We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
2,515 posts
91 reviews
Save Topic
A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

I am bringing my mother to Paris on her first visit to France. I have 2 weeks to show her my most favorite city. We have our hotel in the Latin Quarter. I know that I have to take it MUCH easier on my mom than the pace I normally experience Paris. I've been told to learn the bus system as it will be much easier on my mom than the metro. Does anyone have some helpful hints... links on this topic from the past... anything? What will be my most frequent bus routes from the St. Michel area? I have been to Paris many times... I've walked everywhere... and I have never taken the bus.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Bolton, United...
Level Contributor
3,416 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Dear Hylasgirl

This was a good thread.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k425…

Since then I have also acquired the iphone app, metrO, which I have found invaluable for the Paris. metro and tube in London.

Lots of bus routes go through Place St Michel, so you will be well served.

I know what you mean about being slowed down, sometimes my husband comes with me aand he just LIVES life in the slow lane. So I just take the opportunity to look around me more!

Denise

Love from England.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
88,220 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

You will also find a lot of useful information in English at www.ratp.fr including a journey planner and printable maps of the main bus routes in central Paris.

West Sussex, England
Level Contributor
2,342 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Staying in the St Michel area:

You can get several buses going north-south (and vice-versa) on Bvd S Michel, for example the 21 and 27 both go to the Louvre; the 38 to Gare du Nord, the 85 to Montmartre.

Going east-west is a little more challenging because of the one-way system. Going west, for example the 63 to Invalides/Trocadero or 87 to Champ de Mars, you will need to walk up to rue des Ecoles, but going east towards Bastille the equivalent stop is on the corner of Bvd S Germain just outside the Musee de Cluny.

I strongly recommend you to familiarise yourself beforehand as much as possible using www.ratp.info

On arrival you can, if you wish, buy 'Le Bus Parisien' or other bus guides in Gibert Jeune on Place S Michel.

Edited: 07 April 2011, 09:00
New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
21,261 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Go to www.ratp.fr for a wealth of information for using the buses in Paris.

Start with entering the address of your hotel for a Plan de Quartier which will display the nearby bus stops and their routes.

If you search this forum, there are additional tips and recommendations galore, such as

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k42576…

Lords Valley...
Level Contributor
1,614 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

In addition to all of the above, when you arrive in Paris, stop at any staffed Metro station and get the large map of the bus system. A little study and familiarization and you will be able to plan your daily journey.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
1,819 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Bus stops with a shelter often have a general map of the bus system in the back, and inside the shelter, maps listing all stops for each line that stops there. It also often shows a map of the area with all bus stops in the vicinity.

When you're walking, if you pass a bus stop, you can check if the line goes in the same direction as yours. Most bus stops also have a electronic display of wait time for next bus.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
2,515 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Thank you all SO much.

And yes, I do want to try and familiarize myself as much as possible before I go. I really want to show my mom how incredible Paris is without killing her :) At least I have built enough time in the trip that I don't feel like we need to see everything in a day or two. I have also contacted Raphy for some help at the Louvre. That will be great!

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
21,261 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

Nearly every bus shelter does have a map of the entire system. But, as of last September, they still had not been replaced, even though they are beyond faded and nearly impossible to read.

There are splendid resources inside the shelters - plan de quartier, and route maps/schedules. And more and more have digital signs indicating the arrival time of the next bus.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
25,680 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

you can't 'learn' the bus system as it is too complex -- so you cheat -- you buy a bus guide at the newsstand and then you note that every bus stop includes a detailed map of the route so you can double check you have the right one

the bus stops also have little electronic signs that tell you when each bus is next due (or if it is canceled or delayed so you don't wait forever for a bus that has been canceled due to a street closing for a demonstration or whatever)

on the bus itself, there is almost always an electronic sign that announces the next stop and also the time to the end of the line -- it is important to note the stop before yours, so you can press the button for the next stop after you clear that one -- it is sometimes difficult to spot the name of the stop in time if you are counting on reading it off the bus kiosk -- we have missed a stop more than once

I prefer the metro but the stairs are killer if your mother has any mobility issues -- and there are lots of buses and routes

and you want a Navigo or other pass because then you feel perfectly comfortable hopping the bus for 6 blocks and not counting the cost of tickets

Edited: 07 April 2011, 15:02
Pantin
Level Contributor
181 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: A die-hard walker must learn the bus system

If metro line 14 is along your path somewhere, it is the newest line and has lifts in every single station going all the way to street level.