Public transport

Métro, RER train, tramway ... The Paris public transport network serves the entire city and all its suburbs.

Métro

Métro Nation © Daniel Thierry

The Métro is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to get around Paris. There are 16 metro lines and some 300 metro stations; the entrance is indicated by a large yellow letter ‘M’.

Metros start running every day – including public holidays – at around 6am and stop at around 12.45am (from Sunday to Thursday) or at 1.45am (on Friday and Saturday).

The frequency at which metros run depends on the time and day: at peak hours, metros run every 2 minutes

Where to buy a metro ticket

Metro tickets cost € 1.90 each (€14.50 for 10 [ask for ‘un carnet’]). You can buy tickets at automatic ticket machines in metro stations, in tobacconists and on the website PARISINFO.COM.

Good to know

  • Each line has a distinctive colour and number that is shown on RATP signs and maps.
  • Line directions are indicated by the station at the end of each line, which is shown on signs on the platform and on maps (example: Porte de Clignancourt – Mairie de Montrouge).
  • Free metro maps are available at ticket offices in stations.
  • Metro tickets are valid in zone 1 and 2 only.

 See Metro, RER and tramway map in Paris

 Buy Metro tickets

RER (suburban express railway)

Enseigne du RER parisien © Thinkstock

The RER train network consists of 5 lines that serve Paris and the Paris region (Ile-de-France). Each line has a distinctive colour that is shown on RATP and SNCF signs and maps.

RER trains start running at approximately 6am and stop running at around 12.45am every day – including public holidays.

Within Paris, the RER operates in more or less the same way as the metro, except that you need to put your ticket through the automatic barriers a second time on the way out. If your RER station has a connection with the metro, you can use the same ticket for the whole journey.

 Map of RER and Transilien

 Buy RER tickets

Transilien (regional train)

Transiliens are regional trains departing from major Paris train stations (Nord, Est, Lyon, Austerlitz, Montparnasse, Saint-Lazare). Tickets and passes are on sale at ‘Ile-de-France’ ticket desks and automatic ticket machines in train stations and in metro/RER stations. Free leaflets with timetables are available at ticket desks in train stations. Commuter lines complement the RER network, with which they share many connections.

Tramway

Tramway, boulevard Kellermann, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Paris has 4 tramway lines serving the perimeter of the city: T1, T2, T3, T4.

Tram tickets are the same as those used on the metro and the RER in Paris.

Bus

Bus de ville au Panthéon © Daniel Thierry - OTCP

There are numerous bus lines and many buses go through the centre of the city, along the banks of the Seine, and through historic districts ...

64 bus lines run alongside and complement the metro network. The installation of special bus lanes along main roads has improved journey times. For an idea of your journey time, allow around 5 minutes per stop, sometimes more if the traffic is busy.

Buses operate from Monday to Saturday from around 7am until 8.30pm. Some lines operate in the evening between 8.30pm and 12.30am, in particular those departing from stations or which serve major metro/RER interchanges, as well as the 3 outer PC lines. Almost half of bus lines operate on Sundays and public holidays.

The line number and direction are indicated on the front of the bus, above the driver’s compartment, and on the sides of the bus. Put your hand out at the bus stop to indicate to the bus driver to stop.

At bus stops, electronic displaysigns indicate the waiting time for the next bus to arrive. Bus stops are also sometimes equipped with USB ports for you to recharge your smartphone.

Bus stops comprise either of glass shelters or simple poles. They display the number of the bus lines serving the stop and a map of the bus routes followed. They also display the time of the first and last bus in service, as well as the average frequency at which buses serve the stop.

You get on the bus at the front and get off in the middle or at the back of the bus. On articulated buses, you get on and off through any of the doors; to open the doors, push the button next to the doors. Remember to punch your ticket or validate yourpass. To request a stop whilst you are on the bus, press one of the red buttons in the bus. The ‘stop requested’ light appears in front of the driver's compartment.

 Bus map in Paris

 Buy Bus tickets

Noctilien

Un bus de nuit parisien © Thinkstock

The Noctilien is a night bus service that operates in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30am to 5.30am. 47 lines crisscross Paris and the Paris region so that everyone can get around by public transport.

You can use your travel pass or a metro/bus ticket if it covers the zones concerned (the same zones as for the metro/RER).

 Map of Noctilien