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Paris Public Transportation Guide

Parisians’ Tips for Using Public Transit

One of the most efficient and affordable ways to get around in the French capital is to take public transportation. Paris boasts a great subway system, known as le métro, that’s easy to navigate and whisks you all around the city, and even out to the neighboring suburbs. Buses circulate throughout town and offer a chance to sightsee too, if you know which routes to take! For getting to-and-from destinations a bit farther out, the RER, tram, and trains are your best bet, with the RER B connecting the center of Paris to the Charles de Gaulle airport and the RER C taking visitors out to Versailles.

Le Métro

The Paris Subway System

Le métro is the cheapesteasiest, and fastest way to get around Paris. There are 16 metro lines and some 300 metro stations. Learn all about each of the Paris metro lines.

Free metro maps are available at the ticket offices in stations.

Metro tickets can be used on the bus or on the RER within city limits.

When does the metro run?

The metro starts running every day – including public holidays – around 6 am with the last metro at approximately 12:45 am during the week, or at 1:45 am on Friday and Saturday.

The frequency at which metros run depends on the time and day, and line: at peak hours (from roughly 9 am – 7 pm), many metro lines run every 2 minutes.

How much does a metro ticket cost in Paris?

Metro tickets cost 2.10€ each, or save money by buying ‘un carnet’ of 10 tickets for 17.35€.

Where can I buy a metro ticket in Paris?

You can buy tickets at automated ticket machines in metro stations, on the Bonjour RATP app, on PARISINFO.COM, or in tobacco shops.

When is the metro busiest?

The Paris metro is busiest from 8:30-10 am, from 12:30-2 pm, and from 6-7:30 pm. 

Which metro lines are the most crowded?

Paris’s Metro Line 13 is the most notorious for being packed in mornings and evenings, with the section between Porte de Clichy and Saint-Denis being the busiest.

Line 4, which runs north-south right through the middle of the city, passing by several main Paris train stations and transportation hubs on its way, is often very crowded as well. 

Metro Line 11 has become increasingly crowded in recent years as more and more move into the 19th and 20th Arrondissements (some of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city). But the city is currently extending the line and adding more trains.

The Bonjour RATP app is essential for getting around Paris sans problème. You’ll have access to an offline map, nearby stops, and schedules, plus real-time traffic updates and a handy route planner.

Buses in Paris

The Paris Bus Network

64 bus lines in Paris complement the metro service, with many going through the city center, along the banks of the Seine, and through historic districts. For an idea of your journey time, allow around 5 minutes per stop, sometimes more during heavy traffic.

When do the buses run in Paris?

In Paris, buses run from Monday to Saturday from roughly 6:30 am to 8:30 pm with several lines continuing service until 12:30 am, in particular those departing from train stations or which serve major metro/RER interchanges. The Noctilien bus service runs all night from 12:30 am to 5:30 am. Almost half of bus lines operate on Sundays and public holidays.

How much does a bus ticket cost in Paris?

You can use a metro ticket (also called t+ ticket) for a bus trip. These cost 1.90€ each or you can purchase a ‘carnet’ of 10 for 16.90€.

A bus ticket purchased on board a bus costs 2€.

Both tickets can only be used for a single bus ride, with no transfers.

Where can I buy a bus ticket in Paris?

You can buy tickets that work on both the metro and buses at automated ticket machines in metro stations, on the Bonjour RATP app, on PARISINFO.COM, or in tobacco shops.

You can also purchase single-ride tickets on board the bus, but they are slightly more expensive.

Which is the best bus line to take?

The bus is a great way to sightsee and get your bearings. We’ve shared all our favorite bus lines in Paris here.

RERs & Trains

The Paris Subway System

The RER (Réseau Express Régional or Regional Express Network) is a commuter rail system with 5 lines, A, B, C, D, and E, connecting the suburbs to central Paris.

The RER runs through the city center and can be faster than taking the metro as there are fewer stops. You can use a metro ticket to take the RER within city limits. 

Transiliens are commuter trains which leave from the major train stations in Paris. The Transilien network does not pass through Paris.

Metro tickets cannot be used on the Transilien trains. You can purchase tickets for the Transilien from machines at Paris train stations.

How do I get to Paris from the Airport?

The RER B is an easy and cheap way to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to central Paris. Find more information on getting to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport here.

The RER C is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get from Orly Airport into Paris. The Orly Bus is also a convenient option.

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