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Paris Buses

How to buy transit tickets and ride public buses in Paris, France.

Paris bus photo

ABOVE: RATP buses stop at a passenger island on a Paris boulevard.

In a city where Métro stations are never more than 500 meters apart, buses may seem like an anachronism.

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.

You can 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 Web.

Paris bus fares and tickets

Montmartre bus

ABOVE: An electric Montmartrobus. INSET 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 Paris Visite pass.

Paris Metro ticketImportant: T+ tickets allow transfers between buses and trams, but not between buses or trams and Métro or RER lines.

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

Paris bus stop photo

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 waiting times.)

  • 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.

Note:

  • 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

Paris bus photo

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.

RATP
The official site of the Paris and suburban transit network has maps, timetables, current fares, etc. in French, with some tourist information in English and five other languages.

Paris Visite
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.)

Paris: Buses
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.

Paris Transportation 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.

Related articles:
Paris Transportation Index