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Paris transportation guide

The Gare de Lyon, one of six train stations in Paris
Paris is a central hub of the national rail network of very fast (TGV) and normal (Corail) trains, which interconnects with a high-speed regional network, the RER. Six major railway stations, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare connect this train network to the world famous and highly efficient underground metro system, the Métro. This latter is a network of 380 stations (more than the London Underground) connected by 221.6km of rails
There are two tangential tramway lines in the suburbs: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La Défense to Issy. A third line along the southern inner orbital road is currently under construction.
Administratively speaking, the public transportation networks of the Paris region are coordinated by the Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP). official site Members of the syndicate include the RATP, which operates the Parisian and some suburban busses, the Métro, and sections of the RER; the SNCF, which operates the rest of the RER and the suburban train lines; and other operators.
The city is also the hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by an orbital road, the Périphérique, which roughly follows the path of final, 19th-century fortifications around Paris. On/off ramps of the Périphérique are called 'Portes', as they correspond to the former city gates in these fortifications. Most of these 'Portes' have parking areas and a metro station, where non-residents are advised to leave cars. Traffic in Paris is notoriously heavy, slow and tiresome.

Taxi charges are fairly reasonable - between ?6.10 and ?10.67 for a central daytime journey, though considerably more if you call one out. There are three different fare rates: indicator lights on the roof of the taxi tell you which fare is being applied. "A" indicates the daytime rate (7am-7pm; around ?0.53/km) for Paris and the boulevard périphérique; "B" is the rate for Paris at night (7pm-7am), on Sundays and on public holidays, and for the suburbs during the day (around ?0.83/km); "C" is the night rate for the suburbs (?1.07/km). When you get into the taxi, check that the meter shows the appropriate fare rate. In addition, there's a pick-up charge of around ?1.98 and a time charge (around ?18.29/hr) for when the car is stationary, an additional ?0.76 charge if you're picked up from a mainline train station, and a ?0.95 charge per piece of luggage.

Taxis will often refuse to take more than three people (they don't like you to sit in the front seat); if they do take you, they'll charge extra for the fourth person (about ?1.37). Tipping is not mandatory, but ten percent will be expected. Finding one of Paris's 470 taxi ranks ( arrêt taxi ) is usually better than trying to hail one down in the street. The large white light means the taxi is free; the orange light below means it's engaged.

Paris is served by two principal airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris, and the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in nearby Roissy-en-France, one of the busiest in Europe. A third and much smaller airport, at the town of Beauvais, 70 km (45 mi) to the north of the city, is used by charter and low-cost airlines. Le Bourget airport nowadays only hosts business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum.

Paris map

Paris map
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Culture guide
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