With Paris’s 20 arrondissements, there’s a lot to do in the City of Light. The city may have plenty of taxis (just wait by the taxi sign), but there’s plenty of other ways to navigate the city with ease… once you become familiar with all the options.
For starters, get to know the layout of Paris. The 20 arrondissements are arranged in a clockwise spiral with the first district in central Paris just north of the river (the right bank), and the 20th on the far east side of the city. Additionally, check the address you’re headed to, specifically the zip code. If you’re going to our Paris cooking class with Frederic, the zip code is 75020. The last two digits signify the arrondissement, so you know you’ll be heading to the 20th.
When you’re coming from the airport, you’ll take the Blue RER train line from CDG Terminal 2 or 3 and go directly into the city center in about 30 minutes to an hour. The Blue RER train stops in a few places within Paris, but if you’re looking to connect to the Metro, transfer at Chatelet Les Halles.
Try a wonderful French recipe for stuffed artichokes.
Once on the Metro, you’ll quickly get the hang of things, even with about 300 subway stops. All of the Métro subway lines are color-coded and numbered, and you’ll just need to know which direction you’re headed by taking a look at the posted maps. No matter which train line you’re on, be sure to keep your ticket with you in case an agent asks to see it; plus, you’ll need it to exit the turnstile. Get more information about navigating Paris and tickets on France Today. But one thing to note, if you get a Paris Visite pass for traveling — for the RER, Métro, and even the buses — show it when purchasing a variety of tickets for monuments and sights, as you may get a discount.
While the train system, along with the buses, makes it easy to get around the City of Light, be sure to put on your best walking shoes to walk around. This historic city is packed with so many things to do and see, and it’s best seen on foot!
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