20 March 2006

Getting home before dawn: the Paris bus system after hours

With Noctilien, you can travel throughout Ile-de-France all night long. It operates every night from 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. If you waste all of your money in the clubs or your wallet is pinched by one of Paris's talented pick-pockets, you can still make your way home on the Noctilien if you can find some coins. For details in English, click here.

Carte Orange, Intégrale, Imagine R and Mobilis can be used on the Noctilien Network. Sans these types of passes, one can use a single T-ticket and travel within zones one and two for EUR 1,40.

Buy your bus tickets ahead of time. It is not as easy as one would think to board the bus using cash. Drivers don't always have the time or patience to school you on the intricacies of public transport. The passengers will also start making "tsk tsk" noises - and you'll hear some heavy sighs - if your confusion keeps the bus from rolling promptly toward their French homes.

If you're staying for a month or more, buy a Carte Orange. You'll thank me later. Tourists can buy a carnet of ten T-Tickets for just under 11-euros. Once again, be prepared! Have a couple of tickets on you at all times.

If you need to travel to les banlieues, consult an itinerary Web site to calculate your total fare.
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