Paris Metro Tips

Top 5 Tips for using the Paris Metro

Exploring Paris by Metro can be a bit daunting, especially when over 1.5 billion passengers travel across the network every year.

To make it even easier, here are our Top 5 tips for using the metro to make your journey run as smoothly as possible:

1. Plan the quickest route

If you know where you’re going in advance, plan ahead and get to know the metro network before you travel. RATP, Paris’ transport network association, has a very helpful route planner that allows you to select the fastest lines, avoiding certain stops or combine your journey with other modes of transport. Plan your journey online, here.

2. Parisian ‘rush hour’

With one of the busiest underground systems in Europe (and the world!) it’s best to travel on the metro outside of commuter hours, which are from 08.00-10.00 and 17.00-20.00. By avoiding the rush means you’re more likely to have an easier journey and perhaps get a seat, too. If you do happen to be travelling in the busy hours, avoid folding down seats as this is a big passenger faux-pas and not appreciated by commuters.

3. Avoid big station interchanges to save time

Nation, Châtelet, Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse are all stops and stations to avoid for interchanges if you want to save time – and stress! These huge stations can have up to 15 different platforms and might take a good 10 minutes to navigate from one to the other. If you’re short on time, however, and need to make a specific appointment or booking, hop on the RER, a more direct service to cut out extra stops.

4. Basic metro ‘lingo’

If you’re not that familiar with the French language, at least make sure you know the simple signs to look out for to help you travel the Paris Metro. Follow signs for ‘Sortie’ for the exit (usually blue), and locate a "Plan du Quartier" (District Map) to work out which exit you need if there’s more than one.

5. Be wary of pickpockets

Make sure you zip up any belongings and valuables in a secure bag and don’t let it out of your sight; like anywhere, pickpockets may operate in the busy metro stations and on the trains. Paris Metro network supplies WiFi so if you get your smartphone out to connect, be careful that you don’t draw extra attention to it.

Plan your journey on the Paris Metro before you travel with a free metro map.

Click here to download.

Made Paris fun and easy to navigate!! With only 4 days to spend in Paris, the Paris Pass was awesome. It really cut down on wasted time trying to navigate from one experience to the next. I think we were able to see much more with the Paris Pass. The Hop On Hop Off bus is a terrific idea as well.
Tami Jones from United States

Fabulous! The Paris Pass was a great buy. Not just because for many sites there was no need to purchase any more tickets, but getting to the front of the line is essential for seeing everything you want and need to see. From the moment we picked up the pass, we began using the metro pass and that was so easy. Also, I purchased the Paris Pass online from the U.S. I was provided with great information about how and where to pick up the pass. That made the whole process fabulous!
Kathy Lutes from United States