Getting Around Paris
Paris is an easy city to navigate. The public transportation system is excellent and the compact size of Paris also means it’s a great city for cycling and walking. And if you take a taxi, it usually won’t cost you a fortune.
Here’s some practical information on getting around the City of Light.
Public Transportation. The public transportation system in Paris, run by an agency called the RATP, is very well-served. Metro stations are close together, meaning you’ll never have to walk far to get to one, and the 14 metro lines extend across the entire city. In addition to the metro, Paris also has many bus lines and several tram lines. It’s important to consider all of your options when getting around. Sometimes a bus will offer a more direct (and scenic) route to where you are going!
If you take public transportation regularly, it’s worth getting a Navigo transportation pass, which is valid across the transportation network. Students can buy a discount pass, called an Imagine R, which only costs 350 euros for the academic year.
Cycling. Paris is a good biking city and is getting better every year. The city of Paris is constantly building new bike lanes, and is currently working on a major one that runs the length of rue de Rivoli.
Paris has a bikeshare system called the Vélib with many stations around the city. You can buy a monthly subscription and then ride free for up to 30 minutes as many times as you want. Unfortunately, since a new company took over management of the Vélib at the beginning of 2018, there are fewer functioning stations and bikes, and the service is currently limited in its reliability.
Another option is to purchase your own bicycle. If you do, we strongly recommend buying a reliable U-lock to avoid having your bike stolen! A cable lock alone will not be enough to secure your bike.
Taxis, Uber, etc. Uber is the biggest ride-hailing app in Paris, and it's usually easy to find a ride. Another option is Le Cab, which is a company based in France. You can get a taxi at any taxi stand in the city, and can also order traditional taxis via app, such as this one for G7 taxis.
Navigating. One of the best apps for getting around is Citymapper, as it includes all transportation options when giving directions (including bike share and Uber). Google Maps also gives generally accurate directions for navigating Paris. The RATP has its own app that has all the information you need about metro and bus lines, as well as schedules and travel times.
Walking. Paris is a very walkable city: it’s relatively compact in terms of surface area, and there are sidewalks everywhere. When you have the time and the weather is nice, walking is one of the best ways to explore and discover the city!