A handy guide to exploring the city of love 2024


Amidst the fascinating maze of monuments, museums, restaurants, and shopping spots of Paris, there is an extensive transport system to help tourists navigate between the popular sites with ease. While the local trams pack in old-world charm, the city's dedicated tourist buses and batobuses will enhance your trip's enjoyment. In this article, we decode Paris' public transport system, along with some useful tourist hacks for anyone planning a vacation in the French city during the 2024 Paris Olympics, or any other time of the year.

Explore even more transportation options with our guide to car rentals in Paris.

General public transport in Paris

Paris Subway

Paris Metro | Image credit: Adisa/Shutterstock

With 16 lines (with four more under construction), 700 trains and 308 stations, the Paris Metro is an efficient, affordable rapid transit system that allows you to get around the city. Recognized by the bright yellow “M” at the entrances, the metro operates every day from 6AM to 12:45AM, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when the last train departs at 1:45AM.

Each line has its own color and number, and the final destination determines the train direction. A standard t+ ticket is needed for a single journey, including line transfers. Alternatively, weekly and monthly travel cards are available: Paris Visite and Passe Navigo. If you have the chance to ride Line 6, be sure to enjoy the magical view of the Eiffel Tower as the train crosses the Seine.

Click here to see the subway map

Paris Transport Card – Navigo | Image credit: Andrei Antipov/Shutterstock

Highlights:

  • One-way tickets (t+ tickets) are available for one-way travel within Paris and its vicinity. Prices start from USD 2.34 (INR 195) and can be purchased at all RATP outlets, metro, bus, metro and RER stations, RATP authorised retailers and vending machines on some TGV lines. One-way t+ tickets can also be purchased online.
  • The Paris Visite Card is a convenient ticket option that offers great savings in five geographical zones. The pass is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days. The card can be purchased at all RATP stations or on online platforms such as Paris Je t'aime.
  • Navigo Travel Card also offers great travel deals across Paris' five zones, with a weekly rate of USD 24.76 (THB 914) and a monthly rate of USD 81.68 (THB 3,017). However, this card is more convenient for tourists staying in Paris for at least one week. Sales of weekly passes open on the Friday before the valid week and can be used until the Thursday of the valid week. Similarly, sales of monthly passes open on the 20th of the previous month and the card is valid until the 19th of the valid month. The card can be purchased at RATP vending machines, ATMs, or online through the Navigo website.

Regional Rapid Railway Network (RER)

Paris' Regional Rapid Rail Network (RER) links the city center with the surrounding suburbs, Disneyland, Versailles and Charles de Gaulle Airport, with five lanes (A, B, C, D and E, with Lines A, B and C being the most popular), 365 miles of track and over 250 stations. Line A connects the city center with Disneyland Paris, Line B connects the city center with Charles de Gaulle Airport and Line C serves Orly Airport and the Palace of Versailles.

Also check out our guide to a scenic luxury train journey from Paris to the French Alps.

RER times vary depending on the route. For example:

  • Line B from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Gare du Nord: first departure at 4:56am, last departure at 11:56pm.
  • Line B, from Gare du Nord to Charles de Gaulle Airport: first departure at 4:56am, last departure at 12:15am.
  • Line A, Châtelet-les-Halles to Disneyland: first train at 5:19am, last train at 12:36am.
  • Line A, Disneyland to Châtelet-les-Halles: First departure at 5:13am, last departure at 12:20am.

Also, there are express and local RER trains. Express trains don't stop at every station. The same RER line can have different destinations, so be sure to check the displayed information to see which station is the last stop so you don't get on the wrong train.

Click here to see the RER map

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris on Booking.com

Book your stay at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris on Agoda.com

Tram

Modern tramway in Paris | Image credit: Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

After being discontinued in 1957, trams were reintroduced in Paris at the end of the 20th century. Spanning 13 lines, 254 stops and over 100 km of track, Paris' tram system mainly serves suburban areas. However, for tourists who want to enjoy a tram trip, Line 1 is recommended, with the final destination being the Basilica of Saint-Denis. Like the Paris Metro, the trams can be used with a standard t+ ticket or a transport card such as Paris Visite or Passe Navigo.

Check out our guide to the top 30 things to do in Paris, as chosen by locals, to enhance your holiday in France.

City bus

Paris, France | Image credit: bellena/Shutterstock

60 day routes, 40 night routes, and amazing views of Paris are just a few of the reasons why city buses are one of the most convenient forms of public transport in Paris. Operating hours vary depending on the route, but most buses run from 5:30AM to 8:30PM. Buses on busy tourist routes and in major areas run until 12:30AM. Night buses (Noctilien), with an N in front of their number, run from 12:30AM to 5:30AM.

Paris buses run every 10-15 minutes on weekends and 15-30 minutes on weekdays. In addition to t+ tickets, Paris Visite or Passe Navigo travel cards, bus tickets can also be purchased from metro kiosks, local tobacconists or directly from bus drivers for an additional USD 0.20 (THB 7).

