Getting around Paris via public transport

A number of Parisians will tell you the same thing: If France is a producer of cheese, Paris is a true “Gruyère”! Between the catacombs and the metro, the underground life in Paris is no less animated than at its surface.  When you are used to driving, it can be difficult to find yourself in the middle of all these public transport lines crossing each other. You have now parked your car, but you need to reach your destination, you might ask yourself how to take public transport in Paris? Not a problem, with Parclick, we have prepared you a small guide of the Parisian public transport options ;)

Taking the metro in Paris: Getting around in the centre of Paris without a car

The metro plan of Paris

The means of public transport that is seen as the most privileged remains the metro, which is used by 57% of the people that move around Paris. How come? It is because the metro can travel more than 5 km in 20 minutes and the average wait for a train is only 5 minutes. On top of that, it is a huge network, present in the whole capital, as the distance between each station is normally 10 to 15 minutes walking distance (of course, the duration may vary depending on your walking speed and the amount of times you stop to take a photo). The RATP network (Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports) has up to 16 metro lines.

Are you feeling a bit lost? Do not panic, that is why we have prepared the metro plan, which will help you organise your itineraries. You will then be able to get around in Paris and its close suburbs very easily! To download the metro plan of Paris, you can check the page of the RATP.

The fares: How much does a metro ticket cost?

The price of a metro ticket will depend on your needs, where different prices will be proposed so that you will be able to move around Paris. If you are not planning on taking the metro very often, you should choose the ticket t+vendu, which you can buy individually. This ticket will allow you to take the metro and the RER in Paris, 2h after the ticket validation (without leaving the network) and for the bus and tram, 1h30 after the last ticket validation. The cost of one ticket is 1,90€ and a pack of 10 tickets will cost you 14,90€. Are you planning on spending the day in Paris and taking the metro? You could opt for the Navigo jour package, which can be used all day and for the number of zones you will pass through, starting from 7,50€. If your stay in Paris is going to last 5 days, you will also have the option of the Paris Visite package for 38.35€.

The schedule of the metro in Paris

In Paris, the first metro trains leave at 5:30 AM, every day of the week. From Sunday to Thursday, the last trains of the metro arrive at their terminus at 1:15 AM latest. Depending on where you are, consider that the last train could leave before. On Fridays, Saturdays, the last train reaches its terminus at 2:15 AM latest. All things considered, keep in mind that the schedule of the metro may vary from one line to another, as it is informative, you must of course go to the station before the written time. Good to know: during days of celebration and protests, such as the New Year or Music Day, the metro will operate for longer at night.

The RER and the Transiliens

Getting around via public transport in the Parisian suburbs

In the Île de France, once you leave Paris, you will have to take the RER (Regional Express Network) or the Transiliens, instead of the metro. The Transiliens do not pass through Paris, whereas the RER network has 5 lines. Thanks to the RER, you can easily and quickly reach Disneyland Paris (RER A), the château de Versailles (RER C), or even the Stade de France (RER B and RER D). This is the simplest way, to get to the capital from a town in Île de France and vice-versa. It is extremely convenient if you have decided to book a Park and Ride, in which case, you will only have to take the RER from your car park and go to one of the Parisian stations served by the line you plan on taking. The fares depend on the distance traveled and you can buy your ticket at the ticket office or at the ticket machine.

The RER in Paris

In Paris, you can also use the RER to move around quickly in the capital.

Taking the bus in Paris

An alternative to the metro to get around Paris

The metro ticket can also be used to take the buses from the RATP network for getting around Paris. You can buy the ticket at the tobacconists, at the train and metro stations or directly from the bus driver. However, please note that if you buy the ticket from the bus driver, the price per unit will be 2€.

Noctilien: night bus service for travelling overnight

If you need to reach the Parisian suburbs in the night, but the last train has already left, you can count on the Noctilien network, which guarantees the overnight connexions in Paris and Île-de-France thanks to its 47 bus lines. The fares are the same as the day buses. The lines of the Noctilien bus, will enable you to move around the capital once the metro and RER are closed. This way, you can use this service from 0:30 AM to 5:30 AM, which is very convenient if you missed the last metro train or the last RER! Good to know: all the stations in Paris are served by the Noctilien bus.

The tram: to do the tour of Paris

Travelling with the same ticket

The Île-de-France networks currently add up to 10 tramlines and 4 more are being developed. As the metro was constructed in a way, to converge towards the centre, the tramlines were built in a circular shape, so as to be able to reach the various metro lines from the periphery. The lines form arches around Paris, so you can easily go around the capital from one line to another. Regarding the tickets, they are the same as the metro tickets and you can perfectly go from the metro to the tram, during the same journey without needing to change your ticket (of course, in the time limit of your ticket).

The Vélib’

An alternative to public transport

When you ride a bike in Paris, you will have the possibility to go on the bus lanes, which will make you less exposed to traffic. If you take the Vélib’ often, the annual price could be a good choice. If you rarely use it, or you want to try it, you can take a V-Libre package which allows you to rent a bike for 1€ the half hour, or, you can take the V-Découverte package, which enables you to do 30 minutes journey all day for 5€. If you need an extra boost riding up a hill, the bikes are equipped with an electric assistance, or you can opt for an electric bike instead.

Going to the airport via public transport

If you plan on heading to the airport, you can also find the perfect solution with transport and parking options on Parclick, for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris Orly Airport (ORY). For these two airports, you have the possibility to take a shuttle between 5:45 AM and 11.00 PM, to get to the airport form Paris by bus. The shuttle also connects both airports, if you ever need to change airport. The Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA) is an entirely different matter, as it is located in Picardie and not in Île-de-France, which you can reach by taking the airport bus or driving and parking there.

Going to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

To reach Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, you can take the RER B (blue line) until the Charles de Gaulle Airport station 1 for terminals 1 and 3, and until the Charles de Gaulle station 2 – TGV for terminal 2. The ticket to get there is not the same as the previous ones, and will cost you 10,30€ leaving from Paris. If you need to leave during the night, there are 2 Noctilien buses which will enable you to get from the Gare de l’Est to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport: the line N140 and the line N143. It will take you approximately 1h to get there and the buses leave every 30 minutes.

Going to Orly Airport (ORY)

There are 2 RER that can bring you to Orly Airport. If you are coming from the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, the RER B (blue line) will bring you to Orly Airport but, you will have to stop at Antony and take the OrlyVal shuttle. The combined ticket (metro, RER, OrlyVal) costs 11€ and the OrlyVal shuttle ticket on its own costs 8.40€. the RER C (yellow line) also enables you to reach the airport, which is connected to the Pont de Rungis station. During the night, the Noctilien bus also allows you to make it to the airport with lines N22 from Châtelet, N131 and N31 from Paris Gare de Lyon and last but not least, N144 from the Gare de l’Est.

Ultimately, if you think that the public transport does not suit you, you can always find a parking solution with Parclick by booking now your car park in Paris.