Don’t Miss the Last Metro
This may not be an issue for serious clubbers who stay out till the sun comes up, but for those who like to get back to their hotel room before dawn, keep in mind that the Metro does shut down completely by 1 am (some parts of the Metro in Paris begin the shut-down process by 12:30 am). You basically want to get on your train by 12:15 am, especially if you have a connection to make.
In recent years, there has been some loosening of these strict hours – which makes sense. One of the City of Paris’s better ideas has been the move to keep Metro’s running all night during special night events such as ‘White Nights’ so that people can enjoy the evening without constantly looking at their watches. Also there’s been a move to keep Metro’s open later on weekends. Perhaps, eventually, Metros will be open around the clock.
Taxi’s are not an option in many cases. Parisian taxis tend to be expensive, and then there’s the question of whether you can even find one. (The best way to resolve this problem is buy calling for a taxi, but keep in mind that your fare will include the cost the driver incurred to get to wherever he/she is added to wherever you are.) If you’re used to NY taxis, then, you’re in for a rude awakening.
If the Metros have stopped running for the evening, you have two other options aside from taxis:
Noctilien. Noctilien is the night bus line which connects the major train stations, the Champs Elysees and some other high traffic night spots. The frequency of the buses vary depending on the route. Just make sure that the bus stand where you’re waiting has a ‘Noctilien line’ indicated.
Many of the day buses end their runs quite early in the evening. If a bus doesn’t show up after half an hour, it may have finished its route for the day.
Now, thanks to the Velib program, you also have the option of renting a bike which can be delivered to a bike rack in the vicinity of your hotel. The first half hour of your ride is free of charge. The benefit of using Velib bikes at night is the fact that Paris streets will be normally be much less congested (especially once you head away from the major boulevards.
>> Get more Paris travel tips from a local before you go!