Metro vs. RER

By | January 19, 2016 | in Metro RER

The Paris Metro vs. the Paris RER… what’s the difference?

The Metro isParis Metro symbol large

  • the Métropolitan chemin de fer (Metropolitan railway)
  • a subway/tube/underground train system
  • 16 lines, 1 through 14 plus two short secondary lines (3bis and 7bis) Paris Metro Line Numbers
  • just central Paris (see Metro map)
  • short distances between stations
  • one single fare zone (2.15€ as of Jan. 4, 2024)
  • frequent but unscheduled service
  • mostly underground (subway/tube like)
  • no bicycles allowed on Metro, except on Metro Line 1 on Sundays and holidays

RER SignThe RER is

  • the Réseau Express Régionale (Regional Express Network)
  • a commuter train system
  • 5 lines, RER A through E
  • central Paris plus much of Ile-de-France (see RER line map)
  • used interchangeably with the Metro in central Paris
  • faster than the Metro, with fewer stops & greater distances between stations
  • separated into fare zones 1-5
  • tickets (billet origine-destination) are priced from station to station (when outside central Paris zone 1)
  • scheduled service (see RER schedules)
  • mostly above ground, except within central Paris
  • bicycles are allowed on the RER except during rush hour (not allowed between 6:30-9 AM and from 16:30 – 19:00)


Paris Metro in detail

Paris Metro Tickets

RER Tickets (Billet Ile-de-France)

(RER sign photo by Gregory Deryckère)

What Next?

Hi my name is Ben and I’m the creator & author of I want to empower you with the knowledge & confidence to travel Paris like a local through personally researched, in-depth articles like CDG to Paris by train and the Paris Metro. I moved to Paris in 2006 and started in 2008 to share what I’ve learned about the vast & comprehensive Paris train network. Have Paris train questions? Ask them here. Have a great visit to Paris!
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Metro vs. RER was last modified: October 28th, 2019 by Ben