Paris metro. Guide
As in any major European city, Paris has its own metro. But here it is not a luxury, as in Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin or, say, Vienna, but actually a means of transportation, as the center is very large and not everyone will go at least from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame Cathedral or find a hotel not very far from the main attractions. At first, the Paris subway seems terrible – tickets are expensive, long crossings, almost no elevators and escalators, it’s better not to remember the turnstiles … but over time you start to appreciate that.
Let’s start with the tickets. Tickets can be bought only in the machines. There are two types of them, one accepts only a special electronic transport card, which tourists are not supposed to, the card can be replenished and paid for travel. For everyone else in the second machine, you can buy a regular paper ticket.
It is a ticket for August 2015 th – 1.80 euros. It seems to be not so expensive, in many European countries it is more expensive, but the fact is that there usually a ticket is valid for 60-90 minutes, and here the trip is one-time.
You can save a little if you buy 10 tickets at once. It will cost 14.10 euros. You can still buy a ticket for a day or more without a limit of travel. It will cost 11.15 – 18.15 (2 days) – 24.80 euros (3 days). But experience suggests that you do not travel so much. It is more profitable to take a pack of 10 tickets. At the same time, daily tickets are not valid for 24 hours, but until 23.59, that is, a calendar day. And use the ticket to multiple passengers will not work.
I also note that not all machines accept bills … Navigation is carried out in English (there are several more languages to choose from). Not at all difficult. If problems arise, you can turn to the information point. Explain on your fingers and they will buy you a ticket in the machine.
Turnstiles. Paris is not for you Berlin or Vienna, turnstiles are installed here. And the turnstiles are very “hard” – you can not climb and jump over. But it gives a lot of problems and good citizens, it is very difficult to get into such a turnstile with things, and if you have a suitcase … and if it is also big … I came to Paris with 2 large suitcases to drag them through the turnstiles I had to invent a whole operation. And the window for suitcases at the stations is only one and it is quite narrow. And there are no wickets, like, say, in London or Istanbul, no … no, because there are no controllers at the stations, those who follow the passage. Paris saved on staff and closed the passage to the free-riders as much as possible.
If you have coped with the luggage, then you just need to shove a ticket into the slot on the top of the turnstile, and pick up the ticket a little further, as soon as you take it, the doors will open immediately. At the exit of the subway you will have to wait for automatic doors, good, they linger for a second after the passage and things are easier to push.
There are still a lot of free-riders … usually pass in pairs on one ticket, some try to slip through the doors to the exit. The cameras, of course, see this, but there is absolutely no one to delay. Some stations have items of information, but local staff do not follow this.
Mobility. Another unpleasant surprise is already waiting for the subway, there are a lot of crossings, descents and ascents, and there are almost no elevators and escalators. For the disabled, the elderly and people with luggage, this is perhaps the most unfriendly metro in the world. I remember Vienna, where there are all conditions for people with disabilities, but here they are not at all … even better in Moscow, in most cases there are escalators. But we must pay tribute to the Parisians – they always help. You will not stand in front of the stairs with a bag and 10 seconds – they will immediately offer you help, it can be an emigrant, a girl and anyone – it is customary to help here! And it is very nice! In any case, without this help is very difficult. I remember once at the entrance to the subway I met a woman with a stroller and two children … she held one child in her hands, another was in a wheelchair … so she tried to go down the stairs … I offered help and I got my keeping a stroller. The carriage had to be held on outstretched arms and so descend. I was really afraid that I would stumble or touch something and just fall down with the stroller, okay, I, and there is a small child … they are poor there …