Taking the car and getting around Paris is like running an obstacle course.
Very slow speed, difficulties with parking, traffic jams, etc. The time your trip takes is never guaranteed, but stress and fatigue are always the case. It can be a real struggle. Still, there are alternative solutions as well as tips for getting around Paris by car, and even finding a parking spot!
Take advantage of the ring road before entering Paris
Getting to Paris by car is not a pleasant experience.
If you’re coming from the Parisian provinces or suburbs, take the ring road. With 35 kilometres of motorway without any red lights, traffic moves more freely than in the centre of Paris. Furthermore, lighted signs along your journey let you know how long your trip will take in real time. Beware of motorists entering the motorway on your right, as well as the many radars. Keep in mind that the maximum speed is 70 km/h. With 30 exits, choose the one that is closest to your destination to exit the motorway and head into the capital.
Avoid rush hour
A rush-hour should be avoided whenever possible.
The number of cars is impressive and so is the time lost. V-Traffic.com, a site specialising in real-time traffic, conducted a 4-year study and found that Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings are the worst times for traffic in Paris. Trust them.
Be informed about traffic
When taking a trip, try to get real-time traffic information.
Tune your radio to 107.7 FM. This station will inform you about the traffic conditions in your area, as well as any accidents, incidents, construction or demonstrations. GPS systems, as well as smartphones connected to the internet, can also keep you up-to-date about traffic and how long your trip will take.
Parking in Paris is possible
As unbelievable as it may seem, there is always a solution for parking in Paris.
Choose underground car parks whenever you get the chance. For a fee of €5 for 2 hours, you get secure parking. Before your trip, find the underground car park nearest your destination. You also have the option of parking on the street, but spots are hard to find. If you find one, don’t forget to go to the parking meter and leave your ticket prominently displayed on your dashboard. The price of parking is generally €4 per hour, and you can pay with a card you buy in a tobacconist’s. Parking is free in the evenings after 8 PM until the following day at 9 AM and all day on Sundays.
Visiting Paris by scooter
An alternative and more practical solution, the scooter is a means of transport that is used more and more in Paris.
Stable, fast and easy-to-manoeuvre, it’s a way to get around more easily in the capital. They’re easier to park because they’re less cumbersome, and they can help you save a lot of time during your travels. In addition, there are plenty of parking spots for 2-wheeled vehicles.