|Paris Métro-Bus-RER Tickets & Passes|
Titre de Transport
Random inspections are carried out by RATP agents: they stop everyone proceeding along a corridor or at an exit, ask to see their ticket or pass, check it with an electronic gizmo, and if it's valid you proceed on your trip. If not, you're in expensive trouble!
If you've been to Paris in the last 120 years, you've probably used a paper t+ ticket to ride. That's changed! Paper tickets have been phased out in favor of plastic Navigo RFID transit passes for paying fares in Paris and the Île-de-France. If you have any leftover paper tickets, use them as soon as possible, then purchase a Navigo Easy fare card (2€), or other rechargable pass. Read on:
How Will You Use Public Transport?
First, let's look at how you plan to use public transit. After that we'll explain the advantages and disadvantages of each sort of pass and ticket.
Just a Few Trips
If you think you'll use public transit just a few times over a few days, the simplest way is to buy a Navigo Easy transit pass (2€) and charge it with as many fares as you think you'll use. You can always add more fares as you need them.
A Day or Two of Heavy Use
Only a day or two and you want to see everything? Consider a Navigo Jour pass, especially if you're traveling from or to CDG or ORY airports. An alternative: Navigo Easy with a 10-fare carnet of tickets discounted 20% (not valid for the airports).
About a Week (or More) in the City
If you plan to take several trips daily for about a week—particularly if you are a repeat visitor to Paris—you want a Navigo Découverte weekly (Monday to Sunday) pass, especially if you'll be traveling to or from an airport.
The Navigo Easy pass is a reusable plastic RFID card sold for 2€ which can be charged with transit credit at any Navigo machine—it's like London's Oyster card, Boston's Charlie card, etc. Tap the card on the fare gate or bus validation machine and you're on your way.
You pay the standard fares valid on all Métro (underground train) lines, city bus lines, funiculars, trams, and RER trains between central Paris stations: 2.10€ at the tarif normal (normal fare), but if you buy un carnet (unh kahr-NEY, a "booklet") of 10 tickets on a Navigo Easy pass, fares are discounted by 20% to 1.70€ each. For most visitors visiting Paris for a few days, this is the cheapest, most convenient option.
Children from 4 to less than 10 years of age pay half-fare.
Paying one fare entitles you to one journey of up to 90 minutes on the Métro or tram system, including switching Métro lines. On city buses, one fare allows you to ride on one bus, then within 90 minutes to transfer to another bus line. It does not include transport to/from Paris's airports.
The Navigo Easy can be anonymous, and transferrable to any other person. Or you can set up an account with RATP and re-charge your Navigo Easy pass right from your mobile phone. Here's more about Navigo passes.
RATP and other Île-de-France transport services offer smartphone apps which allow you to buy tickets, recharge passes, plan routes, be warned of service problems and suspensions, etc. We use the excellent Bonjour RATP app all the time. There's also the similar Île-de-France Mobilités app.
You can buy tickets right in the app, then use your smartphone as the ticket by means of NFC (Near-Field Communication): tap it on the turnstile target to enter the transport system.
Buy Navigo Passes in Advance!
If you see a sign like this at a station entrance...
Accès réservé aux voyageurs munis de billets" means "Access is restricted to passengers who already have passes or tickets." No passes or tickets are sold at this entrance. You must already possess one to enter the system here.
"Accès principal..." tells you where the main station entrance is. You can buy passes or tickets there and enter.
Navigo Jour Pass
The Navigo Jour 1-day pass permits unlimited travel on all modes (SNCF, RER & Métro trains, city buses, trams & funiculars) within the zones you choose: 7.50€ for Zones 1 & 2, 10€ for Zones 1 through 3, 12.40€ for Zones 1 through 4, 17.80€ for Zones 1 through 5; Zone 5 includes Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports (except for OrlyVal). (See below for more about ZONES.)
The 1-day Navigo Jour card or Mobilis ticket saves you money if you fly into a Paris airport, buy a Navigo Jour or Mobilis valid for Zones 1 through 5, and make a round-trip return from and to the airport, or if you use it to travel from the airport into the city, andalso use it for at least four transit rides in the city on that day.
For short-term but frequently-returning foreign visitors, the Navigo Découverte pass is available by the calendar week (Monday to Sunday). It offers great savings and convenience for frequent transit users, but requires a bit more trouble (photo, proof of identity, and account setup with payment method) and expense to obtain. More...
The Paris Visite ticket entitles you to unlimited travel on most modes of travel in central Paris for 1 day for 13.55€ up to five days, for 43.30€ as well as substantial discounts at several Paris museums and attractions, but you must do a good amount of planning and calculating to determine if it will save you money. In most cases, the weekly Navigo Découverte transit pass is a better deal, though more hassle to obtain. More...
Fares for public transit in Paris and the Île-de-France are based on a zone system, and you will buy passes and tickets on the basis of zones.
Zones 1 and 2 cover central Paris, all covered by one standard fare. Zone 3 includes La Défense Grande Arche, but if you go by Métro (but not by bus or RER), you pay only the standard Zones 1 & 2 fare. Zone 4 includes ORY airport, Zone 5 extends all the way to CDG airport and Disneyland.
Here are some landmarks:
Zones 1 & 2
You pay only one standard fare to travel in central Paris as far as Stade de France/St-Denis, Port Maillot, Boulogne Port de St-Cloud, Pont de Neuilly, Gallieni, Château de Vincennes, La Défense Grande Arche (by Métro).
Farther out to La Défense Grande Arche (by bus or RER), Université de St-Denis, Saint-Cloud, Robinson, Antony (OrlyVal), Bondy.
Going farther than Paris? Here's how to buy train tickets for long-distance travel in France and beyond.