France Paris Travel

The Paris Métro with Passe Navigo Découverte

passe navigo découverteIf you find yourself in Paris for a week or more and you’re a frequent traveller on the fast and efficient Métro, a Passe Navigo Découverte is a worthwhile investment.

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.

carnet metroAlternatively, 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.

More information:
Transilien SNCF – Navigo Semaine
RATP – Passe Navigo
STIF – Guide Navigo (in French)

*Prices are quoted as at November 2009. Click here for the latest Passe Navigo Decouverte tariffs.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.


  • Good advice. So many metros around the world (especially in Europe) has these types of packages which are almost always cheaper than buying individual tickets.

    • Anil: More often than not, they direct you to buy a Paris Visite Pass which is geared for tourists and costs more. PND is a more versatile option and simple to obtain.

  • Thanks for the informative (and recent!) article on the Navigo Découverte.
    I am coordinating our university’s Paris program which be will be taking place during the month of July. As some of the students have never spoken a word of French-let alone left the country- I am trying to lessen the hassle of Parisian travel bureaucracy as much as possible.
    I am interested in the pass Navigo Découverte since they will be there for the entire month of July. We will have close to 45 students and that would be a nightmare to bring to any metro station–one I am sure the attendants would not be happy to wait on.
    Do you have any suggestions for the best way to go about making this purchase for the students?
    I realize they need to have their oddly-sized 25x30mm pictures (although you say a passport-sized photo will work?) but is there any way if the director has these beforehand that we can take these to a station and purchase them on behalf of the students?
    Also, what is the cost of a ND for a month with and without the CDG airport inclusion.
    Thanks so much for any response.

    • Kyle: I assume from your comment that they will be flying into Charles De Gaulle airport. When we did, we caught the RER Line C from one of the airport terminals to St Michel station in Paris. Regardless in which terminal they arrive these are interconnected by a free shuttle train. They are clearly marked so they can just follow the signs that have a train symbol and say “Gare” to get to the RER station.

      There are ticket vending machines in the station but there is also a ticket office. The staff were helpful and seemed to be fluent in other languages. They addressed us in English although I spoke fluent French to them. This might be the best way to bulk purchase the PND tickets provided the students have their photos with them and the ticket office can provide them.

      The pass needs to be assembled, ie, the photo stuck to the card, the name written on it and the card slotted into their plastic holders then they’re ready to go.

      I agree that taking a large group into a métro station might not be ideal. If need be, I would avoid peak hours and some of the smaller métro stations if possible. I hope that helps 🙂

  • Thanks for your information !! 

    I am planning to go to Paris in June.
    I want to buy   The weekly Passe Navigo Découverte  covering zones 1 and 6.
    Does the  Passe Navigo Découverte zone 1 to 6 can be used to go to Charles De Gaulle airport  and   Fontainebleau  without another fee ??

    Thanks so much foryour response!!

    • Lucia, I tried looking on their website in French but it didn’t give me the specific information so I’m relying on my memory here. But please verify first either through a travel agent or their website if it gets updates. I think the cost of Passe Navigo Découverte zone 1 to 6 includes travel to/from Charles de Gaulle airport but Fontainebleau is way outside of Paris, and I’d be very surprised if it did. Sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer.

          • Dear Gourmantic,

            I come back  from Paris Today.   The Passe Navigo Découverte zone 1 to 6 includes travel to/from Charles de Gaulle airport and Fontainebleau, also including  the bus from Fontainebleau Train Station to Fontainebleau. It’s very wonderful ticket for traveler from Monday to Sunday in Paris!!

            Have a nice day !!


            • Hi Lucia. Thank you so much for your comment and for updating me with the information! I’m pleased you’ve made it there, if not a little envious that you were recently in Paris 🙂

  • Hello, I read (but can’t find it now) that a student can get a one day metro pass for use on Saturday or Sunday in zones 1-3 in Paris. Have you heard of this and if so, where can I buy this pass.

    • Hi Maria – I haven’t heard of such pass but I would ask at some of the larger metro stations, or, if you’re arriving at Charles-de-Gaulle airport, you can ask at the RER station. There’s usually someone there during working hours.

  • I’m arriving at de Gualle Airport on August 8. If you buy a Navigo Decouverte at their ticket booth for zones 1-5, you don’t need a separate ticket for the train ride from the airport to Paris, correct? (Arriving on Monday leaving on Sunday, so the Navigo is perfect for me.)

    • Hi Stephen – I’m not 100% sure if zones 1-5 or 1-6 cover travel from the airport but they should be able to tell you at the airport booth. Glad it works out for you. Bon voyage! 🙂

  • Can you buy the passe navigo decouverte on line or before arriving in Paris.
    If not, where in the cdg airport can you buy the card?



    • Hi Diana, not to my knowledge. You need a physical passport size photo to get the passe. There is a train station at CDG airport and they were selling the passes at the time. Bon voyage!