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Trip Report - France - General Transportation

We just returned from a 12-day trip from France.  Leading up to it I peppered this forum with many questions.  The responses were always insightful, thoughtful and generous.  We greatly benefited from it. This trip report is paying it forward — my thanks.  Here you will find our impressions, our opinions. Hope you find them of use during your trip.  The observations below are from an American’s viewpoint)

This is one part of a multi-part trip report. See intro for the other sections

General Transportation in France

  • Embrace public transportation — especially in Paris.  You can buy tickets in any station at a kiosk (you can figure out what they are saying).  The tickets are valid not just for metro (subway trains) but also for buses and even regional trains such as the ones to Versailles.

  • Speaking of buses - When you see your bus approaching you be sure to get off the bus-stop bench, walk up to the curbside and signal to the driver.  We got burnt in Versailles when I assumed just standing there at the stop will make the driver stop the once-an-hour-to-Trianon bus. 

  • At airports such as Paris you will find imposter cabbies waiting for passengers leaving baggage claim.  Do not hire them; you will be overcharged.  Instead walk out to the designated taxi area and hire only a marked taxi.  You will pay by the meter or pay a standard fare -- as they have from Paris Charles de Gaulle to set places.

  • Trains in France are super efficient (yes, we didn’t get hit by any strikes), convenient and easy to use.
Posted by
175 posts

Thank you for the tip about signalling to the bus driver that you want the bus to stop.

Posted by
12964 posts

Since the last few times in Paris, I do rely on the buses much more than the Metro. Very convenient since both take the same Metro ticket. The metro tickets, that carnet, do not have an expiration date...great for using on the subsequent trips to Paris.

Posted by
7689 posts

Sri that is a real bummer that the once-an-hour bus driver didn’t stop for you!! I know one is supposed to signal, but at such bus stops they should really give people a break and stop!!

I hope you all had a great trip. Thank you for coming back to post a report. Going to read your intro part now.