Best Maps & Websites for Directions in Paris: Métro, Bus, RER
Sometimes, I find the directions on Google Maps to be confusing, so I use i-Metro.Nanika.net most of the time. At this site, you can look up how to get anywhere in Paris (or just outside Paris) using the Métro, the public bus system, or the RER commuter trains.
Let's do the same search on the i-Metro Route Search page:
- Type "Saint-Sulpice" (actually you need to use “St Sulpice”) into the departure box.
- Type “Louvre” (choose “Musée du Louvre”) into destination box.
- Pick a time (Note: Use European time. 2:00 means two in the morning!)
- Click search button for results.
This site says you can get to the Louvre in half the time and with no connections by taking the bus, which stops close to your hotel. Buses are fine, but if you’d rather take the Métro, just hit the back button and change the boxes so that only Métro is clicked with a check mark.
The only thing bad about i-Metro is that it’s finicky and you have to know the exact wording of your departure point and your destination. For example, i-Metro won’t accept the name “Saint Sulpice.” So, using the wrong spelling or the wrong abbreviation will give you an error message. But, it’s easy to get around this minor problem.
If you get an error message, just hit the back button to get back to the “Route Search” page. Click the “Line Maps” button near the top of the page, (just under Bookmark). Choose Ligne 4 (because you already know that Saint-Sulpice is on Métro Line 4). And, on the list of stops, you'll see that they use "St Sulpice", not "Saint-Sulpice."
Tip: Knowing to use 24-hour times and the “Line Map” button makes this site better than any other method I’ve found so far.
This handy-dandy i-Metro website (and a Google Map) will help you get to Versailles, Sacre Coeur, or that great little restaurant your neighbor told you about. Note: For trips to areas just outside of Paris, make sure to click RER, which is their commuter train.
More Maps for Paris Transportation
Sometimes, you need to see a map.
I know some of these websites are a bit confusing at first, but if you start with the location of your hotel on Google Maps (or Google Earth, if you prefer), you’ll be able to get around like a local. And, don’t worry… getting lost in Paris is half the fun.
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