My wife and I are arriving Friday pm at Orly airport and need to go close to Gare de l’Est. We would like to buy Navigo Decouverte passes which I understand cannot be used until Monday. What is our best option for no hassle travel to the Marais from Orly and then inside Paris until Monday?
Thanks for your help!
Here's the fares I suggest buying at Orly on arrival (per person) and I'll explain why below:
- two Orlybus tickets
- one regular Metro/Bus ticket (a.k.a Ticket t+)
- one Paris Visite 1-3 zone, 3 day ticket
To get from Orly to Le Marais/Gare de l'Est on Friday PM we need two buses: Orlybus + Bus 38.
Orlybus will get you from Orly airport to Denfert Rochereau in Paris. Then Bus 38 will travel from Denfert Rochereau up to and along the western edge of Le Marais and onto the doorstep of Gare de l'Est if you need.
The Orlybus from Orly Terminal 4 bus loop requires an Orlybus ticket. You can purchase it from the ticket window right at Orlybus' parking bay in the Terminal 4 bus loop. You can (and should) also purchase the Paris Visite 1-3 zone 3-day tickets & Ticket t+ from that window. (The Paris Visite 1-3 zone is not valid for the Orlybus, and the Orlybus ticket doesn't allow any transfers so you need additional fares.)
Orlybus terminates at Denfert Rochereau, so you'll walk 3 min. from the Orlybus terminus to the Bus 38 stop and use the regular Metro/bus Ticket t+ on that bus. Then ride Bus 38 to wherever is best for your destination between Le Marais & Gare de l'Est.
(I'm making the assumption that you need no other vehicle transportation after this on your Friday PM arrival.)
Saturday morning, you can start using your 3 day Paris Visite 1-3 zone ticket. It'll be valid on any Metro, RER, tram, bus, funicular (Montmartre) until Monday midnight. The 3 day validity period of your Paris Visite starts the moment you first validate it on transportation so Saturday will be day 1; Sunday is day 2; Monday is day 3 and its valid until midnight.
(I'm making another assumption that you want unlimited travel in Paris on Monday until you need to get to Orly for departure. If you only need to get from Le Maris to Orly on Monday, switch my suggested fares from 1 Ticket t+ to 2 Ticket t+ and the Paris Visite 3-day to 2-day.)
Your Paris Visite will still be valid on Monday (if its a 3-day version, otherwise use your 2nd Ticket t+) so you can use it to get back to Denfert Rochereau using Bus 38. Then, the 2nd Orlybus ticket you purchased on arrival will be used for the Orlybus ride back to Orly. Orly is in zone 4 so the Paris Visite 1-3 zone isn't sufficient and Paris Visite only exists in 1-3 zone or 1-5 zone and 1-5 zone is overkill / waste if you're not making several trips out to zone 5 during its validity period.
Note that you can buy all of your fares upon arrival at Orly and use them when needed during your 4 day stay. All of the fares above have no expiration date. I.e. it doesn't matter when you buy them. Their validity period of each of those tickets above starts when you insert the ticket into a ticket reading machine. For example, you could keep an unvalidated Paris Visite ticket till 2028 and begin its validity period then if you like. Same with Metro tickets.
The reason why I've suggested using buses instead of RER B / Metro is it's a bit easier to handle luggage on buses vs. Metro / RER underground stations which will undoubtedly have stairs and turnstiles/fare gates. Also, bus 38 allows you to choose your destination with finer precision than RER or Metro.
I hope this answers your question. Feel free to post another if you'd like some clarifications.