Replacing the old weekly carte orange in February 2009, the pass is available to tourists and residents and is valid for one week’s unlimited travel, from Mondays to Sundays on the Métro, bus and RER. If you’re visiting Sacré Cœur, you can also use it to ride the funiculaire, the funicular railway that runs parallel to the steps leading to Butte Montmartre.
If your travel dates coincide with those of the Passe Navigo Découverte, obtaining a card is very simple. All you need is a passport-sized photograph which you can either bring with you or buy at various Métro station kiosks. The rechargeable card can be purchased in métro stations and costs €5. The weekly fare covering zones 1 and 2 to the periphery of Paris cost €17 (prices as at November 2009)*.
To use the card, simply place it on top of the sensor at the turnstiles et voilà!
Un carnet, s’il vous plait.
Alternatively, if you’re arriving mid-week, a carnet of 10 Métro tickets cost €11.40. Each ticket is valid for a single trip and the carnet can be shared amongst travellers. These can be purchased from vending machines near the turnstiles or the guichet, the ticket window. A single Métro ticket costs €1.60.
If your travel schedule allows it, you can use a combination of both. During my last 8 day visit to Paris, I arrived on a Thursday and used a carnet until Sunday then the Passe Navigo Découverte from Monday morning. Travelling on the Métro is a quintessential part of the Parisian experience for me, one that inspires travel stories and memorable tales. And with a camera in hand to photograph the interior of the stations, I can always take home a snippet of life under the streets of Paris.
Keeping in mind that the card is rechargeable, if you’re a frequent visitor to Paris, it is worth filing it with your passport and travel documents for future use.
*Prices are quoted as at November 2009. Click here for the latest Passe Navigo Decouverte tariffs.