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Purchasing a Navigo Découverte for the first time


Feb 6th, 2015, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 243
Purchasing a Navigo Découverte for the first time

I have read a bunch of posts about this and am probably way overthinking it, but I want to be prepared. I've got the pronunciation down (nah-vee-go day-koo-vairt) but in the event that I can't get the ticket seller to understand what I'm saying (past experience would tell me this is highly likely), I'd like to have it printed out in French so I can just hand it over.

Google-translate tells me this is what it should say:

"Je voudrais acheter deux Navigo Découverte zones 1-2,
et aussi acheter deux Complément de parcours pour notre voyage à Paris
se il vous plait."

I want a Navigo for zones 1-2 and also an additional ticket to get from CDG into Paris (St. Michel) for myself and my husband. We have our little bitty pictures ready to go. We don't need to bring tape to attach them to the pass, correct?

I need to make this initial purchase at a ticket window, not at a machine, but when we recharge the pass the following week, that can be done at a machine, correct?
tracilee is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2015, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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We used our initial Navigo for the week. When we went back, we must have chosen the wrong machine or something, because we were unable to recharge on our own at the machine and still had to go to a person at the counter. I assume there's a way to not have to do it this way, but we couldn't figure it out.

We did our research, too, but the initial Navigo purchase was not hard and we, sadly, don't know a lick of French. It wasn't too bad. Don't forget your small picture that they need for the card.
itspat is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2015, 10:34 PM
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Thanks, itspat, I appreciate the encouragement! I've got the small pictures ready to go.
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Feb 6th, 2015, 11:16 PM
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Yes, you are probably worrying needlessly. Your translation may not be exquisite linguistically but should be easily understood. The only thing you may be missing is that you want the one week ("semaine", seh-man) and not the one month ("mois", mwah) pass.

1. At CDG you are likely to interact with an agent who has seen a good number of monolingual English speakers previously. Having hard copy of your statement will be good backup, if it inspires confidence then by all means tuck it in your wallet.
2. You do not need to worry about bringing tape, there is a laminating sheet included in your ND packet. You will need an ink pen to inscribe your name and pass number on the accompanying ID card.
3. Yes you can recharge the ND with another weekly pass at machine, I have done so as recently as last August (and,before the hordes descend, did so without chip and pin credit card) but doing it through an agent is really no big deal at all.
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Feb 7th, 2015, 04:20 AM
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At the RATP stations, the Navigo Découverte is sold at the machines. The receipt is taken to the service window and exchanged for the pass itself. The SNCF sales window at either Terminal 2 or Roissypôle will probably sell you the pass there directly. They have scissors for trimming your pictures or glue to attach them. Be sure to print you name on the bottom right hand corner of the card.

If the Navigo Découverte is valid on the day you arrive, you can purchase an additional fare, called a Supplément de parcours which takes you from CDG into Paris (zone 1-2). The additional cost is 8.10€.

Navigos can be charged at any ticket kiosk but most all of these machines require your using a chipped credit card or paying with coins. There will be at least one kiosk per station which accepts bills.
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Feb 7th, 2015, 06:01 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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And just an FYI - The weekly pass starts on Monday at 12:01am and ends on Sunday at 11:59 pm. The time might be off a minute, but used those to emphasize that the validity of the ND starts just after midnight on Sunday [actually Monday, of course] and ends just before or at midnight the next Sunday.

ND is great when your trip falls exactly into those parameters, and you plan to use the ND several times a day [it is easy to figure the break even point]

IF you plan to walk a lot and only use the metro or bus twice a day [maybe even 3 times a day] or do a lot of switching between them, a carnet[pronounced CAR - nay] of 10 tickets maybe be a better way to go.

With the ND, each person has to have one. Add in the surcharge for your first card and then use that to figure your break even per day usage.

With the carnet - you buy 10 tickets, which can be used by either of you, and then IF you need more, you buy another 10. The cost of the 20 should be just a bit more than 1 ND.

Another advantage of the carnet, is that if you have tickets left over, they can be used next trip to Paris. And there WILL be a next trip! LOL.

Just did a quick math:
ND = 21.45 + 5 [can't find that on site, but it was the cost for new ND kit in past]
carnet = 14.10 for 10 rides/ 1.41 per ride.

SO - 26.25/ 1.41 per ride = 19 rides.

The break even point is 19 rides PER PERSON in the Monday midnight to Sunday midnight time frame.

Above figures are Euros.

Hope this helps.
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Feb 7th, 2015, 06:49 AM
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A lot of good information so far. I will add that when we recharge our Navigo passes, we usually do so in a convenient neighborhood shop that is authorized to sell RATP tickets. To find one near you, go to this page and choose Paris and an arrondissement from the drop-down menu. You will get a list of all places in that area and see their locations on a map by clicking on "où est-ce?". Note that many locations are closed on Sundays - "fermeture le dimanche".

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Feb 7th, 2015, 07:01 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Not to dwell on this but --

one of the joys of being in Paris is to simply walk the streets, boulevards and neighborhoods to not only see but feel Paris. You may think you will use the metro/bus a lot, but decide that you prefer to walk more than ride. Just a thought...

And IF you go with the simple process of using carnet tickets, just be sure you:
-- Validate it when you enter bus or metro station and
-- Hold on to the ticket until you exit the bus or metro station.
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Feb 7th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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Thank you for the replies - they are all quite helpful.

MaineGG - good tip on recharging the ND in a neighborhood shop, I will definitely look into that.

DebitNM - we have used carnets in the past but this trip is in March and we think we might use the metro more often because of the possibility of bad weather. We normally do a LOT of walking and still plan to, but feel the ND will allow us the freedom of hopping on the metro or a bus without thinking about "using up" a ticket. We arrive on a Tuesday and plan to purchase the pass at CDG, then recharge it the following Sunday as we will be there for another week.

Seamus - thanks for the clarification of "semaine", that helps! Hopefully we will get a nice clerk at CDG - I'm sure it will be fine.

Sarastro - I appreciate your tips, too, thank you!
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Feb 7th, 2015, 12:31 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Sounds like you have this under control! Have a grand time~
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