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Paris - city transportation

What is the best city transportation in Paris city ? Bus, uber, etc. We are 5 adults traveling in Early September. We just want to see the usual touristy sites

thanks,
Mike

Posted by
7698 posts

"best" depends on what's most important to you (speed, comfort, economy), and where you're going to be trying to get to and from.

The Metro is excellent, buses are good if you can figure them out, taxis and Uber are fine (with Uber of course you need a live cell connection or Wifi).

There are lots of discussions in Rick's book or in other resources about how to use public transportation in Paris. Take a look and consider.

Posted by
11450 posts

Metro is fastest and easy .

Buses are better for elderly or mobility impaired ( no stairs or long passage ways like in some metro stations ) . I personally find the bus system a little trickier to figure out routes , metro can be figured out by children ( I know as my 11 yr old could plan our routes )

Taxi is conveneint for those who have health issues , mobility issues or are afraid of public transport ( but for no reason ) but can be costly and not always easy to find ( try flagging one in the rain ) so my least favorite option , also for five people you will need two taxis ( however there are van taxis that can take you from the airport that will accomadate five people and that is the smartest option for airport commute as the RER is 10 euros each so a taxi will come in between 55-60 euros so makes sense to take door to door taxi ) ( taxis do have a set price from airport , 50 euros to right bank , 55 to left bank , but I believe there is an extra 3 euro charge for fourth and fifth persons )

Depending on where your hotel is located you may also be able to walk to many sites . Where is your hotel ? And how many days will you be in Paris .

Posted by
4684 posts

Buses in Paris can be confusing because of the multiple locations where routes use different streets in different directions, some of them quite far apart and non-intuitive. They're a lot faster than they used to be due to bus lanes, but can still get severely delayed at traffic blackspots like the area around St Lazare.

Also be aware that due to the denseness of the Metro bus services can be unexpectedly sparse in the evenings and at weekends, with some routes shortened or not running at all.

Posted by
15045 posts

The metro is pretty simple. There can be long walks if you need to change trains. Also stations aren't always very near the sights. And there are few metro lines that cross the Seine. Buses can be good - you get to see the city as you travel, but they can get bogged down in traffic. I don't think most taxis in the city can take 5 passengers, so that's two taxis, and again can get bogged down in traffic.

A lot depends on where you're staying. In any event, plan to walk a lot.

Posted by
16941 posts

A ten-pack of transport tickets costs 14.90 EUR. That will be enough for 5 adults going to and from anywhere inside Paris proper on the bus, Metro, or RER. Always hold on to the tickets until you have completed the journey. You need them to work the exit turnstiles at RER stations, but you are also subject to spot checks on the Metro by the ticket police. You can transfer from the Metro to the RER and reverse with a single ticket, but not between a bus and the Metro or RER. You can transfer buses with a single ticket, validating the ticket on the connecting bus.

Posted by
3655 posts

Never had a problem going anywhere in Paris using the Metro. Quick, efficient, and cheap to boot.

Posted by
82 posts

We mostly walked (about 7-8 miles per day) but at times used Uber. We probably used it about 10 times in the week we were there and it was great. Cheaper than taxi's and very convenient.

Posted by
2002 posts

Bus travel is not difficult to figure out in Paris, but you need some tools. I highly recommend the smartphone "Citymapper" app for figuring out bus or metro routes. Enter starting and ending location. It will map the metro, bus or walking route for you.

I use buses in Paris a lot and have never had any real problem figuring them out. Virtually every bus stop has a map showing all the stops it makes, and it's easy to figure out. Several times, being in unfamiliar areas of the city, I have come upon bus stops, looked at the map and found it would get me where I wanted to go. You can also get small booklets that show all the bus routes,their stops and what streets they travel on. I always bring it to Paris and refer to it when planning an excursion.

Posted by
11973 posts

Metro is fairly easy. If you have a smart phone, you can download Next Stop Paris and get great information on any trip.

Velib is fun and cheap, and not too hard, if you want to ride bikes in the city.

Uber works, I'm not a big fan of Paris taxis.

If you stay close in, walking is a good option to many places.

Posted by
1014 posts

Depending on where you are staying, Walk. Paris is very walkable. Part of the fun of Paris is seeing the buildings, smelling the food cooking, seeing the people.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for all your responses. We will try the metro and yes we also plan on doing a lot of walking. We are staying in the 7th Arrondisement between the Eiffel Tower and Musee D’Orsay .

