Transportation in Ile-de-France

The public transport in the Ile-de-France region is very well organised and you can travel through the whole region using suburban trains, RER (Réseau Express Régional trains), underground and buses using one travel pass. The only condition: you need to have the abonnement for the right number of zones and you are not allowed to go further than your last zone limit. So, if your abonnement is extended to 4 zones, you cannot use your pass to get to the 5th zone. You need to buy a ticket then.

There are two types of tickets: paper tickets bought in books of ten or electronic tickets charged on a chip pass, so called Navigo Découverte. Navigo which you need to put your ID photo in, otherwise it will not be valid. Please, do not forget to take it with you. If you do forget, you can take an ID photo in one of the machines which are available practically everywhere.

The card costs €5 and while it has no travel limits, it does have time and space limits:

  • Weekly abonnement is valid from Monday 5 p.m. to Sunday midnight.
  • Monthly abonnement is valid from the first to the last day of each month.
  • You can use it only inside the zones activated in your abonnement.

You can buy your travel pass in all railway and underground stations and charge it in both ticket offices and ticket machines. Please, be aware that machines hardly ever accept foreign cards and do not accept bills, only coins. So if you do not have enough coins to buy your ticket, you should go directly to the ticket office. You will be given a plan of Paris at all transport and RER, railway and underground stations.

How to get to your accommodation from the airport

Tellus can arrange airport transfer for you, especially if you choose residential accommodation. Please, see the prices of all transport facilities arranged by Tellus below.

If you prefer to do as the French do, choose your transport when you arrive at the airport.

  • Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Follow the directions to Paris by train railway station. You can buy a ticket in a machine or in the ticket office. Take the RER B and change at the best station for you to get to your accommodation (you will receive directions to your accommodation two weeks before your arrival).
  • Orly International Airport. Take the Orlyval train to Antony and then change to RER B going to Mitry-Claye or Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle. Get off at the station mentioned in the documents you received before your arrival.
  • Beauvais International Airport. Take the bus to Paris – Porte Maillot. Follow the directions you received with your accommodation details. When taking your flight back home, please, be aware that you need to take the bus from Porte Maillot at least THREE hours before your flight.

What the zones around Paris mean

Paris is big and has been split into zones - just like London. The closer to Paris you are, the fewer zones you need to pass through to get to work. There are five zones:

  • Paris downtown (the city centre, its limits unchanged since 1860).
  • Zone 2 – the closest suburb served by the underground. The cheapest pass is for zones 1-2.
  • Zone 3 – the most universal. Most people working in Paris live in zones 3 and 4. The local pass for three zones allows you to take all transport to the suburbs, inclusive of suburban trains leaving from the main railway stations in Paris (Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint-Lazare, Gare Montparnasse and Gare de Lyon). You can use this pass to get to the La Défense Business Centre (called also Parisian Manhattan) and to Basilica of Saint-Denis.
  • Zone 4 – situated around 20 minutes from Parisian railway stations, served by RER and suburban trains. The local pass for the four zones allows you to go to Château de Versailles, Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Château d’Ecouen and to the Orly Airport.
  • Zone 5 – some 30-40 minutes from Paris. The local pass for five zones lets you visit Château de Fontainebleau, and get to Melun from where you can take a shuttle to the castles of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Blandy-les-Tours, the EuroDisney theme park and get to the Airport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle.
Leonardo da Vinci

Local travel and airport transfers prices in Ile-de-France

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