Paris > Transportation > Buses
How to buy transit tickets and ride public buses in Paris,
ABOVE: RATP buses stop at a passenger island on a
By Durant Imboden
a city where Métro
stations are never more than 500 meters apart, buses may seem like an
Still, there are times when a bus line may be the shortest distance
between two points in Paris, and some travelers would rather look out a bus window
(assuming that they can find a seat) than feel cooped up in a subway tunnel.
Paris transit buses are operated by RATP, the
regional public-transportation network.
Bus lines within the city have two-digit
route numbers (such as 63 or 82), while suburban lines have three-digit numbers.
download transit maps and
apps from the RATP Web site.
In this article, we'll tell you about fares and tickets, how to
ride the buses, and where to find more Paris bus and transit information on the
Paris bus fares and tickets
ABOVE: An electric
BELOW: A single-journey T+ ticket for use on the bus or Métro.
A single journey costs €1,90.
You can pay in two ways:
With a T+ cardboard ticket (available at Metro
stations or authorized RATP retail outlets such as tabac shops), or...
- With a stored-value card such as
Navigo Easy or the tourist-oriented
Important: T+ tickets allow transfers between
buses and trams, but not between buses or trams and Métro or
For more information (including how to save money on single
journeys), see our article on Paris transit
fares and tickets.
Traveling with children:
Children under age 4 travel free on buses, trams, or the Métro Kids from ages 4
through 9 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.
How to ride Paris buses
ABOVE: A No. 82 bus
stop at the Eiffel Tower.
Wait at the bus stop, which will have either a shelter or a
signpost. (Some stops have electronic signs that display bus numbers and
When the bus arrives, board at the front.
Validate your ticket or electronic pass immediately upon boarding.
This is important--you can be fined
heavily if you're caught without a validated fare.
When you're ready to get off the bus, press the nearest red
button to activate the "stop requested" sign. (You'll see red buttons
scattered throughout the bus.)
Leave the bus through the rear doors.
If you're traveling with the Paris Visite pass, follow the validation and
usage instructions in the accompanying booklet.
The "how to" instructions on this page apply to standard Paris city
buses, which can be identified by their route numbers.
Paris bus and transit links
ABOVE: A bus enters the Avenue Friedland from
the Place Charles de Gaule (a.ka. the Étoile). The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is
on the right.
The official site of the Paris and suburban transit network has maps,
timetables, current fares, etc. in French, with some
in English and five other languages.
If you want to buy a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-day transit pass before you leave home,
this site will make the process easy--though not as easy as buying the pass
after you arrive. (Please note that the cheapest Paris Visite pass is good for
only Zones 1-3 and does not cover airport transportation.)
Today's RATP buses aren't nearly as distinctive as the vintage buses that you
may have seen in classic movies--and which are shown in glorious black-and-white
on Dewi Williams's Web site.
Articles - Index parisforvisitors.com
This page has links to our articles on the Paris Métro, RER, Montmartre
funicular, sightseeing buses, airport ground transportation, Vélib' city bike
rentals, Seine sightseeing boats and water buses, St-Martin canal boats, and
Eurostar trains between London and Paris.
Inset photos copyright © iStockphoto/Patrick Breig.