Moving around in Paris using public transport

The Paris public transport system is run by RATP (Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) and consists of the Metro (underground), Tram, RER suburban express train (which interconnects with the Metro inside Paris), bus and Noctilien (night bus). Since train, metro and bus services are operated by a single operator, they are tightly integrated and sharing ticketing systems.

Paris and its suburbs divide into 6 zones. Zones 1 and 2 cover the city center and ALL Metro lines. Most of visitors to Paris are usually staying and will travel mostly in Zone 1. In Paris City Centre the key stations are Chatelet and Gare du Nord. These are vast transport hubs, with Metro lines as well as RER lines interchanging.


The Metro is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to get around Paris. There are 14 metro lines (with two secondary lines 3b and 7b) and 300 stations in Paris. The entrance is indicated by a large yellow letter ‘M’.

Paris Metro
Paris Metro

Zone system is not applicable for Paris Metro and the entire Paris metro is considered as one zone. If you are travelling from Paris zone 1 to a Metro station outside of Paris fare zone 1, still a single journey Metro ticket is valid. Single journey cost in Metro is € 1.90 for a one-way ride lasting up to 2 hours.

RER (suburban express railway)

These suburban trains connect two suburbs of the Paris passing through the city. There are five RER lines. Each line has a distinctive color and lettered A to E. All lines except E cross the city center. Within central Paris (Zone 1) you can consider the RER as just another Metro and you can use a single journey ticket.

RER train
RER train, Image ©: Christophe Jacquet, Creative commons

The RER Paris suburban railway system will be mostly used by visitors for their airport transfer into Paris City Centre to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Orly Airport or Disneyland and Versailles.


There are around 64 bus lines and many buses go through the centre of the city. The line number and direction are indicated on the front of the bus. At the bus stops, there is electronic display indicating the waiting time for the next bus to arrive. Inside the central zone (Zone 1) metro is the fastest and bus services complement the metro network.

Bus service operates from morning to mid night and after that Noctilien service starts and run up to the morning. The Noctilien is a night bus service that operates 47 lines in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30 AM to 5.30 AM.


Paris has 4 tramway lines serving the perimeter of the city: T1, T2, T3, T4.

Ticket and Travel Pass

All the stations in central Paris have manned ticket office and ticket machines. Automatic ticket machines have a choice of English languages and staff there insist and assist you in purchasing the ticket from the machine.

Paris metro station ticket machine
Paris metro station ticket machine, Image ©:Chris Sampson, Creative commons

For purchasing the ticket from Automatic ticket machines you need a credit card, cash not accepted. The ticket machines are reliable and sell a range of transport tickets, including t+ tickets and point to point tickets.


The Ticket “t+” is the standard single trip ticket for Paris public transit. It can be bought either as a single ticket at the price of €1.90 (€2 on board a bus), or carnets or books of ten tickets at the price of €14.90. The t+ ticket allows you to travel using the metro, RER in zone 1, Tram and bus for a single journey.

t+ ticket & t+ ticket from carnet
t+ ticket & t+ ticket from carnet

Single journey includes connections between the same types of vehicle (a ticket used for a Metro or RER journey cannot be used for a transfer onto the bus or tram network and vice versa), as long as you do not exit the transport system. You are allowed as many transfers as you want on the metro and RER networks for two hours after validation (metro/metro, metro/RER and RER/RER) and 90 minutes for buses and trams after validation (bus/bus, bus/tram and tram/tram). Each time you change metro, buses or trams, you must again validate your t+ ticket.

  • These tickets are permanently valid for single use and are issued without an expiration date.
  • The same t+ ticket cannot be used for round-trip travel on the same bus line, or for two trips in the same direction on the same bus line.
  • Single tickets are sold only on board buses. These tickets are valid for one bus trip only without transfers.


Mobilis is a 1-day travel pass that allows you to use all of the public transport networks in the zones you have selected which include metro, RER, bus, tramway, and train.

