Guide for public transportation
PARISIANS have the BEST public transport system IN THE WORLD.
This well organised network allows users to access all the sights and secrets that the 20 arrondisSements have to offer, with the choice of metro, trams, RER (suburban trains) and buses.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF PARIS’ PUBLIC TRANSPORT?
The metro is the Parisian’s second home! It hosts about 3.9 million travelers daily: 16 lines, 300 stations and 62 corrispondence for a total of 219 km!
Paris boast a totally automatically metro line with NO drivers and automatic doors: the purple line 14, that is also completely accessible to wheelchair users (Paris’ commune is in the process of improving the access for the disabled in many of their metro stations).
In addition to being the fastest mean of transport to travel about and discover the capital, the Parisian metro has its own personality which makes it a genuine attraction, like its station (see on latest post: “Paris’most beautiful metro station“:
Each metro line has a color, which you’ll find at all stations and on all transport maps.
Metro lines run in two directions, indicated by the destination station at each end.
The RER is a regional train network or suburban train, with stops at major railroad stations and Métro hubs in Paris. It counts 5 express lines from RER A to RER E which operate in and out of Paris. In the RER, you must refer to the overhead panels located above the train platforms to determine the final destination of the train and where it will stop.
The project of Paris’ commune is to follow New York and London’s where the metro runs opened ALL NIGHT…
For now on, in Paris:
-The first metro opens at 05H30 a.m and closes at 01H15 a.m during the weekdays.
-From Friday to Saturday, it remains opened one hour later, so 02H15 a.m.
In every metro station, you will find automatic ticket machines available in different languages where you will be able to purchase all types of tickets, as all ticket windows are now only “information points” with no translation possible (but you can take the opportunity to take public transport maps!)
The normal “ Ticket T+” will allow you to use the metro WITHIN Paris in one and another sense and is suitable for occasional rides. You can buy it single but PARISFLATLIST strongly advices to buy a book of ticket (available at Tabacs as well as at the stations) to save money!
ON THE BUSES: once you have punched your ticket T+ , it remains valid during for 1 ½ hrs, which allows you to make connections and different journey changes.
PLEASE NOTE: this is valid only for tickets from a book of tickets bought IN ADVANCE, because if you buy a ticket on the bus, it will NOT allow you to make any connections AND you will pay more!
-All children under 4yrs travel free, and children aged 4yrs-10yrs pay half price. .
-Young people, under the age of 26 benefit from a “Ticket Jeune Week end” which is an unlimited one day pass with a discount price valid only on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.
PARISFLATLIST’ PERSONAL ADVICES:
–Stand to the right when using the escalators because Parisians use the left side to overtake.
–Always keep your ticket with you until you leave the station. There are often check ticket control and you will have to show your ticket.
-When the metro’ doors are about to close, there is a warning alarm which indicates you have only a few seconds before the doors close, and they DO close! If in doubt: wait for the next train!
– METRO SAFETY
BE CAREFUL OF PICKPOCKETS: like in every big city, we recommend you to be extremely wary when using the metro because the thieves are more likely target tourists.
PARISFLATLIST 4 RECOMMENDATION:
-NEVER LEAVE YOUR LUGAGE UNATTENDED (EVEN IF IT IS A SMALL SUITCASE) you can get distracted whilst checking out the next train/metro and this becomes a huge opportunity for the thieves!
–AVOID USING YOUR SMARTPHONE: they are an easy target and theft of phones is the most common object stolen and is often accompanied by physical violence!
-ALWAYS ZIP UP YOUR PROPER BAGS; if you have a backpack, wear it on your front!
-IN CASE OF AN OVERCROWDED METRO, CHOOSE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE; pickpockets also target over-crowded metros so they can thieve easily!
- PARIS VISIT PASS
It is a daily pass valid for 1, 2, 3 o 5 consecutive days on zone 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 and it allows you to travel as much as you want, using metro, buses, tramway, RER (with zone 1 to 5) AND use the MONTMARTRE FUNICULAR (which is NOT the case with a normal ticket T+) .
For all different Paris Visit Passes, the validity period goes from the first day at midnight to midnight of the last day, so it is THE BEST CHOICE if you have planned to visit the most of the capital.
THE ADVANTAGE OF THE Paris Visite Card: it will give you certain discounts upon presentation at the desk.
–25% off for the Triumphal Arch entrance ticket.
–22% off on Panthéon entrance.
–10% off on your purchase at Galeries Lafayette.
–25% off for Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck.
BE CAREFUL: before using Paris Visit Card, you must write your name and the valid dates on the magnetic ticket. Once named, the magnetic ticket is personal and non-transferable.
*If you planned to visit lots of museums and monuments, then Opt for the PARIS PASSLIB’ , it contains a Paris Visit, Paris Museum Pass and many other excursions.
- HOW TO REACH VERSAILLES OR EURODISNEY
It is necessary to purchase a «ticket T+ zone 3/5» immediately at the automatic ticket machine selecting the section “ticket Origine/Destination (from…to)”(except if you have already Paris Visit Card zone 1-5 ).
To reach Versailles, you need to take RER B, meanwhile to reach Eurodisney, take the RER A which stops directly in front of the Park’s main entrance.
Please note: RER (also called the suburban train) is not working as a metro: you need to keep your ticket readily at hand as you will need it to exit through the gate.
This is a night service of buses that consist of more than 47 lines and operate 00h30 – 5h30 a.m.
Over the week end, the number of buses increase to suite seasonal demand.
It is accessible with the «Paris Visite» Pass and for occasional travelers, the price of a route is based on the price of a normal Ticket T+.
- HOW TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT FROM AIRPORTS
-FROM ROISSY CHARLES DE GAULLE AIPORT:
-take RER B: there are 2 RER stations inside the airport: Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 and Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2.
If you have landed on Terminal 1, you need to take first the free CDGVAL shuttle train to reach Terminal 3-Roissy Pole where there is the RER B station “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1”( which is very confusing as it is named “1” but NOT situated on Terminal 1 that will bring you directly to Paris.
If you have landed on Terminal 2, then you will have to follow instructions to reach Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 RER metro station.
The RER takes about 40 mins. to reach the center and is the fastest option (it is also the most economical way if you are travelling alone.
-or take the «ROISSYBUS»: from Terminal 1 and 3 (so if you have landed at Terminal 2, take first the CDVAL shuttle) that will bring you to Opéra Garnier in about 45/60mins.
-FROM ORLY AIRPORT:
-take the «ORLYVAL» shuttle that offers a regular service either from Orly South Terminal (Orly Sud) or Orly West terminal (Orly Ouest) from 06Ha.m to 23H00 p.m,every day of the week. Shuttle runs every 4-7 minutes even during the peak hours and will take you towards «ANTHONY» station and then transfer to RER B train to Paris. Notice you can take the Orly train to Orly Sud (South) terminal in one direction and OrlyVal Train to Paris in the other direction. (Taking Orlyval between Orly terminals is free of charge). Please note that the Paris Visit Pass zone 1-5 is valid for the Orly Val and RER.
-take the«ORLYBUS» from Orly South (so if you lands at Orly West, first take the Orlyval to reach Orly South) to Denfert Rochereau station in the center of Paris. Buses runs every 8 to 15 mn and takes about 25 to 35 minutes.