How to Navigate the Paris Metro like a Local
The Paris Metro system is one of the best in the world. While it is wonderfully organized, you are never far from a station and never have to wait for more than five minutes for the next metro. This is definitely one of the best ways to get around the City of Lights!
The most tricky part of the Metro: Which pass to buy?
- If you only plan to ride the metro a few times during your stay, buy the single tickets (Le Ticket t+)! They only cost 1.80€ and allows you to travel on the Metro (zones 1-5), RER, bus and tramway. You can also purchase a 10 ride pack which is perfect for visitors that are only staying a few days.
- If you are thinking you will use the metro at least 4 times in one day, purchase the single day pass (Mobilis). This ticket provides unlimited travel within whichever zones you select for the entire day. The prices vary by how many zones chosen, so make sure to do your research on which you are planing to visit!
- If you are visiting the city for more than a week, or believe that you will use the metro frequently, the weekly pass (Navigo Pass Semaine) is for you! It allows unlimited travel on all public transportations for zones 1-5 for only 21.25€/week.
- Lastly, if you are a local or planning to stay for over a month, buy the monthly pass (Navigo Pass Mois). For 70€/month, or 17.50€/week, this is your best option for an extended period of time. This allows provides unlimited travel on Metro, RER, bus, tramway, and SNCF.
- *If you have a ticket, place the rectangular paper through the front of the machine. Quickly pass through the turnstile because if you wait too long, the ticket will time out and you won’t be able to walk through
- *If you have a Navigo pass (for the week or the month), simply tap the card on the purple “Navigo” part of the turnstile. The machine will beep and automatically let you in.
Navigating the Lines: How do I know which train is mine?
- Looking for the Metro Stop? There are stations on almost every block, making it easy to maneuver. Just look for the red signs that say “Metro” or the yellow/green ones that will allow you descend a staircase to the stop. To avoid the busy times of rush hour, attempt to not ride the Metro roughly between 7-9am and 5-7pm.
- Once entered in the Metro stop, there will be signs with line colors and numbers directing you where to go and what stations each line stops at. There are two directions for each line to head in – the name of the direction will be whichever stop is the very last on the line. To figure out which exact train you need to be on, look at the map and locate where your destination station is. Looking at the line color make sure to check out the name of the last stop to ensure you get on the right direction. Once you know that, just follow the signs!
- Once on the train, there will be a light up map that shows which stop you are currently on. Make sure to check that, and listen for the automated voice that tells you which stop is coming up next to make sure you don’t accidentally miss your stop.
Other Helpful Hints!
- The best way to keep updated and educated on all things ‘Paris Metro’ download the official RATP app or the Next Stop Paris App. These apples will help guide to you successfully discover all over Paris! These apps show you the most efficient route, help you calculate travel time, develop alternative transit ways, and notify you of travel delays and other updates. This pdf is also a helpful city wide public transportation map!
- Metro etiquette is much different than an American culture. Parisians generally don’t make eye contact, talk to strangers, or talk loudly on the phone. If you don’t want to stand out, do as the Parisians do!
- Don’t forget that the Metro in Paris is notorious for being a thieve’s favorite place to target tourists, so be aware of your surroundings at all times. Clutch your bag/backpack close to you and watch out for anyone rubbing up closely against you or trying to distract you by dropping things.
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