From 1st July 2007, the mauve-coloured t ticket has been replaced by the new white-coloured t+ ticket.
The t+ ticket enables the customer to travel on:
the whole of the METRO and the Montmartre funicular
the RER (RATP and SNCF) within Paris
the RATP buses in Paris and the suburbs (except for lines with special fares) and to make connections between the Metro and the RER in Paris.
Connections between metro/bus, metro/tram, RER/bus, RER/tram with the same ticket t+ are NOT possible.
The t+ ticket brings in a more extensive service with a new functionality:
the possibility of making bus/bus and bus/tram connections.
"connection" means transferring from one bus line to another.
How do you use it ?
After validating it every time you board a bus or tram, you have an hour and a half between the first validation and the last validation to make one or more connections.
The t+ ticket is sold singly (full fare) or in a carnet (full or reduced fare).
Be careful ! Aboard buses the drivers have a different ticket they sell which does not allow connections.
Airports: Travelling to and from the airports requires special tickets.
On 1/07/2010 the full price of this t+ ticket has been increased to 1,70 € (still valid in 2012) and the carnet of 10 tickets is now (2012) at 12,70 €.
The "carnet de 10" is very often used by visitors of Paris but note that the selling desks in the Metro stations are not always open (even often closed) so prepare yourself to buy them at the machine by having enough € coins with you. Rather few machines accept bank notes.
I noted that the former tickets with extended zones 4 - 6 do not exist anymore (except for travel subscriptions "abonnements" ) but were replaced by a Billet Ile-de-France which calculates the price from inside Paris to a specific destination outside (for example Versailles). This ticket is now (2011 - 2012) called Billet Origine-Destination.
See my tip about this new billet.
The desks in the Metro stations are not always open so that the tourist arriving in Paris might have to use the ticket machines.
I know from experience that one can buy at the machine the normal ticket t+, the carnet de 10 tickets t+ and the Billet Ile-de-France now (2011) replaced by a Billet Origine-Destination for travelling by Metro + RER outside the centre (see my tip).
From the photo you might see that the choice of the type of ticket is made by rolling a cylinder below the screen until what you need.
Payment on most machines is by € coins or bank card. Some machines, but not all, accept also bank notes. So take your precautions and have enough coins if you want for example to buy a carnet of 10 tickets at 12,50 €. (Since 1/07/2011)
If I remember well most explanations were in French but I paid no attention to this point as it is my usual language.
The PARISVISITE pass can also be bought at the automatic machines in all Metro, RER, Railway SNCF stations according to the answer I got from the RATP (btw prompt service).
"Merci de votre visite sur le site de la RATP.
Paris Visite est en vente dans toutes les stations de métro (guichet et machines automatiques), toutes les gares RER, les points de vente bus, les gares SNCF, les aéroports de Paris, et les bureaux de l'Office de Tourisme de Paris."
So, bon voyage.
This tip is intended for first time visitors to Paris, as simple advice on using the Métro. If you’re a seasoned Métro traveller, skip it!
- First step – get yourself a free map of Paris, it also will have the Métro map on it. But you scarcely need your own map, they are displayed in most stations.
- Each line has its own number and colour coding, eg line 12 is green, line 5 orange.
- Not surprisingly, there are two ends to a line and these are displayed on notice boards (see photo 2), so for line 5 the ends are Bobigny and Place d’Italie. Each line has a separate platform for each direction: so look at the map, find the direction to the station you want from where you are, then head for the platform identified by the line end in that direction, eg go to 5 Bobigny if you wish to go from Bastille to Oberkampf.
- On the train, there is a strip map showing the sequence of stations on that line for that train, so check that you are headed the right way after you get on.
- A nice feature of the Métro is that, in general, you could travel all day on one ticket – provided you don’t exit through the gate labelled “Sortie”, so making a mistake can be easily corrected.
- Unless there is some dire urgency, don’t fret about missing a train, they run at a frequency of four to five minutes.
- It’s worth noting that the Métro does tend to become hot and stuffy.
- It can become crowded, so be very careful of pickpockets: apart from that (and exercising some caution late at night), as a general statement it is very safe.
- It may seem strange to mention how to open carriage doors, but you need to know that they are electronically held shut until the train is almost stopped. At that stage, for the older carriages, lift upward on the handle and the door should fly open: later carriages have push button opening.
The M14 line is from what I have seen in Paris the only modern metro line.
