There are several ways to get around in Paris, France, and knowing all your options not only will save you money, it will also give you peace of mind, especially when traveling with kids.
There are different types of transportation in Paris to choose from and if you keep reading, we will tell you which type of transportation to use when traveling with kids, and how to save money with public transportation.
Metro & PER TRAINS
The Paris Metro/Subway has over 300 stations on 16 different lines covering central Paris, which is the easiest way to travel while in paris. PER is an extension of the Metro, into suburban areas. You can find a metro line almost every where near a major attraction or hotel. Here, you can download the Paris subway system maps to help you see all 16 Paris Metro lines and help you plan a route.
Paris Metro hours run from 5:30 am to 12:40am Sundays through Thursdays, and 5:30 am through 1:40 am on Fridays, Saturdays and on days before a holiday. Metro runs every 2 minutes to 13 minutes depending on the time of the day, Metro line, and the Metro station. You can find a time table here, which shows the approximate time for each line, and each station. Please make sure to check the exact time at the stations.
The RATP offers a route planner which you can input street addresses, station names or popular locations to create a itinerary for you, which includes connections and total travel time. Note that the RATP website is in French.
One Way Tickets & Day Tickets
Paris Metro prices as of June 1, 2019 are 1.90€ for a one-way ride lasting up to 2 hours. Books of ten are sold at a discounted price for 14.90€. Children from ages 4 to 9 years old can use reduced fare tickets, which are available only in books of 10, for 7.45€ per book of ten. Children 3 and under ride for free.
A day ticket or "Ticket Mobilis" are good for unlimited rides on the Metro system for an entire day and are 7.50€ per day per person. If you’ll be traveling strictly within central Paris Ticket Mobilis is the recommended ticket. You must print the date of use on the ticket before use. To prevent people from sharing the tickets, first and last names are also required.
Paris Visite Tickets
If you are traveling with kids and are visiting the major attractions in Paris, we highly recommend purchasing a "Paris Visite" tickets, which are multi-day tickets and are best for tourists as they are available for 3 zones and 5 zones, and you can purchase them for up to 5 days. The Paris Visite will allow you unlimited use of the Metro, RER and bus during your stay. It is very convenient and will save you money. For prices and to learn more about the Paris Visite tickets, click here. We also recommend buying online to save time and to avoid confusion at the station if your French is limited. To visit Disneyland Paris or Versailles, you would need to purchase the pass that includes all 5 zones. The 5 zone tickets also include the major airports.
Sometimes the bus is the best way to get where you want to go if you are not using the Metro or if you like to stay above the ground and explore the city. There are 64 bus lines in Paris, and you can use your Google Map to find the bus stops and the time.
The best way to buy bus tickets is from a metro station at the desk or on one of the automatic machines. The best plan is to buy book of ten tickets for about 14,10€, which will be cheaper than buying them one by one.
Usually bus in Paris runs between 5:30 am and 12:00 am, but the hours can vary depending on the lines. Make sure that your ticket gets stamped to avoid getting fined during a control.
The Balabus line is specifically designed for tourists and will take you to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.
When riding a Metro or the bus, be aware of picketpockets. Here is a great Youtube video for 13 ways to avoid pickpocketing.
Taxi and Uber
You may want to use Uber or Taxi when you first get to Paris and you have all your luggage with you and want to get the kids to the hotel as fast as possible. Also, with a family of 4 and up, you will find that a taxi or Uber may not cost more than the PER train. Uber may cost less than a taxi and having the app makes it more convenient to find a ride.