If you intend to use the public transport system in Paris, whether the bus, metro, tram or RER, you can make big savings if you intend to make more than a single journey. Unfortunately, there are lots of different options available, so take a look at this quick guide before deciding which system is best for you.
This ticket allows unlimited use of the metro, RER, tram or bus for 1 entire day, starting at 5:30am. It is not valid for travelling to any of the airports via the RER or bus. It can however be used on the standard buses which visit the airports if you buy the correct zone (i.e bus lines 183, 285, 350 or 351). You can buy a card in any of the automatic metro ticket machines, at stations or RATP shops. The price of the card depends on the tarif zone you intend to use.
Ticket Jeunes Week-end
This ticket allows the unlimited use of the metro, RER, tram or bus for 1 entire day, starting at 5:30am. However, it is only valid for people aged 25 years and under and can only be used on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday. It is not valid for travelling to any of the airports via the RER or bus. It can however be used on the standard buses which visit the airports if you buy the correct zone (i.e bus lines 183, 285, 350 or 351). You can buy a ticket in any of the automatic metro ticket machines, at stations or RATP shops. The price of the card depends on the tarif zone you intend to use.
Paris Visite Card
The Paris Visite card is targeted towards tourists visiting Paris. These are available in 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive day formats and also allow unlimited journeys on the bus, metro RER, trams and Transilien SNCF trains. In addition, you also get free journeys on the Montmartre funiculaire and the Orlyval and also allows access to Disneyland Paris or the airports via RER (if a zone 1-5 card is purchased). The big advantage of using this pass though is that it provides a reduction on entrance prices to certain monuments, museums, tours and theme parks (e.g. a 20% reduction on a single day ticket to Disneyland Paris). Make sure you want to see any of these attractions before deciding on purchasing this pass. There are 14 partners which can be found on the map provided with the card:
The price of the card depends on the tarif zone chosen and there is also a reduction for children (4-11 years old). Tickets can be brought from metro stations, airports and some tourist offices.
The Paris Pass is an all in 1 sightseeing and travel card for your visit to Paris. It not only includes in its package the Paris Visite card indicated above, but also a museum pass, an attractions pass, a bus tour pass, a guidebook and a number of special offers in restaurants and shops in Paris. The Paris Pass is available in 2, 4 or 6 consecutive day formats and there are reductions for Children (4-11 years old) and Teenagers (12-17 years old).
If you are intending to do many of the attractions on the card, it can work out to be good value for money. It can be purchased online prior to your trip to Paris.
Navigo Découverte Pass
The Navigo Découverte Pass is an electronic swipe card available to anyone, whether visiting or living in Paris, and can be used for unlimited travel on the metro, bus, tram, RER or Transilien SNCF trains. It is valid for either a week (Monday to Sunday) or a month (1st day to the last day). The card, which costs €5, can be obtained from a ticket office in a station or metro. You will also need a standard passport photo. Once you have a card, you can charge it on a Navigo pass ticket machine which can be found in all metro stations. Don’t forget that if you start a weekly charge on a Wednesday, the card will still only be valid until the Sunday night, at which point another weekly charge will be required. Similarly, if you start a monthly charge in the middle of a month, it will still only be valid until the last day of the month. On a bus, metro, tram etc, you must swipe you card on the machine where standard tickets are stamped. For the metro, some barriers are Navigo pass only and will not take standard tickets.
The Navigo pass is only available to residents or people working in Paris or Ile-de-France. It is available free of charge from a number of RATP offices as well as online. The same rules apply as for the Navigo Découverte Pass, with a monthly or weekly charging of the card available using automatic ticket machines.
As well as the option of a weekly or monthly tarif, owners of the Navigo pass also have the option of an annual tarif. This needs to be applied for in a slightly different way, but can still be obtained by applying online or at a number of RATP offices in various stations. There is a €7.60 admin charge for setting the card up but this does include the cost of a passport photo if applying in person. If you work for a company in Paris, it is usual for them to pay 50% towards the cost of the annual tarif.
There is also a Navigo Imagine R card which is for school kids or students less than 26 years old. This card must be obtained in a RATP office.