You can’t visit Paris without using the Metro, all of which is grade-separated, mostly as a subway. It’s simply unthinkable, impractical and expensive to travel across the city on surface streets unless you want to use the bus as an inexpensive alternative to a guided tour.
One, the streets are unfamiliar and undoubtedly traffic-clogged, so driving isn’t a good option, but even if you did have a car, streets are jammed with drivers who don’t drive like you do. Two, you won’t find a parking place at your destination, and three, cabs will get you there in about the same time but cost several times more than the Metro.
An outing on the Metro on a recent Saturday evening from the Gare de Lyon Metro station (12th arrondissement) to the Commerce station (in the 15th) cost about $2.20 at the current currency conversion rate. It took 20 minutes, including one line change, and the opportunity to discretely observe our traveling companions was worth the price.
Predicting Arrival Times
So in addition to the museums, churches and cafes, be sure to enjoy the Metro when in Paris -- something the locals have relied on for fast, frequent and reliable transit service since the 19th Century.