While Paris doesn’t even come close to the biggest cities in the World, ‘size, isn’t everything’. Don’t spend time dilly-dallying, get where you need to be in a flash with Paris’ numerous transport options.
The easiest (and cheapest) option—walking around the Capital— is not only a great way to familiarise yourself with its streets, but it’ll help encourage you off the beaten track and into the real Paris.
If you’re staying central and the weather is kind to you, there aren’t many places you can’t access by foot—Paris is surprisingly small! Buy a map before you leave and plan some routes so that when you arrive you won’t waste time with pen and paper when you could be out exploring!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of an athlete, pull on your kicks and get going! Running either alone, as a couple, or joining one of Paris’ groups or running tours are fab way to burn off those extra croissant calories, meet others, and see the City from another point of view.
A River Run offers a trip alongside some of the most famous sites. You’ll be passing by the Eiffel Tower, Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre and many others. Venture away from the tourist areas into the Bois de Boulogne or along La Coulée Verte to find a Parisian paradise you never would have thought existed.
Try: Let’s Run Paris
Croissants burnt off, now on to the chocolates! The City offers lots of cycling options: you can hire bikes, go on a bike tour or take out a public bike (Vélib).
The Vélib system is definitely the cheapest and most convenient, with a daily ticket giving you unlimited slots of 30 minutes of free-ride time for 24 hours. All you need to do is buy a ticket online or from one of the many stations across the City.
A €150 deposit will be held from your account, but don’t sweat—this won’t be extracted unless you fail to return the bike completely. Bike paths run along the river and around most of central Paris, and drivers are surprisingly patient so you need not be Tour de France standard to apply!
Price: From €1.70/day
The River Seine splits Paris in half, with some of its most famous sights sitting close by. See them all from the prime position of a River Boat on a tour that will take you all the way from one side of the City to another.
With the opportunity to pop on and off as you please all day long, it’s an idyllic and sophisticated method of getting from point A to point B without missing a thing. Make sure to visit Notre Dame on the right side of the Seine and see if you can spot Paris’ very own Statue of Liberty, too!
Prices: From €17/adult
Dig out your dusty disco skates and get them in your case; Paris is becoming increasingly Hipster, and there’s no better way to get cool points than this retro way of getting around. Opt to go alone, or join one of the Roller Events to join up with a crowd of other cool kids and see Paris by night.
The City’s streets are perfect for gathering speed, with flat ride roads and lots of accommodating bike lanes; just make sure to stay away from hilly Montmartre, unless you have quads of steels!
Try: Pari Roller
Why walk when you can Segway ? If you’re a bit of a tech-y, why not try something new and tour Paris on one of these mod-cons? Eco-friendly and cool enough for the kids, they offer something for everyone.
Your knowledgeable Guide will show you the City’s best sites, leaving you free to take it all in – and concentrate on staying upright!
Try: Fat Tire Tours
Prices: From €70/person
There’s nothing quite as ‘Sex in The City’ as hailing down a black cab in the Capital. Laden with bags from Rue St Honoré’s boutiques, forget public transport and max out on the leather seats while the bustling City whizzes on by.
If you’re a little more strapped for cash but don’t fancy joining the masses in the Metro, Uber operates in Paris, too. Just open up the app, change your location and hey Presto!
Try: Main Roads through Paris
Prices: Start at €5 then €1.29/km
There’s something so simplistically charming about travelling in the back of someone’s bike Taxi. While it’s by no means the fastest transport method—these guys and girls are pulling heavy loads all day long—it’s a chance to chat with a local and get some tips on what to see, eat and drink in the French Capital.
Yes, it might be tragically Touristic, but who really cares when it makes you feel young and free? Don’t forget to fit in a snog on the backseat!
Try: Paris’ Tourist Sites
Prices: Count at least €1/km
Just like Paris’ Metro system, the Bus lines cover the City and will get you wherever you need to be.
They’re convenient, and avoid the popping on and off that the Metro demands, but take time—you can never really be sure just how long you’ll be stuck on board, no matter what the Internet may tell you!
If you’re after a more touristic option, a Bus Tour is a great choice, allowing you to hop-on and off as you please to sightsee to your heart’s content. Be sure to bag a seat on top for the best views of the Capital!
Try: Big Bus Tours
Prices: From €29.70/adult
Always wanted your own Vespa? Now you can have one, or borrow one, anyway! A new scheme in Paris, you can now rent out a Scooter at various points around the Capital and pay for the time you use.
If you’re not too confident on the Parisian roads—and who can really blame you— go along with a tour Guide who will help ensure you reach your final destination without getting squished in the process!
Step aside, Brigitte Bardot. Offering a blast from the past in a classic 2CV, a private Car Tours will offer you a truly memorable vintage experience. The perfect treat for your amoreux, while they don’t come cheap, there’s no better place for romance than The City Of Love. Sit back, put your arm around your lover, and get lost in the vision of 1950s Paris.
Try: 2CV Paris Tour
Prices: From €70/Car
If Paris’ beeping drivers don’t faze you, join them! Autolib’ are the Capital’s hireable, eco-friendly electric cars that can be picked up from any of the numerous stations around the City. Compact and quiet, they’re easy to maneuver and will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to the future!
Costs: €9/half hour
Finally… Why not be a true Parisian and test out a variety of transport options during your stay ? Whatever you choose, happy travelling!
Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +