A Navigo Travel Pass is like a magic wand for travelers in Paris. Paris is one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and even getting around Paris costs at least €1.9 for a single metro ride and €2 for a bus, not to mention a taxi or any other thing. Plus, I assume you won’t be sticking to one neighborhood or area only when visiting Paris. The major attractions are widely peppered not only within the city core but also further afield in Paris Suburbs. Getting back and forth between those places will eat up a large pie of your budget at the end of the day.
For that reason, if you think of spending half to one a week in Paris, it’s better to obtain a Navigo Travel Pass.
Most travelers will be looking at the Weekly Pass. This is the best option that provides unlimited rides on all modes of transportation (I’ll be listing down which ones later in the article). Check out this foolproof way to buy and use Paris Navigo Pass.
Paris Subway Map: Understanding Paris And Its Suburbs
This yellow map indicates all the subway and metro lines that connect different neighborhoods around the inner core of Paris (also known as Paris, The City of Paris, or Paris ‘intra muros’). The surrounding area is called Greater Paris, Paris Urban Areas, Or Paris Suburbs.
The City of Paris dominates the very central core of the map (in lighter yellow). It covers Zone 1 and 2 with famous attractions listed as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur, and the Champs Elysees boulevard. The major means of transportation around this area include the metro line, buses, and bicycles.
Paris Suburbs (in brownish yellow) covers Zone 3 to 5. The Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Palace of Versailles are located in this area. The major means of transportation that connects this area with the City of Paris is the RER train.
Navigo Weekly Pass At A Glance
Navigo Weekly Pass is the most common option for tourists. Since the weekly pass is only valid between 12:00 am on Monday and 11:59 pm on Sunday, you should activate the validation of the pass right away on Monday to maximize its use and time. This starting and ending time is fixed and you cannot change the duration.
For the best rate of the Weekly Pass, you should obtain it on Friday when it’s open for sale and start using the next Monday.
The Weekly Pass is applied for all zones from 1 to 5 and is valid on all modes of transport (unlimited uses):
- RER train
- Express tram and regular tram.
- Buses and Filéo.
- Bus Direct Paris-Aéroport ex-Cars Air France
- VEA Disney shuttles
- Cars Rouges.
Navigo Travel Pass: Where To Buy And How To Use
A passport-size headshot of yourself (3cm tall by 2.5cm wide).
Write your name on the back of the picture.
If you don’t have a picture handy the moment you buy it, you can get it done at one of the photo booths near the pass-selling counters at any major train station. The rate can be expensive for a set of 4 so make sure you have it available beforehand.
Where to Buy a Navigo Travel Pass?
At Île-de-France Train Ticket Counter
These Navigo passes are available for sale at the “Service Counters/Windows” at Île-de-France ticket counters. The salesperson will handle your purchase instead of a vending machine like in some other places.
In some cases, the passes at one of those counters are out of stock. You can find another counter nearby to look for it.
At Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
At the CDG Airport, look for those Billets Paris et Ile de France counters around Terminal 2C and 2E. If you land in Terminal 1 and 3, there is one counter inside the Roissypole building which is 5 minutes walk away from Terminal 3.
Rest your worries about the language barrier as these two counters will have English-speaking staff in charge.
The latest price as of Jan 2023 is 30€ per week. The rate is expected to be higher each year so keep a close eye on this.
At Major Train Stations
Other than the two sales hubs above, the Navigo Pass is widely available at most of the metro and RER stations such as Gare du Nord, Gare du Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare d’Austerlitz, and many more.
Since these train stations are huge with lots of selling points offering various kinds of tickets for different routes, make sure you look out for the right counter that says “Billets Paris et Ile-de-France”.
In case you wanna extend the use of your Weekly Pass for another week, you can top it up at one of these selling counters or at a vending machine. The touch screen will display your updated period of use. Let’s say you wanna use it next Monday, the top-up day should be on Friday.
Can You Buy a Navigo Travel Pass Online?
As of now, online passes are only available for French residents and exchange students. You need to actually settle in France with a local address and bank account to obtain it online.
All foreign visitors must acquire the pass in person at one of those selling points mentioned above.
How to Use a Navigo Travel Pass?
Once your pass is activated, you can use it to swipe for unlimited transport. Note that the card must coordinate with the same buyer with his or her headshot picture printed on the card. It’s non-refundable and non-transferable.
For subway rides, you only need to swipe it once at the entrance line to get into the station. You don’t need to do the same upon departure.
I hope you find my guide above answered all of the questions you may have about the Navigo Travel Pass. If you’re looking for more travel ideas in Paris, here’s to give you some inspiration: