What ticket do I need

Choosing The Right Metro Ticket in Paris

which is the right ticket for me ?

The Île de France region with Paris at it’s center is a magnet for tourists. The compelling attractions of the City of Light are complemented by the cultural highlights of the Palace of Versaille and the sheer fun of Disneyland Paris. What connects them is an integrated transport system of railways, subway (the Paris Metro), trams and buses but choosing the right transport ticket can be a bit challenging. The good news is that there is something for everyone.

Choosing a Ticket

The transport system in the Paris region is provided by a range of transport operators who provide specific transport services, some in Paris and some in the wider Île de France region which is the area that surrounds Paris.

Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) operate the Paris Metro, some of the RER light railway lines across Paris, buses, trams, the Montmartre Funicular railway and Orlyval link from Orly Airport to the nearest RER rail line.

Transilien is the SNCF rail service which connects the whole of the Île de France region with Paris

If you need more detail on the different rail services in France we have a post on just that subject here.

With multiple transport choices and several transport operators you might think that getting tickets would be complicated. The great news is that the different systems are properly integrated and have a common ticketing system. You just need to think about where you want to go and how many days you want to use the transport system.

So let’s have a look at the various ticket options.

Paris Metro Station Platform
The Metro is the best way to see Paris and an essential part of any trip to the City of Light
Railway stations in Paris provide links to the Metro, RER lines and SNCF Transilien rail network

The T+ Ticket and Carnet

The T+ ticket is the simplest ticket to buy in Paris. You can buy one from ticket machines in all Metro, bus, tram and RER stations. They are valid for one journey on the Metro, the RER lines in Zone 1, the Île de France region’s bus services, trams and even the Montmartre Funicular.

You can’t use T+ tickets on the airport bus connections Orlybus or Roissybus and (top tip) you can’t get to La Défence on the RER either as I discovered myself as it’s in Zone 2.

T+ Ticket Validity ?

On the Metro T+ tickets are good for 2hrs once validated at the entry ticket machine. This would be quite the tour of the Metro network in Paris but remember it is only valid for one journey however long.

If your journey involves transferring between a Metro line and a Zone 1 RER line it’s the same time period. Just remember you won’t be able to leave the station and travel on the Metro again using the same ticket.

With the bus and tram network you only have 90 minutes to complete your journey once the ticket has been validated.

You can switch between services on the same ticket for some but not all of the transport services. You can transfer between Metro and Zone 1 RER lines but you can’t get off a bus or tram and get on a Metro or RER train with the same ticket.


If you expect to be doing a number of journeys in Paris or are travelling as a group it makes sense to buy a Carnet which is simply a set of ten T+ tickets which look the same and work the same. For many visitors this is the best Paris Metro ticket with the advantages of convenience and you save money.


A single T+ ticket costs €1.90. A carnet of 10 tickets is €16 . There is a reduced price Carnet for €8 for children 4-10yrs, children younger than this travel free.

Metro Train Tickets
The standard T+ tickets before and after activation

Image Credit:AgatellerCC BY-SA 4.0

You might be surprised to learn what you can use your T+ tickets on – the Montmartre Funicular Railway

Île de France (IDF) Point to Point Tickets

The T+ ticket is the simplest ticket to buy in Paris and it’s the one everyone knows best. What if you want to travel further afield ? Perhaps you want to go to Disneyland Paris or perhaps The Palace at Versailles ?  An IDF Point to Point ticket is as simple as it sounds. A one way ticket from your location which can be the nearest Metro, RER or SNCF (Transilien) station to any destination within the Île de France.

Ticket Prices

Unlike the T+ tickets the IDF Point to Point tickets are based on distance so price will vary. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket desks and vending machines in all Metro and RER stations

Transilien Rail Service in Paris
The Transilien rail service is a key transport network for Paris and Île de France region

Paris Visite Card

The standard T+ ticket might be the best ticket if you’re on a quick trip to Paris or you’re really focussed on the central Paris area. It’s the most straightforward way to use the Metro and if you feel the urge try the bus or tram system – it’s still available to you.

The Paris Visite card also offers discounted admissions to various attractions in Paris so do check the offers too as they may offset the price of the ticket.

If however you’d like to use the whole transport system across the Île de France and want access to the full range of services then perhaps the Paris Visite travel pass is the one you should be thinking about. You can use all the networks – Metro, tramways, buses RER lines and the SNCF Transilien local railway network.


You can choose an option to cover the central Paris area (Zones 1-3) or if you want go further afield, perhaps to Disneyland Paris then there is also an option for the entire Île de France region (Zones 1-5). The latter option would also include Versailles and the main airports.


The Paris Visite pass is valid for an unlimited number of journeys within the chosen zones. You can also choose how many days you want the pass for with a choice of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days.

Ticket Prices

The Paris Visite pass is available at a range of prices based on duration and transport zones

Center of Paris

Zone 1-3AdultChild
1 Day€12.00€6.00
2 Day€19.50€9.75
3 Day€26.65€13.30
5 Day€38.35€19.15

Greater Paris Area

Zone 1-5AdultChild
1 Day€25.25€12.60
2 Day€38.35€19.15
3 Day€53.75€26.85
5 Day€65.80€32.90

Buying a Paris Visite Pass

You can buy a Paris Visite from all ticket desks and ticket vending machines at Metro and Paris RER stations. If you are traveling to France you can also buy them in advance from a number of online locations.

Please note these links will take you to 3rd party sites and are not connected in any way to Inspired by France

If you order your Paris Visite card in advance it will come in a handy little folder
Paris Metro train leaving station
The Metro transports millions of people every day across a network serving the whole of the Paris area
You can use your Paris Visite pass to travel on the extensive bus network serving the Paris area

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page”

Augustine of Hippo


How Can I Use a Mobilis Ticket ?

