Paris: How to Use Public Transport
  • With a population of over 10 million in the metro area and over 17 million visitors every year, Paris developed a sophisticated system of public transportation so that everyone can reach their destination.
  • However, navigating Paris public transportation can be a challenge if you don’t know how to use it, and especially if you’re there for the first time.
  • If you are wondering where you can buy a ticket and how much it costs, how to get to Paris city center from the airport, etc. – you’re in the right place, just continue reading.

1. So how to get around Paris with public transportation?

The city is well-covered with public transportation. However, you’ll still have to walk a lot, so remember to bring comfortable shoes.

Pay attention to zones

Paris is divided into zones. Fares are for central Paris (zones 1 to 3) and for central Paris, the suburbs, and airports (zones 1 to 5).

The city offers the following modes of public transportation:

• Metro
• Tram
• RER suburban express train and Transilien (suburban railway)
• Bus
• Night bus (Noctilien)

What are the prices of public transportation in Paris?

For the city center (zones 1 to 3), a one-way ticket costs 1.90 EUR, a 1-day ticket costs 12.30 EUR and a 3-day ticket costs 27.30 EUR. The tickets are valid for all forms of Paris public transportation.

Price of Paris Visite card, which is a recommended option for tourists, ranges from 12€ to 65.80€ depending on zones covered (1-3 or 1-5) and duration (1 to 5 days). Coverage of Central Paris (not including airports) for 5 days would be 38.35€ adults.

Don’t forget to use Google and Google Maps

Use Google Maps or a similar app that features public transportation in Paris. Check Google for the metro’s peak and off-peak hours. 

2. How to get from and to the airport

Paris has two main airports, Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport.

To get to and from Charles de Gaulle Ariport, use any of the following options:

• Metro and trains: RER (Paris by train), TGV (Main lines train)
• Bus: Roissybus, Le Bus Direct, Bus routes 350 and 351, Night bus, local and regional buses, direct bus to Disneyland
• Long-distance coach services: Flixbus, Ouibus, Isilines 

To get to and from Orly Airport you can use:

• Train: RER B or RER C (train service linking Paris to the suburbs)
• Bus: Orlybus, Buses 183 and 285, Autocar Air France Line 1, Night buses N31 and N144

3. What if you’re arriving by train?

If you go from the airport to Paris by train, you will normally arrive at Gare du Nord station, which is, as the name suggests, located in the northern part of the city. Other major train stations include Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint-Lazare, and Gare Montparnasse. Check out our .pdf guide for more information.

Check which train station is closest to your specific destination in Paris before you begin your journey. 

4. What to know if you’re using a car in Paris

If you are arriving in Paris by car, consider booking a hotel or an apartment with a parking space or a garage nearby. 

Parking at public car parks costs from €2.50 to €4.00 per hour, while daily rates range between €15.00 and €48.00. Special rates for weekends and long-term parking are available at some car parks.