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A practical guide for getting around Paris by bus

The bus is a means of public transport that complements the Metro. It enables you to travel in Paris and its inner suburbs by day and night. Had enough of the Paris metro? Take the Paris bus! !
 

About Paris’ buses

Inner Paris is served by 60 bus lines, while around 290 lines operate in the suburbs. At night time, 31 lines run on the Noctilien (day and night bus) so that you can get home, whether you’re staying in Paris or a nearby suburb. How does it work ? Follow the Lodgis guide!

1. Before taking the bus

You’ll need to follow the following instructions to get your bearings before taking a bus.
 
Step 1: Where am I and where do I need to get to in Paris?
 
There are three different options for identifying the nearest bus stop and which buses stop there.
 
The carte des bus (bus map), found at each stop and metro exit, helps you to:
 

  • Work out where you are, using a map of Paris
  • Find the name of your nearest bus stop and which bus numbers stop there
  • Find the right bus stop for your destination and check the different numbers of buses that stop there. You’ll then need to find the bus route for your journey, using more than one line if necessary
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  • On ratp.fr ,enter the place of origin and destination, choose the bus only option if you only wish to travel by bus and enter search! Simple, isn’t it? Using the RATP app or going onto ratp.fr, you can calculate your journey time and find out when the next bus arrives at your stop.
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  • At the bus station,look at the name of the stop you are at and find your destination. Remember that just like the Paris Metro, the buses run in two directions! Also, make sure you wait at the right stop (some stops only exist in one direction)…

 

2. When the bus arrives

Once you are at the bus stop and it arrives, follow these simple rules:
 

  • Make a sign with your hand to the driver to show him that you want to get on.
  • Get on at the front of the bus to show your ticket (you can even buy a ticket from the driver if you haven’t done so already: tickets cost 2 euros on the bus and are valid for one journey with no changes) and don’t obstruct the passengers getting off at the back.
  • Validate your ticket on the machine.. To find out whether a ticket is valid on the bus, check the front and there should be a BUS symbol at the bottom.
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ticket bus paris

This is what the front of a bus ticket t+ looks like


 

  • Go to the back of the bus if it gets crowded and make sure you give up your seat to priority persons (elderly, handicapped or small children).

3. Getting off the bus

To get off the bus, you’ll need to follow to simple but crucial steps:

  • Identify your stop on the line (there are maps on the bus) and when you’ve left the stop before, press the button «arrêt demandé».
  • Get off via the central or back doors of the bus .

 

4.Panoramic buses

Did you know that there are different kinds of buses on the public transport system ? Now you know how to take the bus in Paris, we’ll tell you all you need to know about panoramic buses.
 
What is the panoramic bus?

The panoramic bus is a great way to visit Paris when it’s raining or when you don’t feel like walking! The bus is on two floors and takes you right to the heart of Paris offering an audio-guided tour of Paris in the language of your choice. For about 2 hours it will take you around the main monuments of Paris , both by day and by night thanks to the « «Paris by night»» service.
 
See which buses are running and find yours on Paris Info.
 
Further information is available on the website. Tickets cost from 25-65 euros.
bus_Paris
 

5.How to take the night bus ?

Noctiliens are the buses that run at night between 00.30 and 05.30 in Paris and the local suburbs. There are 47 Noctilien lines.
 
The normal ticket t+ is valid but be careful, they’re not sold on the Noctiliens so you’ll need to buy a ticket in advance!
 
To find out bus about the Noctilien buses (the lines, extra information…), follow this link.
 
You enjoyed reading this post and you would like to find more practical information about Paris? Then, check out our survival guide for staying in Paris as a foreigner!