Paris is a big city with twenty arrondissements. Each district hosts its own unique charm and attractions, and hence, you cannot wrap up your Paris tours without venturing each and every arrondissement in the city. Of course, you will have to rely on a good transportation mode for this.
Some of the common transit options in Paris include metro trains, city buses, riverboats, bikes, cabs, etc. For a first timer, the chance for spending a good amount of money as well as time on transportation is more. However, there are certain tips with which you can save your money on transit in the French capital city. After all, there are many other effective ways to spend money in Paris apart from metros and buses.
Get a Public Transportation Pass
If you are in the city for a week or more, it is better to get a public transportation pass. With this, you can skip the long and tiring queues at metro stations. Plus, you will not have to carry cash everywhere you go. There are numerous transport cards available in Paris depending on the time window or the number of rides.
One of the best options here is the Navigo pass. This electronic chip card can be purchased at any metro station. Nevertheless, you will have to purchase the reusable physical card by paying extra. In addition, you will have to attach your photo on to the card. If you do not have your photo at hand, there are numerous photo booths at metro stations for this.
With the Navigo card, you will get unlimited access to all the public transportation systems in the city for a week or a month depending on the time window of your card. All you have to do in order to enjoy your trip is just swipe your Navigo card on the turnstile. This will be a great opportunity for all the budget travelers out there.
Buy Metro Train Tickets in Bulk
If you are in the city for less than a week or for just a couple of days, there is no need to purchase transit cards. Rather, you can buy your metro tickets in bulk. Note that metro trains are the fastest way of transportation in the city, and hence, will be ideal for your short trips. However, you will have to pre-plan your entire Paris tours itinerary if you plan to purchase metro tickets in bulk.
Just as transportation cards, buying metro or tram tickets in bulk will let you skip the long queues. With single tickets, you will be able to travel only once on any of the trams, metro trains, express trains, bus, etc., within the city limits. Even though you can transfer between metro lines with your single ticket, you will not be able to do the same with buses. In order to tackle this, you can buy your tickets in bulk.
Note that a set of ten single ride tickets are known as a carnet. With this, you can save up to 25% on your overall transportation expenses.
Do Not Get Deceived by Metro Maps
Metro maps are ideal tools to spot your destination as well as to figure out the right metro line to reach your destination. However, the Parisian metro map is not perfect to identify the distance between different stations because it all looks uniform on the map. Note that most of the stops in the city will be at a distance of 2-3 minutes’ walk. In simple words, it will be easier for you to go there by foot rather than on metro trains.
In addition, you can save on your metro train tickets as well. For instance, if you have an Eiffel Tower and Musée d’Orsay tour in your itinerary, you can reach the former spot in a metro train. From there, you can reach the latter destination by foot; the Orsay museum is at a ten-minute walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.
In fact, you can save a lot on unnecessary transportation expenses by referring to a non-metro map of the city. Do not forget to keep a copy of the map with you. If you find it hard to carry a map, you may save a soft copy of the map on your smartphone.
Traveling around the city on bikes is the cheapest way of transportation in Paris. Moreover, you get to explore your favorite spots at your own pace by traveling in bikes. Note that there are numerous bike renting shops at almost every nook and cranny of the city where you can rent and top up your tickets.
There are many secret pathways in the French capital that are way too narrow for buses or cars. You can venture all such streets on bikes. However, make sure that the streets are safe to explore. Usually, adventure junkies and travelers who love to enjoy sightseeing and exercising at the same time prefer bike rides to other modes of transportation.