Can someone please tell me about the RER, Trains, and Buses in Paris? Which one is more beneficial??? I don't understand where to purchase tickets for each, and if I'm staying 5 days are there passes for a few days?
Give this a read, it's fairly comprehensive. You'll likely be using the Metro or walking in Paris. Tickets are purchased on site through kiosks.
You may benefit by getting the Navigo Découverte Pass but keep in mind that it's valid for one week, Monday through Sunday.
You may find this website helpful as it will answer all your Paris transportation questions: http://parisbytrain.com
Have a wonderful trip!
EDIT to add...
I forgot to mention that you may want to get the following apps on your smartphone:
We purchased the Navigo Découverte Pass for our last trip to Paris, and it easily paid for itself since we were there several days and used the RER to get to the airport.
For other trips, we just purchased a carnet or two of Metro tickets. The Metro tickets work for either the Metro or the bus. The Metro is very handy; google info on them and view the Metro map.
I would like the Navigo but it doesn't work with the Anthony train station
Why do you think that it does not work with the Antony train station? It does not work on the OrlyVal for getting from Antony to the airport but it works to take you to the Antony station. In any event, which, if any pass, you should get is a function of where you plan to go while in Paris, where you are staying, the days of the week that you will be in Paris, and whether you plan to use mass transit to get to and from Orly or CDG airports. For five days unless you plan to ride the RER to Versailles or Disney or some other location outside of the borders of Paris, you could well be fine with just purchasing a carnet of tickets which is a set of 10 tickets at a reduced rate and buying tickets for getting to and from the airport, assuming that you plan to use mass transit to get to and from an airport.
Priscilla, thank you for those app links!!
If you are only seeing places in Paris itself, you only need the Metro and/or the bus. Metro tickets are valid on buses too. In Paris I use the RER to go from the airport CDG to Gare du Nord. After that use of public transportation is by bus and Metro. You buy Metro tickets at the Metro stations at a staffed ticket counter if you are paying with a credit card. They'll take cash too. I buy a "carnet" ( a book of ten tickets, cheaper) and pay for them with cash or credit card.
Okay I think I would just get the 10 ticket book of passes. Do you know how much that costs and does it also work in Italy?
The carnet is a set of tickets that can be used in Paris. Those tickets cannot be used in Italy. There is no mass transit ticket that you can buy in Paris for use in Italy. The current cost of a carnet is 14.5 euros. Individual tickets are 1.9 euros each.
Cities in Europe have their own tickets. I am not aware of anywhere on the continent where the same tickets are usable on urban public transport in more than one major city.
Ditto North America, as I have a Seattle Orca Card, a Chicago Ventra Card, and a NYC Metro Card.
And a "carnet" of Metro tickets work only within Paris. You will need to buy separate tickets for trips beginning or ending outside the city proper, like Antony.
Just to repeat advice given earlier on this thread, do check out parisbytrain.com, and tomsguidetoparis.com will be useful as well.
Here's the link to RATP for your home computer. Practicing now will help when you are in Paris. It will plot routes and give information about the prices for zones etc. http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/
Note that RER and Metro single tickets look alike and allow transfers (but not to bus or streetcar) but you have to be careful to purchase the correct fare if moving outside the central area. Hold on the ticket once you have entered the system; you will need it to exit the RER and spot checks are routine.
Parisbytrain.com , as suggested, is useful, particularly for its photo tours of train stations.
You're welcome Susan! ;-)
You've received great advice here thus far.
I found the Paris Metro--Basics Guide very helpful.
If you're planning to go up the Eiffel Tower, don't forget to book your tickets up to 92 days in advance.... It beats waiting in a possibly long queue!
Enjoy your trip!
Off topic but in response to last reply: If you plan to go up the Eiffel Tower, take the stairs to level 2. There is rarely a line and, when there is, it moves fast. You can buy a ticket to the top before you start climbing or on level 2 (not always).
Once we booked because my friend heard you should and wouldn't you know it, the elevators to the top were broken - as in guys with hammers were banging on metal trying to "fix" them. Massive waste of money for four tickets.
Luckily, we had done the stairs and got the elevator to the top two other times that trip. My daughter was 4 1/2 years old at the time.
It's around 700 steps. You are so happy when you get there!