Paris Metro Guide

About The Metro

The Paris Metro has 16 color coded lines which operate along 303 stations throughout the city.  The first trains leave from about 5:30am and run until 1:15am on Sunday through Thursday, with operating hours lasting until 2:15am on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Tickets And Passes

The Paris Metro requires you to have a ticket on you at all times when you are within the metro system as you'll require it to leave the station.  There are frequent ticket checks and you'll be slapped with a €50 fine if you don't produce a ticket when asked.

1) Fares

Single fares are €1.90 for adults.  You can save money by buying a carnet (pronounced car-nay) which is a booklet of 10 single tickets for €14.90

2) Mobilis Pass

The Mobilis Pass allows unlimited travel for one day (excluding the airport).  Pricing varies depending on how many zones you'll be visiting but most people only need the €7.50 basic pass which covers zones 1 and 2 - the entirety of downtown Paris.

3) Paris Visite Pass

There are two versions of the Paris Visite tourist travel pass.  The Paris Centre card covers downtown Paris (zones 1-3) while the Paris and Île-de-France region card covers all zones including the ORY and CDG airports.

Both versions offer some discounts to tourists attractions and are available for 1-5 days with prices starting at €12 a day up to €65.80 for all zones for five days.

Where To Buy Tickets

The easiest way to buy tickets or passes is by using a self service machine inside any of the metro stations.  The machines are easy to follow and offer an English language option.  There are also manned ticket windows at every station although not all entrances to a station will have a ticket window.

Outside of Metro stations, you can also purchase tickets from Tabacs which are small shops around the city that sell tobacco products.
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Trip Planning

If you've never traveled on a foreign metro system, especially one as big as this one, it can be a bit daunting at first.  Just take a moment to relax and gather your bearings.  Before you know it you'll be navigating the metro system like a pro!

Before you're off to somewhere, take some time to plan out your route.  Figure out which line or lines you'll need to go on and which stations you need to transfer at in order to get to your final destination.  Also, figure out which exit you'll be leaving that station out of as some stations have many exits.

Travel Tip
As with other major cities, pickpockets love working the metro.  Overcrowded stations and train cars give them ample opportunity to work their craft.  Just remember to be smart and protect yourself.

Navigating The Metro

1) At the station

You'll find all signage, including the self service machines, is in both French and English and the directional arrows to the different metro lines are all color coded so don't worry about a language barrier.

Insert your ticket into the turnstile to gain access into the station.  Don't forget to take the ticket back as you'll need it to exit again.

2) Find your train

To find your train line just follow the colored directional arrows and signs.  As each line has trains going in two different directions, check the directional map on the wall to make sure you're heading the right way.

3) Exiting the station

Once you've arrived at your final destination, find your desired exit and insert your ticket into the turnstile to leave the station.

Transferring Lines

Most trips will involve transferring from one line to another.  When you get off at your transfer station, follow the colored directional signage leading you to your next line.  Again, make sure you're going in the right direction and off you go.
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