/ / How to Use The Paris Metro In 2024 (+ Practical Tips)

How to Use The Paris Metro In 2024 (+ Practical Tips)

Traveling to Paris for the first time but you’re not sure how to navigate the metro? Then this article will show you exactly how to use the Paris metro!

If you’re traveling to Paris, you’re likely to use the metro since it’s connected to most parts of the city, and is the cheapest way to get around! Although it’s easy to use, it can be tricky for first-time visitors.

Metro sign post in the article: how to use the Paris metro

So in this article, I’ll show you exactly how to use the metro in Paris! From how to locate a metro station, how to buy tickets, how to navigate the subway, and so much more!

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)  

How to Use The Paris Metro In 2024

Without any further ado, let’s dive in!

 How to Find a Metro Station in Paris 

Paris metro sign pole

The first thing you’ll need to know is how to find a metro station. All you have to do is locate the Metro sign which comes in 3 different types.

The first is a pole with the word metro, the second has Métropolitain on it and the third is a giant letter M in yellow. If you spot any of these, just walk towards it and you’ll find the staircase to the metro station.

Tickets You’ll Need to Use the Paris Metro + How to Buy Them

After locating a metro station, you’ll need to buy a ticket! There are a few different ways to do it, so I’ll quickly go through them.

T+ ticket

me holding the single use t+ ticket for the paris metro

The first is the single-ride t+ ticket which costs just 2.15 € for the full fare and half the price for children between 4 and 11. Kids below 4 years old ride the metro for free. 

How to Purchase the T+ ticket

As for how to purchase the ticket, you can do so from the machines or at the RATP counters in the metro stations.

If you opt for the machines, select your language and choose the option “I don’t have a Navigo pass”.

There are a number of tickets but we are going to choose the single ticket t+. Select the number of tickets you want, validate, and then later pay. 

There is another type of ticket machine, so in case you come across that, it’s the same idea but instead of a touch screen, you just turn the roller to select your preferred options.

You should also note that you can also use this ticket for the bus, Tram, and the RER. Although it works only within Paris for the RER.

Navigo Easy Pass

me holding the Navigo easy pass

The other alternative is loading tickets on a Navigo Easy Pass. The Pass itself costs 2 € which you can then load any amount of tickets you want. 

However, if you buy a bundle of 10 tickets known as the carnet, you save some money since it costs 17.35 € compared to the 21.5€ if you buy 10 individual tickets.  

If you plan on using the metro a lot, this is the option I recommend as you won’t have to queue at ticket machines every time you need a new ticket. 

Plus, you can recharge your Navigo Easy Pass directly on your phone with the IDF Mobilités or RATP apps. I’ll show you how to do that later in the article.

The only limiting thing about this pass is that you can only use it within the Paris region. This means that if you want to go to Disneyland Paris or Versailles, you’ll need to buy other tickets.

Paris visite Pass

Paris visite pass
Source: RATP

The other way to use the metro is by buying the Paris Visite Pass which starts at 13,95€ a day but you can buy one for up to 5 days. 

The advantage of this pass over the Navigo Easy is that it gives you unlimited access to all forms of transportation (be it the metro, bus, tram,  RER, and SNCF trains) in the Île-de-France region.

This means that you’ll be able to go to Disneyland Paris, Versailles, and the airports with it. Just remember to write your name and the dates on the ticket for it to be valid.

How to Use The Ticket

fare gates in Paris metro
fare gates in the Paris metro

If you have a physical ticket, just slide it into the slot of the fare gate and it will pop out from the other side and the gate will open for you.

If you slide the ticket in and hear a beep with a red light, it means that your ticket has already been used, so you’ll need a new one.

However, in very rare cases, you may be buzzed red on a new ticket. If this happens, then there could be a problem with the machine, so it’s best to inquire from the RATP staff on the counters at the station.

This is also the same way to use the Paris visite card.

One thing you should know is that not all fare gates have a slot for the paper ticket! If the one you go to doesn’t have it, simply go to the next one. 

How to Use The Navigo Easy Pass

ticket validation for the paris metro
The ticket validation point in some paris metro stations

If you’re using a Navigo Easy pass, you just have to validate it by placing it on the pad of the fare gate and it will let you through.

Before we move on, I should also mention that some metro stations, for example, Trocadero currently don’t have the traditional fare gates but rather validation points (shown in the photo above)!

These are so easy to miss so make sure you look out for them, or you might be fined if you don’t validate your ticket or pass. 

How to Reload Your Navigo Pass

Paris metro ticket machine with roller
Paris metro ticket machine with roller

Reloading your Navigo Easy Pass is quite easy. You can either go directly to the RATP counters in the metro, recharge on the ticket machines, or directly on your phone.

To do it on the ticket machine, simply place the pass on the Navigo reader, select the single journey t+ ticket, and either choose from buying individual tickets or a carnet of 10 tickets to save money.

To do it on the phone, you can either use the IDF Mobilités app or the RATP Bonjour App. With the IDF Mobilités App, go to “purchase”, then click  “on my Navigo pass”. Select “read my pass” and hold it above your Phone’s front camera.

