Complete Guide to Transportation in Paris

Getting to and Around the City of Light

Are you about to embark on a first trip to Paris?  Lucky you. Before you head off, you'll likely need help deciding how to get there, learning about ground transport options from the airport, using public transportation in the city of light, and choosing the right bus or boat tours. Welcome to your go-to guide to getting there-- and getting around, stress-free, once you're there. Both sides of the coin are equally important, after all! 

  • 01 of 07
    Passengers iat Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris
    ••• Passengers in Charles De Gaulle Airport Paris. Andrew Holt/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    Finding the right travel package can be stressful and overwhelming, but luckily we've got you cover. Use this step-by-step primer to learn about all your options for travel, get acquainted with Paris airports and train stations, and book flights, train or Eurostar tickets to the French capital online. We give you plenty of advice on when to book,  meanwhile, in this guide to the best times to visit Paris.

  • 02 of 07
    The Paris commuter train system, also known as the RER, is one way of getting into the Paris city ce
    ••• The Paris commuter train system, also known as the RER, is one way of getting into the Paris city center from the airports. ©2006 Denis Paris. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

    When arriving at the airport, visitors to the French capital often feel overwhelmed and confused about how to get to the city proper. There are several ways to get to Paris's center from the city's two main airports (Charles de Gaulle/Roissy and Orly). Learn all about the best ground transport options here.

    Meanwhile, are you wondering whether it's worth it to take a taxi to and from Paris airports? Read all about the pros and cons of this transport option here.

  • 03 of 07
    Tour Montparnasse and the nearby metro station.
    ••• Tour Montparnasse and the nearby metro station. r.g.-s/Some rights reserved under Creative Commons license.

    Paris has one of the world's most efficient public transportation systems, with metro trains, buses and tramways running with remarkable speed and reliability. However, the metro and bus system in particular can be confusing, and public transport in the city of light isn't always as accessible to visitors with limited mobility as you'd want it to be. For travelers with babies and young children, using the metro can be similarly challenging, especially if you have a large stroller. Get a sense of what to expect and learn how to navigate the system like a pro.

  • 04 of 07
    Taking a bus tour of Paris is a fantastic-- and generally affordable-- way to see the city's main sights.
    ••• Taking a bus tour of Paris is a fantastic-- and generally affordable-- way to see the city's main sights. Zoetnet/Some rights reserved under Creative Commons.
    Visiting Paris for the first time, or worried that taking public transport will be too taxing? Consider taking one of Paris's popular hop-on, hop-off bus tours, which give you a good overview of the top Paris sights and attractions while providing flexibility to walk around, stop for lunch or lingering at a favorite spot.
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Is renting a car in Paris worth the hassle?
    ••• Is renting a car in Paris worth the hassle?. Ulli Seer/Look Photo/Getty Images

    Is it worthwhile to rent a car in Paris, or do the disadvantages outweigh the benefits? In this candid guide,  I weigh in on the pros and cons and discuss why it simply doesn't make sense to do so for many people. Learn all about Paris car rentals and where to book here.

  • 06 of 07
    The Vedettes du Pont Neuf fleet includes four boats.
    ••• The Vedettes du Pont Neuf fleet includes four boats. Courtesy of Vedettes du Pont Neuf

    Many of Paris' most historical sites of note are situated along the Seine River-- making a boat tour a memorable way to get acquainted with the city. It's an especially romantic way to spend a day or evening with someone special, and is also pretty well-suited for families, especially at the end of a long day when the kids (and parents) are tired and just want to sit back and enjoy the sights without too much effort.

    Related: 15 Fantastic Things to Do With Kids in Paris 

    Read more for advice on the best operators, details on sights and attractions covered by most Seine cruises, dinner and lunch packages, and more. 

    Read related: Touring Paris Canals and Waterways: Best Operators

  • 07 of 07
    Bikes parked at a Velib' station in Paris.
    ••• Bikes parked at a Velib' station in Paris. LWY/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license.

    Since 2007, you can rent a bike at some 1,800 self-service stations around Paris with a swipe of your credit card, and return it to any of the stations when you're done. Bike lovers, learn more about how to use the Velib' scheme. We also give advice on bike safety and caution against inexperienced cyclists using the bikes on busier streets-- read more about why the Velib' bikes aren't for everyone, and guided bike tours might just be a better option.