You can also use bus lines 183 and 285 to/from Orly airport (Zone 4) and bus lines 350 and 351 to/from the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG) airport (Zone 5) depending on the zones selected. Airport express bus service Roissybus from CDG and Orlybus from Orly airport cannot be used.

Mobilis 1 day pass
Mobilis 1 day pass

How much does it cost ?

Its cost start from € 7,50 for zone 1-2 to € 17,80 for zone 1-5.

Mobilis day pass is not available at reduced rate for childrens. If you are travelling on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) or public holiday with childrens then you can consider buying the Jeunes pass valid for one day.  

Jeunes Pass

This day pass allows you unlimited travel in the selected zones using the public transport networks of the Île-de-France region: metro, RER, bus, tramway, and train, with the exception of the airport express bus to Orly and CDG airports.

This pass is only for youth less than 26 years and it can be used only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

How much does it cost ?

Zones Price
1-3 4,10€
1-5 8,95€
3-5 5,25€

Visite Paris

This is the ticket made for and marketed to tourists and visitors. The Paris Visite travel pass allows you to travel on all the public transport networks like the metro, tramway, bus, RER and SNCF Transilien networks, for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days. The pass allows you to travel anywhere in Paris depending on the selected zones. This also includes airport connections, Orlyval, Disneyland Paris and Château de Versailles.

Visite Paris Pass
Visite Paris Pass

Visite Pris pass also provide discount to many attractions like a 25% discount on entrance to the Arc de Triomphe and few others which may not be a high priority for you.

Paris Visite Paris pass is widely available from outside Paris through agents and many online stores but you will normally pay a premium for this convenience over purchasing in Paris. Unlike Mobilis, these pass are available from 1 to 5 days.

Type Price for Zone 1-3
Adult / Child*
Price for Zone 1-5
Adult / Child*
1 day €12.00 / €6.00 €25.25 / €12.60
2 days €19.50 / €9.75 €38.35 / €19.15
3 days €26.65 / €13.30 €53.75 / €26.85
5 days €38.35 / €19.15 €65.80 / €32.90

Navigo Decouverte monthly and weekly travel passes

IF you are planning to spend at least a full week in Paris, this card allows you to travel in two zones or all zones for just €22.80. This is an electronic smart card and the cost this card is €5. For buying this card you need a passport sized photo. The first time you buy, you have to pay a €5 for the card itself and then you buy a week or months’ worth of transportation that is loaded onto the card. It’s reusable, so if you return to Paris you can load up fares onto the same card.

Card validity starts form Monday to Sunday. For the running week, last day of sale is on Thursday. So if you arrive on the Friday, you cannot use the card for that weekend.

Navigo Decouverte passes cost

Fare Zone     Weekly          Monthly

Zone 1-5       €22.80           €75.20

Things to know

  • If you are visiting Paris for a few days and you will make a few trips every day, t+ carnet is the best option.
  • If you are visiting for a week, Navigo Decouverte pass is good value for money. Do remember that its week starts from Monday.  For less frequent traveller, the carnets will still work out cheaper.
  • If you are visiting Paris for 1 or 2 days and expected to travel more, then go for Mobilis day pass.
  • Mobilis day pass is not available at reduced rate for childrens. If you have extensive travel plans or you are less then 26 years, you can buy Jeunes pass for child on weekends and holidays.
  • If you are visiting Greater Paris region, you can use your t+ tickets outside Paris (zone 1) only on the metro, bus and tram. You cannot use this ticket on the RER or suburban trains. For those, you need a point to point ticket.
  • For all travel passes (regardless of the duration), the validity period starts at 12 AM on the first day of the period and ends at 11:59 PM on the last day. If you use your pass first time at 10:00 PM in night, your one day is used from multi day pass or single day pass is utilized.
  • For Mobilis pass you must write your first name, surname and date of use on to the ticket.
  • For Visite Paris pass you must write your first name, surname along with the starting and ending dates of validity.
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