When visiting Paris, trying to figure out how to use buses to get around the city can seem like a challenge. Yet the bus can be both more scenic and less claustrophobic than the metro or RER. Taking time to get familiar with the city's clean and pleasant buses can pay off. With a total of 59 lines operating, you can get just about anywhere the metro will take you-- and often to a wider variety of destinations.
Travel Tip: If you're a disabled or elderly traveler, you may find taking the bus much easier: most are now equipped with ramps, unlike the metro which is still woefully inadequate where accessibility is concerned.
Lines and Stops
Bus stops are found all around the city and more often than not are hubs for several different lines. Recently, a majority of bus stops were equipped with electronic information systems that tell you when to expect the next bus. Neighborhood maps and bus routes are also displayed at most stations, as well as at Paris tourist information offices.
Paris buses are marked by double numbers and the name of the end of the line marked on the front. You can use T+ metro tickets or weekly and monthly passes to ride the bus, but if you've already used a single ticket in the metro, you can't transfer to the bus. You can, however, transfer between two buses without extra cost providing you do so within 90 minutes of boarding the first. Ask the driver to stamp ("valider") your ticket when you board the first bus.
Using Buses to Tour the City?
Certain bus routes are particularly scenic and can be a cheap alternative to Paris bus tours.
- Line 38 runs north to south through the city center and provides memorable views of the Latin Quarter, the Seine river, or Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Line 68 offers a vantage of the Musee d'Orsay, Saint-Germain des Pres, the Seine, The Louvre, and the Opéra Garnier.
- Line 28 offers lovely views of the Ecole Militaire, the Assemblée Nationale, the Seine River, the Grand Palais, and the Champs-Elysées.
- Line 96 winds through beautiful spots on the right bank, including Hotel de Ville, the medieval Marais neighborhood, and trendy Bastille.
Bus HoursHours vary considerably, but major lines run from approximately 5:30 a.m. to midnight. Night buses run throughout the night (see below).
For itineraries and hours, consult the RATP itinerary-finder page
Bus Lines and RoutesInteractive Paris Bus Map
Paris Night Buses (Noctilien)
Night owls rejoiced in 2006 when Paris inaugurated a new night bus system throughout the city and suburbs, making partying late much less of a pain. Buses leave from most spots around the city at intervals of 15-30 minutes.
Find a nightbus itinerary