The Paris Métro

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 station entrances can be so pretty!

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!

 

Paris Subway Map!

 

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.

 

Waiting for the train!

 

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.

 

The receipt for the 50 Euro fine that I had to pay on the spot!

 

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!

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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.

Gonex Packing Cubes

 

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.

Brought to you by www.womanofacertainageinparis. com

 

Have You Entered my Fall Free Giveaway Draw?

 

 

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.

Here’s How to Enter

This Free Giveaway Draw

All you need to do is find ONE NEW SUBSCRIBER to my BLOG.

Do you have a friend or family member that you know might be interested in channeling their Inner Parisian,

while learning more about the City of Love and Light?

Contact that person for their permission to be added to my Subscriber List. 

Then send me their email address* at diana@womanofacertainageinparis.com.  

*Their email address will not be shared with anyone else!

I will send your contact an email and also one to you to confirm their subscription.

Then you will BOTH be officially ENTERED into the DRAW.

Good Luck Ladies!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Once the winner has been selected and received the French box in the mail, they will be asked for a Short Interview, and to take a Selfie or Photo with their new gifts. 

The content will be used to promote interest in my blog and may be posted on FB, Instagram and Twitter. I personally purchase my Giveaway products and do not derive any commission from them.

Check out blogs that you might have missed at www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

You can catch up on my other blogs at www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

Disclosure Policy: This site uses affiliate links which may generate small commissions based on clicks and purchases. Any products that I giveaway are personally purchased by me unless otherwise specified. I also write all content on my site unless otherwise specified. And I respect the privacy of my subscribers and do not share their information with any other party or organization.

22 Comments

  1. Kelly on August 28, 2019 at 8:23 am

    On my first trip to Paris, I was 16 and with a group of friends on a high school trip. We wanted to see the Eiffel Tour at night, so we bravely took the Metro to our destination without incident. On the way back, though, things got a little crazy. We somehow took the right line but went the wrong direction and ended up in a red light district. The worst part was that before we could figure out exactly what had happened the Metro closed for the night and we had to walk back to our hotel! Luckily we had a group of around 10 or 12 kids with both boys and girls, some who spoke decent French. When talking with one man for directions, he and his friend propositioned the girls in the group! Luckily we were able to figure out where to go and after a long walk, we managed to get back to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning. It made for a great story later, but was certainly frightening at the time!

    • Diana Bishop on August 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

      Oh my yes — a little scary. But when we are young it often turns into an opportunity as it sounds like it did for you.
      Thanks for sharing!

      By the way, this blog was not supposed to be published this week but technology being what it is
      the date for scheduling went in wrong. Well anyway it is out there — I actually will be announcing my Fall Giveaway OFFICIALLY in next
      Sunday!

  2. Cathy on September 15, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Oh no, now I am really worried. I am not great with directions at the best of times. We are heading to Paris for the first time this fall and plan to use the Metro. Hoping my travel partner is better at navigating than I am.

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:18 am

      Cathy — Oh dear. I did not intend to paint such a black picture of the Paris Metro. It really is a great way
      to get around Paris. And if you take some time before you try it to understand how it works, you will get the hang of
      it very quickly.
      And as one of the comments suggested, by a pack of 10 tickets at one of the ticket machines which will keep you going for a while.
      And if you have any trouble, most people will take the time to help you. And there are masses of tourists all doing the same thing.
      Don’t worry. Paris is enchanting. You will have a marvellous time. Let us know how it all goes in an upcoming comment. We look forward to that. Diana

  3. Margaret Ann Gendreau on September 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Yes, I find the Paris Metro very confusing and yet I use public transportation in Toronot and Vancouver all the time! I know, only a couple of lines in both those cities. One of the best buses in Paris is the route 69. I picked that tip up from a Rick Steves book. It will take you from the Eiffel Tower to Pere Lachaise Cemetery. It goes past all the places a first time tourist and a seasoned one would want to see, Notre Dame, the Louvre and D’Orsay, the east and west banks,, and the cemetery itself is a wonderful place to spend hours wandering. I have found the metro convenient for getting to the train for Versailles. You know what, in all of this I have always found the people forever helpful, and yes, I find the best ones to approach and seek help from are the thirtyish to forty isn year old men. I think they feel they are he.ping someone like their Mother!
    Bon Chance,
    Margaret Ann

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:13 am

      Hi Margaret Ann — yes those metros only have a few lines which makes things dead easy.

      And you are so right about the 69 bus. It is famous here for people who come to Paris for the first time.
      As you mentioned, you get a grand tour of the city from one end of the other and feel like a Parisian.
      You can either do a round trip to get back to your starting point, or you can then venture, yes it is inevitable, on the Metro to go back to your hotel. Thank you so much for mentioning this. As usual I love hearing from you. Diana

  4. Dan Cummings on September 15, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    To women of a certain age over 60: don’t buy senior Metro tickets. You need to have a special pass from the city to use them, and you can’t get the pass unless you live here. I also learned the hard way. This is unlike the SNCF Senior (rail) Carte. Which is available to anyone for €49.

