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Getting around Paris by public transport, metro, RER, bus. Timetable, lines

Getting around Paris

Thanks to a network, active practically 24 hours a day, and widespread practically everywhere, getting around Paris is really easy.

Bus and metro intersect at numerous points, making travel really intuitive. Thanks to smartphones, today more than yesterday.


Inaugurated in 1900, the Paris metro, the fourth largest in Europe, is one of the best and most efficient means of getting around Paris.

Currently, there are 16 operational lines, for a total of over 300 stations. The busiest lines are 4, Line 1 and 13. These last two, modern and technological, are completely automated, without drivers.

The Paris metro has always entered the collective imagination, with cinema and literature. And, of course, the music. Often, in some stations, there is no shortage of artists intent on showing their repertoire. After all, the musical one is a tradition that dates back to several decades ago.

Getting around Paris by metro

Each station is well identified, on the outside, by the blue letter M, on a white background, and the line number, with the relative color. Almost always, on the outside, you will find a map that indicates the area in which you are.
Inside the stations, you can move around with ease, thanks to the specific indications. Furthermore, on all platforms there is a display with the waiting time for the next train.

The metro is safe. Even in the less touristy areas. Of course, Paris is a great metropolis and, as such, it would be impossible to completely eliminate crime. Episodes of violence, however, have undergone a sharp reduction in recent years.

The hours of the metro generally vary according to the line and the day. All lines are active every day of the year, from Monday to Sunday, including holidays.
Generally, the metro runs Sunday through Thursday, from 05:30 to 01:15. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, from 05:30 to 02:15.
The frequency, at peak times on the main lines, is also just 2 minutes!


The RER is an alternative and complementary method of the Metro to move around the capital. Réseau Express Régional, is a suburban rail transport system, very similar to the metro.
From the latter, it differs in the direction of travel of the trains on the left, and in the greater extent. The RER, in fact, runs for almost 600 kilometers, in the Île-de-France.

33 stations, out of a total of 257, are located in Paris. Most of them are located in the central part of the city.

The entrance to the RER stations is indicated, on the outside, by the white writing of the same name on a blue background, followed by the line number, on a colored background. In total, there are 5 active lines, identified by a specific color and letter: A, B, C, D, E.


Transilien indicates a suburban railway system, very similar to the RER. While the latter crosses Paris, all the Transilien lines depart from the Ville lumiére. The Transilien trains have replaced the old trains of the banlieues.

Transilien is divided into five regions: Paris Nord, Paris Est, Paris Sud-Est, Paris Rive-Gauche and Paris Saint-Lazare.


Getting around Paris by bus

Photo ©, Matt Tylor

The road network is quite efficient and fairly widespread throughout the Parisian territory. Those wishing to move around Paris will find the bus quite convenient. The vehicle is especially suitable for those who were not in a hurry to reach a particular place.

The bus is more pleasant than the metro because it allows you to observe the city and its monuments along the way. Often, at the stop, you will find a shelter or a pole indicating its name; on it, the number of bus lines that pass from there is shown and, often, also a monitor that indicates the next two passages of the vehicle.

The buses are identified by a number, a direction and a list of the main stops. They run from 5.30 to 20.30, although several lines continue until 0.30 and then give way to the Noctilien.


Noctilien buses are special lines that run at night. In total, about 50 Noctilien lines are operational, in service from 00:30 until 05:30.

Thanks to this vehicle, there will be no difficulty in moving around Paris during the night, to reach the main nightlife venues. The Noctilien is active throughout the territory of Paris and the Île-de-France region.

Special lines are identified by a letter N, followed by two or three digits.


More than a funicular, it is, in effect, an inclined electric lift. Allows you to reach the Sacré-Coeur Basilica from Butte Montmartre. The lift covers a distance of just 100 meters, avoiding climbing stairs. It is managed by RATP and is part of the city’s integrated tariff system.


The tram is one of the least used means of transport by Parisians and tourists. Of the 9 lines that make up the Île-de-France tram network, 4 involve Paris. Of these, the T3a line, from Pont du Garigliano to Porte de Vincennes, is undoubtedly the most used.

Anyone wishing to travel around Paris by tram can use the same tickets as the bus, metro or RER.

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