Here’s Your Guide to Getting Around Paris at NightBy Erika Maisen
Besides walking, the Paris Metro is one of the best ways to get around the City of Light. But what happens when it closes? (Photo: Getty Images)
Paris is simply magical at night. The City of Lights just gets better when the sun sets and the Eiffel Tour is a glow. If you are a nocturnal creature, this is how you want to do Paris. But you need to do a little pre-planning. Le Métro doesn’t run all night like you, so you need to know all your transportation options before your night out on the town.
Traveling with your boo? Nothing is quite as romantic as taking a stroll down the lit streets of Paris. This city is truly made for walking and nothing puts brings you closer to its smells, sights and sounds. Put on your comfy shoes and hit Les Grand Boulevards or sweet side streets like Rue Crémieux, plus the cost is absolutely free.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective means of getting around, the Paris Métro is similar to other subway systems around the world. While the Métro is a great way to get around the city at night, don’t make it too late of an evening. It closes around midnight during the week and between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on the weekend. Be sure to check the schedule before you head out.
France’s version of a regional train system, the RER runs through Paris and serves as a connector to outlying cities and towns. While the trains don’t run as often as the Métro, the trains are a bit quicker with less stops. Just like the Métro, however, trains stop running around midnight, so make sure you have an alternate plan if you plan to stay out later.
So, what do you do after Métro and RER lines are closed? Try the Noctillien bus line. With over 47 bus routes throughout the capital, the Noctilliens run throughout the night, ensuring you always have a ride back to your hotel.
It’s never too late for a bike ride in Paris. Located at several spots throughout the city, Velib‘ offers bike rentals to get around town. Simply insert your card and go. The price is based on how long you need the bike with the first half hour free. Pedaling past the soft glow of the Louvre or over the pretty Pont Neuf would make a perfect Parisian night out. But remember, no drinking and driving!
As in any major metropolitan area, Paris taxis are often the most expensive option. In fact, if you call a cab service to come pick you up, you’re on the meter from the moment the driver gets the reservation, NOT the moment you get into the vehicle. The costs can add up, but if you’re not one to share the bus and your feet can no longer propel you forward, it may be your best (and only) option.