Getting Around Paris by Public Transport

Complete Visitor Guide to Getting Around Paris on Public Transportation

Updated on December, 11 2019

Paris is well equipped to get you anywhere you need to go by public transport. It has many modes of transit and, with a little advanced reading, you will find you can get around the city with ease. Our goal is to make getting around Paris during your visit as simple as possible by providing you enough information in one place, but without overwhelming you with unneccessary details.

One thing you won't want to do when you visit Paris is to drive a car in the city, unless you thrive on stress and gridlock traffic with pedestrians and bicycles everywhere. Cars were not even thought of when the streets of central Paris were layed out, so most streets are very narrow and the few main corridors get extremely busy. Take public transit. It's easier, faster and stress free.

The main components of public transport in Paris are the Metro, an extensive subway network that can get you within about a 10 minute walk of nearly every attraction in central Paris; the RER, trains which provided fast service both in the centre of the city and the outlying suburbs; Paris Buses and Trams an extensive network that provides even more ways to get around.

In addition to the above there is a private service offering hop-on hop-off service with 8 stops along the Seine River called Batobus and SNCF Trains that provide intercity, regional and even international service. Paris also has an innovative bicycle rental progam with an incredible 1800 stations and 20,000 bicycles located throughout the city called Vélib. Click the links for the different modes of transit to learn more about each one. Gaining an understanding of the available options for getting around prior to your trip will make your Paris vacation more enjoyable.

The best fare option for tourists is the Paris Visite Pass which provides unlimited adult transportion in central Paris for as little as 7.67€ per day or in all zones including the airports and Disneyland Paris for as little as 13.16€ per day (based on a 5 day pass). Children ages 4 to 11 pay just one-half of the above rates. See the page on Fares for complete details.

Paris is also an ideal city to explore on foot, making walking another excellent and of course free option for exploring the city. With a little bit of planning you can easily walk from one attraction to another. Be sure to check out the different Walking Tours on our site.

In addition to using the instant directions feature for each attraction on our site, you can also download a free smartphone app for visitors from the RAPT.

One final thing you should know when visiting Paris is how the city is divided up into 20 districts called arrondissements. These districts are laid out in a clockwise spiral starting at the centre of the city by the Notre Dame. Arrondissements are defined by their number (1 through 20). Equipped with a good map showing the districts, it is very easy to locate anything in Paris when you know what arrondissement it is in.

For more information, maps and schedules for the Paris public transportation system visit the official RATP website.

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