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Taking public transport is a great way to get around Paris. It’s not only more environmentally friendly, it’s often faster and more affordable than traveling by taxi. So if you’re taking a family trip to Paris, using public transport can help you save time AND euros – especially if you’re traveling with younger kids who are eligible for discounted tickets. We get into the nitty-gritty of all this in our guide to how to pay for kids on public transport in Paris.

How to Pay for Kids on Public Transport in Paris: This is a picture of a little boy sitting on a train looking down at his hands.

Do kids have to pay to use public transport in Paris and is there a discount?

The first question you might be asking yourself about how to pay for kids on public transport in Paris is… do your kids even need a ticket? Well, that depends on their age. Kids three and under are completely free and children aged four to nine are eligible for tickets at a 50% discount (€1.08 instead of €2.15). Kids 10 and above have to pay full price.

How to Pay for Kids on Public Transport in Paris: This is an image of someone tapping their card on to the card reader.

How do you purchase a ticket or transit card for kids?

There are a few steps to take to pay for kids on public transport in Paris, which are relatively easy and a similar process to how to pay for adults, which we cover in detail in this article. However, we’ve got some additional pointers for children.

In Paris, you can purchase tickets at automatic vending machines or ticket counters in metro and RER underground stations. For aboveground travel, you can buy bus tickets directly from bus drivers (or use tickets purchased in underground stations) or from vending machines at tram stops. 

Paris is also rolling out ticket purchases via the transit authority’s app, which can be downloaded on the IDF Mobilités website. Virtual tickets are currently only available for Android phones (iPhones should be available by June 2024).

If you’re purchasing a ticket from a vending machine (you can switch the language to English), you need to select “single-journey reduced ticket”. Then you can purchase single tickets of the quantity you need or scroll down to the bottom to get a pack of ten tickets (which makes the ticket price go down per ticket; 10 reduced-price tickets are €8.65, therefore 86 cents each). 

You can also purchase a Navigo Easy, a thick plastic rechargeable card onto which you can load virtual tickets. The card itself costs €2 and can be bought from newer vending machines or ticket counters. It pays for itself if you load it with a pack of ten tickets and you don’t have to deal with holding onto a bunch of tiny paper tickets!

How to Pay for Kids on Public Transport in Paris: This is a picture of three kids sitting on a moving train all looking at the phone held in the middle boy's hand.

Does each child need a ticket or transit card?

Each child aged four and above needs their own ticket or Navigo Easy card. Children three and under do not require any ticket or card. You might want to carry a photocopy of everyone’s ID with you in case a ticket controller wants proof of their age. 

This is a picture of a baby in a sling laying on its mother's chest.

How do you take kids three and under onto public transport without their own ticket?

You can either carry them through the turnstile with you or they can walk in front of you as you’re going through the turnstile. 

If you have a stroller/pram, you can ask the ticket vendor to open the gate next to the turnstile. Don’t worry if you don’t speak French – most métro staff speak some English and the transit company is rolling out a direct translation app for the staff in time for the Paris Olympics in July 2024. Worst-case scenario, you can mime an opening gesture while pointing to the gate and the staff should understand. 

Using the gate is MUCH easier than trying to get your stroller/pram through the turnstile. If you use the gate, don’t forget to validate your adult ticket at the turnstile or else you could get a fine if caught by a ticket controller.

How to Pay for Kids on Public Transport in Paris: This is a picture of a woman with a pram, plus a bunch of other commuters just standing on a bus that is about to leave a stop.

Which transport means in Paris is easier to travel with small kids?

If you are traveling with smaller children who need a stroller/pram, the métro isn’t ideal. The system has few elevators or escalators and you’ll have to carry it down the steps to access the platform and then possibly others if you’re transiting to a different line. However, Line 14 and many RER stations are more accessible as they have more elevators and escalators, so you might want to factor this in when deciding where to stay in the city.

Buses are a good option for travelers with a stroller/pram. It’s easy to roll onto them and they have designated areas for strollers/prams.

Which tickets do adults need to travel on public transport in Paris?

We’ve covered this topic in this detailed article, which we hope you’ll also find useful!

After reading our article on how to pay for kids on public transport in Paris, you might want to read these articles next: 

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Lily Heise

A long-time Paris resident, Lily Heise is a travel writer whose work has been in Condé Nast Traveler, Huff Post, Fodor’s, AFAR, and Frommer’s, among others. When she’s not uncovering the city’s best secrets, she can be found on a Parisian café terrasse or traveling the globe.

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