Learn how to get around in Paris and its area and discover the main means of transportation to travel to other French cities or abroad. 

For further information on how to reach Université Paris-Saclay's campus, click here. You can also refer to the member institutions' websites. 

 

Getting around Paris and its area

The Paris Metro and RER are the most practical means of transport to get around within Paris and its inner suburbs. The Régie autonome des transports parisiens (RATP) is the transport operator responsible for most public transport in Paris and its surrounding Île-de-France region. Should you wish to know the timetable of a specific line, find an itinerary to get to your destination or consult the metro map, you may visit the RATP website or download the smartphone app. 

Using the metro:

Each Metro line is labeled by a number and a colour. Metro stations have metro maps at the entrance and at the platform. On the platforms, the name of the terminal station will indicate the direction of the metro. Sortie (exit) and correspondance (connection) are marked by blue and white signs.

Using the RER:

The RER is a commuter train system serving Paris and its suburbs. It consists of five lines: A, B, C, D and E. Each line breaks into different directions and the train does not always serve all the stations. To avoid surprises, check your direction carefully and that it serves your station before boarding.

 

Please note:

  • A line can have two branches with the same direction. In such cases, check for the next Metro’s terminal station on the panel just above your head, which will also indicate the waiting time.
  • The doors close quickly and automatically. Make sure that you are not preventing them from closing.
  • The stations have a lot of stairs and often don’t have elevators nor escalators.
For further information on how to reach Université Paris-Saclay's campus, click here. You can also refer to the member institutions' websites. 

The metro and RER run from Monday to Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m and on Fridays, Saturdays and the eve of public holidays from 5:30 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. During special events, such as New Year’s Eve and Fête de la musique (street music festival), the Metro, RER and bus services are open all night.

During rush hours (8:00-10:00 a.m.; 5:00-8:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday), the Metro is very congested.

Visit the RATP website for further information on schedules. 

T+ tickets (single metro tickets) can be purchased individually or as a book of 10 (carnet) at the Metro or RER station’s ticket desk or vending machines. Local retailers authorised by RATP also sell them as a carnet of 10. One T+ ticket allows you to make connections for 2 hours on the RER and metro network but is only valid inside Paris (zone 1).

Île-de-France tickets (“Origine-destination”) allow you to travel in the Île-de-France region (outside and within zone 1). The price is calculated based on the departing and arriving stations.  

Please note:

  • Always keep your ticket in hand until you exit the station. You can be asked to show your ticket to an RATP agent at any time.
  • It is not possible to make metro/bus, metro/tram, RER/bus and RER/tram connections using the same ticket.

There are several other types of travel passes. For daily trips between the center of Paris and its area, we recommend the following:

  • The Navigo monthly and annual pass is an electronic pass that allows you to make unlimited journeys on the bus, metro, RER and transiliens across the entire Ile-de-France network. If you decide to subscribe to the Navigo pass you will be given a card with your name and photo on it.
  • The Carte Imagine R is an annual pass for elementary, secondary and high school as well as university students under the age of 26 that offers exactly the same benefits as a Navigo pass, but at a reduced price. To subscribe, you must fill out an application form and send it with the required documents and a picture to the address provided on the application form. You can find an application form at any metro and RER station’s information desk.

For further information on travel passes and their prices, visit the RATP website.

The travel time between bus stops is approximately 5 minutes depending on traffic. From Monday to Saturday, buses run typically between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Around half of the buses also run on Sundays and public holidays. The night bus (Noctilien) allows you to travel in Paris by night from 0:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The number and terminal station of the bus are displayed at the front and on the sides of each bus. The terminal station indicates its direction. The bus stops (typically in glass-covered shelters) display the itinerary of each bus.

As the bus approaches, you must indicate to the driver that you wish him to stop. Get on the bus at the front and get off by the back doors. When your stop is approaching, press one of the red buttons to light up the sign "arrêt demandé" (stop requested).

You can purchase on board bus tickets directly from the driver (please note that transfers do not apply) or buy T+ tickets at any vending machine or ticket desk.

For further information on bus schedules in the Saclay plateau, visit the Ile-de-France mobilités website (in French). 

