and convenience, the Paris Métro operated by RATP can't
be beat. It has over 300 stations throughout
the city, so there
is bound to be a Métro station
near where you want to go. Here's a map of the Paris Métro.
Here's what it costs, and how to save money buying tickets.
Métro stations are
marked by a variety of signs, including "M,"
ones reading Metropolitain.
The trains run from 5:30 am to past midnight
(24:00), finishing up their final runs after
Riding the Métro
On most journeys, you will have to
lines at least once. Even if you have to
change twice, trains arrive and depart
so frequently (about every 3 to 8 minutes),
and operate so fast, that this
is not a hindrance, although the walk
between lines can be long—even
five or ten minutes—in some large stations
such as Châtelet,
the largest subway station in Europe.
Boarding the Métro train is the easy part. Planning your walking is the secret to not getting confused or lost on the Paris Métro. Here's exactly how to do it. More...
Many Métro stations were constructed well before sensitivity to the needs of those with mobility challenges. Not all Métro stations have escalators/moving stairways, or elevators/lifts. In some, you must descend or ascend staircases, sometimes fairly long ones, perhaps carrying all of your travel luggage.
Also, passing through the fortress-like exit gates at some stations can be a minor challenge to those with full mobility, and a major challenge—or impossible—for those with reduced mobility.
Every Métro station
has route maps of the
system. On the train platforms and in the station lobby near the exits is a Plan
du Quartier, a map
of the streets and buildings surrounding
each Métro station.
The maps are pictorial and detailed,
you can see exactly where you will be standing
when you emerge from a particular Métro
exit stairway. Consult
the Plan du Quartier before you
exit the station. You may want
to use a different exit stairway so as
to be on the other
side of a busy
The Paris Métro is quite safe most
of the time. Precautions are in order in
parts of the city, in deserted stations
late at night, and in those long corridors
stations late at night.
As a tourist, you
are a special mark.
You may feel safer
riding in the front-most (head) car
of the train,
where the engineer is.
A special warning
is in order against pickpockets (pickpockets in
French) who operate
in every public transport system in the world.
Especially in crowded buses and train cars, keep all your valuables in a neck pouch under your clothes, or another secure place, not in a pocket or open purse.
A master pickpocket, aided by one or more accomplices making some distraction (pushing, shouting, etc.) can extract valuables from a trouser pocket without your feeling a thing.
In Paris, pickpockets may include
bands of children
who jostle or surround you,
distract you by rushing around or
waving something in your face, pick
your pockets clean, and disappear,
all in only a few seconds.
Do not let
them near you!
Be rude if you
have to, but keep them
at bay if you value your valuables.