Using the Paris Metro with kids: a guide for visitors and residents

Don’t worry if you’re new to the city; the Paris Metro is easy to navigate with kids. Here is everything you need to know about using the metro in Paris, whether visiting the city or living here.

You should download the RATP app (the official app for Paris public transport) on your smartphone. It’s invaluable for checking live updates, routes, and station accessibility. Familiarize yourself with the Metro map to help you plot your day seamlessly.

paris metro with kids

How stroller-friendly is Paris Metro?

Now, I won’t lie, most metro stations have more stairs than a toddler can handle, and elevators are few and far between. So, if you’re a single parent with a buggy, don’t be shy about asking for help with the steps.

Every metro station has a gate to the side of the main ticket readers that can be opened on request. There is usually a large button you can press for help or get someone from the ticketing desk to open the gate for you. At least getting through the ticket gates is a breeze, before you need to face the steps again!

Paris Metro: Tickets and passes on offer

Children under four travel free on the Paris Metro, and those aged 4-9 can take advantage of reduced fares with the ‘Ticket t+’ packs. For a more flexible option, consider the Paris Visite travel card, offering unlimited travel in selected zones and discounts on some attractions. Continue reading to learn more about each of the available pricing options.

You may be familiar with or see people use individual rectangular paper tickets (known as t+) for travel on public transport to Paris. However, note that these are being phased out and expected to disappear before 2025 in favour of going contactless.

Navigo Easy pass

Visitors to Paris can now buy a Navigo Easy pass for €2 and top it up with tickets. Navigo Easy pass is a rechargeable, contactless card that can be used on metro, buses, trams, and RER trains. You need to tap the card at the ticket gates, and the fare will be automatically deducted. Top up the card with tickets by installing a “Bonjour RATP” app on your phone or at any ticket counter at metro stations.

Below are the ticket types you can load onto the Navigo Easy card:

  • Individual tickets at €2.15 each
  • Booklet (carnets) of 10 tickets at €17.35
  • Reduced tariff (carnets) of 10 tickets at €8.65 (children aged 4 to 10 benefit from reduced rate)

Once validated on your Navigo Easy pass, or your phone, a contactless ticket allows you to make as many connections as you want:

  • For 90 minutes on the metro and RER network (from the first validation, without leaving the network)
  • For 90 minutes on the bus and tram network (between the first and last validation).

Navigo Easy pass allows you to travel on metro lines, RER lines (zone 1), Île-de-France bus lines (except OrlyBus and RoissyBus), tram lines and the Funicular from Montmartre.

Paris Visite travel pass

The Paris Visite travel pass allows visitors to use all of the public transport networks: the metro, tramway, bus, RER and SNCF Transilien networks.

It is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days. The pass allows you to travel anywhere in Paris (zones 1 to 3) or in Paris and the Île-de-France region (all zones, including airport connections, Orlyval, Disneyland Paris and Château de Versailles).

The adult ticket price varies from €13.95 per day for three zones to €76.25 per 5 days for five zones. For children aged 4 to 11, the price is between €6.95 and €38.00.

Choosing zones 1-3 is sufficient if you stay in Paris or visit specific sites in the nearby suburbs, such as the Stade de France. Choosing zones 1-5 can be beneficial if you also have to go to Orly or Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airports.

To validate your pass, you must write on it your first and last name and the starting and ending dates of validity. The travel pass is activated the first time you validate it. 

Navigo Liberté travel pass

This is a good option for occasional visitors. It allows you to use all transport within Paris, namely metros, buses, trams, RER and the OrlyBus and RoissyBus lines (except Orlyval) and the Montmartre funicular.

Each journey costs €1.73 (excluding OrlyBus/RoissyBus), compared to €2.15 for a single ticket on Navigo Easy pass. If you have to make several journeys during the day, you will pay a maximum of €8.65. You will be charged at the end of the month depending on the number of trips made. You can subscribe to the pass at a metro station counter or online.

The Navigo Liberté pass can only be loaded onto a personalised Navigo pass (with your name, first name and photo), which can only be done at certain metro stations. The process is less straightforward than for a Navigo Easy pass, which is easily accessible at the counter. This makes it a good option if you visit Paris regularly but not for one-off trips.

Navigo Semaine (weekly pass)

If you are visiting Paris for a week, you can purchase the Navigo Semaine pass, allowing you to travel freely around Paris and all its suburbs for a week. At €30.75 for seven days (all zones), the pass represents better value than buying a Navigo Jour (daily) pass over the same period, which costs €8.65 per day (adding up to €60.55 per week). The pass is only valid for one week, from Monday to Sunday, so it’s less practical if you start your travel on other days.

Navigo Mois and Navigo Annuel (monthly and annual passes)

Residents of Paris tend to use these two types of passes most often. They last for more extended periods and include a photo. With these passes, you get unlimited travel on all modes of transport in Ile-de-France: metro, RER, bus, tramway and train – except for the Orlyval line, SNCF reservation lines and special fare lines Optile.

The monthly pass costs €86.40, and the annual pass costs €950.40 for all zones.

You can order these passes online on the Île-de-France Mobilités website. You can choose to receive them by post or collect at a metro station which offers the Navigo card printing service approximately 72 hours after ordering the pass.

Kids get discounts on travel by Paris metro

If you visit Paris with your kids, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of reduced rates for children.

  • Children under the age of 4 can travel for free throughout the metro, RER, bus, and tramway networks.
  • Children between the ages of 4 and 10 travel with reduced fare tickets, depending on the pass you purchase.
  • Children over the age of 10 must pay a full fare for any type of ticket. If you purchase a Paris Visite travel pass then you can buy a child’s fare on this pass which is valid for ages 4 to 11 years old.

Kids living in Paris get even more discounts on travel by metro

paris metro with kids, navigo pass

If you are a resident in Paris then travelling by metro with kids becomes even cheaper. You can apply for a Navigo pass for your children with an Imagine R annual subscription.

The Imagine R pass gives unlimited travel throughout Île-de-France, on all modes of transport (metro, bus, express tram, train, RER, tram) except for Orlyval airport shuttle, Disney shuttle and tourist buses.

There are 3 different packages depending on the age group:

1) Image R Junior

  • For schoolchildren under the age of 11
  • Rate of 24€ per year

2) Imagine R School

  • For schoolchildren under the age of 16 or for young people under the age of 26 on 1 September of the school year who follow a course in primary or secondary education
  • Rate of 374€ per year (all zones), which represents an over 50% discount to  a regular Navigo monthly travel pass

3) Imagine R Student

  • For young people under the age of 26 on 1 September of the school year who are following post-secondary higher education
  • Rate of 374€ per year (all zones), which represents an over 50% discount to  a regular Navigo monthly travel pass

How to subscribe for Imagine R pass

You can subscribe by clicking here. Create an account, fill in the online form and submit all the requested documents which include:

  • A recent photo of your child
  • Payment method
  • Proof of enrolment in a school for students and proof of identity for juniors

After checking your application, you will receive your Imagine R card by post.

Be Aware!

Paris Metro is known for its pickpocketers. Be sure to keep your phone and valuables in inside pockets and your bags zipped up and in front of you.

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