With Metro tickets you'll be able to zip around Paris like a local. The Paris Metro is the most fabulous way to navigate the city. However, it's important to learn a few tips and techniques. We'll also remind you about the Metro pass.
While there are information booths at many of the stations, don't expect much English-speaking help in the Metro. It's important to have a good Paris Metro map with you!
It's not unusual to see confused groups of tourists in the Metro trying to figure out how to buy tickets or how to use the Metro map. Do your homework and you won't be one of them. These days, almost every station has machines to purchase Metro tickets using either Euros (some machines can even take bills) or a credit card. Once you get the hang of using the Metro, you'll be surprised how much you'll use your Paris Metro tickets!
The machines sell both individual tickets and carnets (a pack of ten tickets, which costs less per ticket). A carnet is around 13€, versus 1.70€ for a single ticket.
Instructions are clearly explained in several languages. (If you're using a credit card, it must have a chip or puce as they say in Paris.) This means you can buy tickets anytime, day or night, as long as the Metro is open – about 5:00 am to 12:45 am.
Each ticket is good for one ride on the Metro, no matter how many changes you have to make. So, you can get from Parc de la Villette (in the far northeast of central Paris) to the sports complex at Porte de St Cloud (in the southwest) on one ticket! (That entire journey, by the way, takes 45 minutes and only involves one Metro change.)
One of the advantages of buying a Paris Pass before you leave home is that they include unlimited Metro travel.
You won't have to worry about buying tickets at the Metro station each time, or wonder if you need to buy another carnet.
The best way to get the Metor Pass (which, by the way, is called Paris Visite) is to get ahold of a Paris Pass while we're planning our trip. Not only does it give us unlimited Metro (and bus and RER) travel within central Paris, we also get free entrance to 60 Paris museums and monuments. There are other special features as well, like a free wine tasting and a Seine river cruise.
As you enter the Metro station, have your Paris Metro ticket ready. Simply put the ticket into the ticket slot on the turnstile machine. The turnstile will then be ready to push through. Grab your ticket out of the machine and go.
Don't forget to grab your ticket, you may need to show it to Metro security (to prove you paid). Note, though, that security checks don't happen very often.
There are occasions when the tickets do not work, the magnetic strip fails. If that happens, hang on to that ticket and present it at a Metro station information booth for a replacement.
If you're one of the smart travelers with the Paris Metro Pass that comes with the combined city passes, you have one ticket that lasts for the entire duration of your pass. There's also an ID card that is part of the package. So just have your Paris Metro Pass ticket ready. That's all you need.
Oh, and don't forget to retrieve your ticket from the turnstile machine before you pass through into the Metro!
Just as in restaurants, there is a certain etiquette observed on the Paris Metro that may be a little different from what we're used to.
1 — Speak softly.
2 — Don't eat or drink on the Metro.
3 — Keep your personal belongings on your body.
4 — Move aside for people who are leaving the train.
5 — When waiting for a train, leave some space around the doors for departing passengers.
6 — As a car fills up, move back when you can to provide space for new passengers.
7 — When you have to get around other passengers to leave the train, simply say "pardon" (PAHR-doh) and they will let you by.
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