Ah, Paris. The place to buy 3€ bottles of wine in the Monoprix and 1.50€ macarons at Pierre Herme (to be honest, I’m unsure of the price since I was too afraid to look at my bill…and busy stuffing my face with delicious macarons). It’s my favourite city filled with something exciting or ridiculous around every corner, but how do you get from corner to corner?
Well, you can take a taxi or uber to everything if you’ve mad amounts of money. Or, one of those embarrassing open top tour buses that cruise around the city. Or, you can simply walk and metro absolutely everywhere. Paris is a very walkable city, granted you’re wearing shoes that don’t give you blisters and you’re not trying to go from the Marais to Saint Germain des Pres…I mean you can do it, but why bother?
I come from a city that doesn’t have a single subway station. We’re buses all the way and you need to plan in advance and buy tickets at the Shoppers Drug Mart. Paris is much much much easier than that.
Two ways: let the Google tell you what to take, or if you’re not rocking the data, jumping down those metro steps and checking out the map.
Every metro station will have two maps outlining the city and which metro stop goes where and which correlate with different metro lines.
The metro station that you are in will be written outside of the metro, as in before you walk down the steps. Remember it and head downstairs and to that map.
The map has a little Eiffel Tower and Louvre and Notre Dame so you can easily get to where you want to go. If you’re just heading for the tourist attractions, you can easily pop out wherever the line drops you. If you have a more precise location, I highly suggest googling the directions before leaving your accommodations just to know which meteo station to get out of, if nothing else.
You can buy tickets inside the metro station. There are little atm-like stands before the turnstiles where you can buy one ticket or a pack of tickets. Unless you’re going to be using the metro a lot or staying, long it may not be worth it to get a pass…you may need to do some math.
Each ticket station can be changed to English, so you don’t have to stress over figuring it out en francais. Pop your ticket into the turnstile and pick it back up before trying to go through the doors. The doors will not open unless you pick your ticket up. It’ll pop up right before the gates. Don’t forget to keep your ticket!
You’re in! Now, you can run around the metro as you see fit.
There will be two different signs indicating which way the train is going. Stop (but not in the way of everyone who already knows what they’re doing) and double check where your stop is. Follow the sign!
There will be a sign once you’ve arrived at your platform indicating when the next train will be. They are fairly frequent, so no worries if one is jam-packed or you didn’t feel like running. Hop onto the train, muttering a ‘pardon’ to any of those in your way and be whisked away to your destination!
Follow the sortie (exit) signs that indicate which street you want to pop out of, or which connecting train you need. Remember to make sure you’re going in the right direction by looking for your station stop. If you end up exiting the wrong street in the stress of the masses, no worries, you won’t be too far from where you want.
Got on the wrong train? No worries! Back up and turn around. As long as you dont exit the metro, you won’t need another ticket.