Getting Around Paris

Getting around Paris seems daunting at first, but with a little planning you can find your way easily. In fact Paris has much to offer in the assortment of districts or "arrondisements" that comprise the city.

The best way to plan your day's excursion is to get a good streetmap. Locate the attractions you want to see. Try to visit one section of town at a time, and make the most when you're there. It can be a big hassle getting crosstown in the middle of the day, so avoid it when possible. Most visitors will do one area during the day, and another in the evening.

Taxis are the easiest way to get around, and they're relatively cheap in Paris compared to other cities in Europe. There are taxi stands at the train stations and many other locations around Paris. A taxi will get you where you want to go quickly, except in rush hour. During early morning or afternoon hours you'd be better off taking a walk, or waiting in a cafe until the workers go to their destinations. After all, you're here to relax and enjoy Paris, right?

The famous Paris Metro is very convenient and detailed maps of the system are free when you buy a ticket, just ask. The Metro can take you all over the city, and you won't be delayed by street traffic. You can buy an individual ticket for just one ride, or a pass for several days. The ticket sellers were helpful, including warnings to be “careful” in the subway. The Metro is a great place to get your pocket picked, your backpack riffled and your sensibilities jarred – but if you're adventurous go for it! Just keep your valuables safely tucked away from roving hands.

Buses go everywhere in Paris, there are maps at all the Metro entrances and they are cheap to ride. Many buses have been converted to propane gas saving us from the belching clouds of diesel fumes that used to make Paris so much fun! Look for the bus stops throughout Paris and be prepared for an adventure.

My favorite way to get around Paris is on foot. It's free, it's the best way to see the sights, and you get the chance to stop at every interesting shop, art gallery or restaurant that you want to! Not to mention that it's a great way to walk off that hangover and extra weight that you put on eating all this FABULOUS French cuisine. Or was it Thai, Italian, Chinese or Mexican? You have a lot to choose from in Paris, so get out there and explore!

Note: Find out the best ways to get around Paris and what to avoid.

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