Methods of Transportation:
METRO, RER, SNCF
The most practical, accessible, and budget friendly way for you to get around Paris is by using the Paris Metro system. The three main train systems in Paris are the Metro, RER, and SNCF.
Navigating the trains can be intimidating at first, so I've dedicated a whole page to helping you use the metro and train systems in Paris. For tips and insight into using these trains, as well as information on tickets and passes, click here for "A Guide to Using the Paris Trains."
The bus isn't my first recommendation for getting around the city, but it is perfectly acceptable should the need arise.
Navigating the Paris bus lines and routes can be quite confusing. Though the bus stops provide maps listing the stops along the lines, you'll benefit from taking a look at the bus maps and noting your desired stops and lines before you start your day. Click here to access bus plans and maps.
Tickets: You can buy a ticket on the bus using coins, but the cheaper and more prudent way would be to purchase your ticket or pass in advance. For more options and tips on purchasing tickets and passes, click here: ""A Guide to Using the Paris Trains."
Taxis are not my favorite means of transportation in Paris, as the fares can rise quickly the longer you're stuck in traffic and the farther you have to go. It would be wise to carry cash, as not all taxi drivers take credit and debit cards.
Taking a taxi is not the most money-efficient means of transportation, but they do run 24 hours a day, so they can come in handy when you're in the need of late-night transport, especially if you're a traveler who doesn't use Uber.
Thankfully, the city has now enforced flat rate fees from the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports:
- CDG to the Right Bank: 50€
- CDG to the Left Bank: 55€
- Orly to the Right Bank: 35€
- Orly to the Left Bank: 30€
When not walking or using the Metro, my favorite way to get around Paris is by using Uber. If I've had a late dinner, it's raining, and my feet are tired from walking all day, I usually call an Uber. Through the app, you can see your fare estimate ahead of time, and if you're not in a hurry, you can score a lower fare by opting to use UberPool.
Traffic during rush hour is a drawback, but if you're not comfortable navigating the metro or using other means of public transportation, Uber is a convenient option!
Renting a car might prove to be beneficial if you plan on traveling from Paris to other regions of France, but it isn't necessary. If you do choose to rent a car, you should keep in mind that since Paris is a large city, finding parking can often be a pain, and you'll have to pay for parking. Your two main options will be to choose between street parking or an underground car park.
Personally, I'm not a biker, but I do wish I were. My husband also wishes that I were. Alas, some wishes don't come true.
If you do enjoy traversing a city by bike, you can stop at one of the numerous Velib bike rental stations that are scattered throughout the city. If your trip is less that 30 minutes, renting a Velib bike is free of charge. If over 30 minutes, the price varies per half-hour increment, which you can access on their website here. The best options would be to purchase a one-day rental ticket for only 1,70 € (with a 150€ deposit in the event you don't return it) or a seven-day ticket for only 8,00 €.
There are a number of bike tours you can take around the city, including a free nighttime bike tour that occurs every Friday night. It commences at 10:00pm from its starting point at Hôtel de Ville and lasts for just over 2 hours. No reservation needed.
The best way to explore Paris, or any city really, is by foot. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the lay of the land, explore its major boulevards and charming alleyways, walk the alongside the flow of the Seine, and discover parts of the city you otherwise wouldn't be able to. Even if your feet grow weary from days of walking, I doubt you'll be complaining after hours on hours of breathing in the city's magic.