Top 10 Things NOT to do on the Métro

Hello darlings,

I’m coming at you with a little bit of lingering métro rage. Yes, you read me right, métro rage. It’s a thing.

Spring break tourist period has begun. That means that MEGA BUSY tourist season (spring through summer/early fall) is upon us. “Whoa, whoa! You’re not even French,” you say. No, I am not. But I do live here and love my adopted city, which means that I am becoming Parisian whether I like it or not (like, LOVE) aka I have all the right to rale. Here is my list:

1. DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE METRO HALLWAYS. That isn’t the official name but you know what I mean.

I get it. There are cool ads, amazing people watching – but this is not the park. And refrain especially from doing this during rush hour. This means 8-10 am and 4-8 pm. Just don’t. You will suffer the following consequences:

-get “oh la la!!!!!”-ed at
-get heavily sighed at
-someone will faire la tête at you
-you will be called a flurry of negative things and then be told how to walk in the metro in rapid-fire French
-you will get pushed (bousculé-d)

If somehow and for some reason none of the above happens to you, rest assured that you are one of God’s favorites and you should go invest in risky stocks or something.


It’s an unwritten rule but you will have unknowingly silently screamed “I AM A TOURIST!” to everyone. Aka watch out for pickpockets now. Also, it’s just common courtesy. WAIT YO TURN.

3. When exiting one of the few lovely metros with escalators, stick to the right if you’re just chilling so those that are rushing can shimmy up on the left-hand side. Recap: STICK TO THE RIGHT. THE LEFT IS FOR THOSE THAT ARE MOVING.

4. Your extra beauty routines are for your HOME.

I don’t want to see you:
Clip your nails
Tweeze your eyebrows
Paint your nails
Floss your teeth
Change your clothes
Put on deodorant

****Nota Bene: I totally get it if you have to do your makeup though. No judging there.

5. DO NOT step directly in front of a mother carrying a heavy stroller and baby down the stairs.

Those things are (both) HEAVY. Instead, if you are not in a hurry, ask if you can help and grab the side of the stroller she asks you to take. It takes all of 20 seconds, and you will make her day. This goes for both girls and guys. Random Act of Kindness for the day, done, boom!

6. DO NOT eat your dinner on the metro.

Everyone is starving and will just be eyeing you and your food. It’s just uncomfortable for everyone, the hungry and you. More you.

But are breakfast and lunch all right? Yup, those are kosher. Word to the wise, speaking from experience, you will want to always carry antibacterial gel in your bag. Every germ in the world can be found in the metro. I am sick approximately every two and a half weeks. The doctor says its because it takes a body two years to get used to a new, colder climate when one comes from a warm place (aka gorgeous sunny Southern California), but I call bollocks on that and blame it on the Worldwide Germ Convention, also known as the métro. Hand sanitizer is your best friend if you decide to eat on or simply ride the métro.

7. PLEASE REFRAIN from imposing your iTunes library on the entire metro. Aka turn down the volume.

I’m glad you like your song. Sometimes I like them, too. However, for the future of your hearing abilities, please turn it down. Especially when it’s some god-awful screamo “music.” (FYI- it’s not music.)

8. DO excuse yourself when you hit, trip, kick (it happens), push, fall into someone’s lap and/or manhandle someone on the metro.

It’s pronounced “par-dohn.” (“Pardon!”) or if you really hurt them, follow up with an “Excusez-moi.” Again, it’s a matter of courtesy.

8. DO stand up if the metro starts getting full

…if you’re in the fold down seats.

9. DO give up your seat to an older, disabled, pregnant, or really exhausted looking person when the seats are all taken. One day that may be you and man, will you appreciate that! Karma exists, people.


There’s no need to scream.

I’m talking to my fellow Americans here. We are loud and proud. BUT – when we are in France, we are literally in French territory. Hence, do as the French do. Be absolutely silent, and avoid eye contact.

This list could go on for a while. A few other metro no-nos are: coughing or sneezing on your hand and then touching the metal bars that EVERYONE ELSE has to use, scrambling through your pockets to find a metro ticket in front of the entrance into the metro (especially during rush hour), getting too close to people when it’s unnecessary (aka don’t sit right next to me if there are three other seats available, kthanksbye), pushing bags into people, taking up two seats with your bags when it’s busy, being rowdy on the metro (just use it as your meditation time), or not moving when you are in front of the doors and there are people behind you who need to get off. Just a few little things to keep in mind for your next Paris trip.

Summary: Walk fast and with confidence. Follow these guidelines, and your metro experience will be all the more delightful.

Paris Metro Sign Blog