Paris is well-connected through its public transport system which is safe, affordable, and reliable. It consists of the Métro (underground), Tram, RER suburban express train (which interconnects with the Métro inside Paris), bus, and Noctilien (night bus) - which are all operated by RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens). The RER lines that go through Paris connect it to other cities, and the Transilien (suburban train) lines are run by the state-owned rail company SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français). E-scooters and e-bike rentals are quite popular in Paris amongst locals and tourists alike. Taxis are also available in Paris for your convenience.
Paris has over 20,000 licensed taxi cabs running on its streets 24 x 7. You can find them in various colors with the ‘Taxi Parisiens’ signage on top of the car. You may hire a taxi at one of the 500 official cab stands in the city, or simply wave one down on the road. You can alternatively get a cab by calling 0145303030.
The city of Paris and its surrounding suburbs are divided into 5 zones, to measure the distance and pricing of public transport in Paris. These zones are marked on the map as circular rings starting with the city center and radially moving out towards the suburbs.
It is important to know which zones you would be crossing to reach your destination, in order to take the right ticket. All modes of public transport in Paris except the metro and taxis follow the zonal map. It is therefore advised to keep a transportation map handy while planning your itinerary and also buying your tickets.
Most of the tourist destinations and highlights in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Paris Opera House, etc. are within zone 1 which is accessible by the same ticket or pass. The most visited places outside this zone include The Château of Versailles and Orly airport in zone 4, and the Charles de Gaulle Airport, Fontainebleau Palace, and Disneyland in zone 5.
RER Train: The fastest and cheapest way to get to the city from Charles de Gaulle Airport, and vice-versa, is by taking the RER train. The RER - B line connects two different terminals of the airport to the city. The trains to Paris usually leave from platforms 11 & 12 at the airport. The ticket costs about € 7 for children aged 4 - 9 and € 10 for an adult and others.
Bus: The Roissybus Service by RATP is the cheapest airport bus transfer option available between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris city center. The bus ticket prices at about € 11. Lines 350 and 351 of the public bus network also connect various parts of the city to Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is in zone 5.
Taxi Cab: Taxis are readily available to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport at all times, on all days. It is the most convenient mode of transport if you are traveling with a lot of luggage. They charge a flat fare of € 50 to places towards the right bank (north of the Seine) and € 55 towards the left bank (south of the Seine) from the airport.
RER Train: The RER train is connected to Orly airport at Antony station along the RER - B line. You can take the Orlyval shuttle train from the airport to get to the station. These trains are available every 4 - 7 minutes and take about 25 - 35 minutes to reach the city. The journey costs € 13.25, including the shuttle ticket.
Bus: Taking the bus is the cheapest way to get to the city from Orly Airport. Buses numbered 183 and 285 of the public bus network connect the airport in zone 4 to the city. You can board the bus from in front of Terminal Sud and head towards Porte de Choisy station in Zone 1, which is quite central. The commute costs € 2 and takes about 50 minutes to complete.
Taxi Cab: You can commute between Orly Airport and any part of Paris in a taxi, around the clock. Taxis charge a fixed rate of € 35 to places towards the right bank (north of the Seine) and € 30 towards the left bank (south of the Seine) from the airport.
Non-residents and tourists are allowed to drive in Paris as long as they possess an international driving license. It is important to carry the license along at all times to avoid fines if asked.
International drivers above the age of 18 are also allowed to hire cars in Paris. Although, while hiring a car, make sure the rental company provides you with a warning triangle and reflective vest, which are mandatory in France.
If you choose to drive your own car in Paris, it is important to obtain a ‘Crit'Air’ badge that shows that your car adheres to anti-pollution standards enforced in certain zones of the city.
T+ ticket is a single-journey ticket issued for all modes of public transport operated by RATP in Paris. Ticket holders can use the metro, RER trains (inside Paris), buses, trams, and Noctilien buses (night buses), without changing the mode of transport. These tickets can be purchased through vending machines at stations or on board a bus or tram (for an extra € 0.20). A single T+ ticket costs € 1.90, while a carnet of 10 tickets comes at a discounted price of € 14.90 (€ 7.45 for children under 10 years).
Carte Mobilis is a one-day travel pass that lets you make unlimited trips on any public transport vehicle, within your selected zones in Paris. The card is valid from midnight to midnight irrespective of when it is purchased or first used. The price of the card depends on the number of zones you choose to cover. You can buy the card at any RER or metro stations, some bus stations, or registered RATP ticket retailers. Do remember to write in your name and details on the card before using it.
