Quick guide to riding the Paris Metro with Kids
Riding the Paris metro with kids is truly one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around the city to hit all of the sights you want to see. Paris is a very walkable city, so you could opt to walk most places, but with kids in tow you may want to save those little legs for the attraction and not the journey. For city dwellers that are used to riding the subway, the Paris metro is easy to navigate like a pro after a few hours. Study the map, figure out where you want to go and just dive in. Even a novice rider shouldn’t feel intimidated. It really is much easier to figure out than the crazy colored and numbered map would lead you to believe.
Grab a 10 pack of kid tickets (reduce fare) for under €10. You can also get a 10 pack of adult tickets for about €14. If you know you will be taking the metro quite a bit definitely grab a 10 pack for yourself. If you will be riding the metro multiple times per day, consider a day or week pass. Price it out first though. Single tickets may be more economical.
Most stations have many steps, few or no elevators, and some have several train lines that stop at the station. Keep an eye out for your train number. Also look at what direction the train will be going. There is normally a list of stations the train will stop at on the top of the steps. Make sure your station stop is on that list before you head to the platform.
Wait times, no matter the time of day (nights may be different) are virtually nonexistent for most train lines. If you just missed a train, don’t worry. Another one will be along in less than 5 minutes. Look up at the sign that tells you when the next train, and even the train after it, will arrive at the station.
Many times you will have to change trains in order to get to your destination. Don’t be afraid to change trains to make your trip shorter and more enjoyable. More often than not you will find yourself only using two or three train lines to navigate the city.
Do not bring your massive stroller. The lighter the stroller the better whenever it comes to a subway system. Most stations have a lot of stairs and it is easier to tuck your cheap umbrella stroller under your arm and carry a kid than it is to search around for an elevator, which you may never find. If you can ditch the stroller at your hotel and just carry the baby in a baby carrier you will move around much easier. That being said, carrying your baby all day can hurt your back, so don’t be afraid to bring your stroller. You can make it work, especially outside of rush hour times.
Parisians are very good about getting seats for kids and moms holding babies. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. Always say “merci” if someone gives up their seat for you too.