Don't be confused! There are two kinds of trains in Paris, the RER and the Metropolitain or metro for short. The RER (Réseau Express Régional) are suburban trains that take you to/from Paris and its outskirts. While the metros are the Paris subway (some are overhead) trains that go around the city.
|The Paris Metro has 16 lines serving over 300 stations while the RER (Réseau Express Régional) has 5 lines serving over 200 stations.
Riding the metro in Paris for the first time can be a bit daunting. Just looking at the transport map can give even experienced travelers pause. But really, just a little research and planning before you go can prepare you on your Parisian adventure.
|The Paris transport tickets
The Paris Visite Pass
On our visits to Paris, the big K and I prefer getting the Paris Visite Pass as it provides us with unlimited rides in the metro. It is also more convenient. No scrounging for loose change every time we needed to hop on one. Although if you will be visiting for less than three days, the Carnet de 10 tickets might be more cost effective.
The Paris Visite Pass comes in 1, 2, 3 and 5 consecutive travel days. And for travel from zones 1 to 3 and 1 to 5. We always get zones 1 to 3 since that is where most of the tourist attractions are. Here's a map of the zones to guide you. The pass is also good for travel in the bus, RER, and the Montmartre funicular.
The pass comes with a Paris street map and a list of discounts that you can avail with the pass.
The Paris Museum Pass
For our sightseeing needs, the big K and I buy the Paris Museum Pass. The pass gives unlimited visits to museums and monuments in 2, 4 and 6 consecutive days. It also saves us time in queuing specially at the popular attractions. Although there are some attractions where you still have to queue up for security like Sainte-Chapelle, the towers of Notre Dame and the Louvre.
Tip no. 2 : If you will be arriving Paris by air, it is better to buy the Paris Visite and Museum passes at the airport where you don't get long lines of ticket-buying visitors like at the city train stations. The Paris Museum Pass has a stand alone booth at the arrivals area while the Paris Visite Pass can be bought at the train station where you buy your RER train tickets to the city.
|The Paris Museum Pass good for 2 days of unlimited visits.
Paris is just like any other big, busy city. It's got a bit of a pace to it, so all you really need to do, is take your time. Remember, you're on vacation.
Transportation Options in Paris
Paris Museum Pass
Seine River Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
Seine River Cruise with Bateaux Les Vedettes Pont-Neuf
Online tickets for the Eiffel Tower