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Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

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New Delhi, India
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Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

My husband and I will be going to Paris this month for 3 days (Tue-Thurs). From looking at various threads, it seems like most people recommend and prefer the Navigo Card over the Paris Visite and the carnet. But at current prices (may'11), a one week 2 zone Navigo Card is costing Eur 23.35 (5+18.35) as opposed to a 3 day Paris Visite 1-3 Zone card which costs Eur 20.7! So why does the Paris Visite card have such a bad rap??

The cheapest option seems to be the carnet which costs Eur 12 for 10 tix, but I'm worried about these being difficult to use. Are they really that difficult to use, can they be used on all (buses/trams/trains/metro) modes and is there such a thing about keeping track of which direction in terms of validity of tickets?

Very, very confused :-(. Would really appreciate any advice that can make my life a little easier.

Thanx!

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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1. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

The Paris Visite, at 20.70€ is only valid for three days. The Navigo Découverte at 18.35€ (the 5€ is a one time charge for the card which is valid for ten years) is valid for 7 days, any Monday through Sunday. If your stay falls within this period, the ND can be much cheaper than a Paris Visite card.

The Paris Visite will cost more than two carnets or 20 individual t+ tickets (if you purchase the t+s ten at a time). You would need to make 7 trips every day to make the Paris Visite pay for itself. You can share the individual t+ tickets, you cannot share a Paris Visite.

It´s perplexing why you are worrying that the single ride ticket is difficult to use. You insert it into the turnstile when you enter the system in exactly the same way you would the Paris Visite or ND cards (and keep it until you exit). The cards even look similar. If you can use one, you can use any of them.

Either way, any of these options are valid on the métro, RER (with some limitations), buses, tramways, or funicular within central Paris.

Boston...
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12,883 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

As far as the validity of a ticket goes, once you put a ticket through the machine at the turnstile, put it in another pocket or place than your remaining unused tickets. When you exit the Métro or bus, you can discard that ticket.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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3. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

Price for a carnet of ten tickets is €12.

If there are two of you, two 3-day Paris Visite travel cards for Zones 1-3 will cost €41.40.

If you do the math, you could purchase three carnets for €36 which would provide you tickets for 30 journeys, or 5 journeys each per day for 3 days.

So, all depends upon how often you plan to ride each day, which will be determined by where you're staying, where you go during your visit, and how much walking you do from place to place.

Many prefer a pass for a) unlimited rides, b) the convenience of not having to manage those tiny carnet tickets.

The carnet tickets must be validated every time you board a bus or enter a metro station. You can transfer for free between lines on either, but transferring from metro to bus, or vice versa, requires another ticket. You MUST hold onto your ticket until the conclusion of your journey and you have left the metro or last bus. You must keep used tickets apart from unused tickets.

Some days, you may ride from your hotel to your first destination, to another destination, back to your hotel, having walked between other places that day, using only four tickets.

But, if you were to visit Montmartre, you might take the metro, use the finicular, ride around on Montmartrobus a couple of times, ride to another area of the city, ride to a dinner destination, ride "home", which would require seven tickets or so.

A huge advantage of a pass with unlimited rides is that you don't have to decide whether to walk versus ride and "use up" another ticket. Often, it's far better to save your energy and stamina than "save" a ticket. And, you won't be skipping distant places you may have time to visit with a block of unexpected free time because you're "almost out of tickets" or would have to purchase more.

Also, with a pass, you can hop on/off buses, ride all over the city enjoying the glorious scenery everywhere, discover appealing neighborhoods you'd never know of from metro trains.

At €20.70 for three days unlimited travel in Paris, €6.90 per day is extremely economical.

For those whose travel dates coincide with Monday thru Sunday, Navigo Semaine costs €3.34 per day, €2.62 if you already have the pass.

Boston...
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4. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

We've never used more than 2 tickets each per day and some days we've just walked and not taken public transportation. So we never even use two carnets in a week.

