Unmissable tourist sites
RATP – t 32 46 (€0.34/min) - www.ratp.fr (in English).
The Paris underground (métro) is the simplest means of getting around when you are not familiar with the city, it is also the fastest and cheapest.
Fourteen métro lines cover the capital, with an average of 1 train every 2-4min during the day and every 6-8min after 8.30pm and at weekends.
Services run from 5.30am-1am (2am on Fridays and Saturdays).
When calculating how long your journey will last, allow 2min per stop and 3min for each change (for example, a 15-stop journey with 2 changes will take around 35min).
Perhaps the most pleasant means of transport. The Paris bus service has some 59 lines, some of which run past Paris’ top sightseeing monuments and districts (24 and 72 in particular).
The RER is ideal to go to the outskirts of Paris (La Défense and Disneyland are on the RER A line, Versailles on the RER C, Roissy and Orly on the RER B line), but is less practical within Paris. While faster than the métro, the RER does however require more of an effort to find the right platform as it runs far deeper than the méro.
Fares and discounts
Ticket T+: €1.60 bought singly and €11.60 for a book of 10. In the métro and RER (inner Paris only), you can make as many changes as you like. In buses, all surface changes (bus/bus and bus/tram) within 90mins from the first to the last stamp are included. Tickets can be bought from bus, métro and RER stations and accredited RATP and Optile stands. This ticket cannot be bought on board buses.
Mobilis: €5.90, valid for one day within Paris (zones 1 and 2) in the métro, RER, bus, tram and Noctilien (night) buses.
Paris-Visite: unlimited access to Paris transport for 1 day (€9 in zones 1 to 3), 2 days (€14.70 in zones 1 to 3), 3 days (€20 in zones 1 to 3) and 5 days (€28.90 in zones 1 to 3). Discounts to some monuments. Information: http://www.ratp.info/touristes/ (in English).
The métro runs until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Noctilien buses, 47 lines, take over at night from 12.30am to 5.30am. Night buses have a letter N before the bus number. In Paris, buses leave from 5 stations: gare de Lyon, gare de l’Est, gare St-Lazare, gare Montparnasse and Châtelet; two circular N 01 (inner circle) and N 02 (outer circle) lines serve districts of Paris popular with night-birds.
Whare can you find a taxi ?
Taxis can be found near most railway stations and on major roads. Stations with call phones are located on large squares and near métro stations and there are 470 taxi ranks, indicated by a blue Taxi sign, dotted all over the capital. However these are often deserted. The best option is to call a taxi by telephone.
The light on top of taxicabs is white when the cab is vacant and orange when they are occupied.
Centralised phone number – t 01 45 30 30 30. To call the nearest taxi rank or stand.
Minimum fare per journey: €5.60. Pick-up fare from 1 to 3 people: €3.32
Supplement for more than 3 people and for second piece of luggage in the boot.
The Vélib’ (rent a bicycle scheme run by the town hall) is the latest craze in Paris. The system is simple: rent a bicycle wherever you like (credit card payments possible) and drop it off wherever you like, from one of 1450 stations in the capital. One-day subscription (€1), first 30min free, next 30min €1, €150 deposit. Information: www.velib.paris.fr (in English).
What is the batobus? An original, if expensive, means of getting from one side of Paris to the other down the Seine, stopping at some of Paris’ most popular districts and monuments. Fares: 1 day (€12), 2 days (€16) and 5 days (€19). Information: t 0 825 050 101 (€0.15/min from inside France) - www.batobus.com (in English).