Unclear about Carte Orange and which passes to get

By | January 31, 2022 | in

Hello Ben,
What a delightfully helpful website - thank you for making travel easier to visitors of Paris. I’m confused about the Carte Orange. On the page entitled Carte Orange, it says this is now called the Pass Navigo Découverte but later on that same page it says that you have to first obtain the Pass Navigo Découverte to get the Carte Orange - are these two separate things? And if so, what all does the Carte Orange cover?
We’re arriving to CDG on a Thursday at 9:15AM. We’re staying in the 2nd arrondissement and will be traveling around mostly the single digit arrondissements until we leave the following Wednesday morning (6 days in town). We hope to include some of the following on our tour: palace of Versailles, Sabine-Chapelle, Sacré-Cœur, Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Eiffel Tower, and Pigalle. 

What passes would you recommend for us and where should we get them (airport)? Do we need to bring our own pre-printed photo for the Pass Navigo Découverte?
 Thank you so much!

1 answer

Staff February 11, 2022

Carte Orange was the name of the weekly pass prior to Navigo / Navigo Découverte.  Practically the same thing except it was a paper card with a laminate cover.
The point I was trying to emphasize with the old Carte Orange article was that the physical card itself is useless without a subscription put onto it.  Nowadays we just call it a week pass that's put onto the Navigo card.
Unfortunately Navigo works strictly Monday to Sunday.  Thursday is the last day it can be purchased for usage during the same week.  So your choices are limited to buying Navigo on the day of arrival (Thursday) for pass coverage till Sunday midnight.  Then buying/applying another week subscription onto the same Navigo card anytime between Friday-Sunday that will cover you from Monday-Wednesday & back to CDG on Wednesday.
Since the cost of a single-use RER ticket between Paris & CDG is 10,30€ and the cost of a week subscription on Navigo is 22,80€ the question becomes: will I make 5 one-way trips on the Metro on Monday/Tue/Wed?  If so, then I might as well just use another week subscription and not have the hassle of dealing with individual paper tickets or buying/using a Navigo Easy card (which itself costs 2€).
I think my recommendation is to keep it simple and use two sequential Navigo week passes.  Buy one Thursday at CDG airport train stations (either one) upon arrival and reload it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for use Monday through Wednesday.  (You cannot add both week passes on Thursday, as far as I know.  You must wait till after Thursday midnight to add on the following week's pass.)
And yes, bring your own pre-printed color photo to use with the Navigo Découverte pass (or use a photomaton/photo booth at CDG airport if you don't mind hunting around for one and have 5€ in coins each).
Hope this helps!


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