One of the best ways to get around Paris is by Metro – the underground railway system. Trains are frequent, clean and the whole system is very efficient but buying tickets can cause some apprehension amongst non-French speaking tourists. Have no fear, though, as the ticket machines offer instructions in English! Simply choose your language of choice (French, English or Spanish) on the touch screen and follow the simple steps to purchase your Paris Metro ticket.
Single and books of tickets can be purchased. A single ticket costs around €1.80 but you can buy multiple tickets at once as they don’t have to be used on the day of purchase. A carnet of 10 tickets costs €14.10. Once you have your ticket, you insert it into the turnstile to access the platform. Some stations require you to insert your ticket again to exit the station of arrival.
The Metro system is a network of fast trains that cover the entire inner Peripherique of Paris. Each route is colour-coded so you can easily determine which route you need to catch. Each station and train displays maps of the line on which you are travelling to assist you in knowing where you are and how many stops until you need to get off.
Most of the major Metro stations have Information desks and some even have Information Assistants standing near the ticketing machines to offer assistance. The assistants are easily recognisable by their uniforms and they speak mulitiple languages, including English.
To reach Paris’s outer suburbs, you’ll need to take the RER train system. Four lines cover the city’s outer north east, north west, south east and south west, taking travelers to destinations including Charles de Gaulle airport and Versailles. The RER trains require different tickets to the Metro but are purchased in the same manner. Tickets are slightly more expensive as the distance travelled is greater. A one way ticket from central Paris to Versailles by RER costs around €3.
To combine your sightseeing and Metro travel, why not purchase a Paris Pass*? The Pass comprises the Paris Museum Pass, a Paris Visite card for Metro travel in zones 1-3 and a range of additional attraction entries, special offers and discounts.
*Disclosure: This is an affiliate link. Should you choose to make a purchase via this link, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Planning a visit to France? My other articles about France might be useful.