Paris has a fantastic network of public transport that’s affordable and allows you to quickly travel across the city to spend time in your favorite cafes, bars, and parks. You can buy one-way tickets or weekly, monthly, and yearly passes at student discounts.
One-way tickets and sets of ten tickets (called carnets) can be bought for 1.70€ and 12.70€ respectively at most metro stops and buses. If you’re a student under 26 years of age, you can also apply for a year-long Imagine R card [docx] at is discounted and gives you unlimited access to Paris transportation. If you’re over 26, the Navigo pass is an unlimited transportation pass that you refill weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Applications for these passes can be found at nearly all metro stops, provided there is a ticket counter. Simply go to the agent and ask for the Navigo pass form, or for the étudiante Carte Imagine’R form.
THE METRO AND BUS
The Paris metro system is simple to use and will let you cross the city without getting caught up in rush hour traffic. Open from around 05:00 in the morning to 01:00 at night, later on the weekends, fourteen metro lines service all areas of the French capital. Just locate your stop on the metro map and hop on the right metro line in the direction of your destination; it’s as easy as that. There are also various applications to help you navigate both the metro and bus systems.
The bus system functions much like the metro system. You need a ticket or a Navigo to ride it and you are asked to validate it when you get on the bus. The advantage of the bus system is that a bus line may get you closer to your destination than the metro does, so always check your bus map before heading out. Taking the bus can be more direct, but you risk getting caught in traffic during rush hour.
THE PUBLIC BIKE SYSTEM
Paris is one of the first major European cities to have an easy-to-use bike rental system. The Velib bikes allow you to pick up a bicycle at one of the hundreds of Velib stations, pedal across Paris, and drop it off at another station for a reasonable price. There are even iPhone and android applications to show you bike availability in real time. The Velibs are a great way to quickly get from one place to another, but we urge you to be extra careful when cycling through the busy Paris streets!
Different payment options are available for Velib. A one-day pass only costs 1.70€ and the first 30 minutes are free for each rental. You can also buy an annual pass with the same conditions for 29€. You just add your subscription to your Navigo or Imagine R card to use any Velib station.
PARISIAN TAXIS —DO’S AND DON’TS
Parisian taxis are another great way of getting around the city if you don’t want to take public transport. Taxi stops can be found all around the city or you can try to flag down available taxis, which are indicated by the green light on top for new taxis. For older taxis, the main taxi light on top will be lit up if it is available.
Uber has revolutionized the Paris taxi service, they offer uberPool, a carpool service, uberX which is their usualy car service, Berline which is the luxury service, and the Van, for more than four passengers. Downloading the Uber app allows you to call a car directly to your location which is then charged to the credit card on your account, no cash needed. Their luxury car service will frequently have bottles of water and candies for your late-night snack.
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT AND BACK
There are several options for you to get to Paris’s two major airports, Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle. Catching a taxi to Orly, which is in the South of Paris, will cost you about 30-50€ depending on your location. Getting to Charles de Gaulle in the North will cost about 50-60€. If you plan ahead, you can also order an airport shuttle at a reduced price.
Using public transport will be significantly cheaper. You have several options, catching the bus or train to get to Charles de Gaulle, or using the RER, bus, or Air France service to get to Orly.