Transportation in Paris
If a taxi's whole white or green light is on, it is free for hire from the street or taxi rank. Make sure the meter is switched on. The minimum charge is €5.60 plus a small fee for a fourth person or more than one item of baggage in the boot. Rates also increase at night. Most taxis are cash only, but an increasing number accept credit cards. Ask when you climb on board.
Speedy and easy, the métro's 14 lines are the quickest way to get around the city centre (métro map zones 1 and 2). Lines run from around 6am to 12.30am (until 1.30am on Fri, Sat and the night before public holidays). Tickets can be bought in automatic machines (credit cards accepted) or in ticket offices in every station.
Walking is often the quickest way to get around for short trips and always the most enjoyable. Just be careful at zebra crossings as cars sometimes don't stop. Wander along the River Seine for sweeping panoramas of Paris' main sights. You can calculate walking time using the métro map as it is roughly a five-minute walk between each station.
In peak periods, buses are slower than the métro, but you can see where you're going. Most lines run from 5am until 8.30pm, after which night buses called Noctaliens cover much of central Paris. The RATP (Paris Transport Company) runs a double-decker sightseeing bus called l'Open Tour which takes in the city's main sights. Métro and RER tickets are also valid on normal buses.
Rent your car
When driving in Paris, keep a steady speed and have your wits about you as you join the cacophony of horns and weaving between lanes. Give way to traffic coming onto roundabouts. Parking can be expensive and spaces are small, which is where a small car comes in handy.
Paris Par Arrondissements, for sale at any kiosk, lists every street and boulevard and contains métro, bus and RER maps. Save money on individual tickets by buying a pack of ten (un Carnet). If you're planning to travel extensively by métro, Paris Visite cards are value for money with two-, three- and five-day options.