Complete Guide to Transportation in Paris

Paris metro at Passy Station

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Are you about to embark on your 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. 

01 of 07

Options for Travel to the City of Light

Passengers iat Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris
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Finding the right travel package can be stressful and overwhelming. Use a 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. You can also research advice on when to book in the guide to the best times to visit Paris.

02 of 07

From the Airport: Ground Transport Options

Passengers boarding a TGV at Charles De Gaulle.
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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).

It's also advantageous to understand the pros and cons of taking a taxi to and from Paris airports.

03 of 07

Public Transportation in Paris: Metro, RER, Buses, and Tramways

Tour Montparnasse and the nearby metro station.
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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

Bus Tours

Taking a bus tour of Paris is a fantastic-- and generally affordable-- way to see the city's main sights.
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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 linger at a favorite spot.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Renting a Car

car driving in Paris
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Is it worthwhile to rent a car in Paris, or do the disadvantages outweigh the benefits? Driving in Paris can be tricky, so weigh the pros and cons before making your decision.

06 of 07

Touring by Boat

Paris-Notre Dame boat tour
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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.

07 of 07

Using the Velib' Bike Rental Scheme

Bikes parked at a Velib' station in Paris.
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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. Follow rules on bike safety and use caution on busier streets.