Metro, RER (Suburban express railway)
A single metro ticket costs €1.90, and can be used for one journey, including all connections. White-coloured tickets can be purchased singly or in a book of 10 (“carnet”) for €16, at the ticket offices or machines in metro stations, and also in some tobacconists. Keep hold of your ticket until you have completed your journey, as you may be asked to show it if tickets are being inspected. If you cannot produce proof of payment for the ticket inspectors, you may risk paying a fine. This ticket, valid for zones 1 and 2, allows you to travel anywhere in Paris, and even beyond, since it will take you to the end of each metro line, even if it is located in zone 3 (as for example La Défense on line 1).
You can also choose a Monthly or weekly Navigo Package. These can be purchased from the ticket offices or machine in the stations, their prices vary depending on the travel zones covered (see "Passes and reductions"). You will need a passport-sized photo for these passes, obtainable from the photo booths in some metro stations (make sure you have the correct change).
More info about Navigo
In the RER, as long as you remain within the city limits, tickets and prices are identical to the metro (RER stations also have their own ticket offices and machines). If you are travelling beyond the city limits, you need to ensure that you are in possession of a ticket or a pass which covers your whole journey up to your destination in the Ile-de-France region. If not, you will not be able to go through the automatic barriers on arrival and you may be liable to a fine. The RER ticket also covers your journey and any connections within Paris (zones 1 and 2), on your outward and return journeys.
On the buses, you use the same tickets as in the metro, with no limit of distance (including suburbs), except on the Balabus, Noctilien and routes 221, 297, 299, 350 and 351. The bus driver can sell single tickets, be sure to have the correct change.
On the bus, your ticket is only valid for a single journey, with no connections. You will need another ticket if you change on to a different bus route or connect with another form of public transport. If you plan to travel around a lot, it would be better value to buy a pack of ten tickets (“carnet”) or a travel pass (see "Passes and reductions").
Passes and reductions
There are a variety of different passes and reductions, if you plan to use regularly the forms of public transport mentioned here. First of all, you need to know that transport is free for children under 4 and half price for children between 4 and 11 years old.
As well as the book of 10 tickets (“carnet”), giving you 10 trips at a reduced rate, several travel cards allow you unlimited travel for 1 or more days, a week, a month or even a year, over the whole public transport network (metro, RER, bus, tram, suburban train, Montmartre funicular), corresponding to the different fare zones.
Be careful : travel pass coupons must be inserted in the automatic barriers in the metro and RER, but must not be punched in the machines on the buses. Just show your card to the driver as you get on the bus.
These travel passes can be purchased in main metro and RER stations, in SNCF train stations in Ile-de-France and in Paris airports. Certain passes are also available at the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
More info : RATP
This pass is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days in zones 1 to 3 or 1 to 5. The coupon slides into a card specifying your name, a photo is not required. The coupon can be purchased in advance and you should fill in the date you decide to use it and the number of the card. NB: this card is valid for full days and not for 24, 48 or 72 consecutive hours, meaning that a whole day would be counted even if you only begin to use it at 8 in the evening, so it is far better to start first thing in the morning! As a rule, when you buy your coupon, the ticket seller will receive a « Paris Tourisme » map and an SNCF map. But if not, do not hesitate to ask for them.
Prices shown are subject to change.