I’m spending a week in Paris in the spring and intend to use public transport to see as much of the city as possible. Is there anything like London’s Oyster Card that I can use to get around or will I need to buy individual tickets? Michelle, Nottingham
Paris doesn’t yet have a smartcard system like that found in London although there are plans underway to introduce contactless payment. For the moment, you have a couple of options if you want to make multiple journeys over several days.
The first is to buy what’s known as a ‘carnet’ which gives you ten single journey tickets on the transport system, including the Metro, buses and some trains, for €16. As a single ticket usually costs €1.90, you make a saving of €3 for every set of ten tickets you buy. You can go as far as the end of every Metro line, zone 3, using one of these tickets.
You can use them on the buses, but you’ll need to use a separate ticket – you can’t connect between the bus and other transport with a single ticket. They’re also valid on trams and the Montmartre funicular.
If you’re travelling with other people, you can share the tickets in the carnet, which is a big advantage of this method. You can buy them at ticket offices, machines and in some tobacconists.
An alternative is the Paris Visite Pass. These can cover 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days, and zones 1-3 – which gives you access to most of central Paris, or zones 1-5, allowing you to travel to places like Versailles and the airports. Prices range from €12.85 for the cheapest, one-day pass to €70.30 for five days over the full five zones.
Be aware that the pass covers full days not 24 hours, so if you start using it at 8pm on the day you buy it, the second day will start at midnight.