10 Tips for Getting Around Paris, Episode 67

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In this episode Annie shares 10 tips for getting around Paris. Going to Paris and you're wondering what's the best way to get around once there? Let a local tell you about your choices! You'll learn all the ropes so you can make wise choices to find your way around Paris.

Getting around any big city can be daunting, and since French is probably not your native tongue, it will feel even worse in Paris. But you can relax, in this show you'll hear tricks that will make a world of difference in Paris, and allow you to get around with confidence.

How Do Parisians Give Directions?

French people give directions with landmarks and not cardinal points, so if you already know where the Pantheon is, you'll do great. Otherwise, you'll be lost! That's when a paper map comes in handy!

Get Printed Maps, Just in Case

Most of us buy data on our phones and use Google maps. But just in case, I recommend you get this inexpensive and small book: Plan de Paris par Arrondissement

You Can't Always Find a Metro Station By Walking Around

There's only one metro station on the Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis. It's on the big plaza across from the Sainte Chapelle. If that doesn't ring a bell, I recommend you ask for directions or you'll walk around aimlessly for a long time!

When You Should Take the RER

The RER is designed to take people longer distances, use it if you need to get across Paris. For shorter distances the Metro or the bus will be a better bet.

How Do You Know What Train Is in Front of You in Paris?

Look through the open doors at the map displayed over the door! That's how Parisians do it!

What's Left Bank and Right Bank in Paris?

It's explained in the episode, it would take too long to share in this summary!

Take the Bus in Paris!

There are some wonderful bus lines for tourists in Paris: I recommend 69, 68, 28, and 96.

Hop On Hop Off Buses

Not the cheapest way to get around Paris, but they get the job done.

TUK-TUK Bikes

Those are fun but not cheap.

If these 10 tips for getting around Paris are helpful to you, tell your friends who will be visiting France about this show!

Correction: All Paris transportation passes have been revamped. Please see this site for up-do-date information.

Learn More: First Time in Paris
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First Time in Paris, Paris

7 Replies to “10 Tips for Getting Around Paris, Episode 67”

  1. Buenos Dias Annie, another great pod cast that I wish I had heard 10 years ago.

    I have a couple of tips I’d like to add.

    For walking in Paris, I am addicted to the Paris Pratique par Arrondisement. You can get it from a kiosk in Paris for 5 Euros or so. It fits easily in your pocket or purse and as Parisians use them, you may look less like a tourist.

    Until I got the hang of the metro, a copy of the “Plan de Metro” available for free at the staffed Metro kiosks, was essential for me. Also, the lines have plans of the station stops at the head/base of the stairs leading to the boarding platforms which are helpful to find the train in the direction one wishes to travel. They are easy to walk by and not notice.

    On the topic of buses. While it is true that the bus will provide a better look at the city, be advised you will need a seat to see. I am 6ft+ tall and if “strap” hanging I can see little more than the sidewalk.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

    Thank you,
    Ron Witzke

  2. I’ve been listening for a couple months now. Great tips – wish my husband and I had listened to this episode before our trip this past month. We just got back and had two major stresses while in Paris – 1. Getting metro tickets from automatic kiosks late at night in Paris when many only seem to take either French credit cards or coins. No bills! We used the metro and the RER quite a lot since we were staying with my husband’s auntie and uncle in Le Vesinet. 2 – getting a sim card. Woo! That was tough and not necessarily something you need, but my husband is a tech addict. We went to multiple stores looking for a tourist sim card. We were turned away at least 5 times. We got lucky at the Orange store near Saint-Paul station – we arrived early and one of the staff members was kind enough to assist us in English.

    Your podcasts were so helpful in navigating French culture and food as well as all the major Paris attractions. My husband listened to the driving episode to help us survive getting out of Paris in our rental car (though we still got lost!) Thanks so much!

  3. I wonder why you didn’t mention getting a carnet of tickets that can be used on the metro and bus? We find these pretty cheap and easy to use.

    We figured out the bus system on our last visit. Loved it. But finding a map of stops can be difficult.

    1. Good point! I didn’t mention it because I didn’t think of it. But you can do that indeed. Thanks for pointing it out! There is a map of bus stops at every bus stop. And they have a map dedicated to buses somewhere at each metro stop also. Sometimes you do have to hunt around for that one a little bit. It’s easiest to look at the map at the bus stop.

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