paris metro map

A better Paris Metro map

by RissiePwas on June 13, 2015

Paris’ public transportation takes visitors just about anywhere. However, while the popular Paris Metro map shows the train routes as a series of colored lines that give a general idea where they’re located, it doesn’t show a visitor exactly where they are compared to the actual streets above ground. Paris Metro map online

The schematic Paris Metro map does not show the streets.

Paris Metro map avec rues (with streets)

The entrance to most Paris Metro stations display the map "avec rues" (with streets). Get your own free copy to navigate like a local!

The key to using the system is a better Metro map, and fortunately such a map exists. The most valuable travel aid while visiting Paris is the grand plan lignes avec rues (lines with streets). This free fold-out map is published by the RATP, Paris’ public transit system. It shows the vividly colored Metro lines overlaid atop an actual street map of the city, including major landmarks and parks. The grand plan lignes avec rues shows the visitor exactly where they are. Paris Metro map PDF avec rues with streets

The map “avec rues” shows exactly where the stops are.

Paris bus map avec rues (with streets)

The opposite side of the grand plan lignes avec rues offers the same street map of Paris, this time overlaid with brightly colored bus lines. There are times when a bus is a better option than the Metro, stopping closer to a specific destination or offering a more direct route. It’s also a money saver: taking public buses in foreign cities is a great way to see the sights at a leisurely pace, at a fraction of the cost of local tour buses. Paris metro bus map

Flip the map over to see where the buses run.

A map is better than an “app”

Certainly there are similar apps that can be downloaded to smart phones. But this is one case were a map is better than an app. A physical map shows the big picture, something that is difficult for a tiny phone screen. Paris’ map which overlays the transit system with the city streets is a handy tool, particularly with the bus lines included. The map is available at major bus and train stations throughout the city. Be sure to get the version avec rues, which includes the overlay of the streets. Armed with this user-friendly map, anyone can soon be navigating around Paris like a native.

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Paris Metro map PDF

Note:  The PDF version of these maps can be downloaded from the RATP websites by clicking the following links:

Click here for Paris Metro avec Rues

Click here for Paris Buses avec Rues

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Like it? Share it . . . Pin it!With the Paris Metro map "avec rues," you'll be navigating the city easily--both below ground and above!

While you’re in the City of Light, here are some of our favorite less crowded sights in Paris.

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Larissa and Michael are your typical middle-aged couple from Philadelphia who’ve been traveling the world full-time since 2011, seeking off-beat, historic and tasty sights. To receive monthly updates and valuable travel tips subscribe here. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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Alexandra June 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

I love transit maps! I keep one from very city that I go to!

Larissa June 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

We haven’t been keeping ours, but that’s a great idea! We’ll definitely hold on to the Paris map.

Chris September 4, 2012 at 4:50 am

This is a great tip. Thanks for the link.

Michael September 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hope it helps.

yvonne October 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

where can I get this map? I do not want the pdf downloadable and am no longer in Paris

Tami February 8, 2016 at 11:34 am

I’d love to use the map, but I couldn’t get it to download from the website. If you’ve already downloaded it, could you email it to me?

Larissa February 8, 2016 at 11:46 am

Hi Tami, I’ve sent it on to you . . .Bon Voyage!

Frank October 13, 2016 at 2:06 am

Yeah. that’s handy. Maps make me tear my hair out which is why I’m almost bald. Add to that I’m losing my eyesight and can’t read a map anymore without taking off my glasses. Argg. But yes, sometimes I wonder who designs these maps and why the majority are so useless…

Frank (bbqboy)

Michael October 17, 2016 at 3:18 am

I hear you about having to take off glasses to read maps. It seems counterintuitive.

Miles July 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm

The Metro map with streets sounds great, but I can’t seem to find it with the link you provide. Have they discontinued it? Any chance you could send me either the direct link or a pdf? Trying to plan a trip for my wife and daughter.
Thanks!

Michael July 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Your best bet is contacting them on the website. Up top there is a place to switch the site to English.

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