Metro is the popular rapid transit system for public commuting in Paris. Mostly underground this 214 km long network with about 300 stations is one of the busiest metro systems in the world. There are 16 lines( identified by different colors and numbers) operating over different routes covering the length and breadth of Paris. The direction of each line corresponds to its terminal station.
- It is easy to identify the entrance of any metro station by the large yellow letter ‘M’.
- Most stations have a large metro map at the entrance and at the platform. You can identify your route and the train you need to take on the map.
- You can purchase your metro ticket from the ticket windows or from ticket machines.
- You mostly have to transfer trains while going from one point to another, choose the route that requires minimum transfers.
They operate between 6:00 AM to 12:45 AM (from Sunday to Thursday) and till 1:45 AM (on Friday and Saturday) with an average frequency of 2 minutes during peak hours.
Don’t lose your ticket for the Métro or the bus until you’re above around/off the bus since ticket controls can occur. Getting fined while on vacation for throwing your ticket away isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
Batobus is another interesting means of getting around in Paris. It’s basically a river shuttle service that stops at eight different locations along the River Seine. We actually utilized the Batobus on a couple of days in Paris and it turned out to be a relaxing way to see Paris from a unique perspective. The Batobus fleet is made up of six riverboats called trimarans and each has both indoor and outdoor seating located at the back of the boat. Just like the Hop-On, Hop-Off buses you can get on and off the
Batobus as often as you like and at any of their eight stations along the Seine. The eight stations on the Seine are:
- Eiffel Tower
- Musee’ D’Orsay
- Jardin des Plantes
- Hotel de Ville
As you can see from the stops they hit all of the key tourist sites along the river. You can use the Batobus to simply get from one location to another.
Unlike New York, you can’t expect to walk out in the streets of Paris and hail a cab within a couple of minutes. Taxi stands can be found all over the city, but even at those, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find cabs lined up and ready to go. The safest option might be to book a taxi in advance.
Services like G7 or Taxis Bleus will be able to help you with this (G7 even has an English-language phone number you can call), but be sure to know that the meter will start running as soon as the driver receives your call. Uber has also arrived in Paris, which makes it easier for both Parisians and foreigners to get around.
RER” is an acronym for Réseau Express Régional, or Regional Express Network, and refers to the rapid transit system which serves Paris and its surrounding suburbs like Château de Versailles, Stade de France, Disneyland Paris, etc. RER functions like the Métro, but has fewer stops and hence faster. The RER train network consists of 5 lines represented by different alphabets and each line has a distinctive color. It has over 250 stations and several connections with Paris Metro. RER has scheduled service and runs mostly above ground, except within central Paris.
- Depending on the part of the RER network you will use, you shall purchase the tickets. If strictly using the central Paris Zone 1 (visible in the first RER Map), you can use basic Paris Metro tickets for travel on the RER.
- To travel beyond Paris Zone 1 on the RER you require a special ticket Billet Ile-de-France.
- Tickets for the Paris RER can be purchased at any RER or Metro station ticket window or ticket vending machine.
- Paris RER ticket prices are determined station to station for travel beyond Zone 1 and range from 1.90€ to upwards of 12.05€.
- Similar to the metro, one can use the Paris Visite Card to travel on the RER.
RER train timings are from 6:00 AM to 12:45 AM every day – including public holidays.
What’s your favorite way to get around in Paris? Any tips to share? Pop them in our comments below!