Transportation a must have on all trips! So first up learn the local transportation systems from where we are staying. It is all about choices here in Paris! Bus, Taxi, Train (RER), Subway (M, Metro, Metropolitan), and good ole hoofing it! Of course all these modes involved some degree of walking! First time out we did the Subway to the Louvre which involved 3 train changes! We were successful, thanks in part to the very helpful Parisian fellow that helped me to read the subway map ~ “You are Here” (vous êtes ici). Also thanks to Dad when he taught me to drive ~ he taught me to read maps! So that was my first experience with a very helpful Parisian!
You will learn to love this map! It includes the Bus, Metro and Train! You can get a ticket in the Metro (Subway) that will include all three. (We were cautioned that if you get your ticket on the bus it is only good for the bus.)
The good news is each ticket is for one ride ~ no matter how many transfers on the Metro! At this writing 10 tickets are $14.10 Euros (or 8 tickets for $14.80 Euros so get 10!) Once you use the ticket fold it in half so you know it is used, but keep it on your person until you exit the station as you could be asked to produce your ticket.
I took the RER Train to Versailles for one ticket and was able to use that ticket to transfer to the Metro, as I did not exit the station! Such a deal.
Metro Sign in Paris
There are all kinds of bus stops in Paris – basically find the one closest to you and know the number. You can ride buses to get back to that number ~ I know my stop is on the 30 line and the bus line like the Subway to this area is on the Green Route. Each section of Metro/Subway and bus (train for that matter) follows the color system on the map above. I keep a map in the outer pocket of my bag for easy reference (the pocket one is in all stations at the Service Counter).
There are also specific signs for the many Hop-on-Hop-off tour buses. (More on them later)
Taxi stands are often near the metro station. Hail a cab with you arm up like every where else in the world. Be aware that the word “Taxi” on top of the cab will have red lights is it has a fare already and green lights if it is available for you! Taxi Stands look like this: