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Getting around Paris on public transport

Updated on December 11, 2015

Underground, overground on the Paris Metro

Some hints and tips on using the Metro, RER and suburban SNCF rail services to visit the usual tourist destinations and some of the more unusual places to visit in Paris. Metro lines, stations and ticket zones will be included together with alternatives using other means including walking if it's more convenient. This lens will be ongoing so please check back regularly.

Paris Metro - Christmas 2013

Will the Metro be running on 25th & 26th December 2013 ?

I asked RATP, the Paris Metro operator, if the Metro would be running on Christmas Day (25 December) and 26 December. The following answer was received:

"I understand your request and I can confirm that the Metro runs on December 25 as a Sunday and public holidays (a little less traffic) and 26 December as a normal day.

At your service.


Conseiller Client á le RATP

Joyeux Noël !

Tramline T2 extended to Bezons

On Tuesday, 19 November 2012 RATP inaugurated the 4.2 Km extension of Tram line 2 from La Defense to Bezons. There are seven new stops on the route. The public can travel free on the extension during the weekend of 24/25 November.

See the RATP site for more details:

Paris Tramline 1 extension opens.

Paris transport operator RATP opened the western extension of Tram line 1 from St.Denis to Asnieres- Gennevilliers- Les Courtilles on Thursday 15 November 2012.

This links the SNCF station at St Denis to the RER line C at Gennevilliers and the north western terminus of the branch of Metro line 13.

For anyone visiting the Chemin de Fer des Chanteraines railway, this provides a much more convenient link than the previous bus service. - see article " Narrow Gauge Railway in Paris"

See the following video of the new T1 extension published by RATP on YouTube:

Some of the many exhibits in the museum.
Some of the many exhibits in the museum.

Air & Space Museum

Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace

The Air and Space Museum is an excellent destination for those wanting something different to the galleries of the Louvre or Musée d'Orsay.

From Balloons and the earliest flying machines to Concorde and the conquest of space, the collections are arranged to give the visitor an insight into the history and development of flight.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs except from 1 October to 31 March when it closes at 17:00 hrs. It does not open on Christmas day or New Year's day.

The museum is situated at Le Bourget airport and from central Paris the easiest way to get there by bus from Gare de l'Est. The service 350, destination Roissypole, stops outside the museum. Alternative routes are by Metro line 7 to La Courneuve then take bus 152 to the museum stop or by RER line B to Le Bourget and again take bus 152.

For ticketing purposes, the museum is in RATP Zone 3

For details of special events, exhibitions, prices etc. see the official website

Paris Guidebooks - Get more from your trip.

There's nothing worse than figuring out where places are once you've arrived in a city. Save time and money by doing a spot of research before hand - you will know what you want to see and how to get there.

A funicular car ascending Montmartre , 30 July 2007
A funicular car ascending Montmartre , 30 July 2007

Give your feet a rest!

Don't climb the steps up to Sacre Coeur

If you intend to visit Montmartre and have already purchased a day ticket for use on the Metro, RER or Buses in Paris, then don't forget that your ticket is also valid on the Montmartre Funicular. This useful transport option will provide a welcome respite for your feet on the way up to Sacre Coeur.

The closest Metro stations to Sacre Coeur are Anvers on line 2 and Abbesses on line 12.

From Anvers, cross the busy road outside the Metro station and head straight up Rue de Steinkerque. From Abbesses, head east along Rue Yvonne Le Tac and Rue Tardieu.

For an indication of the climb, see the early 20th century postcard view below!

Le Funiculaire de Montmartre - Montmartre Funicular - 105 years ago!

Montmartre Funicular, Paris,  c1906
Montmartre Funicular, Paris, c1906

To get an idea of how much you will save your feet by taking the funicular up to Sacre Coeur, just take a look at the steps in this 1906 postcard view of the Montmartre Funicular.

The view from the top looking towards the Eiffel Tower
The view from the top looking towards the Eiffel Tower

Montparnasse Tower

An alternative view of the city.

For a superb view of Paris without the queues of the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower takes some beating. Fast elevators whisk you up 210 metres to the 56th floor where you can drink in the 360 degree view across the city and enjoy a drink or snack. The city is spread out before you with its famous landmarks all in view. By using the viewpoint indicators provided, you can locate and see each of the districts and their monuments.

A few stairs take you to up to the panoramic roof terrace where it is possible to see as far as 25 miles (40 kilometers) in clear weather. For photographers this is preferable as there is no glass to contend with.

As well as a cafe/bar there is the obligatory gift shop for those essential souvenirs of your visit..

It is really easy to get to the Tower: by train to SNCF Gare Montparnasse, take Metro Lines 4, 6, 12 or 13 to Montparnasse Bienvenue or Bus routes 28, 58, 82, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95 and 96. You will need tickets for RATP Zone 1.

Tour Montparnasse is open from 09:30 to 23:30 April to September and 09:30 to 22:30/23:00 during October to March.

Note: the last elevator up is half an hour before closing time.

For prices, tickets and more details call + 33 (0) 1 45 38 52 56 or visit .

If you are doubtful about visiting then take a look at the website to see just how impressive the view is.

Fancy a pint?

If you are in Paris and fancy a pint of beer in an English style pub then a good place to head for is the Frog & Rosbif , 116 Rue St Denis. It's open every day from 12:00 to 02:00 and if you are finding the cost of living in Paris is to be horrendous then you'll be pleased to note there is a "Happy Hour" from 17:30 to 20:00 on Mondays to Fridays.

