Saturday, 9 October 2010

A Funicular Railway up Montmartre!

One of the funicular cars ascending Montmartre in July 2008

It’s not the Alps so you might be surprised to find a funicular railway in Paris. 

If you intend to visit Montmartre and have already purchased a day ticket for use on the Metro, RER or Buses in Paris, then you will be pleased to know your ticket is also valid on the Montmartre Funicular ( Funiculaire de Montmartre). This useful transport facility will give your feet a welcome rest from the 300 or so steps on the way up to Sacre Coeur.

The funicular was first opened in 1900 and was rebuilt in 1935 and 1991. The track is 354 feet (108m) long and climbs 118 feet (36m). The journey time is around 90 seconds.

Nearest Metro stations are Anvers on line 2 and Abbesses on line 12. From Anvers, cross the busy road outside the Metro station and head straight up Rue de Steinkerque. From Abbesses, head east along Rue Yvonne Le Tac and Rue Tardieu.

The funicular is in RATP Ticket Zone 1

The white stone of Sacre Coeur looks warmer in the late July evening sunlight.

The journey up to Sacre Coeur is well worth the effort. The reasonably low level build of central Paris is apparent from this view across the city. The train shed roof of the Gare du Nord can be seen towards the left.

The following picture is a 1906 postcard view of the funicular showing the lengthy climb up to Sacre Coeur.
There was much less vegetation in those days!

Here is a video of the funicular:

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Air and Space Museum - Le Bourget

The Air and Space Museum is an excellent destination for those wanting something different to the galleries of the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay.  
From Balloons and the earliest flying machines to Concorde and the conquest of space, the collections are arranged to give the visitor an insight into the history and development of flight.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs except from 1 October to 31 March when it closes at 17:00 hrs. It does not open on Christmas day or New Year’s day.
The museum is situated at Le Bourget airport, from central Paris the easiest way to get there by bus from Gare de l’Est. The service 350, destination Roissypole, stops outside the museum. Alternative routes are by Metro line 7 to La Courneuve then take bus 152 to the museum stop or by RER line B to Le Bourget and again take bus 152.
For transport ticketing purposes, the museum is in RATP Zone 3

For details of special events, exhibitions, prices etc. see the official website

Location map: Google map

Here are just a few of the many exhibits:

Polikarpov I-153 Tchaika

De Haviland DH89 Dragon Rapide  F-BHCD

North American P 51D Mustang (front) and Republic P 47D thunderbolt

An assortment of satelites and rockets in the space hall.

French Air Force F.1258 a De Haviland DH9 from c.1917

The only remaining fuselage of a Farman F60 Goliath is top left. In the centre is G-EBYY  a Cierva C.8L Gyroplane. 

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Public Transport Ticket Options

When visiting Paris, the obvious choice for tourists wanting to make numerous journeys on public transport is the Paris Visite travel card but travellers should also consider the Mobilis day ticket.

The Paris Visite travel card is ideal for those wanting to make unlimited, unrestricted trips around Paris and the Ile-de-France region.

The Paris Visite travel card is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days in zones 1-3 or 1-6

Depending on which zones you select, Paris Visite allows you to travel on:

• metro lines;

• RER lines (RATP and SNCF);

• Ile-de-France bus lines (RATP and OPTILE), except those circulating on Jetbus, Allobus Roissy CDG, tourist excursion and Air France networks;

• the Orlyval line (linking Orly Airport to the RER B);

• the Montmartre funicular.

ParisVisite - ADULT  prices in euros:

                      1 day   2 days   3 days    5 days

zones 1 - 3     9,00     14,70     20,00     28,90

zones 1 - 6     18,90   28,90     40,50    49,40

However, if you are only travelling on one day or have plans which incude a variety of destinations then the Mobilis day ticket might be better for you.

Mobilis           Euros

zones 1 - 2     6,10

zones 1 - 3     8,20

zones 1 - 4    10,15

zones 1 - 5    13,65

zones 1 - 6    17,30

Mobilis covers the same area as Paris Visite with the exception of the airport links (Orlybus, Orlyval, Roissybus, Roissyrail and Orlyrail).

A “day” on both tickets covers the period 05:30 hours to 01:00 the following morning.

A example of a possible saving is as follows:

Two days of travelling around covering zones 1-6 on one day and central Paris in zones 1-2 the next,

Using a 2 days, zone 1-6 Paris Visite ticket would cost €28.90

Splitting into two, one day tickets would be €9.00 + €18.90 = €27.90

Two Mobilis tickets cost €6.10 + €17.30 = €23.40 a saving of €4.50 on the least expensive option above.

There are other benefits and conditions attached to the Paris Visite ticket so please consult the RATP website, This will show the different travel zones in the Paris area and has some really useful interactive map functions to help plan your journeys.

Don't forget to validate your ticket before starting the first journey.

Prices from RATP website, 9 September 2010.


Getting around Paris