How to Get Around Paris on Arrival/ Departure and During My Stay ?

How to get around Paris on arrival and departure

Transportation from the train station to the city center and vice versa

Specificities of the companies and countries by train to or from Paris

Trains coming from the United Kingdom are subject to customs control. This means that you will have to show your ID and allow for a waiting time. For trains from the Benelux, via Thalys trains, there are security gates at some stations (including Paris) that will require you to scan your to scan your luggage. For French trains, especially the “oui-go” trains, you will have to also plan to arrive a few minutes early. This is a low-cost train which plans to limit delays by ensuring that passengers are early.

At your arrival from the Parisians stations

Nothing could be easier when you arrive, all the Parisian stations are central. You can easily find the metro and continue your journey by metro or by cab, when you leave the station the signs will guide you to your destination.

Transportation from the airport to the city center and vice versa

 Transportation from Charles de Gaulle

If you take a long-haul flight to Paris, it is probably at Charles de Gaulle airport that you will transit. To cover the 23 km that separate you from Paris, you have several options:
  • Train
  • RER B line
  • Bus
  • Cab
Take the Train RER B
Where to take it and find it?
The CDG airport station is connected to the “RER B” line which serves two stations at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport:
  • Terminal 1 & 3 ⇒ Station Gare Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1. From Terminal 3, you can walk to it. However, passengers from Terminal 1 passengers will need to take the CDGVAL automatic shuttle bus to to the terminal.
  • Terminal 2 (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) ⇒ Gare Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 station. From terminal 2, you can get there on foot from Terminal 2 with a short walk.
Which ticket do I take and which train direction do I choose?
If you stay at least 3 days, try to get the Navigo easy pass pass right away. Otherwise, take a one-way ticket.
What do I need to know about this train?
There are two types of RER B trains. One is express and will take you to Paris in 25 min and the other one serves more stations and will take between 50 and 60 min. The stations that will interest you are Gare du Nord, Chatelet Les Halles and St-Michel Notre Dame. From these stations, you will probably have to take a metro to get to your accommodation. Keep your RER train ticket because it is valid for the metro journey, as long as you stay in the network. Please note: the Gare du Nord and Chatelet stations are not the most pleasant pleasant and often very crowded. If you can, prefer to transit via St Michel Notre Dame.
Taking the Bus
Where to find the Roissy Bus ?
To find the Roissy bus when you get off your flight, you have to find the signs that look like this, and follow the signs to your destination.
What is the Roissy bus price ?
The “RoissyBus” is offered by the city of Paris and costs 12,50 € per person.
What is the travel time for the Roissy Bus ?
The trip from the airport to downtown takes about 60 minutes. It leaves from most CDG terminals and drops you off at its main stop on the Place de l’Opéra. Buses leave every 15 minutes from 5:15 am to 8 pm, every 20 minutes from 8pm to 10pm, and every 30 minutes from 10pm to 12:30am. Buses from CDG to Place de l’Opéra leave every 15 minutes from 6am to 8:45pm and every 20 minutes from 8:45pm to 12:30pm.  Take the cab Cab fares between Paris and the airport are set by the state, and 53€ or 58€ depending on the side of the Seine of your final destination (left or right bank). The rates from the airport are fixed, so don’t worry about what the meter shows. Be aware that you will be charged extra if :
  • You have luggage
  • You travel during morning rush hour and on Sundays and holidays.
Tip: If there are 4 of you, this option will be economical, especially if you are traveling with children and have luggage.

Public transport from Orly

Taking the Train RER
Where to get it and where to find it ?
The airport is also connected by the RER B train. It will be necessary to first take a shuttle (bus) called ORLYVAL for about ten minutes and stop at the RER B Anthony station. From there, take the RER B train to the capital to the capital for about 30 minutes.
Which ticket I take and which train direction I choose ?
Pay attention to the bus schedules and to the purchase of your RER+Shuttle ticket which is a special ticket.
Taking the Cab
Cab fares between Paris and the airport are set by the state, and cost 32€ or 37€ depending on which side of the Seine is your final destination (left or right bank). The rates from the airport are fixed. Be aware that you will be charged extra if :
  • You have luggage
  • You travel during morning rush hour and on Sundays and holidays.
Tip: If there are 4 of you, this option will be economical, especially if you are traveling with children and have luggage.

