Paris is a big, sprawling city with beautiful, important attractions in various locations, often far from each other. This can make the city daunting to visit with kids but we have good news! Paris has an excellent public transport system made of buses, metro lines and trains (RER) and here you have all the information you need to plan your trip easily.
Getting around Paris by metro
Paris has an excellent metro system serving pretty much the whole city. The stations are marked by distinctive ‘metro’ signs and the network is intricate and well laid out.
You can purchase metro tickets in all metro stations, equipped with either machines or machines and ticket counters and you have a choice of several types:
- Single ticket
- Carnet of 10 single-journey tickets
- Multi day travel cards
A single ticket takes you anywhere within the city of Paris on the Métro and RER networks, and you can transfer between lines. At the time of writing, children under 4 go free and children under 10 enjoy a special discount.
The metro is a fast and convenient way to get around Paris but it does pose challenges to families with kids. Paris metro is not particularly stroller friendly and you may find yourself having to lift your stroller to get beyond the turnstiles…. not the best option if you have a sleeping baby in it! For days when you plan on taking public transport extensively, we recommend you bring a baby carrier instead.
Paris offers several option for city passes that include access to public transport and selected attraction. You can find a good selection here
Getting around Paris by bus
Buses are a great option for families visiting Paris. The network is well laid out and efficient: the tickets are the same for bus and metro and they are available for purchase on the bus as well as metro stations.
Getting around Paris by RER
The RER is an efficient system of suburban trains connecting Paris city centre with farther away areas. Visitors usually use the trains to and from the airport.
In the centre of Paris, you can board the RER with the same tickets as metro and buses but you do need to purchase separate RER tickets for longer distances.
How to get around Paris by taxi
Taxis are easy to find in Paris and relatively inexpensive. Taxi stands are easy to spot in several location around the city and you can also flag passing cabs on the street. Taxis don’t usually carry car seats so it is a good idea to travel with your own.
How to get from Paris airports to Paris city centre
Paris has two airports, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to the North and Orly (ORY) to the South.
Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) is the main international airport for Paris, and the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow. The two main terminals are Terminal 1, used by most foreign airlines, and Terminal 2, used by Air France, its partners, and some other European flights.
CDG airport is connected to Paris city centre by train (RER), bus or taxi.
- RER trains have two stations at Charles de Gaulle airport, one called “Terminal 1” which is between the terminals and another under Terminal 2.
- Bus Roissybus (run by the Paris bus company) travels from CDG directly to Place de l’Opéra, Departures every 15 – 20 minutes 6 am – 11 pm and Air France also runs a bus service into the city that travellers with all airlines can avail of. Tickets can be purchased in the airport terminal before boarding the bus.
- Taxis are available outside the main arrival area:a ride into Paris costs around 50 Euro but the price increases significantly during rush hour and at busy times. Taxis are a comfortable option to get into the city but the ride can take very long if traffic doesn’t cooperate: do factor in up to one hour if travelling at busy times.
Orly airport is connected to the Paris metro system by RER lines. Orly has two terminals, connected by a dedicated airport train link called OrlyVal. This connects Orly with the RER station at ‘Antony’ where you can board the RER up to the station at Chatelet, near to the Louvre, in the heart of Paris.
Orly is also connected with the Paris Metro system by two bus services, Orlybus and Le Bus Direct.
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