Paris Public Bus Services

Everything You Need To Know About Using Paris Local Public Bus Services

Paris Public Bus

Typical Paris Public Bus

The Paris local bus service is tightly integrated with the Paris Metro, run by RATP. As a result tickets and services are tightly integrated with the Metro system.

All buses are single-decker buses like that pictured right that you enter at the front and exit at doors at the centre or back.

The interior of each bus is designed for very short journeys - much space is given over for standing passengers, seats usually fill up fast. Smoking is not permitted.

Bus Maps & Finding Your Way Around

The buses in the central areas of Paris where most visitors travel are very much secondary to the Metro. With Paris traffic conditions, progress can be frustratingly slow.

Very good free bus/metro maps are free and most reliably available at the tourist offices scattered around the city.

On one side is a very good, detailed map of Paris with the Metro and RER lines marked together with the numbers of the buses that interchange at Metro and RER stations.

On the other side is a detailed bus map.

Paris Bus Stop With Arrivals Display

At many major bus stops is a good map together with spider maps of each route.

At many bus stops there are electronic displays of one sort or another that displays how long you have to wait for the next buses stopping at that bus stop. The image is just one type of display.

The bus network runs all day and night but individual routes differ widely in their operating hours.

Some routes wind down surprisingly early. The 73 bus which runs the length of the Champs Elysees winds down about 19:30. Most run much later, there is a skeleton night bus service called Noctambus which runs in the early hours of the morning radiating out to the suburbs from Chatelet.

If you visit Paris in August, the traditional holiday period for Parisians , most routes do not run as frequently as the rest of the yaer, some do not run at all.

Bus Tickets & Fares

A single ticket is valid for one journey and can be used on the Metro, RER, Bus and Tram within Paris and its immediate suburbs. Single tickets are sold either individually or in packs of 10, called a 'carnet'.

A carnet is a booklet of 10 single tickets.

You can buy tickets at ticket offices or automatic ticket machines at metro, bus, tramway and RER stations. Note you can only purchase a single-use ticket, valid for one journey only without connection from bus drivers.

You should validate your ticket each time you board a bus using the machine for that purpose. Once it has been validated your t+ ticket allows you to make unlimited connections within a 90-minute period (between the first and last validation) on other bus and tram lines. You should validate your t+ ticket each time you change bus or tram.

Paris Single Ticket Fares (€)- FRom Jan 2015
1 Ticket Metro, Bus or RER within Paris 1.80
Carnet of 10 tickets, as above for Adult 14.10
Carnet of 10 tickets, Child (4 to 10 years old) 7.05

Day Tickets - Carte Mobilis

A single calendar day card provides unlimited rides on the transport system of the Ile-de-France region: Metro, RER (express regional trains), bus, tramway, funiculaire de Montmartre, Montmartrobus, Noctambus (night bus) within a given fare zone.

Most visitors will only need zones 1&2, broadly coinciding with the extent of the Metro system. If in doubt about zone coverage the zones are marked on the RER map (above).

Carte Mobilis Prices from 1st Jan 2014
Fare Zone Price Fare Zone Price
Zone 1 - 2 6.80 Zone 1 - 4 11.20
Zone 1 - 3 9.05 Zone 1 - 5 16.10
Available at all metro, bus and RER stations.
Mobilis is valid for one day during the hours of 5:30 a.m until 1:00 the next day and until 2:30 on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays and until 5:30 on the Noctilien.

Youth Weekend Ticket (Under 26, Saturdays & Sundays Only) - Ticket Jeunes Weekend

A day ticket restricted to use on Saturdays, Sundays and national holiday days.

The ticket is available to all under 26. Be ready to be able to prove your age both at times of purchase and by inspection teams that frequent the transport network.

Ticket Jeunes Weekend Prices from 1st Jan 2014 in Euro
Fare Zone Price Fare Zone Price
Zone 1 - 3 3.75 Zone 1 - 5 8.10
Available at all metro, bus and RER stations.
Note this ticket is for one day, not a weekend.
Valid for one day, from 5:30 to 2:30 the next day (until 5:30 on Noctilien)

Paris Visite Card

This is the ticket heavily promoted to tourists and visitors.

The pass doesn't really stand up to financial scrutiny too well though its hard to compare like with like as the Visite Card as well as being a travel pass also provides discounts to tourist attractions.

Lots of people like the convenience of buying them before they travel from an agent. Though convenient, the markup against the price bought in Paris can be eye popping so do look around.

Its worth checking out whether the premium paid for the 'special offers' is worthwhile to you. Don't expect free tickets for the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre, most are discounts on department stores and second tier attractions many people would not consider visiting without the discount.

Paris Visite Card Prices From January 1st 2014 in Euro - purchased in Paris
Fare Zone 1 Day
Children* / Adults
2 Day
Children* / Adults
3 Days
Children* / Adults
5 Days
Children* / Adults
1 - 3 5.40 / 10.85 8.80 / 17.65 12.05 / 24.10 17.35 / 34.70
1 - 5 11.40 / 22.85 17.35 / 34.70 24.30 / 48.65 29.75 / 59.50
* children between 4 and 11 years old.
Hours of validity of each day from 5:30 a.m to 5:30 the next morning

Weekly / Monthly Tickets - Navigo Decouverte Pass

This is an electronic smart card similar to schemes introduced recently worldwide into mass transit systems. The smart card stores electronically the fare product you choose. Its reusable so if you return to Paris you can load up fares onto the same card. The first time you buy, you have to pay a €5 deposit for the card itself and then you buy a week or months worth of transportation that is loaded onto the card.

Most visitors will go for the weekly fare. Key point about this product is that the week runs Monday to Sunday. If you purchase a weekly ticket on a Friday it runs out on Sunday, not the Friday after.

You also need to bring along a passport sized portrait photo, the size of 25 x 30mm (0.98" x 1.18"). There are plenty of photo machines in the stations that produce such a photo if you need it.

A convenient place to purchase these cards for many visitors is the RER train ticket offices at Charles De Gaulle Airport or the major train stations in Paris like Gare Du Nord.

Navigo Decouverte Pass From January 1st 2014 in Euro
Fare Zone Week Month Fare Zone Week Month
Zone 1 - 2 20.40 67.10 Zone 1 - 4 32.00 105.40
Zone 1 - 3 26.40 86.60 Zone 1 - 5 34.40 113.20
Weekly tickets available from the Friday preceding the Monday starting the week of validity until Thursday of the week included in the 7 days of validity

Save on Sightseeing in Paris with the Paris ComboPass®

Benefits of the Paris ComboPass® include:
  • FREE unlimited use of all the public transport services inside Paris and the inner suburbs (within inner 3 zones, not valid for airports transfers)

  • FREE access to more than 60 museums and monuments including Louvre, Orsay, Versailles Castle, Notre-Dame Towers, Sainte-Chapelle... for 2, 4 or 6 days

  • FREE Seine River cruise tour

  • Special discounts and offers for additional Paris attractions

  • Free Paris street/metro/bus map

  • Delivery to your hotel or home

  • Optional add-on products - Versailles and Disneyland train tickets, Opentour hop on/off bus.