For further information on bus schedules in Paris, visit the RATP website

For further information on how to reach Université Paris-Saclay's campus, click here. You can also refer to the member institutions' websites. 

Autolib’ is an electric car sharing system that allows you to get around Paris and its suburbs. To suscribe, you will need your driving licence, identity card and a bank card. You are required to have a bank account in any bank located on the French territory.

To find a station near your current location, click here

For further information, visit the Autolib' website.

Vélib’ is a bycicle sharing system that allows you to get around Paris and its suburbs. To use the Vélib' self-service bicycle system, you must suscribe and be at least 14 years old. There are many hire options and offers available. Each suscription allows unlimited travel.

To find a station near your current location, click here

For further information, visit the Vélib' website

Taxis offer a variety of transportation services and can be easy to find in Paris. Taxis are equipped with meters.

Please note that fares cannot be negotiated. 

Check the map of Paris taxi ranks (in French). 

In France, there are many carpooling services connecting drivers to people wishing to share car journeys. Carpooling divides travel expenses and reduces travel costs, traffic and air pollution. There are numerous websites on the Internet that are dedicated to connecting car owners and co-travellers, such as Blablacar

OuiHop' is an instant ride-hailing app for short distances allowing users to book a ride and get instantly served. This application was created with the Paris-Saclay Development Authority.

If you are planning on driving in France, you must have a driving licence that is valid in France and respect the common traffic laws.

If your driving license has been issued by a European Economic Area (E.E.A.) member state, you can use it in France, under certain conditions, for an unrestricted period of time or exchange it to obtain a French licence.

You must meet the following requirements:

  • your license must be valid,
  • you must meet the minimum age requirement for driving the vehicle category (e.g. 18 for cars),
  • you must be in compliance with any legal medical restrictions (such as wearing prescription glasses),
  • if your main license was issued by a state not belonging to the EEA with which France has not concluded a reciprocity agreement and you exchanged it in a EEA member state, it is recognised only up to one year following the date of establishment of normal residence in France and cannot be exchanged,
  • your driving licence does not have any endorsements, restrictions, suspensions, etc.

If you are planning on driving in France, you must have a driving licence that is valid in France and respect the common traffic laws.

If your driving license was issued outside the EEA, its exchange in France is compulsory if you want to keep driving. The exchange measures that apply to you vary depending on your nationality.

Exceptions:

If your stay in France lasts less than 180 days or you are a student holding a residence permit (carte de séjour), you can drive with your foreign driving licence under the following conditions:

  • Your driving licence must be valid,
  • Your driving licence must be written in French or accompanied by an official French translation made by a sworn translator,
  • Your driving licence must have been issued by the country of previous residence.

You must also meet the following requirements:

  • You obtained your driving licence before the date of initial validity of your student residence permit (carte de séjour étudiant) or before the OFII validated your VLS-TS,
  • You can only drive the vehicles for which you have a licence and you must meet the age requirement prescribed for each category of vehicle in France,
  • You must be in compliance with any legal medical restrictions (such as wearing glasses),
  • Your driving licence does not have any endorsements, restrictions, suspensions, etc.

If you are a student, you will have to exchange your driving licence to obtain a French licence at the end of your studies if you want to keep driving.

 

The application process to exchange your driving licence to obtain a French licence requires you to:

  • Hold a driving licence that has been issued by a country that has signed an agreement with France.
  • Meet the requirements for the recognition of your foreign driving licence in France.
  • Meet the compulsory deadline for the exchange process. Deadlines vary depending on your situation.

You must go to the Préfecture of your place of residence. The measures vary depending on the Préfecture, so get the information you need directly from the Préfecture or check their website.

You can also visit the Service Public website.

Road rules apply to all public highway users, i.e. pedestrians, cyclists, powered two-wheeler riders and motorists. Each and every one has to comply with road rules. Should you fail in complying with them, you may be fined or prosecuted.