The Frog & Rosbif is just across the road from Etienne Marcel station on Metro line 4, just five stops down from Gare du Nord and one up from Les Halles.

See the website for details of beers, events and other Frog pubs.

Narrow Gauge Railway in Paris

The only steam train with a view of the Eiffel Tower!

Situated between Villeneuve-la-Garenne and Gennevilliers in the Parc des Chanteraines, the Chemin de Fer des Chanteraines is a narrow gauge (600mm) railway of 5.5Km.

The line officially operates from March to October with one train running on Wednesdays and Saturdays and two or three on Sundays and Holidays. Steam locomotives haul the trains on the 2nd Sunday of the month with diesel haulage at other times.

The line has six steam locomotives, four built by Decauville and two by Orenstein & Koppel. The diesels include types from Socofer (2), Decauville, Campagne, Jung, Plymouth, O&K and Gmeinder.

The railway can be reached as follows:

Train to Gare St. Denis and then by Tramline 1 from St.Denis SNCF station to Parc des Chanteraines.

RER line C to Gennevilliers RER station - a short walk from the park.

Tramline 1 from Asnieres Gennevilliers Les Cortilles Line 13 metro station to Parc des Chanteraines

For ticketing purposes the railway and the metro/RER stations are all in RATP Zone 3.

Well worth the trip out of the city centre - please check the official website for dates, times, prices and more information about this interesting little railway.

La Grande Arche de La Défense
La Grande Arche de La Défense

La Défense

Grande Arche

A relatively recent (1989) addition to the skyline of Paris is the Grande Arche de la Défense. Situated beyond a loop in the Seine and the focal point of the business district's tower blocks, the Grande Arche looks along the historic axis that runs from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde.

The Grande Arche is almost regular in dimensions being 108m wide, 110m high and 112m deep.

It used to be possible to gain access to a rooftop viewing area via the lift that runs up inside the Arche but following an accident the owners decided to close the viewing deck to the public. However, it is still worth travelling out of the city centre to see it, the surrounding towers and perhaps visit the gigantic Quatre Temps shopping mall.

La Défense is situated in RATP zone 3. Western end of Metro Line 1. Tramline 2. RER line A. SNCF trains from Saint Lazare.

Pont Neuf Metro Station
Pont Neuf Metro Station

Interesting Metro Stations

Pont Neuf

The Metro station at Pont Neuf (La Monnaie) is near the site of the Paris Mint and the station platforms are decorated with large scale replicas of French coins.

The station is on Metro line 7 in RATP zone 1.

Is the Metro running at Christmas ?

Paris Metro - 25 December and 26 December 2011

As many people are unaware if the Metro runs at Christmas, I asked RATP what the situation will be. Here is their response:

Merci de votre visite sur le site de la RATP.

Les metros fonctionnent le 25 et 26 décembre 2011, vous pouvez trouver les horaires sur notre site à la page suivante:

Thank you for visiting the website of the RATP.

The subways run 25 and December 26, 2011, you can find the timetables on our website at the following page:


Didier Bacquet

Customer Relations Internet

They do not state if it will be a full service or a reduced one but at least there will be something on the move!

Great Stuff on Amazon

Paris Metro - Books from Amazon

Make your trip more interesting with these books on the Paris Metro.

Paris Metro on Christmas Day

Is it working?

22/12/12 at 15:35 - I have just looked on the RATP website to see what the Metro service looks like on Christmas Day, 25 December, and found that it appears almost normal. Even at 06:00 hours there is a frequent service.

If you have a journey to plan take a look at the RATP's timetable webpage at:

Just fill in the time, date and start/finish points and hit " Rechercher"

Joyeux Noël from Wilfcat!

Paris Metro & RER - Easter 2012

What's happening on the Metro and SNCF Ilê de France at Easter

I asked RATP what their service was on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday ( Paques et Lundi de Paques) and received the following response:

Thank you for your mail and your interest shown in our network.

Sunday and Easter Monday, public transport RATP and SNCF IdF work on the mode of a typical Sunday.

Please note only certain bus lines operating in Paris on Sunday


Sabine Ruault

Paris Public Transport - Easter 2013

Easter Sunday & Monday - Pâques & Lundi de Pâques

Having researched the RATP's excellent interactive website, it would appear that services are operating on the usual Sunday (Dimanche) and Public Holiday services on Easter Sunday & Monday (Pâques & Lundi de Pâques).

For detailed Metro, RER lines A & B and Tramways 1, 2 & 3 timetables refer to:

For RER SNCF (Lines C,D et E), Tramway 4 and Ile de France SNCF services, see:

To plan your journey and to check any engineering disruptions, see the interactive map at:

Have a good Easter!


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    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens.

    • Wilfcat profile image

      Wilf Catt 5 years ago from Leicester, England

      @SteveKaye: Thanks Steve. I try to make it useful rather than just another tourist sights blog which generally just pick out the top 10 destinations.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Wow! This is very impressive (and informative). Thank you for the tour of Paris.

    • Wilfcat profile image

      Wilf Catt 5 years ago from Leicester, England

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks. It's a start!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Congrats on your first lens!

    • profile image

      hellodoly 5 years ago

      Awesome lens, great writing skills. 5 stars for you. good job.

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