Metro Tickets. The Paris Metro is a fabulous way to navigate the city. However, it's important to learn a few tips and techniques.
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. Instead you'll be zipping around Paris like a local!
And you do want to fit in — for a couple of reasons. You don't want to look like a tourist and you don't want to be a magnet for pickpockets.
These days, most stations have machines to purchase Metro tickets using either Euros or a credit card. If you're using a credit card, it must have a chip or it won't work. You can use (Euro) coins and some of the Paris Metro ticket machines are even able to take bills.
The machines sell both individual tickets and carnets (a pack of ten tickets, which costs less per ticket). Instructions are clearly explained in several languages.
While there are information booths at many of the stations, don't expect any English-speaking help in the Metro. It's important to have a good Paris Metro map with you!
What this means is that you can buy tickets anytime, day or night, as long as the Metro is open – about 5:00 am to 12:45 am.
Once you get the hang of using the Metro, you'll be surprised how much you'll use your Paris Metro tickets!
You can purchase a carnet (pack of 10 tickets) at any Metro station using the ticket machines.
You can use a credit card, but it must have a chip (and you must have a PIN number) to work. You can also use Euros. A pack of 10 Paris Metro tickets costs around 12€.
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 combined Paris city 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.
One of our favorite ways to do this is to get ahold of a combination Paris city 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 tickets 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 to the person 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!
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