The true voyage of discovery aims not to find new sites, but to see them with fresh eyes”Marcel Proust

There are many ways to get around Paris.  Depending on your energy, enthusiasm, mobility level and pocket book, you will have no trouble finding the best way for you to discover this beautiful city.

Here’s a special Paris for Seniors video hosted by young Parisian”Jonathon” about another fun way to see Paris -by guided electric pedi-cab!

Paris à pied (Paris on foot)

If you’re not in a rush to get anywhere, walking is a wonderful option. It is by far the mode of choice to discover off-the-beaten track surprises such as antique bookstores, mom and pop cafes, charming hidden courtyards and, even fish pedicures…Since one is bound to get lost at least once walking around this very non-linear city, it’s best to bring along a bottle of water and a good map or, better yet, an iPhone with built in GPS! If you’re not just wandering around aimlessly and actually have to get somewhere, be sure to map out your route before heading out and factor in some “oops, how on earth did I get here? ” time. One should also make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes to accommodate the many cobble-stoned pedestrian streets and uneven surfaces.


A red light doesn’t always stop people from crossing into traffic…

ATTENTION! If you are walking, you must be extremely vigilant. In North America, a green light means go, a red light means stop. Yellow, of course, means proceed with caution. There are no yellow lights in Paris – you must always be careful. When the little walking man is green on the cross walk, in principle, you can cross the street but never without looking both ways for cars, treacherous motos (motorcycles) and the now thousands of rented Vélib’ bicycles on which enthusiastic riders all seem as though in training for the next Tour de France. Here is a helpful link on the Vélib’, rent-a-bike system.û

Bien sûr, red means don’t even think about crossing. Many locals race across anyway- tempting fate and undermining patiently waiting parents trying to teach their kids how to cross safely. …en tout cas…. Just be careful! As my senior-living-in-Paris-dad likes to remind me: “Only the paranoid survive!”. … On that note, did I mention the newest addition to the city’s streets and sidewalks? Look out for les trottinettes (push scooters). The other morning, a little girl, probably about four years-old, raced by me on one of these contraptions. Just as I was catching my breath from our near collision, the child’s silver-haired grandmother raced by me on her own trotinette! Thrills ALWAYS trump safety in Paris…hey, maybe that’s why everyone loves it here so much!
If you are in the mood for a more structured and guided walk around the city, please visit the Tours section of this site. There are many excellent, English-language walking tours available in Paris including educational tours offered by Context Travel and intimate and customized walks hosted by Secrets of Paris. You can also buy some great self-guided walk books such as..

Public Transportation


Click here for the official site for metro, bus and trams:
Paris boasts an excellent and inexpensive rapid transit network made up of the subway, (le metro) intercity trains (le RER) and buses (le bus!)
The well -respected RATP- the city’s transportation authority-runs all three systems. The RATP does go on strike from time to time but most of the time, it is up and running and a great way to get around the city.
Daily, weekly and monthly passes are available.  If you want to really see Paris, stay above ground and take the bus. If you’re in a rush, the métro and RER are the way to go. They are always on time and, on most platforms, you will see a detailed map of the métro lines and their connections plus handy digital screens which tell you when the next train will be coming.
That said, for all of its good points, public transit in Paris is not very accessible to anyone with mobility issues and there are also safety concerns. While many buses have hydraulic lifts and courtesy seating for seniors, parents with strollers and those with physical challenges, the métro is another story. Plans are in the works for the métro stations to be made more stroller/wheelchair/senior friendly, but at press time, most of the  stations involve multiple staircases and packs of busy rushing people – including pickpockets. Some stations, such as the warren-like metro Châtelet are a “cauchemar total” (total nightmare) for everyone.

Detailed maps of the neighborhood in which the métro stop is located help you get your bearings.

Turnstiles at a métro -watch your purse and wallet for pick-pockets

A ticket agent/information counter in the métro. Buy your tickets here or from the machines. Métro lines, stops and connections are clearly indicated and colour-coded.

In addition to stairs, many métros have escalators-great for the weary but not very helpful if you’re in a wheel-chair. People with mobility issues are better off getting around by bus or private transportation.

No need to ask when the next train is coming -you’ll find these info boards on every metro platform

Here is an excellent, detailed article on the Paris métro with close-up picture of tickets, best fare deals and much more.
And…here is a helpful “how-to” video on how to ride the Paris métro. Great tips on on how to use the automatic ticket purchasing machine, the various turnstiles and other practical information.

Hiring a Private Vehicle or Taxi

Private Van with Driver.
If I only had a few days to see Paris, a bit of disposal income, was not a fan of stairs or crowds or had mobility issues, I would tour the city in the comfort and convenience of a private, temperature-controlled van. Taking the métro or bus will certainly save you money but public transportation can be tiring for people of all ages. At the end of this section is a list of reputable private van and taxi companies.
Paris by Taxi
Paris taxi’s are also a very handy way to get around Paris. A couple of things to know:
To Hail or Call a Cab:
When you call a taxi instead of simply hailing one, the meter starts running from the destination at which the taxi is located when he gets the call for your pick-up. This can range from between 5 and 15 euros so if you can hail a cab, do it. This is not advisable though if you are in a rush or need to catch a plane- there are taxi stands all over the city but often no taxis are parked there or, during rush hours, there may simply just be no cars available.
Bottom line: If you need peace of mind and a guaranteed cab at a set time, just reserve one and spring for the extra euros. I’ve tried to save money a few times and in each case just wasted time and energy flailing my arms like a hopeful, stressed out monkey at every passing cab.
The new taxi light system in Paris indicates whether a cab is free or not – green means the cab is available and red means it is not…in principle!
Say “Bonjour”
Many tourists get a reprimand from taxi drivers for not saying “Bonjour Monsieur/Madame” upon getting in the cab. People often just hop in and state where they’d like to go right away. If you don’t want to be scolded, just acknowledge the driver first as a person and then tell him or her where you’d like to go!
The Driver Likes His Space
Many taxi drivers in Paris usually only accept three passengers because the front passenger seat is reserved for their own personal things. The seat is often over-flowing with cell phones, maps, and other stuff. If you sweet talk the driver, you can sometimes convince him or her to move his things and make way for your fourth passenger- rather nice if you are two couples out on the town or a simple family of four.
A Charge for your Bags
You will be charged a few extra euros for transporting large objects or suitcases in the trunk of the car. All taxis have a written guide in the taxi itself outlining this policy.


Other ways to get around, including Hop on /hop off bus tours:

Here’s a special Paris for Seniors video hosted by young Parisian”Jonathon” about another fun way to see Paris -by guided electric pedi-cab!

PS: A note compliments of FROMMERS:

Discounts for Senior Travelers?

Many discounts are available to seniors — men and women over 60. Although they often seem to apply to residents of E.U. countries, it pays to announce at the ticket window of a museum or monument that you are 60 years old or more. You may not receive a discount, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. “Senior,” incidentally, is pronounced seenyore in France. Senior citizens do not get a discount for traveling on public transport in Paris, but there are senior discounts on national trains. Check out for further information. offers more information and resources on travel for seniors.