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Getting Around Paris

The public transport network in Paris is called RATP. They run the buses, the Metro (underground trains), the RER railway and two suburban tramways.

The Metro

The Paris Metro is as important to Parisiens as the Tube is to Londoners. It is the fastest way to get around the city. Pick up a free map at the Metro stations. The Metro lines are named according to the last station on the line in the direction you are heading.


You can buy a bus ticket from the driver when you get on. You’ll need to validate it in the machine next to the driver.


The RER trains go out to the airports and link with the Metro in the city. They also go to Disneyland Paris and Versailles.

Your RATP ticket will cover the Metro, buses and RER trains. A zone 1 and 2 ticket will get you to all the places in the city centre in any combination of public transport. Buying a “Carnet” of tickets is a lot cheaper than buying single tickets. Buy your ticket or a Carnet from tobacconists, stations and tourist offices. You can also get a weekly or monthly pass for public transport for which you’ll need a passport photo. This means you get unlimited travel over a period of time.

You can easily walk from one major site to another, and the streets of Paris are famous for their picturesque settings. Only the mad or the kamikaze would choose to drive in Paris. The traffic is aggressive and fast moving, and parking is terrible.