Transportation Tickets, Maps, Definitions, Passes for Paris

Arts et Metiers (Art and Occupations) metro stopVisiting Paris – hints from RATP.

From this station to that station.

Metro, RER and Tram information on “RATP News” at the RATP. Follow their tweets at @GroupeRATP

The RATP is the Régie autonome des transports parisiens and was created in 1949 to insure and oversee all public transportation. Up until 1944, the companies were private enterprises.

Use Google Translate for French pages and each subsequent page is automatically translated.

Use Navigo for Weekend and Holiday Advantages

Ticket information sources:

RATP – Metro Repairs – Interactive Map


Paying for your ticket

Use Euros in cash or change at the ticket dispenser in the metro (one dispenser is for credit cards only, the other for both credit cards and cash).

Credit cards without the smart chip (puce) are permitted at the metro information window. The attendants usually speak rudimentary English; enough to answer your questions.

Paris Visite card

A reader asked how to activate the “Paris Visite” card on the Montmartrobus and if it has to be validated each time.

For your “Paris Visite”  pass to be valid, you must, before its first use, write on the pass your full name with the start and end dates.

Validate your ticket when entering the metro, bus, tram and RER (run it through the turnstile or into bus ticket machine next to the driver).

It must be validated each time in case ticket controllers are checking tickets. You will be fined on the spot.

It is a magnetic strip, and cannot be used as the Navigo, which has a smart chip and validates by touch.

The “Paris Visite” Web site has links for maps, answer your purchase questions, validation, use and “after-sales service”.

What is STIF?

STIF organizes the public transport in the Great Paris Area. It has provided significant financial support and assistance in developing this service. STIF is managed by elected people of the Regional Council and the Councils of the eight departments of the Great Paris Area. Its mission is to coordinate, arranging funding, improve and develop public transport in the Great Paris Area.

STIF ticket explanations

If you have been to Paris before, you might know your way around.  Consider the book of ten tickets (carnet) in combination with walking. The tickets (Use Google Translate) are good for Paris transportation: buses, metros, electric bus through Montmartre (Montmartrobus), the tramway, and the RERs within Paris.

If you have not been to Paris before and especially with children, it might be fun to see the city from the top of a double decker bus. I recommend L’Open Tour because of its numerous stops along regular bus routes and its scenic routes. There is an advantage of l’Open Tour along regular stops. With your “Ticket t+“, you can decide to visit a part of town not on the Open Tour route.  Keep in mind you have 90 minutes to make transfers using the same ticket from a carnet. Tickets purchased on the bus are not valid for transfers.

If you plan four days in Paris, I would suggest buying a ticket on the Open Tour bus for two days and use it as your sightseeing vehicle or the weekly pass Navigo Semaine. It has more stops than Les Cars Rouges. Read more and look at the routes on their Web sites. Otherwise, the Mobilis (day card) is a great value.

The RATP application and Twitter, application to visit Paris using the metro also on their travel page.

Traveller’s guide (Paris Travel Guide and Offline City Map By Ulmon GmbH) describes the Paris network of transportation: The RER, the metro, tramway, bus and night transportation (Noctilien). Click on each of the plus signs.

Archi-bus “promotes contemporary Parisian architecture”. Pick up maps at the Paris Tourist Office Pyramides.

Paris Tourist Office sightseeing/tourist guides are free at their offices or available for download on line.

I found that the Mobiletag Barcodes Reader on iTunes (free) is very handy for traveling by bus in Paris. Most bus stops have a GPS connection and the next two buses register your wait time. It’s hand in case you want to double check, with the Mobiletag app. You can read any barcode with this application (grocery shopping, for example)

Question about carnets and transfers
Dickson asked about buying a carnet (ten tickets) on bus 350 (Charles de Gaulle airport to Gare de l’Est):

“I’m planning to buy a Carnet and take the 350 bus from CDG to Gare de L’est.  Could I transfer to another bus for free using the original 3 tickets from Bus 350?  I can’t find the info anywhere and hope you’ll know.”

The answer to her question is “no”. Here is more information on the subject from RATP:

The Ticket t+ is valid only for one way on the metro, all of the buses in Ile-de-France, on the bus network using the Ticket t+ purchased at the ticket window (individually or as a carnet (10 tickets). You can make a connection with this ticket during a 1 ½ hour period (see the restrictions below).

Ticket and Transfer Restrictions:
Transfers are valid only for bus to bus, between bus and tramway and tram to tram. The ticket is not valid for taking the same bus/tram during this 1 ½ hour period.
The Ticket t+ is not valid on lines with special tariffs: Orlybus, Roissybus, 350, 351 or 299.
The transfer option is only valid with tickets purchased either as a carnet, from the metro ticket machines or if using a non-smart chip credit card from a metro ticket office. Those tickets purchased from the bus or tramway driver are not valid for the transfer option.
There is no transfer between the bus, the RER or the metro with the Ticket t+.

Tramway and transfers:
A one way transfer is possible for 1 ½ hours between bus lines, bus to tramway and tram to tram.

Ticket t+ are valid on all the RER lines that fall with Paris zones (1 and 2), unless you purchased tickets with additional zones.

Sightseeing Outside Paris with Transilien (trains) using the Navigo Monthly or Annual Passes.

Versailles-Rive Gauche

Château de Fontainebleau


  3 comments for “Transportation Tickets, Maps, Definitions, Passes for Paris

  1. December 8, 2014 at 10:27

    Hi Christie, I am putting out a call to a Facebook group, American Women’s Group in Paris, for feed back. One just received: G7 Taxi is a recommendation because the site is available in English and you can reserve on line and possibly take advantage of promotions.
    I suggest visiting (AngloInfo) AngloInfo. In the search box type: paris airport transportation
    This will narrow your search. As you can see by the list the selection is LONG!!! Colleen

  2. Christie Semmens
    December 8, 2014 at 00:47

    where can I find transportation, sedan, van or car for a group of 4-6 from the Paris airport? I don’t know which are reliable and honest.

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