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From: Paris Métro
The basic Métro ticket is a small piece of cardboard (formerly mauve, now white) with a magnetic strip that costs €1,90. It's issued by RATP, the transportation authority for the Paris region.
You can save money by purchasing a carnet of 10 tickets for €14,50 from vending machines near the turnstiles in Métro stations. (A carnet is simply a stack of individual tickets.) If you're traveling with a children, see the "Tips" section below.
A single ticket will take you anywhere within the city of Paris on the Métro and RER networks, and you can transfer between lines--or between the Métro and the RER--on the same ticket.
You can also use T+ tickets on buses and trams, although you can't transfer between the Métro and RER and buses or trams on the same ticket.
Unlike T+ tickets, bus tickets purchased on buses are good only on buses and trams (they also cost a few cents more), so buy a carnet of 10 or a few tickets ahead of time in the Métro if you plan to ride the bus in the future.
Métro ticket machines accept coins and credit cards, but not banknotes. If you pay by credit card, don't withdraw the card too quickly: It may take half a minute or longer for the machine to scan the card and process the transaction, especially if you're using a magnetic-stripe credit card from abroad.
Children under age 4 travel free. Kids from ages 4-10 pay the full adult fare for single tickets, but a children's carnet of 10 tickets is half price, so it pays to plan ahead.
For details on the current generation of tickets and carnets, including what kinds of transfers are allowed, see the RATP's "T+ tickets" page.
If you plan to use public transportation extensively, you may find it worthwhile to buy one of the passes described below. Or maybe not: A carnet of 10 tickets is simpler to buy, can be shared by several people, and is likely to be cheaper if you don't spend a lot of time on trains and buses.
Paris Visite is an unlimited tourist travel pass that you can buy for one, two, three, or five calendar days. The "Paris Centre" version covers transportation in zones 1-3. For travel to zones 4 and 5 (including Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport, and Versailles), you'll need the more expensive "Paris + suburb + airports" version.
Children from 4 to 10 pay half-price (again, kids 4 and under are free), and Paris Visite offers discounts on boat cruises and certain other tourist attractions.
Mobilis is a pass for one calendar day. The price depends on the zones where you intend to travel; if you plan to stay within the city, a Zone 1 pass is all you need.
The electronic Navigo weekly and monthly passes come in "two zones" or "all zones" versions. They're intended for Paris residents, but anyone can buy them.
For more information on these and other tickets, see the RATP's Travel passes and prices page.
Where to buy passes: You can buy Paris Visite, Mobilis, and other passes at major Métro stations, RER stations, and railroad stations in the Ile-de-France region, including those at Paris airports. Paris Visite is also available at branches of the Paris tourist office.
Paris is a city that's best enjoyed on foot, so a carnet of 10 tickets is likely to be your best value unless you have limited mobility, are pressed for time, or are staying a long way from tourist attractions.
Métro and RER ticket machines are designed to work with French credit cards that have embedded chips. Any modern Visa or Mastercard should work, but if yours doesn't, go to the ticket window for help.
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