|Navigo Transit Pass, Paris, France|
The Navigo is a weekly or monthly transit pass you can buy for unlimited use of the RER, Métro, city buses, funiculars, some Transilien trains, and other public transit services in and around Paris, France.
The pass covers Paris Zones 1 through 5, including destinations more distant from the historic center such as La Défense, St-Denis to the north, Versailles to the southeast, and even Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports. Here are maps/plans of the entire system, with zones, on the RATP website.)
With your Navigo (NAH-vee-goh) RFID pass, you walk into any RER or Métro station, touch the card to the Navigo target on the turnstile, and breeze right through. On a city bus, you touch it to a machine at the door where you board. It works anywhere Métro tickets work, and for RER rides in Zones 1 to 5. (Note: it does not work on the OrlyVal shuttle train between the RER Anthony station and Orly Airport. More...)
A system named Smart Navigo is in development. It may allow you to use your smartphone as a Navigo pass.
If you plan to stay in Paris most of a week, and you expect to use public transport several times daily, a Navigo pass may save you money, and it certainly is convenient. If you plan to use the RER trains to travel between central Paris and a Paris airport, the Navigo is obviously a money-saver. More...
Because of its ease of use, it can save you ticket hassles no matter how often you use it. And if you plan to return to Paris in the future, you can recharge it then—it's valid for 10 years.
(For visits of one to three days, also consider a Mobilis or Paris Visite card. More...)
How to Buy a Navigo Pass
Navigos are of various kinds, most of them for permanent residents of Paris. For short-term foreign visitors, the pass is available by the calendar week Monday to Sunday) as the Navigo Découverte.
You can buy your Navigo Découverte at most Métro ticket windows and some RER and Transilien ticket windows. You can buy it at the train station ticket windows at Paris's airports. You pay a one-time charge of 5€ for your Navigo Découverte card, including your Carte Nominative Transport and the transparent plastic frame that holds both cards together.
You Need a Photo
You must attach a full-face, no-hat photograph of your face to your Navigo pass (maximum photo size: 2.5 x 3 cm/1 x 1.25 inches).
Options for the photo:
1. Bring a small full-face photo from home.
2. The agent in the ticket booth may have facilities to shoot the photo for you.
Navigo: Not Transferrable!
Navigo passes are not transferrable. Only the person whose name and photo are on the pass can use it.
The pass belongs to you and can be recharged for transport repeatedly, for years. If your Navigo pass is lost or stolen, you cannot reclaim its value. You must buy a new one.
One Week of Unlimited Travel
You can buy your Navigo pass on any day of the week, but because its week of validity always begins on Monday, if you buy it in the middle of the week you may not get full value: you'll pay full price, but it will still expire at midnight on the following Sunday.
Starting on Friday, you can buy your Navigo pass good for the following week, and it becomes valid at 00:01 (12:01 am) on Monday morning.
Use it to/from the Airport!
A round-trip ticket between Aéroport Charles de Gaulle and central Paris costs 20.60€, almost as much as a weekly Navigo pass (22.80€), so if you're traveling from/to CDG or ORY, and also using the Métro and city buses in central Paris, you may save money with a Navigo even if you use it for a one-way trip to or from the airport, and/or for less than a full week, and it's much more convenient than conventional paper tickets.
No More Carte Orange...
If you visited Paris some years ago, you may remember the Carte Orange transit pass. The Carte Orange, a paper ticket with a magnetic stripe on the back, has been discontinued, and replaced by Mobilis and Paris Visite tickets, and the Navigo.