This weekend I inched a few steps closer to becoming a Parisian. I got a Navigo pass! This is basically your ticket to zip through the metro without looking like a tourist because there is a certain permanence that comes with owning one.
Over the past 3 weeks I have missed a a countless number of trains while refueling on my stock of individual metro passes at the ticket machines, sometimes having to wait up to 20 minutes for the next train adding unnecessary frustration to my already long working days so I’m a very happy bunny and I feel like I am slowly starting to fit in a little more every day…in one swift 007 move, the Navigo pass is out of my pocket, in my hand and I am crossing over to the other side. The stack of stubs you see here are courtesy of this self-created “system” that developed naturally over the past 3 weeks. Everyday, I kept the metro ticket I used in the left pocket, using it to enter and exit stations as I switched trains…after use, it made it’s way to the right pocket of my coat and so over this 3 week period, the right pocket gradually grew fuller and heavier until finally it was freed of its burden.
I am loving these simple pleasures in life… first a phone line and now a permanent metro pass!
For those looking to move to Paris or who just moved to Paris and need guidance. You have two options with the Navigo pass:
1. You can buy a Euro 5 card that you then charge at one of the Navigo machines in the station on either a monthly or annual basis. It’s about Euro 62.50 monthly. With the annual deal, you pay for 11 months and get the 12th month free
2. You follow the same steps as above however you do it through the ticket counter at one of the big metro stations (e.g. St Lazare) where you will need to provide more information (personal ID, bank papers, barred cheque) in order to be registered in the system for an automatic direct debit every month.
The second option has two advantages. The first is that you dont have to stand in line at the Navigo machines to recharge every month because the lines can apparently be crazy and second, if you lose your Navigo pass or if it’s stolen (a very very likely scenario in Paris), you will be fully reimbursed for the value on your card. If you lose your pass with the first option, it’s basically money down the drain.
And for all the happy tourists who have the luxury of waltzing through metro stations with no need to rush, enjoy your metro ticket stubs…they make for great souvenirs and bookmarks and the best thing is when you are safely back home after an incredible vacation and find a random stub in a coat pocket or a handbag and immediately you are transported back to your Parisian adventure…and memories of travelling through Paris’ underground world.
Safe travels through Paris. Bon Voyage!