It is a rather short line from MADELEINE, Pyramides, Châtelet, Gare de Lyon, Bercy, Cour St-Emilion, Bibliothèque Fr. Mitterand, to OLYMPIADES. The stations are more distant from each other than with older lines so that the journey is faster.
Particularities are the platforms separated by a glass barrier from the rail track. The metro train stops exactly at the spots where the doors which open automatically are located.
The wagons are of the continue type, better for the safety feeling but providing a strong draught of air what is not so bad on warm days. This latest M14 line seems located deep in the ground so that at La Madeleine there are three escalators needed to get down to the platform.
To pass through the turnstiles, insert the ticket into the small slot in the metal divider just to your right as you approach the turnstile. It disappears for a moment (so don't panic!), then pops out about a foot farther along, and a little green or white circle lights up, reminding you to retrieve the ticket.
~ If the turnstile makes a whining sound and a little red circle lights up, your ticket is not valid; take it back and try another.
When you have the right light, push through the gate and retrieve your ticket.
Hold onto your ticket until you exit the métro, and pass the point marked 'Limite de Validité des Billets'; a uniformed RATP 'contrôleur' (inspector) may request to see it on any train.
If caught without one, you must pay a hefty fine.
~ Also, any 'correspondances' (transfers) to the RER require you to put your validated (and uncrumpled) ticket into a turnstile. Otherwise you might need to buy a new ticket in order to exit.
LATE AT NIGHT:
~ Do not count on buying a métro ticket home late at night.
Some ticket windows close as early as 10 p.m., and many close before the last train is due to arrive.
~ Always have one ticket more than you need, although large stations have ticket machines that accept coins.
~ Avoid the most dangerous stations (Barbès-Rochechouart, Pigalle, Anvers, Châtelet-Les-Halles, Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est).
~ Despite the good neighborhoods in which some of these stops are located, they are frequented by criminals looking to prey on tourists.
When in doubt, take a taxi.
The fastest way to go all around Paris is by metro. It has 16 lines, each using exclusively their own tracks, mostly underground, and a total length of 214 km (133 mi). There are 300 stations. Since some are served by several lines, there are overall 384 stops, all having their own platforms. Paris has the most closely spaced subway stations in the world, with 245 stations within the 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi) City of Paris. Lines are numbered 1 to 14. It carries 4,5 milion people a day.
- Unfortunately some Parisians elected to not pay Métro fares, instead hurdling the turnstiles to get in free. As a countermeasure to stop hurdling, the ‘powers that be’ have put up additional barricades which open only when the turnstile is released by the electronic system sighting a valid ticket.
- You may be saying ‘what has that to do with me’? The reality is that getting a heavy full suitcase through the turnstiles and barricades, at the same time as you also try to get through, is quite difficult. If you are travelling with luggage, I would suggest you consider taking a taxi to or from (eg) the pickup point for the Roissybus, rather than struggling on the Métro.
- Another relevant factor is that most stations do not have escalators and, when I left, even those at the major station “Haussman St-Lazare” were inoperative. That luggage becomes heavy!
Update - sadly Carte Orange, my fave metro pass, has 'evolved' into the Navigo system.
This means now in addition to $25.56 (16.80 Euros) for a weekly (forfait HEBDOmadaire), you have to also pay 5 euros to initially get your own Navigo card (only once), as well as bring a passport photo (or pay around 5 euros in a foto booth).
This means bottom line not counting the foto, you're going to pay almost $33 ($25.50 + $7.30 or 16.8 + 5 Euros) to walk out with a weekly equivalent of what WAS the incredibly convenient and thrifty Carte Orange that I used to pay about 16 Eu / week total. Bummer.
They do this I'm sure to force tourists to instead by the more expensive Paris Visite passes.
I guess unless I'll be staying longer than a couple of weeks I'll be back to $17 (11,60 Euros) for carnets again, but that sucks because I am such a metro rat I go thru a carnet in just a few days. I'll leave the old Carte Orange crap below for my personal nostalgia.
I planned my Paris transportation ahead of time this trip instead of buying carnets when I need 'em.
Choice was Paris Visite or carte Orange.
I chose Carte Orange as imo it's cheaper & I don't think the few sites Paris Visite gives you are worth the xtra euros.
I ended up buying Carte Musee for all the many museums & monuments Paris Visite does not cover so Carte Orange worked better for me.
