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Driving and Public TransportBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Paris - Driving and Public Transport
If you live in the suburbs, owning and maintaining a car is much easier than if you lived in Paris. Tolls in the periphery of Paris are expensive and traffic can be very congested and aggressive, but the roads are well maintained and the signage is clear. Plan to learn how to drive a manual car before heading to Paris, if possible, as most cars there are manual.
If you are in a position to own and operate a car in Paris, then you won't have much of a problem getting where you need to go. Driving in the city is easy. There is very little street traffic due to the limited parking, so you can expect to get from place to place with relative ease.
The bus system has two schedules: one for daytime and one for nighttime. The Metro system closes between 2am and 5am, depending on the day of the week. Individuals requiring transportation between those hours can take advantage of the convenient bus system, as many riders do. The Taxi queues are also packed during the late-night hours, which creates a safe and lively environment that catalyses transportation around the city.
The rails include the Metro, the RER, the SNCF and the Eurorail. Here's a breakdown of each: The Metro transports people within the city limits. There are a series of lines that intersect and reach the far corners of the city. Metro riders can purchase a daily, weekly or monthly pass. Many businesses will also purchase passes for their employees as an incentive.
The RER takes passengers into the suburban reaches of Paris, such as Saint-Germain des Pres and Versailles. Tickets are generally purchased by the day. However, if you live in the suburbs and commute daily to work in Paris-proper, then it might be advantageous to purchase a Carte d'Orange, which is a month-long pass on which you can include unlimited RER rides.
The SNCF is a heavy rail transit system that reaches all of France. From the station at la Defense, l'Etoile or Gare Saint Lazare, you can travel to just about any region or city in France that you choose. Passes are billed by destination. You can also opt to get a Carte d'Orange with an SNCF pass for a greater price. With the Carte, you will also have access to all of Paris's other public transportation systems as well.
Finally, the Eurorail reaches all of Europe and is based in the Gare on the right bank near the Louvre. Riders can purchase special passes for single trips, weeklong, month-long or unlimited rides on a variety of levels. It's best to visit the Eurorail Web site or visit the train station for more information about the many options when it comes to purchasing a Eurorail pass.
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