Driving in Paris is not something I really suggest unless you are very familiar with Paris and are used
to driving in a big city. Europeans drive very differently than Americans.
Be sure to bring your American drivers license. Familiarize yourself with the traffic laws.
If you rent a car, be sure to read the information they give you.
Taking a taxi is a great idea if you have mobility issues or need to be somewhere, like a train station, quickly. Carrying your luggage on public transportation is not always ideal.
Taxis in Paris come in all shapes and sizes. There is no standard model or color. But you'll recognize them with the TAXI sign on top. Although there are over 15,000 of them, there are still not enough to serve the population's needs.
The rates are the same with every taxi. Their meters
are actually connected into a central office of the police. Taxi drivers are also full-time employees. They have a lot of training and have been certified to
Taxi drivers are not likely to speak English. So be sure you know what you want to say before you hire one.
If you have a pickup time, calling ahead for a taxi is the best way. There is an universal phone number for
all taxis: 01 45 30 30 30. You can even schedule some on-line.
For the most complete information about taxis in Paris, see the official Paris Convention and
Vélib’ is run by the city of Paris. These are bikes found all over the city for which you pay as little as 1.70 Euros for a day's use - and you can use your bank card. You unlock a bike at one site and then return it to another. These are city bikes, geared toward easy
travelling around the streets of Paris. Their web sit boasts 20,000 bikes available! See Vélib’ for information on rates and download maps for bike station locations.
On our most recent trip in 2012, I noted a huge change in the number of people using bikes of all sorts. An informal tally done while sipping wine at a cafe one afternoon showed about 50% of riders were using Vélib’ bikes.
Most major boulevards are have added bike lanes. PAY ATTENTION when crossing streets. It's really easy to step off the curb to cross and find a bike
racing toward you in the bike lane! It took a few days before we got used to this.