How to use the Paris city bus service
The public transport system in the city of Paris is run by state-owned transport operator RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) and consists of buses (including the 'Noctilien' night buses),the Métro system, trams and RER trains with the city and its suburbs divided into zones.
Photo credit: RATP
Using the métro system might be considered by many as onenof the classic Parisian experiences, good or bad but the bonus of using Paris buses is that you can enjoy some sightseeing along the way!
Paris buses run Monday to Saturday from 7am until 8.30pm. There are some services operating in the evenings between 8.30pm and 12.30am serving the main stations and airports of the city. The company offer a reduced service on Sundays and public holidays.
The city has 64 bus routes which complement the metro network above ground.
You can view an interactive map of the Paris bus system and plan a journey here on the RATP website.
For city buses buy your tickets before boarding the bus and not from the bus driver – they will be more expensive and will only be usable for the line you’re on,buy them at a metro station, either at the desk or on one of the automatic machines.
You can buy a ‘carnet‘ of ten tickets for about 14,10€, which will be cheaper than buying them individually.Your ticket can be used to transfer between two buses, provided you take the second one less than 90 minutes after the first,this however doesn’t work for bus-metro transfers.
We actually recommend buying a 'Paris Visite Travelcard zones 1-3' pass which gives you unlimited travel on all the public transport system on just the one ticket.
It is activated when you use it for the first time, can be bought for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days, and comes with a map.
Most of main attraction of Paris are within zones 1-3 but if you wish to travel outwith these,to Disneyland Paris or Versailles for example, you can buy a ticket for zones 1-5 or simply buy an individual day ticket for that journey.
Paris buses,like most services display the route number and final destination on front of the bus and at the entry point.
At many bus stops waiting time for the next bus to arrive is shown on the electronic display board.Some bus stops are also equipped with USB ports for recharging your smartphone.
Bus stops comprise either of glass shelters or simple poles. They display the number of the bus lines serving the stop and a map of the route.The time of the first and last bus are also displayed.
You access the bus at the drivers door and exit by the middle or at the back of the bus. On articulated buses you can use any of the doors. Push the button next to the doors to open. As soon as you enter the bus you have to validate your pass or punch your ticket. When you want to exit the bus press one of the red buttons to let the driver know.
The RATP company also run the Roissybus service to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and the Orlybus service to and from Paris Orly airport.
PRIVATE BUS TOURS
There are many tour buses operating within central Paris most of them offering the Hop-On, Hop-Off concept and following a designated route stopping as you would expect, at some of the most popular tourist sites.
BEST PUBLIC BUS ROUTES FOR SIGHTSEEING
BUS No 22
BUS No 38
BUS No 42
BUS No 69
BUS No 72
BUS No 80
BUS No 86
BUS No 89