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Local Transportation in Paris for newbie

My family and I will be in Paris at the end November, 2016. We will be arriving from London. (Yes, we already have "chunnel" tickets.) We have a hotel reservation already in northern edge of 11 Arr., and so I think we can walk to our hotel from Gare du Nord.

My question is there a train/bus pass for Paris that is similar to the Oyster Card in London? We plan on visiting the places (Notre Dame, Louvre, Eiffel, et al) as this is our first visit. I was told that we can purchase a "block of ten tickets" at any Paris metro station, and that would be our best and most economic option. Is this accurate? Do you agree? Suggestions?


Posted by
3122 posts

The RS guide for France will have the most up-to-date info, but yes, a "carnet" of 10 tickets for the Metro is generally recommended.

If you are going outside Paris, for example to Versailles, you'll be using the RER (err - uh - err) railway system.

Posted by
5697 posts

If you're going to be in Paris for at least a full week, consider a Navigo pass. Otherwise, the carnet (ten tickets) works fine.

Posted by
7400 posts

If you're not using the RER, the carnet of tickets works well. Check out the NaviGo Card if you're going to be there several days or taking the RER to the airport, etc.

Posted by
11507 posts

A carnet pronounced "car nay" of tickets is not a booklet , they will simply give you ten loose tickets , good for oneway travel on the metro or bus. They can be used amongst your party.

I personally find the metro system is easier to understand than the buses, it's just " connect the dots " really.

I suggest you read up on the system on this website , it's very simple and clear to understand ( I am not very good at explaining things ) :


Several of the sites are easy to walk between , Notre Dame and only a few minutes apart , and Louvre is a nice walk along river , maybe 10-12 minutes from them. A walk across the river takes you into the Latin Quarter ( (from ND) or into the St Germain quarter( from Louvre) . In Latin quarter there is the Cluny medivel museum , in St Germain the Rodin and Orsay( a healthy 20 minute walk from Louvre) if weather is nice walking is great , however it may be cool and rainy so learning and using the metro for some trips is a good idea .

Posted by
16894 posts

The adult carnet of 10 tickets costs about €14.10 and there's a cheaper version for kids aged 4-10. The next option is the weekly Passe Navigo, but it's specifically valid from Monday to Sunday only, costs €21.25 plus €5 set-up fee, plus a photo (also €5 to buy there). See also Also a family of 3 or 4 can split a taxi pretty affordably, if that ever feels more convenient.

Posted by
5258 posts


If you plan to be in Paris for 5 days or more, you may consider getting the Navigo Decouverte weekly pass, which will allow you unlimited travel via Metro, bus or RER. You can use the pass to travel to/from CDG, Versailles, & central Paris.

You can read about this weekly pass here:

If you plan to go up the Eiffel Tower, make sure to book your tickets way in advance ( up to 92 days in advance) ;-)

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
6625 posts

The advantage of a carnet is its flexibility -- you're just buying ten tickets at a discounted price, you can split them up among people, use them whenever you want, no timeframe to consider like the Monday-Sunday with the Navigo. There's no real equivalent to the Oyster Card, unfortunately, but the system itself is much like London's, both trains and buses. If you can handle the Tube you can handle the Metro, with a little new vocabulary, bien sur!

It's also true, as Pat noted, that many of the major visitor sites in Paris are so close together you can easily walk between them. This is less true of London, where things are generally more spread out. But you will want to use Metro and buses in Paris to get to and from your hotel and for other longer trips.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
2466 posts

You can buy a "Mobilis Pass" instead of carnets.
This is a good option for those who find using one ticket more convenient.
It can be difficult to tell used carnet tickets from unvalidated tickets.

The tickets in carnets are used for one-way trips, while the Mobilis Pass is an all day pass which is good for unlimited travel on Metro or Bus.

The only restriction on Mobilis Pass is that travel must be completed by midnight of the same day you begin using it and you must write your name and the date on the pass before using it.

You must also validate the pass each time you use Metro or Bus.

