Toolkit: Public transport
Being able to get yourself around is absolutely essential, so why not learn more about France’s public transport system?
French cities have quite a wide range of transport systems to offer, so whether you like moving by metro, transport through tram, or being on the bus, you’ll have a couple of options open to you wherever you stay. Many of France’s cities have metros (Paris, Lyon, Marseille etc.), but those that don’t have a tram or a light rail system instead. Failing that, there will usually be a bus network. Some cities e.g. Paris take it to extremes by having a metro, a bus system, trams and the RER! In most cities, there will usually be a bus network and then perhaps a tram or metro.
Pricing will naturally vary city by city, but a single journey on any form of public transport will usually cost you between €1,40 – €1,90. The rules for this journey may vary though! Some cities have a time limit for how long you can use this single journey or whether you can transfer onto other forms of transport with it, so always have a look at the rules for your city. In France, if you’ll be using public transport quite frequently, perhaps you should buy a “carnet”. This is a set of 10 paper tickets that are sold at a reduced price compared to buying 10 single journeys. There’s usually no date limit to use the tickets by either, making them very flexible. However, if you’re staying long-term, then a monthly or annual pass might be more useful to you.
There is a wide variety of fares available in France depending on your age and occupational status: if you are a student, unemployed, or a pensioner, you could benefit from reduced transport fares! Public transport is also far cheaper for children and those under 18 years old.
When it comes to the actual practical aspect of looking at timetables and looking at which lines to take, Google Maps or Citymapper are probably your easiest options because they’ll directly plan out routes for you and give you train times. However, if you are left without the internet, you can pop into a metro or bus station and they usually have a service counter that can help you out.
If you’re thinking of travelling more widely around France during your stay here, have a look at our article on train travel in France!
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