One of the many beauties about Paris is how accessible it is by foot. However, there are also many options for those who’d prefer to give their legs a break. The transport system here is organised and easy to navigate. And for a famously expensive city, Paris’ transportation is surprisingly affordable.
For most of the transportation, save for the tram, you’d use the same type of ticket, which is the Île-de-France point-to-point ticket. That means, whether it’s one stop or twenty, you’d be spending the same amount, 1,90€ per journey. Make sure for destinations outside of the central Paris zone (Versailles and the two airports – CDG and Orly), you get a different ticket. You can do so can be bought at the vending machines at the metro and train stations or at the tabac, which are corner stores around Paris.
There are 14 lines in the French underground and, to be honest, they are pretty well connected. If you’re just visiting, depending on how much walking you are intending to do, the individual tickets or a pack of ten tickets should do the job. Under 26s can also take advantage of the reduced day passes but beware, it is only for the weekends or bank holidays.
This is their express train that runs from the city centre to surrounding suburbs, such as Versailles, Disneyland Paris or the CDG Airport. There are five lines in the RER and you can still use the ticket on it as for the metro, provided that you do not leave central Paris. The maps at the train stations states clearly where the central Paris ends on each line. If you do go further, make sure you buy a suitable ticket at the ticket office or the vending machine.
They are quite regular and most bus stops have a real-time monitor showing you how long until the next bus. This is a good alternative to the metro if you don’t want to miss out on sightseeing whilst taking the public transport. Again, same ticket as the previous two but if you purchase it on the bus, it would be 2€ rather than 1,90€. Not too much of a difference there.
To be honest, I have only been on the tram once since I got here. The tram lines connect only the outskirts to central Paris and do not run through the centre, which does little for visiting tourists. You’d also need a different type of ticket, the t+ ticket, to get on the trams, unless you have a travel card or the Navigo (Parisian Oyster Card).
Paris has recently introduced many self-service bikes and scooters to facilitate people to get around the city. Velib’ is a bike that is common one you’ll find in the city centre. There are two types of Vélib, the green is mechanical, and the blue is electrical. You can get access to these bikes with either your Vélib’ or Navigo card.
Parisians love their scooters. You will see not only kids, but also adults on them all the time. This is a fun and exciting way to get around the city, especially in open spaces like the gardens and squares. Unlike the Vélib’, you don’t even need a card for this. Just download the Lime app and you’re ready to go. Once you’re done, you can leave it anywhere and pick one up almost everywhere.
But of course, you’re more than welcome to tour around the city with your own bike, scooter or Segway. While Paris is not yet as bicycle-friendly as, let’s say, Amsterdam, there are many bike routes and paths to facilitate cyclers around the city.
The only time I’d recommend getting a taxi is from the airport, if you have too many suitcases and are too exhausted from your flight to navigate your way to your hotel or Airbnb. The taxis from CDG Airport has a fixed fare of 60€. Although the taxi fare in Paris is less than that in London, I would still recommend getting the public transport, as more often than not, it won’t actually save you much time and might even take longer.
Referred to as the Funiculaire, it is operated by the same organisation as the main transportation. You can find it in at Montmartre, which takes you from the bottom of the hill to the top of Sacré Cœur, in less than two minutes. You can use the same ticket here as for the metro.
RATP website: https://www.ratp.fr/en