by Marlys – @ParisBuFF
Visitors in Paris have to choose from several types of public transport tickets to use on the bus, metro trains or RER city trains.
Buying single tickets at each journey will not be budget conscious. Neither is buying what the RATP is now trying to force on to tourists – the 1-, 2-, 3- or 5-day Paris Visite travel passes.
Just compare prices: A 1-day Paris Visite travel card will set you back €9, 2-day pass by €14.70, 3-day by €20, 5-day €28,90 all valid for 3 zones. An ordinary tourist will only need tickets valid for only 2-zones.
Your best choice would be to buy a bunch of 10 tickets, the Carnet. A Carnet costs around €11.60 . There is no time limit for the use of these tickets. Unused tickets can be useful for your next visit too.
Keep these tickets away from a cell/mobile phones because these could de-magnetise the tickets and will result in you being refused entry at the turnstiles. DO NOT throw the tickets that have been refused if you are sure you have not used them yet. Go to the next manned counter and explain the problem. If the tickets haven`t been used, they will be replaced.
If you are in Paris for 7 days or more, you will be well advised to get yourself a Passe Navigo (replacing the Carte Orange that has been phased out since early last year.). The Navigo Passe is available in every metro station ticket counter for €5 before recharging. This can be reused for the next visit. If you wish to get a Passe Navigo, be sure to bring your latest passport sized photo.
(Note: not all stations have counters that sell tickets. There are ticket vending machines in every station but these take only coins or chip and pin credit cards. Have enough change ready. Instructions are in several languages.)
If you are taking the RER from CDG airport to get to Paris, a 1-way ticket costs at least €8.60 per person one way. It is good to know that this ticket is valid for the RER and the metro train you will need to change to, in order to get to your destination in central Paris. This is a 6-zone ticket.
To get to Versailles from Paris, you will need a ticket valid for 4 zones (valid for RER and metro train too.)
Kids (4-11 years old) travel half price, except for the Passe Navigo. (At least, no kid’s price is indicated anywhere. It might be worth your while to ask at the counter if a child can get the weekly Navigo pass for half price.)
If you have more questions on the transportation in Paris, feel free to contact @ParisBuFF.
Take note: Every year, ticket prices are adjusted from July 1.
Some benefits of Paris Carte Visite
As pointed out in the post, Paris Carte Visite is the most expensive option for you to get around Paris using the public transort network. It has to be pointed out, though, that the card carries some benefits. Holders of a Paris Carte Visite, depending on the number of zones chosen, enjoy discounts to some sites. For the full list of advantages of the card, go to
Another alternative tickets for using Paris transport
Another kind of ticket that can be used for the train and bus networks of Paris is the Mobilis Card. This is slightly cheaper than the Paris Carte Visite and can be bought according to the number of zones you want to use it for.
The Mobilis at ?5.90 valid for 2 zones for 1 day can be worth the while if you are certain you will use it at least 5 times during the day. Remember, 1 ticket from a Carnet would cost only ?1.16 each.
Mobilis for 3 zones = ?7.90, 4 zones = ?9,80 (good till Chateau de Versailles and back), 6 zones = ?16.70 (good till airport CDG and back) Keep in mind that a return ticket to Versailles would cost around ?6.50 per person and a 1-way ticket to CDG around ?8.60 per person.
Thanks Marlys for this great tip!