|Paris Métro-Bus-RER Tickets & Passes|
If you've been to Paris in the last 120 years, you've probably used a paper ticket to ride. That's changing! By the summer of 2020, paper tickets will be phased out in favor of plastic Navigo RFID transit passes for paying fares in Paris and the Île-de-France.
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.
Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Champ de Courses d'Enghien, Rungis, Aéroport d'Orly, Massy Palaiseau.
Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle, Mitry Claye, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy (Disneyland Paris), Saint-Rémy-Lès-Chevreuse, Rambouillet, Pontoise.
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 few ticket t+ paper tickets. For convenience, or if you plan to return to Paris, consider a Navigo Easy transit pass.
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 (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 pass, especially if you'll be traveling to or from an airport.
First available on June 12, 2019, 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.
You pay the standard fares valid on all Métro (underground train) lines, city bus lines, funiculars, trams, and RER trains between central Paris stations: 1.90€ at the tarif normal (normal fare), but if you buy un carnet (unh kahr-NEY, a "booklet") of 10 tickets, fares are discounted by 20% to 1.49€ each.
Children from 4 to less than 10 years of age pay half-fare.
By autumn 2019, you'll be able to set up an account with RATP and re-charge your Navigo Easy pass right from your mobile phone. Here's more about Navigo passes.
A single paper ticket, called ticket t+, on sale in most but not all Métro stations, also costs one normal fare, with the same 20% discount if you buy 10 at once, but paper tickets are on the way out, and won't be sold after summer of 2020.
For convenience, you can pay a single fare in cash right on any RATP city bus, but it costs 2€ and cannot be used for a transfer to another bus.
The paper ticket t+, Mobilis and Paris Visite tickets (see below) have a narrow magnetic strip on the back that holds data on the ticket's validity. If this data is corrupted, your ticket will not work. Corruption can be caused by putting the ticket near a mobile phone or any other device with magnetic influence. Keep your paper ticket away from electronic gizmos, batteries, etc.
If the ticket fails to work within the period of its validity, take it to a ticket agent, or hand it to a bus driver, and ask for a replacement ticket.
Buy Navigo Passes or Tickets 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 have 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 or Mobilis Ticket
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).
or Mobilis 1-day ticket
The 1-day Navigo Jour card or Mobilis ticket saves you money if you fly into a Paris airport, buy aNavigo 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 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 and expense to obtain. More...
The Paris Visite paper ticket entitles you to unlimited travel on most modes of travel in central Paris for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days, 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, and in fact Paris's paper tickets are being discontinued in 2020. More...
Going farther than Paris? Here's how to buy train tickets in France.