|Navigo Transit Pass, Paris, France|
In September 2015 the range of the pass was extended to cover 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's a plan 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...)
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. If you plan to use the RER trains to travel between central Paris and a Paris airport, the Navigo is obviously a money-saver.
Because of its ease of use, it can save you ticket hassles no matter how often you use it.
(For visits of one to three days, also consider a Mobilis or Paris Visitecard. More...)
How to Buy a Navigo Pass
Navigos are of various kinds, most of them for pemanent residents of Paris. For short-term foreign visitors, the pass is available by the calendar week 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.
3. Find a Photomaton coin-operated photo booth in a train or major Métro station and shoot document-size full-face photos (6€).
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 validity always begins on Monday—and only 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.
From Friday on, 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€, almost as much as a weekly Navigo pass (21.25€), so if you're traveling from/to CDG or ORY, and also using the Métro and city buses in central Paris, you'll probably 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.
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.