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Speed limit for private cars (km/h) are the following: 50 km/h on urban roads, 90 km/h on rural roads, 130 km/h on motorways (110 km/h if it is raining). Please note that some urban roads have 30 km/h speed limits (zones 30).
  • Drink-drive limits are strict: 50mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The limit was reduced in 2015 to 0.02 percent for novice drivers with less than three years of driving experience.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving is strictly forbidden.
  • Using a hands-free mobile phone while driving is allowed.
  • It is mandatory to fasten your seat belt, in the front seat and in the back seat.
  • Children under 10 years old are not allowed in the front seat.
  • It is mandatory to wear a helmet on mopeds and motorcycles.
  • Compulsory equipment required in all vehicles (including motorbikes) includes reflective jackets, a warning triangle, as well as two breathalyzers or alcohol-level tests.

 


Traveling to other French cities and abroad

 

France’s geographical position and its excellent rail network give France the advantage of being a crossroads at the heart of the European Union and providing a comfortable way to see the country.

TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) is a high-speed train that runs all over France and beyond. It is operated by SNCF. TGV offers attractive train journeys and connections, such as a three-hour train ride between Paris and Marseille. Eurostar connects Paris to London in just two hours. Thanks to Thalys, the rail journey between Paris and Amsterdam can be as short as 1 hour and 22 minutes and between Paris and Brussels only 3 hours and 18 minutes.

Long-distance trains depart from Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare de Bercy, Gare de l’Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare du Nord and Gare Saint-Lazare.

Some long-distance trains also depart from the Massy-Palaiseau train station or the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

This airport is located to the north of Paris. It has three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 (2A to 2G) and Terminal 3. The free CDGVAL shuttle connects the three terminals.

Getting to or leaving the airport

RER B: Charles de Gaulle airport is connected to central Paris and its suburbs by the RER B (€10 one-way as of 2017). The journey from Paris-Gare du Nord to Roissy-CDG takes approximately 35-40 minutes. The Navigo travel pass is also accepted.

Le Bus Direct - Shuttle lines 2 and 4: The Air France transportation service offers journeys between Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris. The bus stops at strategic locations in Paris (Porte Maillot, Etoile / Champs-Elysées, Trocadéro and Eiffel Tower). The line 4 serves Gare Montparnasse and Gare de Lyon. The buses arrive and depart from all terminals. The buses run in both directions between 5:15 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The full one-way journey takes approximately one hour and costs €17. You can purchase the tickets online

Roissybus shuttle: Charles de Gaulle airport provides transportation services between all the airport's terminals and the Opéra district in Paris. The journey costs €11,50 and the Navigo pass is accepted. You can purchase the tickets online

Bus 350 and 351:  The RATP connects Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris with two bus routes: bus 350 serves Paris Gare de l'Est and bus 351 serves Place de la Nation. The journey takes between 60 and 80 minutes and costs €6.

Taxi: You will find taxis located at the gates outside your arrival terminal. A journey to Paris costs around €50.

Orly Airport is located to the south of Paris and has two terminals: Terminal S (South - Sud) and Terminal W (West - Ouest). 

Getting to or leaving the airport

RER B: The airport is connected to the RER B train line at Antony train station by the Orlyval shuttle train. To get to both terminals, take the Orlyval shuttle from Antony. 

Orlybus shuttle: RATP provides a shuttle service that links Paris Denfert-Rochereau station (South of Paris) and Orly airport. It departs every 10 to 20 minutes. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes and costs €8. The Navigo travel pass is accepted. You can purchase tickets online

Le Bus Direct - Shuttle line 1: The Air France transportation service offers journeys between Orly airport and Paris. The bus stops at strategic locations in Paris (Etoile / Champs-Elysées, Trocadéro, Eiffel Tower and Gare Montparnasse). The bus arrives and departs from both terminals: Orly Sud and Orly Ouest. The buses run in both directions between 5:15 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The full one-way journey takes approximately 50 minutes and costs €12. You can purchase the tickets online

Bus 183: The bus of the RATP runs between Paris Porte-de-Choisy and Paris-Orly airport from 5:00 a.m. until midnight. The journey takes 40 minutes and the ticket costs €2. 

Tramway: The tram line 7 connects the Villejuif-Louis Aragon, terminus of the 7 Metro line, to Orly airport. The journey takes 45 minutes and the tram runs every 8 to 15 minutes approximately. The ticket costs €1,90.

Taxi: You will find taxis located at the gates outside your arrival terminal. A journey to Paris costs around €35.