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Paris Metro Tickets Tips and Advice

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A carnet of ten Paris métro tickets is cheaper than buying an individual Paris metro ticket (this was €9.60 for ten, €1.30 individual at time of going to press). There are five travel zones in Paris, and a carnet ticket covers zones 1 and 2 only. The same ticket will work if you take the métro and change to the RER using the underground passages.

You need to use a new ticket once you go outside, so buses require another ticket. Be aware that La Défense RER is in zone 3, not 2 like the métro, so you will need a more expensive ticket if you take the RER.

If you aren't sure whether you will use all ten tickets in one séjour (stay) in Paris, but you know that you will be coming back again, it is probably still worth buying a carnet to save money as the tickets don't have a date limit on them. Keep them and use them in the future.

If you are going to be in Paris for a week it might be a good plan to buy a carte orange with the accompanying coupon hebdomadaire. They cost under €14 and you then have unlimited journeys in zones 1 and 2. The coupon is valid from Monday to Sunday, so only buy one if you arrive before Wednesday so that you can take full advantage of it. There is also a monthly version (coupon mensuel) that costs €47. In order to obtain the carte orange you will need a passport photo of yourself. Remember to write your carte orange number on the coupon to validate it (this prevents them being used by other people).

You can buy Paris Visite tickets for between €8.35 and €47.50. These are one to five day passes that allow you unlimited travel in zones 1 and 2, or out to the suburbs, depending on how much you pay. The advantage is that you can start the ticket on any day.

Quite often in Paris there are ticket inspections at the platform exits. You have to enter the métro through a ticket barrier so there isn't really a way to dodge the fare. You sometimes see people jumping over the barriers, but they are usually accustomed to the system and are always getting caught so it is not advisable to follow their lead.