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Getting around Paris by Bus

Paris Public Transport Buses | Paris Tourist Sightseeing Buses

Paris Public Transport Buses Paris bus logo

Not enough tourists give Paris buses a go - the Métro may be efficient, but as so much of Paris is attractive to look at, you can miss a lot if you travel only on the subway rather than above ground. Bus maps are clear and easy to follow and you won't have any trouble working out where to change for a different route, as indicators inside the bus show the names of each stop as the bus approaches it.

Paris buses are green and white; the route number and destination are shown on the front, and major stopping places along the sides. The bus shelters have timetables and route maps, so it's easy to sort out which bus you need.

Of Paris's 250 bus routes (they go everywhere), three main lines circle the grands boulevards and are known as the Petite Ceinture (small belt). These are bus numbers PC 1, PC 2, and PC 3, which run in a continuous circle covering the major portes, or gates, into the city centre.

Paris Bus Map PDF

Historically, the Petite Ceinture was a mini-rail link built during the 19th century between the major Paris railway stations, but it fell into disuse. Interestingly, the current plan is to build a light rail system (tramway) to augment the above bus routes, and it's well underway.


All buses run from Monday morning to Saturday evening and quite a few also run on Sundays and public holidays. During weekdays and Saturday, buses run every five minutes (as opposed to the 15- to 20-minute wait on Sunday and national holidays). The buses run from 5.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. with many lines continue to run until 0.30 a.m. For the rest of the night, these services are replaced by the specific Noctilien lines (until 5 a.m.).

Noctilien Night Bus Map PDF

Each bus is clearly identified by its number, its direction and a list of its main stops displayed on both sides of the vehicle. Buses running within the city of Paris have a 2-figure number while suburban-line buses have a 3-figure number.

TIP: At certain times or on certain days the buses may only do part of their normal route or only stop at some of the stops. You can tell if this is the case by looking at the bus number: a crossed-out number indicates that some stops on the line are not served (partial service).

Next page: Using Paris buses

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Getting Around Paris Transport Index
Paris by Bicycle Paris Sightseeing Buses

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