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Learn the Paris Metro for easy transportation

The Paris Metro (subway) is great transportation. You can walk most places, but if you're tired or it's a bit far, take the Metro. It is very easy to learn how.


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Cité Metro Stop near Notre Dame Cathedral

Cité Metro Stop near Notre Dame Cathedral

Lots of strikes in France right now. Download the following app to see if your Metro line is running. The app is available for both Mac and Android and I wouldn’t leave home without it, strikes or not. You can find your route, see where there are problems and get times and prices.
Click here to go to the RATP app web site

The Metro system has set up an information web site where you can find alternate routes to your destination. Here it is in French: Click here to go to the RATP Information web site in French
Here it is in English: Click here to go to the RATP Information web site in English

Abbesses Metro Station in Montmartre

Abbesses Metro Station in Montmartre

Note:If you don't have a Metro map current as of February or March 2020, you need to get a new map. Many of the maps in guidebooks are now incorrect because some of the Metro lines have been extended. After you read the following directions, you will know you need the name of the last station on the line to find the train. The last station has changed for these changed lines. Click here for a new Metro map: Paris Metro Map

Don't be shy about using the Metro (subway) in Paris. It is incredibly easy to navigate. They have set it up so you can go anyplace and not get lost. Get a free Metro map at any ticket window. They are usually sitting on a shelf at the ticket window and you don't even have to ask.

That said, I much prefer my map booklet Paris Pratique par Arrondissement that has each arrondissement (district) of Paris on a separate page with the Metro stops marked. There is a full Metro map so you can put it all together. You can buy it at a news stand, tabac or bookstore and lately even in the souvenir shops. It is also incredibly useful as you walk around Paris. It lists every street and alley in Paris and everything is indexed. There are also bus, tram and RER maps to go with the Metro map. All the parks are mapped. Not only do you get all this; it is in a very small booklet form that fits easily in purse or pocket. When you get home, it's a great souvenir.

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Gare de Lyon in Paris

Gare de Lyon in Paris

After you get your map, follow these directions.

You know the Metro station where you are. You know which Metro station you want. The other information you need is the name of the station at the end of the line in the direction you want to go. Example: You are Jussieu Metro station in the Latin Quarter and you want to visit the Louvre. You look at your map and find Jussieu and notice lines #10 and #7 go through there. You want to go to the Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre stop and that is line #7 (pink on most maps). Follow line #7 past the Louvre to the end and you will see the last stop is La Courneuve. That is your magic key. Go into the Metro and follow signs pointing to La Courneuve until you get to the tracks. The rest is easy. When the train arrives, hop on and relax. The line is on a map above the doors so you can watch where you are and see where you are going. Each station is very well marked so you can tick them off in your mind. Make a note of the station right before your Louvre station and start to get ready to get off. (Pont Neuf is right before Louvre). When you see the signs for Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre, get off and follow exit signs (and all the other people) to the Louvre. You can go into the museum right from the station and skip most of the lines!

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Château de Vincennes Metro Station

Château de Vincennes Metro Station

It gets more complicated if you have to change trains, but as long as you remember to look for the last station on your line, you are okay.

Example of a Change (called a Correspondence): Let's say you are at La Tour Maubourg station and you want to go to the Louvre. You will take line #8 (the only one available at Maubourg) and go in the direction of Creteil-Pointe du Lac but you will get off at the Concorde station to change trains. (That is the 2nd stop for you.) You now want the #1 line in the direcion of Château de Vincennes so you stay underground and simply follow signs to Château de Vincennes (line #1) to get to your next train. You will go up and down stairs and have lots of company but every time there is a turn or stair, you will see signs. Keep following Château de Vincennes until you come to the train tracks. Wait for your train, get on and go to the Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre stop (the stop before it is Tuileries) and get off and you are at the Louvre.

As long as you know the last station in the direction you are going, you can't get lost. If you go the wrong direction, simply get off at the next station and follow signs to that last station again and you'll be fine.

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Gare Saint-Lazare

Gare Saint-Lazare

Keep in mind there are often several ways to get from one place to another. You can use your Metro tickets on the Metro, RER within the Peripherique, trams, buses and the Montmartre funicular. We buy a carnet of 10 Metro tickets for 16.90 euros and share the tickets. BTW, you can buy tickets on the bus, but they cost more and you cannot use them to transfer. You also cannot buy carnets of 10 tickets on the bus. Much better to get your tickets at a local tabac, news stand or in the Metro station. Prices tend to change nearly every year and this is valid Winter 2019. Check the web site for price changes. Prices for the T-ticket on the Paris Metro Starting June, 2019 there is a new card pass called Navigo Easy that does not require a photo, costs 2 euros and gives you a 2 euro discount on the carnet of 10 tickets. The carnet costs 14.90 euros when put on your Navigo Easy Pass. You can also load Roissybus and other fees onto the Easy card. The paper tickets are being phased out to help the environment. Click here for the Navigo Easy Pass information

You may want to download a Metro map at the website below. Print it out and practice a few trips before you go. You will be addicted to the fast, easy train system in Paris. Paris Metro, Train and Bus Maps

Download a Metro app for your smart phone. Scroll down for 10 language choices. Smart Phone Paris Metro app

Here is a web site for trip planning that is in English. Planning your Metro trip in English

Paris Metro Website: Paris Metro web site in French

Posted by Beausoleil 12:58 Archived in France Tagged paris bus train metro transportation subway tram funicular

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Comments

Great advice Sally! Even though we have visited 5 or 6 times we still need a metro map, especially handy for exits and locations yet visited. Jill has a better better knowledge of the metro than me.

by Mikebb

I always have my "Paris Pratique" map booklet with me and there's a metro map in it. It's a real help because we can use it just for walking around or for finding Metro stations. Just depends on what we're doing. If my purse is full, Ed just puts it in his coat pocket. Love it.

by Beausoleil

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