After learning the different requirements you need before traveling to this beautiful city, the next thing you should know is how to navigate around it. If you have enough knowledge regarding Paris’ port of entry and transportation services, you will quickly get to your destination with ease. So don’t waste your time, energy and money, they are precious, and they should only be consumed by the spirit of Paris. Learning how to navigate Paris is the key to finding great places, meeting amazing people and saving a lot of money and time for a unique and one-of-a-kind experience.
In this chapter, you will learn the major transportation systems and port of entries as well as communication services to help you reach and explore different tourist destinations as well as, far-flung places. So grab your map and look out on the horizon, Paris is waiting for you!
Traveling by Plane
Paris is one of the most connected cities in Europe and in the world. There are a lot of international airports in Paris such as the Charles de Gaulle Airport (main international airport), Orly Airport (second main international airport), and the Paris – Le Bourget Airport (original airport in the city). Your airline may also land at the Beauvais-Tillé Airport, it is the where budget airlines are located.
From there you can take the train or Metro, hail a cab, or ride a bus to get to your destination.
Traveling by Train
The Paris Metro train is the best mode of transportation to get
around the city from the airport or if you are coming from your hotel. There
are over 16 lines of trains scattered in Paris, with over 300 stations in total
that are connected via different zones such as Zone 1, Zone 2, or Zone 3. The
rail system operates from 5:30 AM to 12:40 AM (Sunday to Thursday), the train
operations on Fridays, Saturdays, and during holidays, run from 5:30 AM to
The train interval during rush hours is usually around 2 minutes. It may take around 8 to10 minutes during holidays, off-hours, and on Sundays.
The Réseau Express Régional (RER) or Regional Express Network is 5 special express railway systems that act as a subway train for people who want to go to the countryside or outside the capital. It is a suburban express railway that commuters take if you need to cross Paris quickly.
Fares for Metro: €1.90 (Single Journey); €16 (book of 10 tickets) valid for Zones 1 and 2.
Fares for RER: ticket prices are determined in every station, which usually ranges from €1.90 up to €12.05. The ticket is only valid for central Paris Zone 1. If you go beyond that you need to purchase another ticket called a Billet Ile-de-France.
Traveling by Buses
The buses in Paris are a great alternative if you want to go to specific places around town. There are 59 routes, and these buses also go to the suburbs. The bus system operates from 7 AM to 8:30 PM (Monday to Saturday), there are also night buses available called Noctilien that operates from 12:30 AM to 5:30 AM (Monday to Saturday). The schedule of buses during holidays may change or operation could be extended. Make sure to check their schedule as well.
The buses are consists of about 47 lines, and they can also bring you back to your hotel if in case you missed the last metro train. Standard fares apply. You will need a new ticket if you decide to change routes. It’s also better to buy a travel pass or carnet (pack of ten tickets) if you plan to travel a lot via buses.
There are also lots of international buses that operate from and to Paris, especially if you are just coming from other parts of France or Europe.
Fares for Buses: around €1.90, same ticket price that you used in the Metro; valid for single journey only.
Traveling by Taxi
Just like buses, taxis or cabs are always available in the pick-up
area of the airport. These taxis can also be hailed in the streets or contacted
by phone for service. The universal number for calling a cab is +33 145 30 30
They are all metered, air-conditioned, fairly inexpensive and clean. The information regarding charges is often displayed inside the vehicle. Make sure that the taxi also has a license plate number to avoid getting scammed.
It is highly recommended that you take the metro train during the day because there’s a huge chance that the roads are heavy. It is better though, to take a cab at night so you can have a quick and inexpensive ride or mode of transportation. Unfortunately, no supplements can be requested to aid persons with disability.
Here is the list of specially – equipped taxis according to the Department of Tourism in Paris:
- Must have an illuminated “Taxi Parisien” sign on the roof of the taxi
- Must have a display meter showing the cost of the journey
- Must have a display at the rear of the vehicle and visible from the exterior which enables the monitoring of the daily duration of use of the vehicle
- Must have a plate fixed to the front right-hand wing of the vehicle bearing the license number
Taxis that do not have the qualifications mentioned above are considered illegal. Do not ride in those cabs. Make sure to check it first.
Fares for Taxi: €5.50 - €7 (initial fare)
- Fares for succeeding or additional kilometers highly depend at the speed of the car, which will be shown by the meter.
- Tip is usually included but there could be additional charges for luggage usually around €1.
Traveling by Boat
For tourists who can splurge big time, you can also take a sightseeing tour around Paris particularly in the scenic Seine River via boat or cruise. The river boats will take you to an exclusive tour (translated both in French and English) so you can know more about the marvelous museums and monuments around the area.
You can also opt to have a romantic dinner or lunch while cruising the river by renting small boats or small yachts. Packages and prices vary and may change without prior notice.
Transport Travel Card
Transport Travel Cards functions as an unlimited pass allowing you to travel on the metro, bus, tramway, RER systems in Paris including its suburbs. This travel pass is best suited for tourists who wanted to explore the city further. Once you purchase a Transport Travel Card, it may be valid for 1, 2, 3 or for 5 consecutive days (depending on how long you think you need it). You can use it in Zones 1 to 5, including close suburbs. The pass can be use from 5:30 AM until 5:30 AM the following day. Prices for adults and children may vary.