Of course, this all depends where you are staying and how much you enjoy walking, but if your hotel is centrally located, you may not need a pass, though there is no doubt they are convenient.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

our rule has been -- if we are in the central ring, we get a carnet -- if we are staying in an outer arrondisement we get the ND -- for us it is much the most economical plan -- Paris is best viewed on foot -- so when in the center we rarely use metro or bus -- just if we want to visit a more distant part of the city and use it to get there where we then walk until ready to return to the center

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

I wish I had gotten your guys' advice before I left for my trip....:) But yes, I think the carnet is the way to go. We arrived in paris via train super late on a Wed and left on Tues. There were about 2 days in which we each used 6 tickets. (tickets are only for one-way but as many transfers as needed for metro.). Not sure about the bus, b/c even the locals weren't sure if we could make 2 or 3 transfers on the bus. So we didn't try. We were told that there was a time limit of 1.5 hours on the billet, but when we asked some locals they weren't sure. I guess the locals mostly all use the Orange Cards. If we arrived on a Mon, yes I think we would have gotten a unlimited week pass simply so that we could utilize doing more visits using the pass. We didn't get access to the velib bikes b/c they would not accept credit cards w/o the smart chip, so we really walked ALOT in the short stay we were there. Next time we may plan to arrive at the beginning of the week to take advantage of the week pass.

Ohio, USA
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7. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

If you think you will use the métro/buses enough to justify a PV pass you can actually save a little by buying a €6.10 Zones 1-2 Mobilis pass for each of the days you will be in Paris. If you want to do that you can buy all your Mobilis passes at one time. IOW you don't need to buy a Mobilis pass for Thursday on Thursday.

http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21148/mobilis/

The ordinary "tickets t+" purchased individually or in a carnet are good for one trip anywhere by métro and/or by the RER *inside Paris* including transfers. On the buses you can use the ticket for one trip including transfers but the last transfer must be no more than 90 minutes after the first validation. You cannot use the same ticket to transfer between the rail and bus networks. Be sure to have your validated ticket or properly completed pass available for inspection at any time. If an inspector requests it you will be heavily fined if you cannot produce it.

IMO for most people the PV pass is only a good purchase if (1) you intend to make heavy use of the métro or buses and (2) you take advantage of some of the discounts and other perks included with the pass.

New Delhi, India
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27 posts
32 reviews
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8. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

Wow, that was quick! Thank You all for sharing your experiences and opinions. They were extremely helpful and have helped me make this earth-shattering decision (I now know what Obama must have felt last Friday ;-)!! Just kidding:-) We'll be going with the carnet since we are right next to the Eiffel and most of the places we'll be visiting are nearby.

Merci Beaucoup!!

Rowley...
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41 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

We purchased the Navigo Decouverte for a week and love it ! The bike system is hard to locate and I would probably spend most of my biking stressing about where to drop the bikes in 30 minutes. And we did not see many stands. For tourists not familiar with the city, not so good, but a great idea for locals and cheap quick transport. The metro is wonderful, everywhere and easy to use. Having the card prompted many spur of the moment trips and if we got lost, just get to a stop and finding home is easy. Awesome idea ! Just bring your pictures and buy at CDG ! Thank you everyone who fielded my earlier questions...Paris is fantastic !

Oceanside...
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1,856 posts
35 reviews
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10. Re: Navigo Decouverte vs. Carnet

The carnet is now 12.70 euro for 10 tickets. Navigo Decouverte for 2 zones for 1 week is 19.15 euro. I have been home a week and for the first time ever in all my trips, ticket checkers got on the metro and went thru the car itself and checked every ticket. They took one guy off cause he couldn't prove it, just in my car. Not this time but a previous time I have seen these people laying in "wait", in one of the corridors checking tickets. Took grandaughter one time and we had the navigo and she hadn't glued her pic in and had everything loose, holder, pic, ticket etc. They made her do it right then and there in front of them. Which you get depends on how much you like to walk, or can walk, the only way to see Paris, or if you will need to take the metro for health reasons. Three days is by no means enough time in Paris. I could wander for days and hours if the old body would only hold up.