Posted by
8293 posts

Mike, here are two websites you may find useful

tomsguidetoparis.com
parisbytrain.com

Posted by
3655 posts

Since you've decided to use the Metro, the most convenient way will be to buy a carnet of ten tickets. They can be purchase at almost any tobac shop. Be sure to hold on to your used ticket until after you leave the destination station completely. Otherwise you may face a stiff fine if caught without it.

Posted by
109 posts

In addition to walking, I love using the buses and the metro in Paris. However, I do live in a big city and use the buses at home frequently, so the Paris transit system, especially the buses, feels comfortable to me.

It sounds as if your hotel in the 7th may be very close to the 69 bus, a popular bus line with tourists. It runs past many of the top tourist sights crossing the Seine, it's convenient and scenic and gets you close to so many places you might want to go including the Tour Eiffel, the Louvre, the Marais, Notre Dame, Bastille and Pere Lachaise Cemetery - all on the same simple routs. Search it on this forum for more info.

Here's a link to a map
http://www.eutouring.com/paris_bus_69_map_hq_via_eutouring.pdf

Posted by
37 posts

We just returned from Paris this week and we got the carne pass and used the metro when the place we wanted to visit was far away. We mostly walked. We saw a lot of the city that way.

Posted by
38 posts

Thank you!

Norma - for the websites
TC - Metro info
Jeannette - bus 69 info

All this info will be helpful for us. We leave for Paris on Sept 8

Mike

Posted by
7698 posts

Mike, when asking for a carnet, pronunciation is CAR-NAY.

Somebody mentioned above about a carnet being a pass, but that's not correct. They are individual tickets as others have correctly mentioned.

Posted by
15045 posts

Carnet is a term that means a packet. You buy a packet of 10 tickets, then use them one at a time. It's simply buying in bulk.

One ticket gets you into the metro and you can transfer as often as you want/need as long as you don't exit the system. One ticket gets you one bus ride - no transfers.

There is also a weekly pass option called Navigo. You buy a card for about €5 for each person. Then you can buy weekly unlimited transportation. The drawback is that it only runs from Monday through Sunday. If you can use the pass for 4 days, you probably break even. At 3 days, if you are planning to use it a lot, it could be worth it for the convenience. If you are flying in or out of CDG, the journey on the RER is included in the pass. You can buy the cards at CDG.

Posted by
697 posts

Le Metro! Download an app and it helps you navigate, although it isn't that difficult without an app. Have fun!

Posted by
8401 posts

When you use a ticket for the metro be sure to keep it until you exit at your final destination. Do not throw it away until you exit the system. You can be randomly stopped by metro police and will need to produce it or you will be fined.

Posted by
2 posts

Definitely take the Metro - it's really an excellent system and I'd say slightly better than the underground in the UK. We took Uber a bit too and it was fairly reasonably priced.

Posted by
12980 posts

Keep in mind the tickets you buy as a carnet are also valid for the bus, not only the Metro. I use both Metro and the bus, always have tickets on you as back -up.

Posted by
776 posts

lots of great advice. Paris is a very walkable city. I encourage you to walk along the Seine and across the marvellous bridges as much as you can. Sunset along the Seine is lovely and if you get up really early, sunrise.

There are so many great parks too. Walking from the Louvre through the Tuileries gardens to the beginning (or end) of the Champs Elysees to the Grand Palais and the Petite Palais, then perhaps head across the river towards the Eiffel Tower.

I use a mix of Metro and Bus. The bus is much slower but does allow you to see some sights. It can be crowded on busses at rush hour too. The only time I take a cab is to and from the airport.

Enjoy Paris

Posted by
117 posts

Don't forget the BatoBus. It is the Hop on Hop Off boat that makes 8 stops at the Major tourist areas. The narration is basic but if you want to rest your feet and see Paris, it is a good option on a cool day. Paris is beautiful from the Seine. You can buy 1 day, and multiday tickets. It is not crowded and you can cover a lot of ground easily. Not as cheap as the Metro but a lot more scenic. Get tickets at any of the 8 stops. Runs til 9:30 in the summer. Times change for September.

Posted by
1 posts

We mostly used the Metro with 10 pack tickets and bus. I enjoyed buses because you see more of the city and see how things are connected. We also did the night time Uber tour of Paris from the Rick Steves book.

Do yourself a favor and download the Citymapper app. It is THE app for using public transportation in many world cities - I've used it in Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, NYC, Vancouver, etc. It provides several options for getting from A to B using bus, subway, taxi, Uber, walking and bike. It gives the travel time and cost for each option. You can follow your trip on a map and see exactly where each bus stop is, any walking required between points of the trip, which direction to walk, etc. It pretty much holds your hand through the whole trip and will save you a lot of time figuring out how to get where you're going.