Do you guys want to come visit Paris with me? I would love to meet you there! How about a Ma Nouvelle Mode blogger meetup in the City of Light? Wow, that sounds good. But since I don’t have the money to fork out to get you all there, (and if I did, I would totally do it) let’s take a virtual tour, shall we?
Last week I showed you the top ten places in Paris to visit. Now, there are many, many more and it would take quite a few blog posts to cover them all, so I chose just the top places that really represent Paris. I thought it would be helpful and practical to show you how to get to all of those places. So today I bring you a Tourist’s Guide to Getting Around Paris.
If you come from a place that doesn’t have metros or subways or even bus lines then the Paris metro can be pretty intimidating at first. But I am here to tell you, it is not. And in my opinion, it is hands down the best way to navigate this great city.
You can get anywhere you want to go in Paris by buying a metro ticket. You can even catch a train right into the heart of the city. Once you’re in one of the major train stations –gare in French — go to a window where someone is working and buy a metro ticket. You can buy a 3-day ticket for something like 27 euros. Don’t exactly quote me on that but either way it’s much cheaper than taxis. This metro ticket can be used on the metro (duh) and buses, and even to get to the top of Sacre Coeur!
It isn’t necessary to buy more than the 3-zone pass. You can see the whole city with just the three zones. Just make sure you don’t lose that ticket because if so, you’re out of luck! You will have to buy something extra to get to Versailles, or just sneak on… shhhh, you didn’t read that from me!
Here is a map of Paris with little arrows to subway stops you might be interested in (corresponding with last weeks post as well.).
The trick to getting around Paris using the public transit system is to follow the lines. Let me show you a simple example using the map above. If I am staying at Place d’Italie and I want to go to Pont Neuf – the oldest bridge in Paris (ironically called ‘new bridge’ in French) I would hop on the pink line 7. To know what direction you need to go in, you look at the line, find where you are and where you want to go. Then find the end of the line after the stop you need. In this case it would be heading in direction La Courneuve 8 mai 1945. You would ride approximately 8 stops and get off at Pont Neuf. If a line doesn’t go directly there, you would need to find lines that connect, get off, switch lines, and continue to the line to your stop. When underneath finding your direction, they will all be displayed on the wall and you just follow the signs to which direction you need.
I hope that makes it easy for you to understand. I guarantee, one afternoon of wandering around Paris via the metro and you’ll have it down pat. Now let me tell you about the numbers and where they’ll lead you when you get off at that subways stop.
- Bir Hakeim or Champs de Mars. Either of these will take you to the Eiffel Tower. I do suggest using Champs de Mars so you can start above the Eiffel Tower and walk down to it. There are lots of great picture-taking opportunities there.
- Musée du Louvre. You basically come up out of the subway into the Louvre into one of the glass pyramids. It doesn’t get easier than that, folks.
- Cité. This will bring you right up in the middle of the Île de la Cité which is the oldest part of Paris. You will find Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, The Conciergerie prison (where Marie Antoinette awaited execution), and the Palais de Justice.
- Abbesses or Anvers. Both of these subways stops lead to Sacre Coeur and it’s about the same walking distance with both.
- Opera. You guessed it — The Opera Garnier! There is also the fabulous Galleries Layfaette just behind the Opera if you’re up for some shopping. 🙂
- Champs Élysées Clemenceau. You guessed it again, you’re so smart! Stop for the Champs Élysées. It’s a very long street and beautiful to take a stroll down.
- Charles de Gaulle Etoile. Arc de Triumph. This is also the biggest roundabout in Paris and it marks one end of the Champs Élysées.
- St. Michel Notre Dame. You will find Shakespeare & Company at this exit. It is situated right across the bridge from Notre Dame on the Left Bank.
Tuileries. Don’t think I forgot about the best hot chocolate in Paris at a tea house that was frequented by the likes of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. For Angelina’s you get off at the
Tuileries, take a left, cross the street, and it will be on your right.
- Versailles. You actually have to take Line C toward Versailles to get out this way. I think it costs extra, but if no one’s looking just hop on. 🙂
Honorable mention is Solférino for the Musée d’Orsay. I have never been but I’ve heard it is really nice as well. Also you can find a really big flea market (like the one in Midnight in Paris) up after Line 4 ends at Porte de Clignancourt. It’s called Marché aux Puces.
Now, I am sharing with you all these stops just in case you want to start or end your adventure there. However, Paris is so beautiful and can easily be walked. Next week I am going to take you on a walk of Paris. You’ll see it all in one afternoon! Stay tuned!
Check out more posts about visiting Paris!
- Part three: Let’s take a walk through Paris
- Part Four: Where to stay in Paris