Paris public transport
Paris public transport works just perfectly and it’s quite cheap, but I still would suggest to visit Paris step by step, strolling around, because its beauty, besides museums and churches, is on the street, in the architectural and decorative styles that vary according to the street in which you are located, in doorways often revealing beautiful cozy courtyards, in the in-ceiling windows with no curtains to allow you to peek frescoed ceilings and exposed beams … to sum it up, the beauty of Paris is Paris itself and walking is the best way to discover it.
Having said that, Paris public transport network is a blessing and when you are in a hurry or you have to cross the city, nothing better than to exploit it. The sole manager of public transport, including metro, RER, tram, bus and the so called Noctilien night buses, is the RATP and on their website you can calculate routes and check the traffic situation in real time.
Getting around Paris by metro and bus
The metro opens at 5.20 a.m. and closes at 1.20 a.m. and the frequency is of 2 to 4 minutes between a train and the other.
A single ticket, the T +, costs € 1.90 and is valid for an hour and a half from validation for an unlimited number of changes in metropolitan areas 1 and 2 of the metro and RER and still running until the end of the metro although in zone 3. Its validity is canceled once passed through the turnstiles to exit the station.
It also applies on the Montmartre Funicular and buses, but changes are not allowed. You can get it at any station or at the tobacconists. On board it costs € 2.
If you plan to use it several times, you can buy a ten tickets carnet at € 14,90, getting a 25% discount.
For a single specific journey you can also opt for the so-called Origin-Destination ticket valid from station to station and in this case the rate depends on mileage range.
The pass Mobilis is a daily pass, valid until midnight and on the entire public transport network. Mobilis is personal and should be filled in with the date, name and surname of the user. The price ranges from € 7,50 to € 17.80 from zones 1-2 to zones 1-5.
If you plan to travel only by public transport, I recommend the pass Navigo that costs 5 € and for which you need a photo ID. The pass can be loaded with a flat daily, weekly or monthly rate and shall be used as a regular ticket in any metro and RER, but needs no stamping if you take the bus.
The daily rate costs € 7.50 for zone 1-2 and € 17.80 for zone 1-5.
The weekly flat rate is only valid from Monday to Sunday and can be purchased on Friday for the following week. If you opt for the pass for zones 1 to 5 (€ 22.80), it will be valid throughout the network except on the Orlyval between Antony and Orly airport.
The monthly flat rate applies the same criteria and costs € 75.20.
Paris for young people
The pass Jeunes week-ends is a daily pass, valid until midnight on Saturday, Sunday or on public holidays across the public transport network. It is personal and should be filled in with the date, name and surname of the user. The price ranges from € 4.10 to € 8.95 from zones 1-3 to zones 1-5.
Paris for tourists
The Paris Visite pass can last one, two, three or five consecutive days from 5.20 a.m. the first day until midnight the last day. It is a personal pass and has then to be filled in with date, name and surname of the user. The pass also provides various discounts in the city’s major monuments, the Galeries Lafayette, Disneyland and various other tourist attractions.
Fares for zones 1-3:
- 12 € for one day
- 19.50 € for two days
- 26.65 € for three days
- 38.35 € for five days
Fares for zones 1-5:
- 25.25 € for one day
- 38.35 € for two days
- 53.75 € for three days
- 65.80 € for five days
The Paris City Pass or Paris Pass Lib can last two (109 €), three (129 €) or five days (155 €) and includes the Paris Visite pass, the Paris Museum Pass for two or four consecutive days (with entrance fees to museums and monuments without queuing!), a one-hour cruise on the Seine, a sightseeing tour on the Big Bus in Paris, a city map and a booklet of discount coupons to use in various places and shops. Having access to museums and monuments is always free up to 26 years, therefore this pass does not applies to teenagers and young men and women…
The Paris Pass is perfect for those who do not want to arrange anything in advance, nor to stand on queue lines or check on their budget… it includes a detailed guide to public transport and sights, an unlimited transport pass in zones 1-3, access to monuments and museums, the use of tourist buses and boats and discounts in various shops and restaurants in twon. The Paris Pass is valid for two (131 €), four (€ 196) or six days (244 €) with discounts for children up to eleven years and teens up to 17 years.
Public transportation is always free for children up to 4 years and half price for those under 9 years.
Getting around Paris by e-car and e-bike
Several years ago the city of Paris launched “green” initiatives for its citizens, but also of tourists. Having a credit or debit card and an ID is enough to use the Autolib and/or Velolib services.
Autolib is an e-car self-service renting across the Parisian region, Ile-de-France. Autolib spaces are distributed a bit anywhere in town and to use it you just need a credit card, your driver’s license and an ID.
By placing all data in the vending machine you receive a personal badge that unlocks the chosen car. At this point you simply detach it from the power cable and leave. To return it you have to park in the provided spaces, pass the badge in the vending machine, close the doors and reconnect the car to a power cable.
It costs 9 € per half hour. This is obviously a service designed for those who have to get around town from one place to another and not for daily trips…
Velolib is a self-service bicycle rentals for older than 14 years and you can find one more or less every 500 meters. Again you need a credit card (if you use a Maestro € 150 deposit will be charged for three days while with Visa or Mastercard it’s only matter of a pre-authorization request) or a pass Navigo. The options are a daily pass at € 1.70 with the first half hour for free or a weekly pass at € 8 always with the first half hour offered. After the first thirty minutes, the counter begins to apply the rental fare.
I am always available for further infos or advices on Paris. Email me!
Bon séjour à Paris !