The beautiful city of Paris has one of the safest and most efficient transportation systems seen in the entire world. The trains here are always on time, the buses are always clean, and commuter express trains (“RER”) provide service to many of the most important stops in the city. As a whole, the transportation system here is so systematic that it serves very well, regardless whether you want to get to a private Louvre museum tour, or take one for general sightseeing. All you need to do is grab your tickets on time, get on board, lean back, and relax.
The Upsides of Transportation
The government of Paris takes such good care of the public transportation, that each year they set a portion of the budget aside for improving passenger conditions and traffic-related conveniences with regard to the buses, trains, and trams in the city. The way things are going, the transportation system is justifiably anticipated to become more efficient and comfortable in the coming years. Many new stations are also being continually added, making commute within and around Paris much easier.
Easy Travel through Bus, Metro, and Tram
Using the Paris metro system becomes much easier if you have the right bunch of information with you. Below are some awesome tips that should really help in navigating through Paris’s transportation system just like a native.
- Grab A Good Map Of The Metro: You would be able to get a metro map free of cost either by downloading one online, or by purchasing it from any of the metro information booths strewn around the city. Scampering underground in search of your way can get to be completely a waste of time, while using a metro map can quickly and easily get you where you want to go.
- Using Free Apps: If you don’t like using maps, another excellent way to explore the city is by making use of a free travel app in your smartphone, tablet or iPhone. There are many such apps from the Google play store and App store. It is a good idea to keep a decently functional one on your device before starting any trip here.
- Overcrowded lines: The ones numbered 1, 2, 4, 11, 12, and 13 are the most crowded metro lines, particularly during the rush hour. Similarly, bus lines 38, 28, 68 and 62 are the most congested ones.
- Rush Hour: It would be best to keep away from the RER or metro during the busiest hours of the day – from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Choosing to travel by bus or to walk is the best approach during these times of day. Sometimes the bus lines too get just as busy.
- Remarkable Views: Metro lines 6 and 2 run so high above ground that they offer some really incredible views of the city. As you go towards the Bir-Hakeim station through line 6, you are be able to catch amazing views of the Eiffel Tower. Similarly, line 2 gives wonderful glimpses of the Sacre Coeur.
- RER Ride: A goodly bunch of tourists in Paris prefer using the Paris RER, because that usually helps one reach their destination much faster. The RER lines include A, B, C, D, and E, they don’t stop at all locations, unlike the metro, and hence are much faster getting to the final stop. The main RER train hub is Châtelet-Les Halles station. The system also has other important hubs like St. Michel/Notre Dame, Gare du Nord, and Gare de Lyon.
- Paris Visite Pass: It is always worthwhile purchasing Paris Visite Pass. This is because these special tickets would really come handy when it comes to getting a free ride on the RER, metro, or bus. They also offer free entry at many popular sites in Paris. This works out really well if you like visiting a lot of monuments and museums while on your trip to Paris.
Buying Paris RER, Metro, Tramway, and Bus Tickets
You would be able to buy tickets from any of the RER, metro, or tramway station, and as you get on a bus. You can also get tickets from the information centers for tourists in Paris, and even from many of the tabacs or newsstands.
There are many things to remember while you purchase a ticket from an automatic distributor at an RER or Metro station: some stations only accept coins and debit cards. If you have neither, you would have to buy your ticket from a person at the sales desk, because that is the only place they take bills as payment. Another thing to keep in mind is that the metro tickets are not transferrable to buses; the latter requires additional payment.