Things to do in Paris |
Cité des Sciences and de l'Industrie |
The Métropolitain |
Musée de l'Erotisme and Pigalle |
The Palace of Versailles | Père-Lachaise Cemetery | Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre | Saint-Ouen Flea Market
Look at a copy of the map of the Métro (Paris's underground train network), which can be obtained free from any Métro station, and you will see it looks totally different from London's 'circuit board' tube map. It it also run slightly differently by the RATP, the Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, which is the Parisian transport authority.
It is much more efficiently arranged for ease of use and quick reference. All the lines are numbered and colour coded, and run from 1 to 14. Interchanges are marked with an orange band and labelled correspondances.
There are more stations than on most underground systems, although there can be long walks from entrance to platform, especially on large interchanges. The trains run from 5.30am until 12.30am, and the first and last train time for each station is on the main sign above the platform. Every station also has a large indexed map, some with electronic lights. If you find one of these, press your destination station, and the map will light up with the best route. Most stations also have a map of the area just outside the station.
Once inside the station you can find your way around by following the signs for the station at the end of the line you want to travel on. Exits are labelled sortie in blue.
The best way to pay for your tickets if you are in Paris for a few days is to buy a Paris Visite pass. This allows unlimited travel on the trains for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days and also allows you to use the RER, the Montmartre Funiculaire, Noctambus, ADATRIF and APTR buses, and suburban trains. There are two zones, 1-3 and 1-8, each at a different cost. You can also use it to get to Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.