Mobilis is a one day pass for unlimited travel on all the transport networks in the Paris and Île de France region. So you can travel on the Metro, RER, buses, tramways and Transilien trains. It can’t be used on the airport connection (Orlybus,Orlyval, Roissybus and Roissy CDG by RER) but you can still use the 183 and 285 buses to Orly and the 350/351 to Roissy Charles de Gaulle.

Mobilis tickets are valid until Midnight on the day of issue

Buying a Mobilis Ticket

When buying a Mobilis ticket you specify which zones you want to travel on. This is coded into a magnetic stripe on the ticket but you still need to write your first and last name and the day’s date on the ticket ! Tickets are available from all Metro, RER stations and bus points of sale.

Ticket Prices

The only choice with the Mobilis ticket is which zones you want to travel in.

Passengers at railway station
The Mobilis daily pass can be used on all the transport networks in Paris

Navigo Découverte

Navigo or Navigo Découverte ?

Navigo is the travel pass designed and intended for people living or working in the wider Paris area. If you attempt to buy one and it’s clear you are only visiting you will be guided to the Paris Visite card. That may not be the right ticket for you as there is also the Navigo Découverte which may be a better option depending on your travel and excursion plans. It is also available to visitors.

What does it cover ?

The Navigo Découverte pass is a seven day multi-use travel card covering the Paris Metro,  Paris RER rail lines, all RATP buses and trams in zones 1-5. It also includes the IDF Transilien railway service. Notably it covers Disneyland Paris, the Chateau de Versailles and Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. It does not cover the Orlyval train.

Buying a Navigo Découverte travel pass

You can buy a Navigo Découverte pass at Metro, RER and Transilien stations and anywhere you see selling “Billets Paris et Ile-de-France”. Be aware you cannot buy them at the ticket offices for the “Grandes Lignes” where you would by tickets for inter city travel. 

You will need a passport photograph for the pass. The card itself currently costs  €5 and the weekly cost is €22.90. Discounts are available if you only intend to travel in certain zones. There is no discounted rate for children.

Duration of validity

The Navigo Découverte pass runs from Monday at 00:00 to Sunday at 23:59. It is not a seven day pass from the time you buy it. This is why it’s important to consider your travel plans. If you arrive Friday you really only have a couple of days to use the pass. In which case you might want to consider the newer Navigo Easy card

Navigo Easy

The Navigo Easy card was introduced in 2019 partly in an effort to reduce the use of paper ticketing. It offers a flexible way to load tickets on a re-usable card.  You can still get a Navigo Découverte pass but if you are just visiting or only in town for a few days you may find a Navigo Easy card simpler and cheaper as you just buy the card, no need for a passport photo and then just load it with the tickets you need. 

Where it gets clever is that it can load different types of tickets on the same card. So how does it work.

First you buy your Navigo Easy card

The Navigo Easy card will cost you €2.00 and is available from any station on the RATP network (Metro/RER). If you load it with a carnet of metro tickets that will get you an immediate discount of €2.00 thus making the card effectively free. Please note unlike the carnet and paper Metro tickets you can’t share the Navigo Easy card while travelling so every person should have their own.

Then you load it with tickets

OK you have your card now what ?  You then have to decide what type of tickets do you want to load on your card ? You can load it with the following tickets.


Some of these options have discounted rates for children. You cannot mix discounted and non-discounted tickets on the same card. You can mix the Day Pass and T+ tickets and carnets. The validation process will debit the Day Pass before it debits the T+ tickets which is exactly what you’d want.

The Navigo Easy Day Pass

You can load your Navigo Easy card with a day pass “Navigo Jour” which will give you unlimited travel on the zones you have chosen. The zones and prices are listed below. The pass is valid from midnight to midnight on day of issue.

1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5€7.50
1-3, 2-4, 3-5€10.00
1-4, 2-5€12.40

Navigo Youth Weekend Pass

The Navigo Jeunes Week-End pass is for anyone under 26 who wants a travel pass for the weekend or public holiday. It is valid on all Metro, RER, train, bus and tram services with the exception of tourist buses and the Orlyval service. It is valid from midnight the first day of service to midnight the last day. Typically Friday midnight to Sunday midnight. Please note you may have to justify your age both on purchase and in transit.


Conclusions ?

If you’ve read all of this you will know you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the best option for your trip to Paris. There are so many options. If you’ve been before you’re probably familiar with the Metro tickets and the carnets. As a tourist you’ll see lots of promotion of the Paris Visite offer. Question is which one is best for you ?

The strong move to the Navigo “loadable” cards for contactless payment has changed the game somewhat. Next time we visit we’ll definitely be getting Navigo Easy cards because it’s frankly just easier than carrying around a bunch of T+ tickets and not having to remember which ones we’ve used. Yes a T+ ticket is still more convenient as you can share a carnet of tickets but the ease of using contactless rather than dealing with a sulky ticket machine on the Metro does seem more attractive.

Is the Paris Visite card still an attractive option ? Well that depends. It’s not the cheapest form of travel but the discounts and partner offers can make it financially worthwhile if you want to see those attractions. It also has the benefit for some people in that you can pre-order it online. With the Navigo cards you need to find where to buy your card first as they are not available in advance.

Best of all though – the integrated ticketing system across Paris and Île de France makes it so easy to get around without the complication of different ticket types and vendors. Once  you’ve got your travel card – you’re good to get out there and enjoy Paris !

Date Last Modified: Saturday, 14 November, 2020
About Us

Inspired by France is a small family blog . We have lived and worked in France at various times in our life and hope to spend a lot more time there in the future.

We love all things french ranging from film, music and literature to the simple pleasures of french cooking and the odd glass of wine. We want to share our love of France with other people interested in all things french