We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

Which Paris hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
San Francisco
Level Contributor
57 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

My kids and I were in Paris last week and I had decided to get Navigo Decouverte metro pass cards (Monday through Sunday). I speak and read French, and I still had to ask the waoman working in the booth at least 4 times to help me figure out the machine. So here's how it works:

-Two options when you approach the machine:

Acheter les coupons, tickets or

Recharger Pass Navigo

There is a roller to roll to the option you want. Pick "acheter les coupons, tickets". Then push the button to select. I think it says "valider"

-Now you can roll down to the English flag to continue in English.

-In the next section. pick "coupon for Navigo Decouverte Pass"

-Then choose how many passes you want.

-The next section is "receipt yes or no" Pick yes, in case you have a problem, you can show that you paid.

-Now you pay. Each pass is $5. This pays for the pass itself and does you no good until the pass is charged. Usually, there is a spot for change, bills or credit cards.

- The machine will dispense little paper tickets, one for each pass.

-Take these to the window and the attendant will exchange them for two cards, one plastic and stiff and one flimsy paper. You will also get a clear plastic holder.

-Go back to the machine and this time pick "Recharger Pass Navigo"

-Highlight the time that you want the pass to work, generally that week.

-Now put lay the hard plastic card on the purple tray, and when you pay ( 16.80 E for the week),the card will get validated for use for the week.

Think you're done? Not even close!

-Take the flimsy card and attach your picture where there is a square of tape. Fair warning, passport pictures are too large and will need to be cut down. You need to leave enough space at the bottom to write your name.

-When you have written your name and attached a picture, peel the backing off the clear part and fold that over the picture side.

-Now take the two cards and line them up so that the hole in the flismsy card reveals the same number on the hard card. If you buy multiple cards, check the numbers, they are not intercahngeable.

-Once the cards are lined up, slide them both into the plastic holder until you feel them click into place.

VOILA! YOU'RE DONE!!!!

Now you just slide the card each time over the top of the machine at the entrance. Green arrows will appear, and you're in. This is a great pass, and totally worth the pain to get.

That said, I saw metro stations with machines that only rechsrged passes, didn't sell new ones. And I have heard that at larger stations, you may be able to do the whole purchse from an attendant.

Have fun!

Toronto ON
Level Contributor
671 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

You need pictures for a week long subway pass??? Where do you get these pictues?

nashville
Level Contributor
5,125 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

the easiest thing to do is bring your own small pictures -- we used to just print a couple of snapshots and cut our heads out

you can even just print on your computer and size and cut out

it is a pain to have to find a machine that works and more expensive to do it that way -- so just bring a small picture

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
2,509 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. I know it will save me lots of time and frustration when I get to Paris (in 40 days, but who's counting).

Williamsburg, Va
Level Contributor
220 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

Did you use cash or credit card? I have read that the machines in metro stations do not take american credit cards because they lack a certain chip.

Boston
Level Contributor
24 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

aw! Thanks for such great information. I was going to do Paris Visite when I get there in May. I was told that Navigo Decouverte is for people staying in town starting Sunday onward, but I am flying in on Monday morning.

Now that I know it starts on Monday this looks like will save more for me.

Do they have ticket station at the airport? I plan on getting them at the airport to start off my trip since our flight get in 6am in the morning.

thanks so much!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
57 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

I used cash. I had also heard that American credit cards can pose a problem, so I didn't use mine. I got cash from an ATM machine and paid cash wherever I went. I have also heard that your PIN number needs to be 4 numbers only. Mine was, so no problem.

By the way, my ATM machine only had amounts going up to 90 euros. But there was an option for "other amounts". I hit that and got several hundred at a time, so I wouldn't get hit with so many fees. My hotel had a safe in the room, so I just took what I needed for the day and left the rest locked up, along with our pssports and my credit cards and ATM card.

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
1,394 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

I did the whole process with an attendant, week before last, at the Louis Blanc metro station in the 10th. Happy Travels!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
57 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

I doubt that you can get it at the airport, since the metro doesn't go out that far. How are you getting into Paris? We took the train, then the metro. Our ticket worked for both, since the train and metro staions were connected where we changed from one to the other. I got our train tickets at the tourist information booth, but I don't know if they're open that early. I also got my museum pass there.

kuwait
Level Contributor
188 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

wouldbeparisienne,

In other post one of the poster give this website : www.parisbytrain.com

which I found it very helpful and print out the instructions. if we match your writing instruction with the photo in that website I guess the purchasing process will go smoother .

New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,086 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: So you want to get a metro pass? Read this!

wouldbeparisienne, I bought the pass last week and was planning to post a message explaining how to do it. Now I don't need to - you've explained it so well.

I would add a couple things:

1. Not all machines accept euro bills. The slot for the bills is to the right. I would say about 60% of the machines I've seen accepted bills.

2. If the attendant's booth has a sign "Ventes", you can buy tickets and passes at the booth. You should be able to use a US credit card at the booth If the booth's sign is simply "Information", then the attendant only provides information. You'll need to follow the process explained so elegantly by wouldbeparisienne. The machines likely won't accept a US card. The attendants I've seen have all come out of the booth to help people work the machines.

3. You can't double swipe the card when you go through the turnstile. I wasn't sure that my card had been accepted, so I swiped it again. If a card is double-swiped, it's locked out for 10 minutes to prevent people from sharing the card. When this happened to me, I went to the attendant. He very patiently showed me what happened, then let me through the gate.

Have fun!