Taking the Paris Métro was daunting the first few times.
Ok, maybe even the first 10 times.
Well, actually sometimes it still terrifies me.
And I am not sure exactly what I am afraid of.
It is super organized and fast. But yes, also not without its complications.
The Paris Métro
The Paris Métro is not the oldest (London is, which I also find simpler to navigate) or the busiest (Tokyo is) in the world, but it’s the densest with 14 main lines and 302 stations covering only a 10-by-10 kilometre area.
The good news is you are never too far from a station. There is one every few blocks.
The bad news is it can be a maze down there with people who all have this air of complete confidence moving along very quickly!
Know Your Number
Each line is identified by a number and a colour. So the busy Line 1 for instance is orangish, not to be confused with the sort of gold or the pale yellow one. There is also an olive green line, not to be confused with the Kelly green or the lime green lines that all seem to converge and run over each other on the busy map.
It is pretty easy if you are just taking one line to your destination. But that rarely happens. And the fun really begins when you have to map out a route that involves a couple or more transfers. Trickier still, you have to know the name of the end of the line so that you go in the right direction. They can be hard to remember when you are in the thick of things. And of course, the names are in French.
Don’t Throw Away That Ticket!
I learned a hard lesson about the Paris Métro on one trip.
My ticket was stamped going through the turnstile. Thinking it was no longer useful, I mistakenly threw it out in the convenient garbage can on the other side. When I arrived at my destination, and before I had exited the outgoing turnstile, the “metro police” were checking for tickets — yes they do that — and I was fined 50 euros fine on the spot. 50 Euros! The cost of the ticket is 1.90 euros.
Yes, my friends that is the law in Paris. You have to keep your ticket until you exit the station.
This happened to me at the Cité Metro Station on the island where Notre Dame cathedral is located. I now avoid this station at all costs. Not only is it reminder of my humiliating moment, but one has to climb three large and long staircases from the trains to get back out to the street. It’s a workout!
My Other Tip — lots of people love the Paris Métro App but I find it frustrating to see all the lines on a hand-held device. I prefer a good old-fashioned paper map that I can hold onto for dear life, and check and re-check where I am and where I am going. You can pick one when you buy your tickets. And I suggest buying a pack of ten tickets if you are going to be in Paris for a few days.
Have you been on the Paris Métro? Share your experiences with us and comment below!
What do you think of Packing Cubes?
I have become a big fan of packing cubes. They make organizing my travel wardrobe so much easier (and I will write about that soon!). One cube for pants, one for tops, another for cardigans etc.
I roll my clothes into the cubes à la Marie Condo method which saves space. It really works — and now they also make cubes for your shoes as well.
I purchased the Gonex Packing Cubes Luggage organizer! Only $29.99 CAD and they come in all sorts of different colours.
Have a look. You can view and/or buy them by clicking on Gonex Packing Cubes
Or if you prefer a set WITHOUT the shoe bags try this link– Gonex Packing Cubes4.
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Thank you to those of who have already qualified to entered for the SURPRISE FRENCH BOX! It includes a dozen French and Paris-themed Items that I know you will love.
I will reveal what is in the box once I announce the winner on Sunday October 20th.
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while learning more about the City of Love and Light?
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