Monday, July 4, 2011

Visiting Paris

Before visiting Paris, you have to be familiar with the Paris public transportation, the more common for touristic purpose are the Paris rer and Paris metro.

First, you have to decide what you want to visit, that will give you an idea of what Paris pass you will buy (fare depends on Paris zone, outside Paris) .

If you plan to visit Paris only in the zone 1, you don't have to be worry if you only have a basic ticket t+, it's sufficient for a 1h30 connection between metro and rer.
The zone 1 gathers all the Paris districts (in which you can find the major Paris attractions).

Once you have decided what you want to do while visiting Paris and know the Paris zone that you will visit (that will allow you to decide the ticket you will buy).

You may need to know how the Paris metro function, with the different color lines and directions.
A Paris metro map may be useful for this reason. Regarding the metro the logic is pretty simple and once using the Paris metro the first time, it becomes obvious.
Inside the Paris metro, you can check the metro line map and also see the station name on the stations walls.
And inside the stations,  there are directional signs to indicate exits, Paris attractions, big avenues and other places to visit in Paris.

Regarding the rer, know the basic can be helpful, the Paris rer can be a little tricky sometimes (more than the subway). A Paris rer map can be useful.
-firstly, keep your pass to exit the rer (and even the metro, the rer exit can be the same than the Paris subway exit).
-secondly, be careful to the rer destination, you have screens on the station which will give you information regarding the train, but also information regarding the station that the train will serve.
Inside some trains, you may find some indicator lights with stations name, the indicator lights on are the station that the train will serve, those which are off, are stations already serve or which won't be served.
Also, be aware that even if a train goes to the desired direction, it may not serve the desired station.
-thirdly, make sure to have the good ticket zone for the rer, you make not be able to exit the rer without the good ticket (and to avoid fines).
As the Paris metro, inside the stations,  there are directional signs to indicate exits, Paris attractions, big avenues and other places to visit in Paris.

In another area, while visiting Paris think about having good shoes. If you want to walk along the Champs-Elysées, it's a long avenue, and several Paris metro line allows you to go to this Paris attraction (Champs Elysées Clemenceau, franklin D.Roosevelt, George V, Charles de gaulle-Etoile, with the Paris metro line 1, Paris metro-M6, Paris metro-M2, Paris metro-M9, Paris metro line 13, as well as the RER A).

Visiting Paris can be overwhelming, willing to do and see everything for a little time is almost impossible, the keyword is to plan according to different factors (time, affordability, disponibility, visitors age, Paris attractions...).
Sometimes buying online tickets can help to avoid queue.

-Avoid the Paris metro lines or the Paris rer in rush hours, the Paris metro line 1 and Paris metro line 13 are the most congested, as well as the Rer A.

-Be careful about scams or pickpockets in the metro, keep your purse in a safety place.

-Some Paris ticket may be useful, for example the Paris visite pass, however it may not be the best option for visiting Paris only on the zone 1 and to only visit free Paris attractions.

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