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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: On our next trip to Paris, we'll be staying right in the city centre. We know it's a perfect walking city, but my husband who's suffering from foot problems has already told me he'd prefer to drive around. Do you have any suggestions?

A: The Parisians love their metro. First constructed during the Belle Epoque period, the Arte Nouveau entrance with its whimsically stylized green arches in cast iron truly exemplifies the sure joie de vivre of this transporation system. At first glance, the Paris Metro subway system appears daunting. With all the criss-crossed lines outlined in different colours, it could make your head spin. But, it is very efficient and quickly gets you to point A and B and is highly recommended.

The system is actually comprised of two sections. The Metropolitan or "metro" has 14 lines and runs across the city while the RER has five lines, A through E, which runs downtown as well as the outskirts. All lines are named according to the city gate at the end of the line. The metro system provides a range of tickets running from the "Paris Visite Pass," "Carte Orange Pass," and the "Mobilis" with varying prices which is based on the distance of travel and number of days.

For more info, visit http://www.ratp.fr/ParisVisite/Eng/index.htm. Some helpful phrases to remember when purchasing your tickets are "billet" for tickets. I'd steer away from taxis, as congestion can often be a problem. However, if you are planning a quick skip across a few streets, it's always best to flag down cabs by major hotels. You can also spot designated cab stops where you simply need to stand a few minutes and then voila get whisked away by a taxi driver.

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