Paris Hotels Articles

April 25, 2010

Tips for mastering urban transportation systems when visiting a new city

So, you have arrived in Paris (or any other capital) with a knapsack on your back, money in your pocket and have set yourself the task of exploring as much of the city as you can during your visit. How are you going to achieve this? Taxis are too expensive and do not provide you with the flexibility you require, to just stop where you want and spend time in discovery. The answer of course is to use the city’s own urban transportation system. However, these systems can be complex and perplexing, especially to a visitor. What you need are some tips for conquering these systems. Here are a few that will prove useful.

Step 1.

The first stop is the local tourist office. If you do not know where this is then any good hotel should be able to point you in the right direction. Once at their office, you need to collect several items to help in your quest. These will include: -

o A detailed street map of the city.

o An autobus routes map, timetable and prices

o A railway routes, timetable and price map

o An underground routes, timetable and price map

Note that for the last three items there may be more than one operator and you will need to collect the lot.

Step 2

Armed with all this information sit down in your hotel room or, better still, at a table in a roadside café, and spend a couple of hours studying the maps and information that you have collected. Then you need to study all of the different systems to see how the y interconnect in terms of route locations. It will usually be found that this network system between the different styles of transport is very good.

Step 3

Plan your route. This can be done either for your whole stay, planning each days

Trips in one go at the start, or if you are like me, you will wake up in the morning and plan for the day on impulse. Within the plan you will have note which number service on which transport system you need to undertake your journey. Thus you have the day mapped out, at least from the transportation viewpoint.

Step 4

Understand the cost. If you are going to be jumping on and off different modes of transport during the day, it is always a good idea to see if daily/weekly rover type tickets are available. In many cases these will cover all three major systems under one ticket. With this in your pocket (at a price) you will be able to hop from one service to another all day, thereby simplifying your travels considerably.

And so the journey begins.

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