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:10 am

      Dan, this is such great information! I was so glad to accompany you to the train station to see
      how easy it was to the SNCF Senior card for rail travel. Certainly worth doing if you are planning
      to take a few trips out of town which is always fun to do. And the fares, including First Class is much cheaper if
      you have the pass. Great comment — thank you! Diana

  5. Susan on September 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    The Paris Metro App is our friend! Just enter your present location and your destination and it will tell you which station to go to (all are close and easy to find) , which line to get on, and where to change if necessary. Dead easy. I too am directionally challenged and couldn’t follow a map if my life depended on it, but the the app? No problem. If you are confused, talk to the person working in the booth. They speak english and will get you sorted out. Buy yourself a “carnet”, which is a book of 10 tickets from the machine – choose “English” and follow instructions, you will save money. The tickets can be used on the buses as well. A fun activity is to randomly get on a bus and tour around. Get off where it pleases you and visit the area. When you want to return, just use your app and you will have your return instructions. Cheap sightseeing!

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:07 am

      Susan — You are so so right! The Paris App is super — and it works very well giving you the right
      direction and so on. I did not mean to give such a negative spin on Le Metro but I was being honest.
      For the uninitiated it can be a little hard to do at first and I want people who go to Paris for the first
      time to know that it is ok to feel this way about it and to take a little time at the beginning to understand
      how it works…because truly it is fast and terrible efficient! Thanks so much for the comment. I stand corrected. Diana

  6. Karen Dorland on September 15, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Yikes! It sounds intimidating.
    Very useful information though Diana. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:03 am

      Hi Karen,
      Great to hear from you! I am afraid I have painted too dark a picture of the Paris Metro because
      once you get the hang of it and learn the things to watch for, it is really fast and efficient. I
      am getting to be much better at it now. Best, and thank you for the comment. Diana

  7. Luci Rizzo on September 15, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I’m off to Scotland via London at the end of the month and bought some of those packing “bags” a la Ms Condo. Will see how much better and easier it is to pack it all in. And using the roll technique.

    • Diana Bishop on September 16, 2019 at 6:02 am

      Hi Luci — How fun for you! Scotland is on my list!
      I hope you were able to purchase the Packing Cubes through my site without any problems.
      This is new for me selling product through my blog. But it helpful to pay for administrative expenses.
      Thank you for doing so.
      Have a wonderful wonderful trip! Diana

      • Luci on September 16, 2019 at 8:45 am

        Hi Diana. I bought them previously. But your linked product looks better. Affilates are great. I will watch for more travel products u recommend and the Skincare too. I tried the one u previously mentioned via the free sample. It was a no for me. I still prefer the Rodan and Fields. Will stay tuned. Always enjoy the weekly read.

        • Diana Bishop on September 17, 2019 at 4:44 am

          Thanks Luci.. and yes that skin care line did not appeal to me either. Rodan and Fields is still on my list to try. Diana

  8. Tamara Thompson on September 16, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I am kind of sad now that I have caught up on your Paris blog stories Diana, was nice to unwind and read them this evening! I have only travelled the Toronto Subways, many times. Though, I find that they are very easy to maneuver. I’ve not been to Paris, but the NYC Subways, I asked everyone to stay away from it, everyone wanted to go on it, I wouldn’t allow for it. I am sure it would have been fine. Though I also made sure when walking about, that we went straight up and straight back, no veering off course. Not the most effective way to site see…lol
    LOVED READING TONIGHT, I got spoiled and was able to read 3 of your blogs!

    • Diana Bishop on September 17, 2019 at 4:43 am

      Don’t worry many more blogs to come, Tamara.

      Thank you for being such a fan! Diana

  9. Jane Schnurr on September 17, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Love your stories Diana! It sounds like a great way to get lost and find a new adventure……..

    • Diana Bishop on September 18, 2019 at 5:43 am

      Hi Jane,
      You are so right! Despite the anxiety from time to time, Paris is the perfect place to get lost in — there is just so much around the next corner and the next corner and the next corner…
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Diana

  10. Adeola on September 26, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for sharing Diana! Oh it can be very confusing. When I first moved to Paris, I almost got fined one time when I didn’t have my pass but luckily for me I had kept the receipt of the pass in my bag and was able to use that to explain, so since then I always print out the receipt just incase it might come in handy.

    • Diana Bishop on September 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Well it was a lesson learned for both of us. You only make that mistake once right?
      Thanks for your comments. I so enjoyed meeting you on the Loire Valley Tour and hope to see you again! Diana

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