Getting around Paris: all you need to know

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f you are worried about getting around Paris because it is your first time there, rest assured you can enjoy your holiday without stressing for transport around the city.

Paris is one of the most organised European capitals in terms of public transport: it is accessible, on time, fairly priced, and well connected.

Although it is the most popular option, public transport is not the only one available. Let’s see all of them, but first, something important for tourists.

Paris Visite pass

Paris Visite is a season ticket that allows you to travel in total freedom. It is a classic magnetic card, white with a black band, but it contains the power to take you everywhere within the Île-de-France region. Furthermore, it gives you discounts on selected attractions.

You can choose how many days you want it to last (there are options for one, two, three, or five days) and how many zones you can cross: Paris and its surroundings are divided in five concentric zones, where the fifth is the outermost.

If you want to stay within Paris, then you should choose the option for zones 1-3, but if you want to include the airports (Orly is in zone 4, Charles de Gaulle in zone 5), Disneyland Paris, and Versailles palace, you need the pass for zones 1-5.

The pass can be bought in advance, as it becomes active the first time you use it.


The fastest and cheapest transport is the metro (tube or underground for British people, subway for the Americans). With its fifteen lines, it connects all areas of the city.

On the street, the entrance of metro stations are always signaled with an M sign.

At the entrance of every station there is a map of the city with all the stations highlighted. Take your time to look at it when needed.

Every line has a different colour and number, so it is not so difficult to learn which goes where.

If you use a normal ticket, instead of a Paris Visite pass, do not throw it away before you exit from the station.

There are brochure with maps in every station, infopoint, and almost all hotels and touristic restaurants.

The metro is open 7 days a week from 5:30 to 1:30 (until 2:30 on Saturdays).

Some stations are worth a stop!


The urban and suburban rail service that connects the outer zones with the city centre.

There are a lot of exchanges with metro stations, and they will take you to zones 4 and 5, including airports, Saint Denis (via Pierrefitte), Disneyland and Versailles.

Stations are signaled by a white RER sign on blue background.


Tickets for buses are the same you use for the metro.

Of course, buses are slower than the metro, but they are more pleasant because they allow you to look around while travelling.

The network is well organised, buses are tracked, so you always know how long it is going to take for the next bus to come.

If you do not have any ticket, you can buy it on board.

Buses run from 5:30 to 20:30, with some lines available until 0:30. During night hours, Noctilien buses substitute daily lines.

River cruise

If you want a change of perspective, water is a brilliant idea! Seine river cruises offer an alternative view on a lot of monuments.

Best when there is a beautiful sunset you do not want to miss.

There are also floating restaurants. Ready to eat dinner with an enchanting view on Paris? 

Useful apps

If you have a smartphone, there are a few apps that can make getting around Paris easy and stressless.

We recommend using:

  • Google Maps: one of the most accurate GPS systems in the world. It provides information on metro, buses, trains, and road traffic. It is very useful to travel the various stops during the day;
  • Citymapper: a navigation app specialised in public transport. It works in a few cities all over the world, but Paris is one of them. It gives information on waiting times and real-time updates on the status of public transport;
  • Uber: the most popular car hire app in the world. Wherever you are, a driver will pick you up and take you wherever you need. Enjoy a comfortable journey on the back seat;
  • Lime: when in Paris, you might notice there is a high number of electric kick scooters parked everywhere. With Lime, you can rent one of them and use straight away. When you finish, just park it and end your session.

Getting around Paris is easy, you just have to choose how.

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