Means of transport in Paris
What type of transport should you choose in Paris to avoid the crowds?
Published on January 8, 2021 - Updated on July 13, 2021
With a high number of inhabitants per km2 and a significant tourist traffic, Paris is constantly invaded by crowds, and getting around the capital efficiently is not always easy. However, in terms of transport, the Parisian metrooffers several possible alternatives. Between the metro, bus, taxi and bicycle, there is no shortage of options for crossing Paris and its suburbs, provided that you choose the most suitable means of transport according to the journey time and the time of day. To avoid crowdsand move around hassle-free, follow our guide dedicated to the different transport practices inÎle-de-France, according to your needs and desires.
The metro: To get around Paris efficiently
Cheap, fast and with stations close to each other (at a maximum distance of 500 m), the Paris metro is an excellent way to get around Paris. It serves the entire capital, including the six train stations, and trains are frequent - it is rare to wait more than a few minutes between each metro. Its 16 lines provide great coverage of the capital and make it possible to connect one point to another in record time. There are many assets that make it a preferred mode of transport for Parisians and passingTravelers, but the metro can quickly become unbearable duringrush hour. To escape the crowded trains and the forced promiscuity, it is better to avoid using it early in the morning and at the end of the day.
The RER : To reach the Parisian suburbs
While the metro is exclusively reserved for intramural Paris and a few neighboring municipalities, the RER - whose stations are much more spaced apart - serves not only the capital but also its inner suburbs. Its 5 lines called A, B, C, D and E allow you to reach some major tourist attractions such as the Palace of Versailles and Disneyland Paris. You will be required to use the RER network if you live outside Paris and its immediate periphery. Like the metro, the RER lines are very busy in the morning and late afternoon. To avoid the crowds of users, it is better to shift your schedule or to use another means of transport such as a taxi.
The Bus : To discover Paris
If you have enough time, the bus is an excellent alternative to the metro: it’s dense and rather functional network, thanks to its dedicated traffic lanes, allows you to move through the capital while enjoying a unique view of the city. Some lines also serve the suburbs. However, avoid taking the bus during rush hour, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., as you will risk finding yourself standing huddled together. The discovery of Paris will immediately have less charm!
Taxis : To make life easier
Forget driving in Paris, traffic and parking can quickly turn it into a nightmare! On the other hand, the taxi or VTC can be a good option, despite the cost, if you want to move serenely and efficiently. Parisian taxis also benefit from reserved lanes allowing them to bypass traffic jams as far as possible. But again, in the morning and at the end of the day the traffic in the city can be very heavy and even in a taxi you will need to be patient.
Cycling : Explore the Capital
Nearly 1,000 kilometers of cycle paths have been built to date in the capital, making cycling much easier. From now on, cyclists can safely use major roads such as rue de Rivoli or avenue des Champs-Élysées thanks to the lanes reserved for them. In good weather, cycling offers the opportunity to cross Paris without suffering from daily traffic jams while enjoying a ride to discover the City of Light.
Walking : Savour Parisian Life
The center of Paris is not huge and it takes just over an hour to walk from the Arc de Triomphe to the Bastille. Most metro stations are located within a 5-10 minute walk of each other and you can easily cover the distance from point to point by walking through the capital rather than taking the metro. Above all, if the weather is good, this is the best way to make the most of your stay in the City of Light and discover Paris upside down and its exceptional heritage.
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