Paris Transport Guide
Here are the best ways to get around the city of Paris:
The Paris Metro consists of 16 lines and underground trains can be boarded from any of the 300 stations around the city. Stations are marked by a range of signs that either say ‘Metropolitan’ or simply ‘M’. Trains run from 5:30am and terminate at around 12:30am on weekdays and 1:40am on weekends. Services are very frequent with a 2-minute wait during peak hours and up to 10 minutes’ wait during off-peak hours, holidays and Sundays. Tickets can be purchased singularly, in a book of 10 to 20 as well as weekly, monthly and yearly passes.
T here are a wide variety of bus routes (59 to be exact) throughout the city, which often pass well-known historic areas of the metropolis. To help judge how long a journey will take, allow for at least 5 minutes per stop. Services are available from Monday to Saturday running from around 7am to 8:30pm with a few infrequent night buses that terminate at 12:30am. Roughly half of the services run on a Sunday. Bus stops have either digital signs or a paper itinerary telling passengers which bus numbers frequent the stop. Tickets can be purchased from travel information centres or online with books of 10 and 20 available; the t+ ticket is ideal for visitors to the city.
Gain your independence in the French capital by hiring a car. It is advisable to avoid the notorious Arc de Triomphe if possible, unless you are feeling brave enough to navigate the 8-lane roundabout that, in true European fashion, flows anti-clockwise.
Explore the city on 2 wheels and escape the underground metro system, however handy it is! Paris has the largest cycle share system in the world with 20,000 bikes at your disposal. The easiest way to pay for a cycle is to purchase a 1 to 7 day pass online at the official velib website, which will generate a code for you to use at any bike station across the city. Unlock a bike, check for any damage, and then away you go. Remember to check your bicycle back into one of the 1,800 stations that are handily spaced around 300 metres apart from each other.
Hop onboard a peaceful inner-city river cruise and spot all the historic icons along the way. The Seine River flows through the heart of the Paris and has been engulfed by the larger encroaching city, making it an awesome way to see 10 out of the 20 famous arrondissements. Look out for the popular Bateaux Mouches boat tours, which sport expansive decks along with bright orange seats. Tours through the city range from a hop-on, hop-off service to a full dining experience on the Seine (with prices varying accordingly). The Bateaux Mouches fleet of 9 boats docks at Pont d'Alma near the Eiffel Tower and don’t usually require any prior booking. Cruises take around 1 hour and are operational between 10:15am to 9pm with around 2 boats setting off every hour.