Public transport from Beauvais Airport

You have two options to get to Beauvais airport: by bus or by train.
Paris – Beauvais by bus
The bus will take you there in 1h15-1h30. This is the most economical solution, and will drop you off in the center of Paris. You can buy the tickets online here .
Paris – Beauvais by train
To get to the airport, you will have to take the train from the Gare du Nord. However, once you arrive at the train station, you will need to take a cab to the airport to the airport or take a bus. We recommend the use of the shuttle bus, which will be much more convenient.

How to get around Paris during your stay

Paris by metro & bus

On the RATP website you can find all the useful information concerning your itineraries, travel time and fares. and fares. Tickets can be bought directly in the metro stations. We strongly recommend you to download their mobile application, it gives you all the necessary information, including delays and departure times of the next metro and it is available in many languages !

How the Parisian metro works

The Paris network is divided into 2 zones: zone 1 to 3 and 3 to 5. The higher the number, the further away from Paris you are. This is a subtlety you need to know to choose your tickets. The metro and RER tickets serve by default the zones 1 to 3. For zones 3 to 5, you will have to take different tickets or get a Navigo Easy pass.

Subway prices

Metro and bus tickets cost €1.90 each. When you buy your tickets, whether in paper format or via the Navigo Easy Pass, it is best to order a “booklet” of 10 tickets sold at €14.90. Watch out for other discounted offers for which you may be eligible. The available ticket offers :
  • A Mobilis ticket : unlimited day ticket, zone 1 to 5 including suburban train and metro/rer for a fee of 7.5€. This ticket is only valid if you are going to the airport/suburb of Paris (Versailles for example) OR if you you plan to make at least 7 trips by metro in the same day. Please note: this is a personal ticket.
  • Paris city pass: this is a paper ticket that gives you unlimited trips for the day and discounts on museums and places of interest. Adult tickets cost €13.20 (one day), €21.50 (two days), €29.40 (three days) and €42.2 (five days). We do not recommend this pass, which does not offer any real mobility advantages and remains quite expensive. It is an option for tourists, never used by the French.
  • A Navigo Easy card: a card to be reloaded by credit card in a terminal. You credit an amount on it, then you tap as you use it in the metro entrance gates. You will have to buy the card for 2€ but then you can load it and avoid having to buy tickets too frequently. This option is good if you stay at least 3 days in Paris. It is non-nominative, which makes it easy to use and lend.
  • Individual ticket or book of 10 tickets: You can choose to buy paper tickets, either individually or in packs of 10. These tickets are useful if you are only staying for a weekend. However, be aware that they demagnetise, so you should keep them away from magnetic objects, keys, etc. If you have problems with demagnetisation, you should go to a ticket office to exchange them.

Discounts to know

  • The metro and buses are free for children under 4 years old.
  • Children between 4 and 9 years old pay half price
  • Weekend and holiday tickets are available for children under 26. Very advantageous, they allow to circulate during 24 hours from 4.10€. They are not well known, so don’t hesitate to consult this RATP web page, or ask for help at the metro station ticket office.

