Paris Transport


Paris has an excellent public transport system. It is divided into five zones radiating out from the centre and ticket prices vary according to the number of zones required. Public transport consists of buses, an underground metro, and express trains (RER). Taxis are also available. The easiest way to get around is on the metro and the subways are generally safe at all times. It is possible to transfer between the metro and the RER trains at no extra cost. The bus system is also extensive, but is slower, less frequent and best used for getting to destinations the metro does not cover.

Various passes are available for public transport and can be good value if staying for a longer period. The Paris Visites pass is valid for one, two, three or five days and also allows discounts at certain museums, shops and restaurants, but will not necessarily save money, depending on how much one travels. There is also the cheaper weekly or monthly Carte Orange (passport photo required), but this is technically only available for Ile de France residents. Both allow unlimited travel in the chosen zones on the metro, RER, buses and the funicular to Montmartre. The cheapest option if only in town for a day or two is the Carte Mobilis, which allows unlimited travel for a day in Zones 1 and 2.

From May to September a passenger boat, the Batobus, offers sightseeing trips on the Seine stopping at the main attractions, and from April to September a Balabus bus service loops around most of the major sights in Paris every Sunday and on public holidays. A nightbus service, Noctambus, covers the city between 1am and 5.30am.

Only think about renting a car if planning excursions from the city as aggressive driving, confusing one-way streets and impossible parking can be testing for visitors. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed or caught at taxi ranks.

Vélib' bicycle rentals are also popular for getting round town - pick up a bike at one of 1,450 stations and return it at any other (from €1 an hour).

Our Travel Expert

Olivier was born and raised in Paris and even as a child would spend his free time visiting museums and parks and exploring the different neighbourhoods of Paris. Olivier works in the tourism industry and is the co-owner of Triple M Tours, a company which specialises in tours of France and Paris.

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