The Paris Visite travel card grants you unlimited use of the public transport system in Paris, for a valid period. The validity is calculated from midnight on day 1 to midnight on the last day. The travel pass can be purchased for two different zones: 1-3 (for commuting within the city center) and 1-5 (required to travel to the airports or Disneyland). The card is available at all stations, airports, and tourist information points. The card also includes discounts at some of Paris’ tourist hotspots.
The Navigo Découverte travel card offers the cardholder unlimited travel using public transport, across all zones of Paris, for a day, a whole week, or a month, as subscribed. You can purchase the plastic or electronic card and top it up with a daily, weekly, or monthly pass. Do keep in mind that a weekly pass is valid from Monday to the Sunday of the week, irrespective of when it is bought. A monthly pass is valid from the first day of the month till the last, irrespective of when it is first used. The card is available for purchase at all stations and airports.
If you are an avid traveler and have traveled extensively, you might be used to the fact that every country has its own rules and regulations that must be complied with. As a tourist, it becomes your duty to respect the culture, laws, and rules of the country you are in.
The best way to get around Paris is by using its well-connected network of public transport. The city offers many different options such as the metro, RER trains, Transilien trains, trams, buses, and taxis to get around the city. E-scooters and e-bikes are widely available for rent, to ride around Paris. You can also hire a car if you are older than 18 years and have a valid international driver's license.
The various modes of public transport available in Paris include the underground metro, RER suburban express trains, Transilien regional trains, trams, buses, and Noctilien or night buses - which are all operated by RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens). There are also taxis, bicycles, e-scooters, and e-bikes available for hire.
Locals and tourists alike agree that the Paris metro is the safest mode of transportation in the city.
All modes of public transport run by RATP have an affordable standard rate of € 1.90 per journey. You can also buy a carnet of 10 tickets with a discount of 25% for € 14.90.
Public transport in Paris is generally safe, although one must be aware of pickpockets in crowded buses and trains. Make sure you always keep your bags with you and store your valuables in a safe place.
Most of the public transport in Paris like the metro, RER trains, Transilien trains, trams, and buses are safe for women and children. However, taxi cabs, especially at night, may not always be safe for women. You can download and use Heetch, a taxi booking app that operates from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., aimed at helping people commute safely at night.
Taxis in Paris run with a meter that starts with a base fare of € 2.60 and a minimum service fee of € 7.10. From Monday to Saturday, the charge per kilometer is € 0.96 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and € 1.17 after that. On Sundays between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m., the rate is € 1.21. On Sunday nights and public holidays, the rate per kilometer is € 1.47.
The Paris Metro is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient modes of travel in the city. The tickets are affordably priced at € 1.90 per trip or € 14.90 for ten trips. There are also daily, monthly, and weekly travel passes that offer metro rides at discounted rates.
There are four different types of tickets or passes used by tourists for public transport in Paris. The T+ Ticket is a single-journey ticket with a validity of 90 minutes. The Paris Visite travel card is valid across three or five zones, for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Carte Mobilis is a one-day travel pass while daily, weekly and monthly travel passes are available with the Navigo Découverte travel card. All of these tickets are acceptable for all modes of public transport operated by RATP.
All types of tickets for public transport in Paris are available through vending machines and ticket counters at all metro stations, RER train stations, and airports. They can also be bought on board the vehicle at a slightly higher price. Some bus terminals, tourist information desks, and authorized retailers also sell public transport tickets and passes.
Most taxi drivers in Paris may not speak or understand English. You are therefore advised to carry a piece of paper with the address written on it or show the driver your destination on Google Maps.
Both Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport are connected to the city through public transport lines. You can choose to travel to and from these airports either by RER trains or buses. Taxis are also available at fixed rates for airport transfers.
All modes of public transport in Paris are accessible by people in wheelchairs. The metro line M14, 90% of the RER trains, and all of the public buses in Paris are made wheelchair friendly with automatic ramps, lifts, broad doors, and other facilities. You can find the map of all wheelchair-accessible lines of public transport in Paris here.
Although France is a free country without any restrictions on clothing, try to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and really short dresses, as Parisians tend to look down upon the showing of too much skin. Wearing casuals, smart casuals, and business attire will make you look less touristy and more local.
Some of the must-have travel apps in Paris are Paris Metro Map and Routes and Next Stop Paris – RATP for public transport convenience, Uber, Allocab, and Heetch for hiring a cab, Bird, Lime, and FREE NOW (Kapten) for renting e-scooters and e-bikes, CityMaps2Go for offline city maps, and Citymapper for finding the best routes and the most affordable means of public transport in Paris.