Where to buy subway tickets

You have a choice between vending machines and ticket offices. Please note: the Navigo pass must be purchased at the ticket office before you can buy passes at the automatic machines. The ticket machines in the Paris metro are available in English and accept credit cards. You will recognise them by their white and green color and they are usually next to the ticket offices or turnstiles. Please note: in regional stations, there are two types of kiosks: one for metro/bus/RER and another for regional tickets. If you can’t find the metro ticket options, you are at the wrong terminal! If your card is an American AMEX card, be aware that it is rare that it works in France. We like chip and pin cards! Be careful to have several cards with you, to avoid hazards …

What to know about using Paris metro tickets

Subway tickets are valid for a maximum of 1.5 hours. You can therefore alternate between bus, metro and streetcar during this time, but please note: they are only valid once per means of transportation. So if you get out of the metro with the ticket, you can’t get back in, but you can use it to take a bus. Once you go through the turnstile, keep your ticket! Officers frequently stop riders and ask to see a valid ticket. If you want to go to the airport, the Château de Versailles, La Défense, or Disneyland, a different ticket must be purchased. You will not be able to travel with the same tickets as in Paris. Ask more information at the counters in the metro.

Visit Paris by bike ( Vélib’ )

Visiting Paris by bike is a great experience, especially on weekends (less dense with cars) and in the center of Paris (Ile de la cité). The principle? You rent a bike, either by the day or by the duration. How does it work? You take the bike where you want in one of the 1800 stations of Paris, and you return the device in the same way, anywhere. To register, the easiest way is to create an account on their website. Create your account, then go to a terminal where you will be asked for a code to obtain and pay your rental.

Visit Paris by TAXI

Private shuttle services are available to move around Paris and the Paris region for a fee that can be set in advance. If there are several of you traveling, you can find the most suitable transportation for your group: minivans, minivans or minibuses are offered by France Luxury Cab, Le Transport Smart, Connect Smart Drive or Imediat Services. If you opt for occasional trips in Paris, you can use cabs as long as the lights are “green” on the roof of the cab. Otherwise, you will find cab stands all over the city. Tip: The minimum charge for picking up a taxi is 7€, but it can go up to 15€! For short trips…It’s better to walk. It’s up to you!

Visit Paris by Batobus

An original and really nice option is to try the Seine water bus. The price of this service is 17€ for 1 day, 19€ for 2 days and 59€ for 3 days or more. With this offer, you will be able to use as many times as you want the 9 stops served and enjoy a short trip on the Seine. This is an option to keep in mind if the weather allows it, to mix a pedestrian stroll and enjoy the view of the greatest monuments in a different way. Please note: depending on the season, the service is only open from Wednesday to Sunday.

Visit Paris by foot

Paris can be visited by foot, and it is better to be comfortable in your shoes to do so. Strolling through the streets of Paris will allow you to discover many authentic corners and some of the most pleasant alleys. Some areas are almost exclusively pedestrian such as the Marais or Montmartre. Others like the Latin Quarter or the Ile de la Cité are much more pleasant on foot than by car! Many neighbourhoods also have parks where your children can run around. We mention them a little bit further down. They will also prove to be very useful for an improvised picnic or a snack in the grass. You can find all our recommendations for walks on our MAPSTR account.

Visit Paris by Tourist Bus HOP-ON HOP-OFF

A day ticket costs between 30 and 40 euros per adult, depending on the current promotions. It’s half price for children and free for babies. Tourist buses are an excellent way to get from one tourist site to another, without thinking about anything else than to make your eyes glaze over. The downside of this choice is the relatively high price compared to public transportation.

Visit Paris with an UBER type VTC

Uber is available in Paris as well. Download the application before you arrive in Paris to make it easier for you once you are there. Beware, after a certain time and for short distances (5 to 10 minutes), it is sometimes more interesting to hail a cab on the street. Uber increases its price according to the demand, and can therefore suddenly become more expensive than traditional city cabs. This happens more often in the evening.

Conclusions

We hope this article has helped you see things more clearly! Enjoy Paris and comment on your favorite mode of transportation!

 

Charlotte

Charlotte is born just outside Paris and has been living in the French capital for more than 10 years. Charlotte loves books, scuba diving when traveling abroad, and having a glass of wine with her friends in the Latin Quarter – her favorite Parisian district. When home Charlotte likes playing guitar or entertaining her very active dog.

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