All you need to do is either goto a Kinkos / whatever & get a passport foto before you go, or it's even cheaper to just hit a foto booth at the CDG airport RER term or Gard du Nord.
For zones 1 & 2 (most of Paris) it's dirt cheap:
One full week (HEBDO) is only 16,30 euros, costing significantly less than 2 carnets. After 7 days, you stop at any metro booth and they renew it for another week @ same price & it takes only seconds for them to refresh it.
Paris Visite is 31,50 ($50) for only 5 days to zones 1-3
If anyone tells you only French can buy / use Carte Orange, it's bs.
Here's the website where you can compare:
Scroll down to Ticketing
Just my opinion, but to pay the extra for all 5 zones for Carte Orange so you can use it for RER to Versailles or CDG airport imho may not be worth it, but if you wanna' spring the 31 euros for it, what the hell.
And lastly, I tried this just to see what it was like:
I don't recommend EVER taking RER in the morning from CDG airport to central Paris on your arrival day to save money.
It is not fun: It's crowded, painfully long & slow, you have to put your bag(s) on overhead rack to free up seats on the crowded train, then pray they don't get copped by a thief right before the door shuts at some of the northern Paris suburb stops.
Too stressfull, too tiring after a long flight, too uncomfortable - cucaracha.
Spring / splurge 50 Euros for a cab. Trust me on this one.
(I knew this and probably so did you, but like a bullethead I had to prove it to myself). Barff!!
There is some misconception about the Paris Viste Pass. It is a pass for transportation; it is not a museum pass. It will not get you past any lines in the Louvre nor get you into any museum free (unless the museum is free already). There will be a small booklet of coupons included with the pass and these offer discounts to several attractions. This varies year to year but as an example for 2012 the discounts were as follows:
20% off admission to the Arc de Triomphe, 4 euros off Espace Dali, 20% off admission to the Pantheon, 2.50 euros off admission to Musee Branly, 20% off Musée de la Armée-Hotel National des Invalides, 2 euros off the Air and Space Museum, 20% off the Pantheon, 25% off guided cruise on Bateaux Parisiens, 4 euros off Open Tour Bus, 2 euros off Fontainebleau Castle, 20% off Vincennes Castle, 20% off a one-day/two-park ticket to Disneyland Paris, 30% off France Miniature, 30% off Musee Grevin Wax Museum, 2 euros off Cite des Sciences, 4.40 euros off UNESCO World Heritage Center in Provins, 30% off the Montparnasse Tower, 10% off a purchase at Galeries Lafayette plus a shopping bag and 20 euros off Champagne Show at Paradis Latin (club).
We aren't interested in any of the above so these discounts are meaningless to us. If they interest you, consider the Paris Viste Pass. Keep in mind that like all passes, you must buy one for each member of your party and it must be used on consecutive days. Following are the prices for the various Paris Viste options, updated January 4, 2013. You can always check prices at Paris Metro Web Site for Tourists
Paris Viste Pass - you need a pass for each person in your group (no photo needed)
10.55 euros for zones 1-3 for one day (age 4-10 will be half price)
22.20 euros for zones 1-5 for one day (age 4-10 will be half price)
17.15 euros for zones 1-3 for two days (only consecutive days)
33.70 euros for zones 1-5 for two days (only consecutive days)
23.40 euros for zones 1-3 for three days (only consecutive days)
47.25 euros for zones 1-5 for three days (only consecutive days)
33.70 euros for zones 1-3 for five days (only consecutive days)
57.75 euros for zones 1-5 for five days (only consecutive days)
Since Paris is such a compact city (roughly 6 miles across), much of it can be covered on foot — especially the primary sightseeing spots in the city's center. There will be times, however, when a métro or bus ride is unavoidable — and even welcome
A word of caution: though a single-fare ticket is valid for an entire continuous trip — including connections — be sure to keep your ticket until you leave the system at your destination; being caught without it means an instant fine of €35, payable in cash on the spot (unless you wish to acquaint yourself intimately with the French judicial system).
Signage in Paris métro stations is abundant and easily followed: every station offers a big plan of the network outside the entrance and several inside. Lines are color-coded and numbered, and are also named according to the city gate — or porte — at the end of the line. For example, Line 4 running to the north will be indicated as going in the direction of Porte de Clignancourt, while southbound would be Porte d'Orléans. (Some lines may end a few stops beyond the Periphérique, into neighboring suburbs.) Numerous interchanges (correspondances) make it possible to travel throughout the city in a more or less straight line. Châtelet has the longest interconnecting passageway between lines, with a 600-foot long moving sidewalk.