Click on “Buy ticket” and select the amount of tickets you want. You can also choose the carnet option to get 10 t+ tickets for a reduced rate.

For the RATP App, the steps are pretty much the same. Go to “tickets”, click “Read Pass” and bring your pass behind the top of your phone. Select “Buy on Pass” and choose from either a single journey ticket or the carnet of 10 tickets.

How to Check The Remaining Number Of Tickets on Your Navigo Easy Pass

touch screen paris metro ticket machine
Touch screen Paris metro ticket machine

If you want to know the remaining tickets on your Navigo, simply put your card on the ticket machine, and it will show you how many are left.

Alternatively, you can do it on your phone with the IDF Mobilités and the Bonjour RATP apps.

On the IDF App, go to “purchases”, click on “on my Navigo pass”, select “Read my Pass” and place the card at the top of your phone and it will display how many tickets are left.

For the RATP app, go to “tickets”, click on “Read my Pass”, and place the pass on top of your phone and it will display the number of remaining tickets.

How To Navigate The Metro

Paris metro station sign

Now that you know how to buy and use the tickets, let’s look at how to navigate the metro.

There are 2 options. You can either read the Metro map but the easier choice would be using apps like Bonjour RATP, Google Maps, SNCF Connect, IDF Mobilites, and Apple Plans, although I recommend City Mapper.

For this article, we’re going to assume that you’re trying to go from Galeries Lafayette to the Louvre Museum

Since the app suggests taking line 7, walk to Chaussée d’Antin — La Fayette metro station, get your ticket, and go through the fare gate as we saw earlier. 

Be careful here, because there are 2 directions! Take one suggested by the app and follow the signs carefully to not end up on the opposite side of Paris.

What Happens If You Take The Wrong Direction

metro in subway

If you accidentally take the wrong direction, leave the train at the first stop and change platforms by following the signs.

As long as you don’t exit the station, you don’t need to buy another ticket or even validate one. 

How to Open the Doors of the Metro

metro in Paris

Paris has 3 types of metros so opening each will be a bit different! The newest type will automatically open at every stop.

For the second type, you’ll need to push the green button to open the door. 

The 3rd type, on the other hand, requires turning the handle up to open it. It can be a bit clunky so use some energy. 

How to Exit The Metro

Paris metro platform

Exiting the metro station is straightforward! Just look for the “Sortie” sign (which means Exit)! However, in stations with multiple exits, picking the correct one is crucial to avoid losing time once you’re above ground.

If you’re going to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum, and other famous attractions, finding the right exist won’t be a problem because the names of the attractions are clearly marked.

For other destinations, check the app (Bonjour RATP, City Mapper, Google Maps, etc) to see the best exit.

Is The Paris Metro Safe

inside the metro

The Paris metro is generally safe to use. However, it’s important to stay vigilant to avoid pickpockets, who are known to be quick and often work by distracting you. 

Always keep your bag closed and close by, and be cautious if someone tries to divert your attention — this could be a setup for theft. 

Also, watch out for people offering help at ticket machines as they might be trying to spot if you’re carrying a lot of cash, making you a target for pickpocketing. 

If you need any help, it’s better to go to RATP counters in the stations rather than accept help from strangers. 

I am not saying this to scare you away from Paris, as the risk of being pickpocketed is low, and such incidents can happen in any major city. 

Metro Price Changes During the Paris 2024 Olympics

How to use the Paris metro
RAPT counter in Paris metro

If you’re visiting Paris during this time, you should note that the metro ticket prices will go up from July 20 to September 8, 2024.

The cost for a single ride t+ ticket will jump from €2.15 to €4, and a bundle of 10 tickets from 17.35 € to €32. 

However, a special pass will be available for €16 a day or €70 a week, covering travel in Paris and to both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.

Operating Hours of the Paris Metro 

Paris metro station platform

Finally, you’ll need to know the operating hours of the metro, especially if you plan to go out late or want to use it early in the morning.

The metro runs every day from 5:30 am to about 1:15 a.m. but extends up to 2:15 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and several bank holidays.

If the metro is closed and you can’t get a taxi, there is an option for a night bus known as Noctilien from 12:30 am to about 5:30 a.m.

Although as a tourist, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you go out late, always use a taxi/Uber.

Final Thoughts on How to Use The Paris Metro

And that’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know in the comments below if you found it helpful and if you did, please share it with other travelers to help them plan their trip to Paris with ease.

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris

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Traveling to Paris for the first time, but you're not sure how to navigate the metro? Then this article will show you exactly how to use the Paris metro! From how to find a metro station in paris, how to buy tickets for the Paris metro, how to navigate the metro in Paris, and more. I'll also show you the different types of tickets for the Paris metro, how to use the Navigo Easy Pass, how to load tickets to your Navigo Easy Pass in Pass, and everything you need to know before using a metro in Paris.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks to your website, I easily found the information I was looking for. Thank you very much, it was very helpful. I am grateful for the content and guidance you provide.

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