Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Read the full disclosure policy here.
Everybody knows the Paris métro ticket.
A rectangular piece of white cardboard fed through the machine and often strewn on the ground.
One of the keys to exploring Paris.
If you’ve been to Paris, I’ll bet there’s a stray métro ticket saved with your leftover Euros. Perhaps there’s one crumpled in the depths of a jacket pocket. Or one might silently slip to the floor as you open a treasured book you were reading while in Paris. Paris métro tickets make the perfect bookmark.
The Paris métro is an ideal way to navigate around Paris. Visitors often purchase a “carnet” or book of ten Paris métro tickets, pop them in a pocket, and voilà! Paris is at your fingertips.
The final days of purchasing a “carnet” or booklet of Paris métro tickets are lurking. A “carnet” or stack of ten loose tickets has been the “go-to” for travellers for years but signs were posted in Paris métro stations in the last week of September 2022, signalling the end was near.
Bidding farewell to the rectangular Paris métro ticket marks the end of an era. For 122 years, the ticket has granted access to a trek across magical Paris. The métro ticket’s grand debut was on July 19, 1900, when Line 1, the first line to open, was inaugurated.
Paris métro tickets have had many iterations: pink to signal first class, cream for second class, and green to denote a round trip. There were special Paris métro tickets for large families. And the yellow ticket had a punchy marketing line “ticket-chic-ticket-choc.”
Tickets had to be punched until the magnetic band appeared in 1968. The ticket puncher or the “poinçonneur” had his moment in the limelight with singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg’s 1959 hit “Le Poinçonneur des Lilas.”
Most people that have ever travelled to or lived in Paris have a story about métro tickets.
Most travellers have experienced the T+ ticket mix-up, inadvertently placing used tickets in with the little stack of unused tickets. Ouf.
Friends have mistakenly used the same Paris métro ticket twice (yes, somehow that is possible) and then upon exiting the station been met by the RATP controllers. An instant fine was demanded and paid. No compassion for the naive, well-intentioned traveller.
Just recently I purchased a single Paris métro ticket to Charles de Gaulle Airport and upon exiting, the jarring signal boomed and blocked me from exiting. Everyone stared at me as if were a criminal.
Fortunately, there was an open gate and I slipped through.
Although single Paris métro tickets will still be available for purchase, none will be marked with “carnet.”
The “carnet’ can be loaded on a Navigo Easy card, which has a chip and an initial cost of 2€. It’s simple to use the Navigo Easy. Just tap as you head through the turnstile. As you pass through the turnstile, glance at the e-reader and see how many rides are left on the card.
Despite the ease of the Navigo Easy, the thrill of finding an old Paris métro ticket will never die.
Just last year in an old dusty box of travel mementoes, I discovered an ancient Paris métro ticket from 1980. Along with the discovery, came a rush of memories from my first trip to Paris. I lovingly replaced the métro ticket back with my travel treasures. Clearly, a Paris métro ticket is much more than just a slip of cardboard.
Hang onto a spare Paris métro ticket marked specifically “carnet.” Tuck it away for the future. For nostalgia’s sake. The feel of the sturdy cardboard ticket between your fingers will ignite a flood of your Paris stories.
Read More | How to Ride the Paris Métro like a Pro
My Favourite Line- Ancient Line11
More About Hector Guimard and his Art Nouveau Métro Entrances
Facts About The Paris Métro Tickets:
- The final date to purchase a carnet of tickets will be on October 13, 2022
- Single tickets will still be available but will cost €1.90 as opposed to €1.49 on the Navigo Easy card.
- Single tickets will still be available for further destinations such as Disneyland and the two airports.
- 550 million Paris métro tickets are currently printed each year.
Read More: La Petite Histoire du Ticket du Metro by Grégoire Thonnat is full of facts and great stories about Paris métro tickets.
How To Purchase Paris Métro Tickets On Your Navigo Easy Card
- Go to the kiosk in a métro station and ask for any number of tickets to be loaded on the Navigo Easy pass. I find a “carnet” of ten tickets is handy. The cost of a “carnet” is €14.90.
- Go to the machines in the métro stations and load your card. Hold the card long enough on the machine, until it says it is loaded. (I once did not hold my card long enough and lost my €14.90.)
- Use the app Bonjour RATP which lets you plan your routes, indicates delays and allows you to purchase and load tickets on your card.
- With the app Bonjour RATP, you can check how many tickets are left on your pass. Love that.
- When the RATP controllers are checking tickets, hand them your card. They will scan it with a machine to see that you paid.
I hope you have a Paris métro ticket holding cherished memories hiding somewhere!
Until next time,
More Paris Info…
Get mixed up with the arrondissements of Paris? This guide to the Paris arrondissements will help you plan your best visit to the City of Light!
If you love hidden gems, here are 25 to discover in Paris.
This post on Montmartre leads you to the most popular sites as well as some lesser-known places in Montmartre.
Another of Paris’s most-loved areas is Saint-Germain des Prés. Here are my best tips on things to do in Saint-Germain des Prés.
Le Marais is one of the best areas of Paris to flâner. Here are 23 tops things to do in le Marais.
La Butte aux Cailles, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement, is another place in Paris that has retained its village-like charm. My article on La Butte aux Cailles will lead you to discover some of the area and its visually enticing street art.
Canal Saint-Martin is another place full of small restaurants, boutiques and plenty of character. Stroll the bridges of the canal under the chestnut trees and feel like a true Parisian. All the details on this “bobo” district are in this article on Canal Saint-Martin.
Here are all the things to do on Ile Saint-Louis, one of the oldest villages in Paris.
Don’t forget that the 7th arrondissement has lots to see and do once you have seen the Eiffel Tower.
And the 11th arrondissment of Paris? Authentic and full of great restaurants and shopping (like a local).
Other Paris and France Travel Tips:
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download – An Amazing 2-day Itinerary in Paris.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.
Lynn A says
American woman here. For many years (long ago now), I carried a leftover Paris Métro ticket in my wallet “just in case” I were spirited off to Paris unexpectedly. Imagine my surprise some years ago when visiting a male friend in Denmark to learn that he also carried one in his wallet and for the same reason!
Alison Browne says
Love this story, Lynn. Thank you for sharing! I’ve made sure I have a ticket marked “carnet” and perhaps I will also tuck it into the depths of my wallet!