There is public transport and then there is public transport. I would be untruthful if I told you I was a fan of the London tube or the New York subway but I am absolutely telling the ‘cross my fingers, swear on the lives of the children’ truth when I say I love the Parisian metro. It is quick, it is efficient and often the decorative nature of the stations are interesting to look at. The escalators take you deep down and the winding tunnels lead you to the colour coded platforms. Often buskers will serenade you with some jazzy tune or other. Ok, the Metro is underground and most transport systems below the earth’s surface leave a lot to be desired but this one works; it is a little shabby in parts but nothing that the people watching can’t make up for. A couple of euros and you can ride from one side of Paris to the other; buy a carnet of ten at the ticket booth and you can have days of fun for a reasonable price.
The other way to mosey around Paris is by bike. The Velib is a public bicycle rental system where for a small subscription per day you can hire a velib at any of the bicycle bays throughout the centre of Paris. The idea is you hop on, cycle to your destination, drop off the bike and then collect another to continue on your way or return back to base. It is simple, inexpensive, efficient and very popular.
If you like riding bikes, taking on the Parisian drivers and being exposed to the elements then the velib is for you. If, like me, you prefer to sit and watch the world go by then try the Metro or better still if you have the time….walk.
Walking is by far the best way to see any city especially one as beautiful as Paris… xv