There are a variety of different passes and reductions in Paris.
First of all, you need to know that transport is free for children under 4 and half price for children between 4 and 11 years old. As well as the book of 10 tickets (“carnet”), giving you 10 trips at a reduced rate, several travel cards allow you unlimited travel for 1 or more days, a week, a month or even a year, over the whole public transport network (metro, RER, bus, tram, suburban train, Montmartre funicular), corresponding to the different fare zones.
These travel passes can be purchased in main metro and RER stations, in SNCF train stations in Ile-de-France and in Paris airports. Certain passes are also available at the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mobilis A 1-day pass covering (except airport services) zones 1 & 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 1 to 5, 1 to 6, 1 to 7 or 1 to 8. The coupon is inserted in a card specifying your name, a photo is not required. The coupon can be purchased in advance and you should fill in the date you decide to use it and the number of the card. NB: this card is valid for one full day and not for 24 consecutive hours, meaning the whole day would be counted even if you only start to use the pass at 8 in the evening, so it is far better start first thing in the morning!
Paris Visite This pass is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days in zones 1 to 3, 1 to 5 or 1 to 8. The coupon slides into a card specifying your name, a photo is not required. The coupon can be purchased in advance and you should fill in the date you decide to use it and the number of the card. NB: this card is valid for full days and not for 24, 48 or 72 consecutive hours, meaning that a whole day would be counted even if you only begin to use it at 8 in the evening, so it is far better to start first thing in the morning! As a rule, when you buy your coupon, the ticket seller will give you a booklet with details of the different offers the pass gives you in a range of partner establishments. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for it!
Carte Orange A weekly or monthly pass valid for zones 1 & 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 1 to 5, 1 to 6, 1 to 7 or 1 to 8. This card is non-transferable and you should affix a passport-sized photo to it and place it and the travel coupon into the cover provided. Don’t forget to copy the card number on to the travel coupon.
Weekly pass (“carte hebdomadaire”) Valid from Monday through to Sunday only, it can be purchased until Wednesday for the current week and from Friday onwards for the following week.
Monthly pass (“carte mensuelle”) Valid for a calendar month, it can be purchased from the 20th of the preceding month and up to 19th of the current month.
“Navigo” (previously “Carte Intégrale”) Yearly card valid for zones 1 & 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 1 to 5, 1 to 6, 1 to 7 or 1 to 8. To obtain one, you will need to draw up a personal file at one of the RATP sales offices. This is a magnetic ’smart card’ so you don’t need to punch it, all you have to do is pass it over the automatic barriers at the required spot. Buses are also equipped with special terminals. Better value than the monthly “Carte Orange”, this pass can begin at any moment during the year. In addition, in the event of loss or theft, your card will be replaced free of charge in the RATP offices.
“Imagine R” A yearly pass for schoolchildren and students under 26, valid for zones 1 & 2, 1 to 3, 1 to 4, 1 to 5, 1 to 6, 1 to 7 or 1 to 8. At weekends, public holidays and short school holidays, it gives access to the whole Ile-de-France region regardless of zone, barring July and August.
“Carte Emeraude” and “Carte Améthyste” These cards enable seniors over 60 years of age, disabled persons or war veterans to travel free or at half-price throughout the Ile-de-France network. They can only be obtained at social security offices in Paris town halls (“mairies”), or in the social services of the département of residence of the person concerned.