We also recommend checking out the Paris sightseeing buses Big Bus – Les Cars Rouges and Tootbus Paris. Big Bus – Les Cars Rouges features multilingual commentary and nine stops including the Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, Louvre, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Opera Garnier, Champs-Elysées Etoile, Grand Palais and Trocadero. Meanwhile, Tootbus Paris offers 10 stops including Haussmann – Department Stores, Opera Garnier, Louvre, Notre Dame – Latin Quarter, Musée d’Orsay, Concorde, Champs-Elysées – George V, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower and Pont Alexandre III – Invalides. This bus tour operates every day of the year in French and English.

Click here to see the city bus map

Montmartre Funicular

Montmartre Funicular, Paris | Image credit: olrat/Shutterstock

Carrying over 2 million passengers a year, the electric and automated Montmartre Funicular connects the base of Montmartre (home to Place du Tertre and the Sacré-Coeur) to the top. The cable car completes the journey in just 90 seconds. It operates daily from 6 AM to 12:45 AM, although the ticket office closes by midnight. The Montmartre Funicular is included in the Paris Visite Card and the Pass Navigo Card.

Explore more with our guide to Paris' Montmartre district.

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Book your stay at HÔTEL DE CRILLON, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL on Agoda.com

taxi

Paris, France | Image courtesy of Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock

With 20,000 taxis operating 24 hours a day, Paris taxis are a convenient way to get around with ease and privacy. Licensed taxis in Paris have a “Taxi Parisien” sign on their roof, a fare meter and a badge with your driver's license number. The best thing about Paris taxis is that the fare is the same whether you take one at a taxi stand, on the street or book online. However, there are some local customs regarding taxi rides in Paris that tourists should be aware of:

  • The minimum service charge, including surcharges, is US$7.70 (284 baht) and the minimum fare is US$2.80 (103 baht).
  • A one-hour wait will cost between US$32.90 (1,215 baht) and US$38.10 (1,407 ITHB).
  • For the second suitcase onwards, you will need to pay USD 1.10 (THB 40) for each additional piece of baggage.
  • An extra charge of US$3.30 (THB121) for a fourth passenger applies.
  • Rates from Monday to Saturday are US$1 (36 baht) per kilometre (10am to 5pm) and US$1.30 (48 baht) per kilometre (5pm to 10am).
  • On Sundays the rate is US$1.30 (48 baht) per kilometre (7am to 12pm) and US$1.60 (59 baht) (Sunday evenings and public holidays).

Currently, all taxi companies in Paris share the same number: 01 45 30 30 30.

Velib.”

Public bike rentals in Paris | Image credit: Vitpho/Shutterstock

With an excellent network of bike lanes, Paris is also a great place to cycle around the monuments. The city's bike-sharing scheme costs US$5.44 (200 baht) for a one-day pass and US$16.32 (602 baht) for a seven-day pass. For trips under 30 minutes, regular bikes are free and the newest blue e-bikes cost US$1.09 (40 baht).

Explore Paris' hidden gems and more on this epic Paris itinerary.

Beyond Paris: Travel to other French cities

TGV train at Paris Central Station | Image credit: Hadrian/Shutterstock

Thanks to the extensive and interconnected TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) network, passengers can travel by high-speed train from Paris to Lyon, Marseille or even London. Tickets for these journeys can be easily booked through the TGV mobile app. If you want to explore even more European cities as part of your holiday itinerary, we recommend purchasing the Pass Interrail, a single ticket that allows free travel by rail in over 30 European countries.

Worried that public transport won't get you to your favourite far-flung holiday destinations? Consider Ouigo Trains, known for connecting far-flung stations at affordable prices. Finally, dedicated Intercités (intercity trains) don't run on the TGV network but do connect various cities in France.

Equipped with Wi-Fi, charging sockets and reclining seats, buses are a convenient way to travel around France, and tickets can be booked through companies such as Omio, SNCF Connect, GetByBus and Flixbus.

You can then choose a taxi or VTC (Véhicule de Tourisme avec Chauffeur), which offers privacy but is relatively more expensive than other intercity transport options.

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Top tips for getting around Paris

Paris, France | Image courtesy of 4kclips/Shutterstock
  • Always buy tickets from official sources and beware of illegal transport ticket sellers, as these tickets can cost several times more than the original ticket and in some cases may even be considered invalid by public transport authorities.
  • Pay attention to the validity period and geographic zone of your ticket: when you leave Paris, you may enter a new fare zone and need to buy an additional bus ticket. The best thing to do is to buy a transport ticket that applies to multiple zones in advance.
  • Please keep your ticket safe as ticket inspectors may come to you during your journey and ask you to show it to them.
  • Finally, beware of pickpockets.

(Feature image credit: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock)

All currency conversions were made at the time of writing.

Related: The best things to do in France, from wine tasting to skiing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

– What is the cheapest way to get around Paris?
To travel around Paris on a budget, consider public transport: buses, trains, metro, RER and trams.

– Is the public transport in Paris convenient?
Yes, the public transport system in Paris is very well organized and easy to understand for locals and tourists alike.

– How do you pay for the Paris metro?
You can access the metro with a ticket or travel card.

– What is the best way to get from Charles de Gaulle airport to central Paris?
Line A of Paris' RER network connects the city center with Charles de Gaulle airport.

– Are there any special services or passes for tourists using Paris public transport?
Yes, travel cards such as Paris Visite or Passe Navigo make getting around Paris' public transport several times easier.



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