Buying Paris Metro Tickets
The ticket machine can be changed to the language of your choice. I recommend having change for the machine as I have had frequent issues with it rejecting my VISA card due to lack of a “European chip and pin ID”.
You can buy an individual “T+” ticket for the Paris Metro that is good for only ONE ride for 1 euro 70 but it is much cheaper to by a “carnet” (pronounced cahr – nay) of 10 tickets for 12 euros.
These are good from one year to the next. Persons under the age of 26 can purchase a weekend pass that provides unlimited usage on the Metro and pays for itself in about two trips on the Metro – a really good deal!
Paris Metro Map
Get the metro map here before reading any further so you can look at the map as needed. This pagelink provides you with a mobile phone size version of this map to carry with you!
Reading the Map:
- Locate the station nearest you on a Paris map (not the metro map) and also the station nearest where you want to exit the metro.
- Follow the metro line from your starting point, looking for the bubble where metro lines intersect . These will be the points where you can change lines if need be.
- Determine your direction of travel based on the name at the end of your metro line.
- For Example: Following the red arrows on the metro map above, if I enter the metro at St-Michel Notre-Dame (near Notre Dame) and I want to go to Père Lachaise Cemetary, I will be taking the blue line in the direction of Charles de Gaulle, getting off at Châtelet Les Halles and changing to the red line going in the direction of Marne la Vallée, changing at Nation and taking the blue line in the direction of Porte Dauphin to the Père Lachaise stop.
- Enter the Metro station, insert your ticket just before the turn-style (and retrieve it!). Keep your ticket. You will need it at some stations to exit.
- As long as you stay underground and do not exit you will not need another ticket.
- Once on the metro, you will see a map of your line up on the wall. Follow it from station to station so that you know when your stop is approaching. If you find you are going in the opposite/wrong direction, get off at the first stop, and follow the Metro signs to the correct platform (do not exit the metro)
Pointers and Tips
- RER (lines A,B,C,D, and E) are faster than the metro and on some routes can cut your journey in 1/2!
- Ride Metro Lines 6 and 2 for views of the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur as these lines run above ground much of the way.
- As with any city during rush hour, I avoid the metro and buses during 8am-10am and 5pm to 8pm.
The Metro is open Sunday – Thursday 5:30a.m. to 1:15a.m. and Friday-Saturday 5:30a.m. to 2:30a.m.