Everything You Wanted to Know About Paris Metro Tickets

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.

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 (coins or 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!


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Useful Metro Information

You can find additional helpful information about the Paris Metro in some of other guides —

How to Buy Paris Metro Tickets

How to Buy Paris Metro Tickets

The machines at the Metro stations 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 (puce as they say in Paris). By this method 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.)

Metro Travel The Easy Way – The Paris Pass

Paris Pass

One of the advantages of buying a Paris Pass before you leave home is that it includes 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 this Metro pass (which, by the way, is called Paris Visite) is to get ahold of a Paris Pass while you're planning your trip. Not only does it give us unlimited Metro (and bus and RER) travel within central Paris, you 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.

How Paris Metro Tickets Work

How Paris Metro Tickets Work

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 using the Paris Visite Metro Pass that comes with the Paris Pass, you have one ticket (a permaticket) 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 permaticket from the turnstile machine before you pass through into the Metro!


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Paris Metro Etiquette & Safety

Just as in Paris restaurants, there is a certain etiquette observed on the Paris Metro that may be a little different from what you're used to.

  • Speak softly.
  • Don't eat or drink on the Metro.
  • Keep your personal belongings on your body.
  • Move aside for people who are leaving the train.
  • When waiting for a train, leave some space around the doors for departing passengers.
  • As a car fills up, move back when you can to provide space for new passengers.
  • 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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