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Transportation in Paris - metro

2012-07-30

1.jpgTransportation is the issue that cannot be avoided in Paris. You cannot walk everywhere and after 2-3 days even the most enthusiast walkers get tired, or start to have some health problems. And so they cannot fully enjoy Paris the following days. I have witnessed this couple of times. That’s why I recommend from the beginning of your stay to use fully the means of the common transportation. Immediately after your arrival you can buy the ticket according to the length of your stay (Paris Visite, Navigo, a set of 10 tickets so called “Carnet” or daily Mobilis), consider the price and determine a plan in which less objectives means more.metro-paris.jpg

In Paris I like to use the buses (especially on weekends when the street traffic is easier), Velib bicycles, RER trains or very comfortable trams. From all the transportation means metro represents 90%. For the person who visits Paris for the first time, the system of 14 lines may seem complicated but in couple of days you get used to it very easily.

I recommend to ask in any metro station at the information desk for a map (there are also buses, night lines and RER lines). A good tip is to download the electronic version to your mobile phone. This map will help to get also a bas2.jpgic orientation in the city. The system of signs in the Parisian metro, the structure of corridors and stations can be different from those that you might know from other European or Asian cities.

Most of the tourists orient themselves first according to the numbers of the metro lines and their final stations, that means the direction of the metro. In case of a transfer to another line, they remember the final station of both lines, the transfer station and their exit station. At the beginning I did the same, I chose the itinerary, remembered the key names, followed in the metro the small signs with the 4.jpgfinal station. But you can do it more simply. If you do not need to change the line, it is sufficient to look behind the turnstiles on the bigger signs where you see your final station. In case that the corridor bifurcates, you will see again the big signs. In case you have to change the line, it is sufficient to remember only the transfer station and final station. And then follow the signs with the list of the stations and in the corridors only notice the colour of your line. It is not necessary to remember the final station and the numbers of the lines.

The most pleasant traveling by metro is when you avoid the morning and evening peak hours on the work days, also the most loaded lines (for example 2, 6), big transfer stations (Châtelet, Montparnasse, Opera) and also the neverending corridors at some stations.5.jpg Long tunnel connections can be easily read in the metro map (for example Paris rues from RATP).

The ratio price/speed in the metro is the best solution for overcoming distances. Personally I like to read and respond to my emails while travelling by metro, the time goes faster. The tones from the musicians in the corridors and trains give a touch to its tradition atmosphere.

Jan Schinko jr., Paristep