When was the last time a change was made to a product that gave you more for your money? It’s hard to remember, isn’t it?
Recently the transit authorities in Paris made a genius decision to de-zone the Navigo passes, including the Navigo Decouverte.
The Navigo Decouverte is a smart card that can be used on the transit system – metro, bus, tram, RER and Transilien trains in Paris and the Ile de France region. It is valid for weekly or monthly travel and available for anyone to use.
The initial cost for the kit, which is 2 cards and a plastic holder, that you then charge with your travel, is 5.00€. It is valid for 10 years. A small (3.5 cm tall x 2.5 cm wide) passport type photo is also required. I just took a head shot with my phone and printed it on plain paper. It doesn't need to be a fancy photo. A copy of your passport or drivers license photo, cut to size will do.
Then all you have to do is charge it for the week for just 21.25€. This allows for unlimited travel in the Paris region – including CDG airport and many popular day trip destinations. Considering that the RER fare between Paris and CDG is 10.00€ each way – the rest of your metro and bus travel for the week is virtually free if you were planning an airport trip anyway. The only minor drawback is that it is tied to the calendar week of Monday to Sunday. If you are staying longer, you can charge your card for a month for 70€.
This is a significant savings over the old prices of 35.40€ for a week and 116.50€ for a month - for a zone 1-5 pass.
Charging your Navigo is super-simple if you have a chipped credit card - which is strongly recommended for travel in Europe. There are machines in every metro station, and you can even choose to do your transaction in English. You just place your card on the indicated spot and follow the directions on screen. The whole transaction takes about 2 minutes.
I’ve had my Navigo Decouverte since 2013. I’ve always loved the convenience of it – being able to hop on a bus or the metro without worrying about “wasting” a ticket to travel a short distance. Now I love it even more because I can take all sorts of day trips for free. Another reason to extend your stay in Paris.