For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.
For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.

The Paris Métro

Paris Metro

There are so many I things I do while I’m in Melbourne to keep my French dream alive…but catching public transport is very rarely one of them.

I am still trying to work out why I am so happy to take public transport while I am abroad, yet avoid it like the plague when I am at home.

Who knows? I don’t!

Regardless, I am a big fan of the Paris Métro. It is affordable and efficient and it allows us to explore every corner of Paris. We catch it everywhere while we are there. Apart from walking, it is our primary mode of transport.

While the bulk of the Métro system is located underground, some of the 16 lines are above-ground, and they offer passengers some glorious views of Paris.

Generally speaking, the Paris Métro is a safe way to travel. Passengers only need to consider standard safety precautions.

Navigation is also easy. Lines are numbered and colour-coded and platforms are identified by the station where your train terminates.

Naturally, there are numerous ticketing options available if you are looking to catch the Métro. You can purchase your tickets from an attendant at one of many manned Métro stations. Alternatively ticket machines, which are in plentiful supply at stations, offer single tickets, carnets and Paris Visite passes. The ticket machines are very easy to use and offer the benefit of being able to make your purchase in English.

We love the Métro so much, we have even used it to transfer us from the airport, although I must admit that we purchase our tickets in advance and have them posted to Australia.

There is nothing worse than trying to navigate a ticket vending machine after a 24 hour flight – or worse – frightening unsuspecting rail staff with your less-than-excellent, jet lagged French.

Purchasing tickets on-line is quick, easy and convenient (you don’t even have to leave the couch!), and our tickets have always arrived within a week. This might be an option for you, even if you are not planning to take the train from the airport to the city.

And finally, make sure you look around you as you enter the Métro system. Take a moment to marvel at the decorative entrances and signage that grace the Paris Mėtro stations. Our personal favourites include all of the Art Nouveau entrances and in particular, the Abbesses station on line 12. You don’t even need to buy a ticket or set foot on a platform to enjoy this aspect of the Métro.

Are you a fan of the Métro like I am? Or are you someone who has avoided it so far? Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time – au revoir.

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