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Getting around Paris

Paris Metro, Train, Bus and Tram Tickets, Carnets and Passes

The Paris transport ticket system is actually quite straightforward for the average tourist.

The best way to see a lot of the most famous attractions in Paris is to walk. But the transport system is excellent too!

Most of the time, your best choice will be a carnet (book) of ten "t" tickets, but there are other options if you're staying longer, just want a day ticket, are looking for discounts, or want to venture further afield.

Here is a summary of your options, with links to further details:

Paris Visite ticket Paris Visite

This ticket is aimed at tourists. It's basically a go anywhere pass within the zones you choose, and according to Robert Harman of the France Paris Mission also gives discounts at the following attractions:

  • Canauxrama - buy one €14 ticket and get one free
  • Chez Clément - 1 house cocktail or 1 crème brûlée per person (one visit only)
  • Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - €5.50 (instead of €7.50)
  • Etoiles du Rex, Montmartrain, Musée Jacquemart-André, Musée de Montmartre, Musée du vin - buy full fare ticket, get companion ticket for free
  • Galeries Lafayette - 10% discount + a gift
  • Montparnasse Tower observation deck- 35% off the price of one adult ticket
  • Moulin Rouge - one complementary porcelain Moulin Rouge ashtray
  • Musée Grévin - 25% off full admission fee
  • Opentour - €22.00 (instead of €25)
  • Palais Garnier - discount rate for accompanying visitor of €5 (instead of €7)
  • Stade de France - 30% discount (visit to heart of the stadium only)

(Note that this obviously does not cover the majority of museums or monuments.)

You have to write your names on the pass (no photo necessary) and copy the coupon number and pass expiry date. Each coupon is valid for either a 1, 2, 3 or 5 day period (calendar days and not a 24 hour period) of your choice: 1-3, 1-5, 1-8 zones and prices range from 8.35€ - 26.65€ up to 23.60€ - 53.35€. If you're staying in central Paris just buy the 1-3 zone one.

You can get a reduced rate for children between 4 and 11 years of age.

This pass is on sale in all metro, RER and SNCF stations, the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports and in certain Parisian hotels or buy it online now from Rail Europe (scroll down the page to see the link).

RATP Paris Visite page


Ticket T

Individual Métro/Bus/Tram/RER tickets are now called "t" tickets and cost €1.40 each. They can be bought in a carnet (book) of 10 for €10.70. Buy them at any Métro station ticket office or from the automatic vending machines at the Métro, bus or tram stations.

And here's a hint from Robert Harman of the France Paris Mission: "DON'T buy your tickets from the people milling around the big stations like Montparnasse. These venders go and buy discounted tickets for the handicapped and aged, and try to sell them off to tourists who don't know any better. Trust me, the contrôleurs in the trains do know, and being a tourist is a pretty bad excuse to try to pull."

With the ordinary "t" ticket, you can travel on:

  • The whole metro network
  • The RER (RATP and SNCF) within Paris
  • The RATP buses in Paris its suburbs
  • The Optile network, which gathers together private bus companies located in the greater suburbs area

One journey = one ticket, i.e. you can transfer between lines within your permitted zone, but note that you cannot interchange between buses and trains on the same ticket.


Mobilis ticket Mobilis
The Mobilis ticket a one day pass and allows you to ride the Métro, RER, and bus as often as you want. It's available for 2 to 5 zones, with a base price of 6.60€ for zones 1-2 up to 15.65€ for zones 1-5. If you're staying in central Paris just buy the cheapest.

It is valid from 5:30 am until 1:00 am the next day and until 2:30 am on Friday, Saturday and day before public holiday  (until 5:30 am on Noctilien network).

When you buy a Mobilis pass you actually get two tickets: you have to write your name on the big one (no photo required), and copy its number and the date you're using the ticket onto the smaller one. You put this smaller ticket into the slot to get you through the the Métro turnstiles (don't forget to pick up your ticket afterwards).

Important: DO NOT try to validate your ticket in the machines on the buses, you'll stuff it up - just show the ticket to the driver.


Carte Orange

Navigo Découverte Pass

One form of this can only be used by locals, but the Navigo Découverte (thanks to the French civil liberty activists) can be used by anyone, because you aren't entered into any database. The outer ticket requires a passport-sized photograph which you can get in machines in most stations these days. It works on the same principle as the Mobilis pass. There's an ID card for which you must have a photo and a smaller ticket, both of which go into a transparent sleeve. You can buy a "starter kit" for 5€ in many tabacs and stations etc. You then charge it up at any ticket office.

A Navigo Découverte pass can be valid for seven days (Monday to Sunday: carte hebdomadaire) or a calendar month (carte mensuelle). Again, prices vary according to the number of zones (2 to 5) and the length of time chosen (from 19.80€ to 34.40€ for the weekly card, and from 65.10€ up to 113.20€ for the monthly card).

Note: the Navigo card is an RFID card, like the London Oyster card and the Hong Kong Octopus, so to use it you simply bring it close to the card reader as you go in. You can actually keep it in your wallet or bag and it will still work.


Where to buy passes:

You can buy Paris Visite, Mobilis and Navigo passes in most Métro, RER and SNCF stations, the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports and in certain Parisian hotels. Paris Visite is also available at branches of the Paris tourist office and from our partner, Rail Europe (scroll down page), which also sells the Paris Museum Pass buy it online now(you have to scroll down the page you are taken to, there are several other interesting Paris offers there as well).


NB: Versailles
Transportation to Versailles is outside your ticket range if you choose a zone 1-3 ticket (Mobilis or Navigo). Also travel on the Phébus (Versailles bus lines) is not covered by any of the above tickets. Be sure to plan accordingly (Versailles is zone 4).

NB: Interconnections to the airport
To get to Orlyval, you need a special ticket to travel from Paris to Antony on the the metro and RER network. This special Orlyval ticket is sold separately in metro and RER stations, on the SNCF Ile de France network and at RATP-Orlyval salesdesks at the Orlyval airport.

The Montmartre Funiculaire

You can use the Montmarte Funiculaire with a ticket t "Metro, bus, Tram, RER-Paris". This allows you to take a one-way trip (up or down).


Next page: RER links (including network maps)

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