This is one of the main tourist gateways for Montmartre. Sadly, on this visit, it was looking very run-down (photo 2): but there is an active programme of Métro station refurbishment, so let’s hope it soon receives a makeover. The main point of this tip though, is to point out that, unlike most Métro stations which are only at a shallow depth, Abesses has been tunneled under a hill. Don’t catch yourself out, as we were on our first visit, by climbing the stairs instead of waiting for the very large lift, it’s a long climb up!
Once you arrive at street level, spare a moment to admire the original Art Nouveau style entrance by Henri Guinard, apparently one of the most original remaining (photo 3).
One of the great pleasures of riding the Metro is coming upon the gorgeous art nouveau Metro station entrances designed by Hector Guimard. Metro Abbesses is one of the most frequently-photographed entrances in Paris but it's not the only one. Some people ride the Metro from one Guimard classic to the next taking photos of each. An added feature of the Abbesses station, though, are the artist-signed tiles that you see as you come to the surface.
However, there are only 2 of the glass butterfly-style Guimard classics left:
Porte Dauphine (16th)
Place des Abbesses - Montmartre - Paris - 5-10 minutes walk southwest of Sacré-Cœur
The website below lists all Guimard entrances still in Paris along with photos.
My measly pic (taken April 2003) does not do these masterpieces justice! Notice the Harry Potter advertisement.
Photos: April 2003, February 2006, November 2007
Ok...for all NYers going to Paris, let me break it down.
The RER is like a metro but it's for long distances (think the 4/5 express as opposed to the 6 train-local). It runs the same way as the metro but doesn't stop every few blocks but rather goes quite aways (like 14th street to 42nd street)
When you board a train in NY, you shove yourself in. When you board a train in Paris, you say "pardon" or "excusez moi". (I think this is far nicer than shoving) You'll most likely get stared at b/c you're not going to fit in, but at least try not to stand out too much (target for pickpockets or beggars).
*** when DE-BOARDING a train, you have to manually open the doors. They don't open automatically. Learn from my mistake (and two missed stops!) You need to either 1) press a little button that's located on the door itself or on the side somewhere or 2) push a lever upwards to release the door.
***when DE-BOARDING a train, Parisians don't wait till the train has come to a full stop. They alight while the train is still MOVING. Personally, I don't think that's very safe, but these Parisians have got it down to a pat. They'll open the door as soon as the locks are released (you can hear it) and jump off the train while it's still moving. Granted, it's very slowly, but it's still moving.
Oh and lastly, In NY subways, you swipe your metrocard (or single ride ticket) and you're down with it. On both the Paris Metro AND the London Tube, YOU NEED TO KEEP THAT TICKET. You'll be fined in London (I don't know about Paris) if you don't keep your ticket. In Paris, you can't get out of the turnstiles. Then again, they don't need the ticket on departure for each station, but at several stations you'll need your ticket to get out.
And if you're transferring from an RER train to the metro line, you'll need the ticket b/c you leave the RER station and walk through an underground "subway" (they call underground walkways "subways" in Europe) and insert it again to get onto a metro line train.
if you are visiting Paris for more than 3 days, get a Carte Orange. :)
you can buy it at every metro station, you just need to have a picture of yourself. the card itself is free, and you can buy weekly and monthly travel passes once you have it, wich is way cheaper, and more convenient than having to buy and handle a bunch of tickets. if you don't get a little map with the pass (as on the pic), ask for it, it's the best way to avoid getting lost... :)
weekly passes (hebdo) are good from monday 00h to sunday 24h, monthly passes (mensuel) are from the 1st day till the last day of the month.
for the prices check out the website.
You can go anywhere in Paris with the metro. A "Carte Orange" is a monthly card covering a maximum of 4 areas with only 1 ticket. The more areas you ask, the more expensive it is. If you only travel in Paris, 1 area is enough. If you don't stay 1 month, then you have to buy a "carte hebdomadaire" which enable you to go everywhere in Paris as many times as you want with only 1 ticket during 1 week. If you think that you will not use often the subway, then you can buy only a pack of 10 tickets and in that case it is much less expensive than to buy 1 ticket each time.