Using Public Transport in Paris
The Paris Metro
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get around the beautiful city of Paris is to use the Paris Metro. This is the most convenient Paris public transport method as the Paris Metro has over 300 stations and 16 lines covering the centre of the city. The Metro lines are numbered from 1 to 14 and have two ‘extra’ lines, 3b and 7b. Each line has its own colour so you can easily track it on a map. You can easily access all of the most popular attractions in Paris using the Metro.
The Paris Metro runs from around 05:30 to 00:40 during the week, and from 05:30 until 01:40 on Friday’s and Saturdays. You never have to wait long for the next train to arrive, and most stations now feature a countdown clock on each platform.
Tickets can be purchased at the automatic kiosks or from the information desks in some of the main stations. Although you can buy single tickets, I highly recommend purchasing the unlimited day or weekend pass. If you are new to the city and looking to explore you’ll make your money back in one afternoon easily.
If you do buy a single ticket, then be sure to plan your route very carefully. If you don’t actually leave the station or pass through the rotating exit gates, you can use your ticket on multiple lines to get from point A to point B. However, if you do make a mistake and leave the wrong station, you will need to purchase a new ticket to get back in.
Although Paris is a safe city, there can be a lot of pickpockets strolling around the Paris Metro stations, especially during busy periods. Be sure to keep your bag close and fastened up tight and don’t keep your phone or wallet in your back pocket when travelling on the Paris public transport.
There are a few little tricks to note when using the Paris Metro. Sometimes it’s quicker to get off at one station, walk a block, and then get on another line in another station than it is to stay underground on the metro. Other times, if you stay on the train, you’ll be missing a beautiful part of the city or a secret viewing spot.
When visiting the Eiffel Tower, many people will head to the Bir-Hakeim station on line 6 as this appears to be the closest. By doing this, however, you will be missing out on the most famous and spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower in all of the city. Instead, continue on line 6, or jump on line 9, and get off at the Trocadero station.
If you’re planning to visit the magnificent Sacré Coeur, then you will need to take the Paris Metro line 2 to the Anvers station. Most people then take the long walk up the steep hill and steps to the top of Gare Basse. However, if you have a valid Metro ticket, you can use the Funicular for absolutely free.
Many people pass through the Champs-Élysées every day on lines 1, 9 and 13, but these people are missing out on one of the most beautiful areas of the city. This grand street is lined with beautiful trees and flower beds and in the summer, street artists and performers flock to the Champs-Élysées to show off their many talents. If you don’t want to miss out on this amazing strip, jump off the train at either the George V, Franklin D. Roosevelt or Concorde station and enjoy the walk.
Visit the official website here.
You can find the official bus line map here.