Do you want to find out everything there is to know about visiting Paris using the famous Metro ? It’s one of your best options for getting around: you’ll always be within a 5 minute walk from a station.
Here is some information, tips and tricks to help you to use the Paris Metro without having to worry. The Metro is the means of transport every Parisian uses. With over 4 million passengers everyday, on average, 14 lines and over 300 stations, the Paris Metro is one of the biggest and most used underground networks in the world. Whether you’re a tourist, a businessman away on assignment or you’re staying for a short period, the Metro is undoubtedly the most convenient way to get around in Paris and its suburbs.
Public transport is free for children under 4 years old
How to use the Metro in Paris
How do you use the Metro ? Don’t panic, it’s very simple ! Let us guide you…
The Metro ticket and Pass
- The T+ TICKET (a single metro ticket ) costs €1.90, and can be used for one journey, including any connections. Tickets can be purchased individually or as a book of 10 (“carnet”) for €14.50 or €7.25 for under 10s, at the ticket offices or machines in Metro stations, and also online.
It is not possible to make Metro/bus, metro/tram, RER/bus and RER/tram connections using the same t+ ticket.
For occasional journeys you’re better off using a T+Ticket
- The PARIS VISITE PASS is a pass tailored to your stay (1, 2, 3 or 5 days) and to the zones in which you want to travel. For example, a 1 day pass for travel in zones 1-3 costs €11.65 for adults and €5.80 for children. This pass gives you unlimited travel on the bus, metro, tramway and RER for the chosen period.
- The NAVIGO PASS is an electronic pass that now allows you to make unlimited journeys on the bus, metro, RER and Transiliens across the entire Ile-de-France network (including CDG and Orly airports, Disneyland Paris and Versailles).
In terms of subscription, you have the option of purchasing a Navigo pass that’s valid for one week, one month or one year. If you intend to make multiple journeys each day, then a Navigo pass offers the best value for taking public transport in Paris.
You can buy a Navigo Pass at any Metro, RER or Translilien window. Weekly passes can be purchased the previous Friday and are on sale until the Thursday of the current week. Monthly passes are on sale from the 20th day of the previous month. The annual pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. The prices are as follows:
- Navigo Weekly Pass: €22.15
- Navigo Monthly Pass: €73
- Navigo Annual Pass: €803
- The CARTE IMAGINE R (Étudiant/Scolaire) is an annual pass for students under the age of 26 that offers exactly the same benefits as a Navigo pass, but at a reduced price of €333.90 for the year.
To validate your journey and pass legally through the barriers, you either need to insert the ticket into the slot as indicated or scan your card on the reader as indicated.
- Do not put your ticket close to magnetic objects : it may be demagnetized and rendered invalid
- Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Keep the ticket until the end of your journey : For some stations, mostly RER stations, you’ll need to present a valid ticket to get out of the station.
Lodgis’Tip: Download the Visit Paris by Metro app, which is a Metro map designed specifically for tourists with information about tours, landmarks and point of interest in Paris.
Now you’ve got your ticket, off you go! You must, first of all, know where you’re going….
To this end, many maps and plans are displayed around Metro stations. Ask yourself two simple questions to find your way around.
The first is : where am I ? Find the name of the station you’re in and locate it on the map.
The second is : Where do I want to go ? Look on the map for the station you want to go to.
Follow the Metro lines along with your finger to get to your destination. Each line has a different color, a specific number and runs in two directions. To travel in the correct direction, follow the right number and color. The direction corresponds to the metro line’s destination.
- Once you’re on the platform, check for the next metro on the panel just above your head, which will also show the waiting time. An automatic voice (announcement system) will tell you when the train has reached the platform.
- Keep an eye on your belongings when you get on the train ! As in any big city, there are pickpockets.
- Keep an eye on your children so that they don’t get lost in the crowd.
- The Metro doors close quickly and automatically – make sure that you or what your belonging aren’t preventing the doors from closing. Then hurry up and catch up the train!
The Paris Metro: What a story…
The Paris Metro’s History ( Since 1900)
The story of the Paris Metro begins in the middle of the 19th century. This « metropolitan » (underground railway) system was created to make it easier to get around the city by developing an underground transport network, which would help unclog a city increasingly paralyzed by road transport. In 1900, at Paris World Fair (universal exhibition), after almost a half-century of negotiations between the State and the City of Paris (much time was spent arguing over farfetched proposals), the the construction of the Metro system was at last approved.
On July 19th, 1990 the first Metro line was officially opened. It was a huge success and inspired the development a much wider network under the direction of engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe. By the eve of World War II, the Metro consisted 14 lines (159km in length and 332 stations). After a 20 year hiatus, the Paris Metro experienced a fresh renewal with a gradual period modernisation that saw the emergence of new extensions to the suburbs built by the RATP (1948).
In 1998, the line 14, called Meteor, carried the Paris Metro into a new era with a fully-automatic driverless Metro line. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Metro served Paris and its surrounding region and was undergoing a rapid evolution with the automation of old lines, such as line 1.
To learn more, click here.
A history behind the name of every station
The Paris Metro is full of stories. Each station name has its own story. If you want to discover what secrets lurk behind each name, you can buy Pierre Miquel’s book « Petite histoire de métro » (A Short History of The Metro) or visit the website.
Visit Paris in an unusual way using the Metro
Discover RATP behind the scenes and the unkown stations.
Thanks to the Ademas association, it is now possible to visit the Paris Metro backstage. Discover the Paris Metro’s history, from its construction at the end of the 19th century to the latest extension of the line 8 in 2010 during a 3 hour trip.
With more than 200km of tracks, the Metro is undoubtedly full of unusual, mysterious areas. You will therefore visit places closed to the public. This visit is organized once a month and costs 12 euros for non-members.
More information can be found here.
The Small Belt
Contrary to what one might think, the Small Belt has nothing to do with fashion! It’s an old railway line around Paris, located in Boulevards des Maréchaux. The small belt is the precursor of the Metro, and its stations are mostly walled up or fenced-off nowadays.
However, some areas remain opened to the public: in the 16th arrondissement, for example, between Gare d’Auteuil and Gare de la Muette, and in the 15th district, between the Place Balard and Rue Olivier-de-Serres. We hope we have satisfied the curiosity of Urbex amateurs…
Has this post helped you read between the lines of the Paris Metro ? Please get in touch and share your experiences with us!