You can purchase the Mobilis Pass in the machines in Metro stations. You will only need Zone 1-2 if staying in Paris, and this pass costs 7.30 EU per day. Here's the information:

Terms of use:
With Mobilis, you can have unlimited travel in selected areas .
You can move on all modes of transport in Île-de-France, Metro, RER Bus, Tram and train except Filéo and links to airports (Orlyval, Orlybus, Roissybus, Orly and Roissy by RER ).
Access by lines 183 and 285 to Orly airport and the lines 350 and 351 for Roissy airport is possible (for the areas concerned).
For all packages (regardless of duration), the validity period starts at the first available service and ends at midnight.
Mobilis is in the form of a magnetic ticket corresponding to the selected areas. Before use, you must register on the coupon your name, first name and date of use. Validate the ticket each time you use transport.

Posted by
8171 posts

Note the child's carnet of tickets is not for 4-10 but 4-9 -- 10 year olds pay full fare. If you are in Paris for 5 days or so between a Monday and Sunday of one week then get the Navigo Decouverte for everyone and you can forget about transport -- it is good for anywhere in the Ile de France including CDG or any day trips you might make to Versailles or other towns around Paris. Otherwise, the carnet of 10 tickets is fine especially if you do a lot of walking which is the best way to see Paris. There is no child's Navigo Decouverte (it is not intended as a tourist product but for visiting workers in the Ile de France or locals who don't want their travel recorded (the ND is anonymous -- no ID required to buy and no record kept of your travels -- if you lose it though, it is also not replaceable.) The convenience is such and the price so good though, I would get it for kids for the convenience if adults are getting them.

Note that you must keep your validated ticket because if you can't show it if asked, the fine is 50 Euro on the spot; we have not been checked yet in October (we have been here since the first) but on our trip last year we were checked 4 or 5 times)

Posted by
165 posts

You can judge which option would be best for you by how much you plan to use the metro. We loved it and used it often and bought the 10 tickets at a time to save money. Please be aware that you are supposed to keep your ticket until the end of the ride. If you are asked for your ticket and don't have it, you can be fined. We just kept our used ticket in a pocket and disposed of it after we left the station. sue

Posted by
4132 posts

The carnet is super easy.

If the planets line up (you arrive early in the week and are staying for more than a few days) the Mobilis is absolutely worth the set-up bother. Makes a nice souvenir too (and is reusable next time you go).

Two other transportation things to consider. The buses are great! And if you like that sort of thing (I do), so is the bike-share system, velib. For the latter, you can buy a day pass online.

Posted by
2466 posts

Adam - I think you are confusing the Navigo Decouverte with the Mobilis Pass.
Navigo Decouverte is a reusable, rechargeable pass.
Mobilis Pass is only good for one day and is not rechargeable.

Posted by
23431 posts

..... good for oneway travel on the metro or bus........

Also keep in mind that the carnet ticket is good for a time period (not sure what it is - maybe two hours). For example - we took the metro to the Montmartre area and then used the same ticket for the funicular to the top. I assume you could use ticket for combination of bus and metro if it is in the time window.

Posted by
4684 posts

You can't use a single carnet ticket to transfer between rail and bus. You can use one for a continuous journey of up to ninety minutes either on the Metro and RER, or on bus and tram. But you can't switch between rail/metro and street modes.

Posted by
2466 posts

That's what makes the Mobilis Pass so useful. You can use it to transfer from Metro to Bus all day long.

Posted by
4062 posts

Simple idea for keeping track of single tickets (although I didn't come up with it): Enter the Metro gate with the required ticket, fold it as you put it away, then toss in the inevitable trash can once outside the exit turnstyle.

Posted by
4132 posts

Chexebres is right--was describing the Navigo.

That's what I get for posting so late at night! oops

Posted by
11507 posts

Please note , do not keep your metro ticket just till " end of ride" keepbit toll you are completely OUT of the actual station . The inspectors often stands in the exit passage ways !

Posted by
1014 posts

Paris is really small for the tourist. Your feet are a great way to get about. Use a ticket purchased at the metro station, in blocks of 10, to get back after a long day of wandering about. Or, bus or metro out in the morning and walk back to your abode, enjoying the sights, smells and passages of Paris.

Posted by
703 posts

We bought the Navigo Decouvete (spelling?) ticket on our first trip to Paris then recharged and used it again the next time we traveled there. As others said, the only negative is its time frame but for us, it worked out fine. On our second trip, we did end up purchasing a carnet since it wasn't going to be a full week after our pass had expired. The Paris Metro is super easy to use. Have a great time in Paris!