Using the Bus in Paris

Most people forget about the bus as a form of transport and just stick to the metro but, depending on where you are staying and where you're going, it's possible that the most convenient form of transport is the bus.

The city is now covered with dedicated bus lanes which allows buses and taxis to bypass the traffic jams that slow everyone else down. Go on, break the mould, use the bus in Paris.

Although nothing can beat the métro for speed, a bus ride can be a cheap sightseeing tour and a helpful way to get to grips with the city's layout. Another bonus: the new ones are equipped with air-conditioning—a real perk on those sweltering August days.


The bus in Paris is a rather attractive green and white and you can find route number and destination marked on the front of the bus.

Timetables and route maps can be found in the brown bus shelters. Don't forget that you have to hail the bus you want as it passes these larger bus shelters, as lots of different routes will pass it.

There are 200 bus routes in Paris so virtually the city is accessible inside and out by this method of transport. Every métro map also has a map of the bus routes on the other side. You can find them in all métro stations and at all bus stops as well. Maps are also found in each bus. A lovely recorded voice will announce the name of every stop just before you get there.

Normally buses run every five minutes but on Sundays and national holidays your wait will increase to 15 or 20 minutes.


So, here is some helpful info if you want to take a bus in Paris.

Conveniently, bus tickets are the same as those used in the metro, and you can buy them either in metro stations or on the bus from the driver or in bars or tabac stores that displaying a green metro symbol usually found above their street sign.

One ticket will take you anywhere within the city and is valid for one transfer within 90 minutes. As you enter the bus through the front door you need to validate your ticket by inserting it into the machine by the driver’s seat.

Push one of the red buttons on the silver poles all around the bus to let the driver know you want to get off and always exit by the rear door.

Buses in Paris run from 6.30 am to 8.30 pm. Some of the routes run until 12.30 am, from Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays and public holidays, the bus service is greatly reduced.

Night Bus

Luckily it's also possible to take a night bus in Paris. When night falls the only public transport – apart from taxis – that is available after the metro and buses stop are the 42 night buses called Noctilien. They run between Place du Châtelet and the suburbs (hourly 12.30am-5.30am Monday to Thursday; half-hourly 1am-5.35am Fridays and Saturdays).